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http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-jacobs-column-hartford-baseball-0305-20150304-column.html

Although the names were a stunning joke, it turned out that Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.net was dead on with his scoop of the 10 finalists for the nickname of the new Hartford minor league baseball team.

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I'm a big fan of the Huckleberries name. I saw it as part of a write in campaign.

Chris Creamer has been promoting that name; it was his idea and it seems to be gaining traction.

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If the old Casper Ghosts could make a deal with Classic Media (owner of Harvey) for usage of the obvious character...could we see the Huckleberries make a deal with Warner Bros./Hanna-Barbera?

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Let's all get grassroots on this Hartford Huckleberries thing. This is our chance as a community to do some real good in this world: we can take this hard-luck New England town and rescue them from Brandiose team name ideas.

I'm writing my email right now. Everyone here should too.

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Let's all get grassroots on this Hartford Huckleberries thing. This is our chance as a community to do some real good in this world: we can take this hard-luck New England town and rescue them from Brandiose team name ideas.

I'm writing my email right now. Everyone here should too.

Being an outsider on this one, but why Huckleberries? What is the signifigance of that name to Hartford and New England besides growing wild in spots?

Plus not to be a Debbie Downer, but you guys know how these name the team "vote now" things work right? Pretty sure the name has already been chosen. Could be wrong and this could actually be a "real" name the team contest, however I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Huckleberry Finn. Written by Hartford resident Mark Twain.

And I gather you're right about the contest - I have a feeling we're going to be welcoming the Hartford Yard Goats before too long.

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Huckleberry Finn. Written by Hartford resident Mark Twain.

And I gather you're right about the contest - I have a feeling we're going to be welcoming the Hartford Yard Goats before too long.

Thanks for the insight!

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I agree with the notion that a Mark Twain-themed identity is the direction the team should go in. Twain and his family lived in Hartford for 20 years, the last 17 in the home that's preserved as part of the Mark Twain House & Museum. Many of his greatest works - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - were written while Twain called the city home.

Hartford Comets - Twain was born in November of 1835, shortly after Halley's Comet made its closest passage to Earth of that year. He died in April of 1910, a day after that year's closest passage of Halley's Comet to Earth and 75 years since the comet had last been visible from the planet. I envision a primary logo that depicts Twain sitting atop a streaking comet.

Hartford Hanks - After Hank Morgan, the title character of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The team's primary logo could depict the time-traveling Morgan outfitted in a chain mail tunic (or, an anachronistic armor breastplate) worn with 19th Century garb (bowler hat, rolled-up shirtsleeves with sleeve-garters, trousers, ankle-boots with spats) and wielding a sword like a baseball bat. A secondary mark could feature Morgan in the same garb, taking part in a joust, albeit while riding a penny-farthing bicycle.

Hartford Hucks - In honor of Huckleberry Finn, immortalized in several Twain works, most notably The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Logos would depict Huck Finn as we've come to know him: freckle-faced... unruly hair... wide-brimmed straw hat... overalls buttoned over just one shoulder with the cuffs of the legs rolled up to just below the calves of his legs... either barefoot, or in beat-up boots that have seen far better days.

Hartford Humorists or Hartford Twains - Straight-forward tips-of-the-hat to Mark Twain. I could see a logo package for either of these names being similar to that which Brandiose recently designed for the Frisco RoughRiders. In other words, where the new RoughRiders' marks depict the archetypical Teddy Roosevelt of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry era, logos connected to either the Humorists or Twains name would depict Mark Twain in all of his leonine-haired, mustachioed, white-suited glory.

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I feel like Huckleberry Finn imagery would be more suited for a Missouri team than a Connecticut team. I mean, I don't mind a Mark Twain reference, but once you're getting that deep, you're losing the local flair.

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Call me crazy, but again, I don't mind the list of finalists...I like Brandiose's style.

If this campaign means we don't get the Hedgehogs, I'm seriously gonna be unhappy.

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You're crazy. We should point to "Yard Goats" as the point where Brandiose entered self-parody. The sad thing is I think we've said that about other things. We just have to keep moving the point.

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Found something interesting lately. Ordered one of the PawSox new hats, which came yesterday, and they included a pocket schedule and a program/newspaper. I don't know when they get these printed up, but both use the old PawSox logo and none of the new branding. Example:

unnamed.jpg

Also, the new PawSox BP hat (the one I ordered) is pretty sharp in person.

Also also, very meh on the Hartford suggested names. None of them are clicking for me.

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I feel like Huckleberry Finn imagery would be more suited for a Missouri team than a Connecticut team. I mean, I don't mind a Mark Twain reference, but once you're getting that deep, you're losing the local flair.

I agree. A Huckleberry Finn-themed identity package is clearly the least Hartford-relevant of the Twain-centric ideas I proposed. Personally, I'd opt for a straight-up tip-of-the-hat to Twain himself (Hartford Twains, Hartford Comets, or Hartford Humorists), or a tie-in to Twain's locally-inspired work A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Hartford Hanks... perhaps, Hartford Knights).

All of that said, naming a Hartford-based team the Huckleberries and basing the logos on the plant/fruit leaves me cold. It isn't as if any of the four species of huckleberry that are native to the Eastern United States and Canada hold any particular relevance to the culture of Hartford, or the State of Connecticut as a whole. It wouldn't be the equivalent of branding a Maine-based team with a blueberry-themed identity, or a Mid-Cape Cod-based team with cranberry-themed logos.

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We should point to "Yard Goats" as the point where Brandiose entered self-parody. The sad thing is I think we've said that about other things. We just have to keep moving the point.

Agreed. The team at Brandiose just seems to keep trumping its own standards of self-parody. It has become increasingly rare for them to be able to generate a simple, striking team identity package. Rather, they either mash-up several different disparate themes into one creatively-strained whole, cram as many images as possible into a logo package chock-a-block with myriad - often tenuously-related - alternate marks, or both.

Their all-too-common reliance on a logo featuring the team mascot involved in a swingin'-from-the-heels at-bat notwithstanding, the Frisco RoughRiders' package of marks that Brandiose recently created was a model of restraint when compared to most of what the design firm has been churning out for several years. One can't help but wonder, was that a result of team ownership/management making it clear that they weren't interested in a typical over-the-top Brandiose treatment?

If so, one wishes that the suits in Hartford had possessed the wherewithal to insist upon the same sort of restraint. Instead, it seems as if Josh Solomon-and-Company were more than happy to allow Jason, Casey, and their wingman consultant Chuck Domino (who signed-off on the purchase of Brandiose identity packages when he was calling the shots for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Richmond Flying Squirrels, and Reading Fightin' Phils) to lead them by the nose into the world of Yard Goats, Whirlybirds, and Blue Frogs.

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I guess I am here to beat a dead horse over and over again....

As far as a team name aspect the ownership group comes to the table with ideas in mind as well as the rebranding firm. This all gets hammered out over time in brain trust meetings. Typically it's narraowed down to the top 3-5 that the TEAM wants. Not the design firm. Now things are a little different with a "name the team" contest, but not much.

Teams that have 15 different word marks and logos WANT 15 different logos. Do people really think teams are forced to do something they don't want? Rebranding firms work for the teams not the other way around.

Has anyone thought about why the hell a team wants so many logos, hats, jerseys etc? It's all about the money. The results are in and those teams sell the hell out of merchandise. Very appealing to a team owner IMO. That's why you continue to see this trend in MiLB.

The contingency on this board is a very small sample size of the general merchandise buying population. Just because we think every MiLB team should look like the Reno Silver Sox of 1948 doesn't mean that it what people of 2015 want. Matter of fact it's not what they want.

So while we all complain of names that we see being proposed for our local minor league affiliate lets take a step back and think about the big picture and why it's that way. Welcome to MiLB in the 2010's. Money always talks!

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I only like "Hartford Huckleberries" so much because it's alliterative and it sounds so absurd and fanciful to name a baseball team after a berry. I don't know anything about huckleberries or where they're grown (here I thought they were southern), but I'd support a Double-A team called the Grand Rapids Gooseberries or Boise Boysenberries on the same tenuous grounds. It'd be the second-best minor-league foodstuff team behind the great Montgomery Biscuits.

Teams that have 15 different word marks and logos WANT 15 different logos. Do people really think teams are forced to do something they don't want? Rebranding firms work for the teams not the other way around.

What happened to paying for expertise? This makes Brandiose a bunch of craven order-takers, hardly different from doctors who prescribe antibiotics for viruses because the patients demand it so obnoxiously. I pay you, not the other way around! How can you call yourself a "branding expert" when you fail to enact a key concept of branding (i.e., don't dilute it) in your work?

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