On the cover of The Sunday Star they presented their winners of the Blue Jays uniform design challenge. The contest stems from reports that the Jays have hired the British marketing firm IAS Markerting to rebrand the organization’s logo and uniform.
The relatively insouciant debate rages on as to what a new jersey ought to look like. (Less blue! More blue! Red maple leafs everywhere!!1)
Several months ago I argued that the Blue Jays’ Angry Bird logo, while confusing, was satisfactory. I don’t see a reason to to change the logo, colours or font of "Toronto". Will people in Weirdale, Saskatchewan be more likely to tune in to Blue Jays games if a maple leaf is featured more predominately on the uniform? (No, no they won’t) This seems almost like a distraction – something a company might do to temporarily divert our attention away from the product. In this case that isn’t necessary with how the Jays future (and heck, even present) looks. Let the players strut onto the field with green and red striped cotton uniforms as long as the team plays as they have the last few weeks.
It’s not that they couldn’t have a better uniform design. I’m sure every team could – in the same manner that all things, in general, could likely be improved. I have seen some terrific art since the talk of new uniforms began. Infield Fly had a nice post about uniforms from a fashion expert’s point of view – typography and colour palettes should not be ignored.
Instead of trying my hand at designing next year’s laundry, it might be more fun to look at What Not to Wear. Baseball logos that should serve as lessons to future marketing firms and front offices.
St. Louis Browns 1952-1953
The St. Louis Browns lasted about 50 years before the team moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles in 1954. For the final two years of their existence the team’s primary logo featured a sort of brown alien, awkwardly grinning. I understand that a team named the Browns needs to be creative with a logo, but I can’t imagine what they were thinking with this. I’m going to speculate that this logo was at least partly responsible for the move to B-more.
St. Louis Cardinals 1949-1964
Another unfortunate logo out of St. Louis – this time with the classic over-the-shoulder-pose. The scowl makes the Jays’ angry bird look like the forever sprightly B.J. Birdy.
Detroit Tigers 1901-1902
For their inaugural season, the Tigers chose to use a logo of what happens when I attempt to draw a red dog.
New York Highlanders 1903-1904
Before they were the Yankees, they were the New York Highlanders. Sometimes, simple letters will work great as a logo, (consider the current Yankees cap) but in this case, the letters are too far apart and in a font that would make Comic Sans-haters well past indignant.
Minnesota Twins 1961-1969
When the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota for the 1961 season, they introduced a busy, but honest, logo. It shows two men shaking hands, (representing the twin cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul) with a river between them (just as with the cities). Between the colours and amount going on, it seems like too much. Why not include the Foshay Tower and Cream of Wheat building in there while we’re at it.
Cleveland Indians, always
It’s not just the logos from the 1900s that can be criticized. This choice could just as easily be the old Atlanta Braves or Milwaukee Braves logos as well. It’s blatantly offensive. Is there still a community of people defending the name and logo of the Clevelands?