BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers

In BTLNHL Countdown
Oct 28th, 2011

The Panthers logo falls into the same category as the Avalanche: the onslaught of mediocre, overly-designed, hyper-active logos that belong more on a minor-league team than the best league in the world. I don’t know exactly what was happening in the world at this point to produce these sorts of logos, but they generally leave a lot to be desired.

Some of the hardest concepts to work on for a logo (not just in sports) are when it’s based on an animal. By nature, logos need to be distinct, evocative, original and relatively simplistic. And animal logo concepts almost always veer away from all those things. It’s difficult to not go overboard when designing a logo incorporating an animal, especially when it’s sports-related, as a demand for exciting dynamism to express the spirit of the sport is usually part of the design brief. The danger is that the logo becomes cartoonish and absurd (“Yeah, let’s make them snarl, and attacking something, and looking really mean, and snapping a hockey stick in half, and, and, and…”).

There’s 30 teams in the NHL. Of those 30, there’s 6 that have animals as their namesake (Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins) and 2 more that are marginally animal-based (Buffalo Sabres, whose animal was geographically chosen for them, and the Nashville Predators, as a Predator isn’t an animal, just a description of an animal). The Bruins and Ducks don’t even feature these animals on their logo (although a small case could be made for the webbed-foot “D” of the Ducks). There’s two teams that added animals to their logo design without it being explicit in their name, the Vancouver Canucks (an orca) and the Minnesota Wild (a wolf  bear). So, 6 out of 30 teams ( or 20%) have an animal in their logo.

The AHL? 30 teams, 12 of which have animal-based names, but 15 have animals in their logos, or 50%. The ECHL? 20 teams, 7 of which have animal-based names, but 11 have animals in their logo, or 55%. My point? Animals in logo are predominantly a minor-league phenomenon and not as popular as you might think. Part of that could be because the logo design and the names themselves don’t lend themselves to the level of professionalism demanded by being the best league in the world at your sport.

It’s not just hockey. The MLB has 30 teams, 4 of which have logos with animals (13%). The NBA: 30 teams, 9 have animal logos (30%). The NFL: 32 teams, 13 have animal logos (41%). The NBA and NFL’s percentages are getting high, but you can see in their approach to the design of the animals being designed, it’s usually fairly minimalistic, often having only one or two dominant colours. Compare these with the Panthers logo above, with lots of detail, and 4 different prominent colours (red, pukey-yellow, dark-blue and white). I have seen worse for sure, just not in the NHL. It’s just too minor-league for my liking.

Oddly, I also find the logo a little bit too cutesy. I know the panther looks about as ferocious as a panther on a logo possibly can (Claws! Fangs! Bloody eyes!), but the perspective used (where the body is much smaller than the head to give it some depth) just makes the panther looks smallish, like a little kitten attacking. But, that could just be me.

Contrast this with the Panthers’ alternate logo. This shows a little more restraint and pares things down a bit. It’s still not great, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Having an animal as your main logo may not automatically make a bad logo (as you’ll see later in future editions of BTLNHL), but it just needs a lot more restraint integrated, and that’s where the Panthers logo failed. There’s just too much happening and again, it’s that case of the ’90s, with almost all the logos being over-designed.

So, coming in with the 5th worst logo (or 26th best) in the league, it’s the Florida Panthers.

As an aside, just wanted to share the logo of the Detroit Tigers from the 1927-28 season I came across while writing this blog. This is a case of something being so absolutely horrible, it’s absolutely awesome.


The BTLNTL Countdown Posts

BTLNHL Finals: Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings
BTLNHL #3: Philadelphia Flyers
BTLNHL #4: St. Louis Blues
BTLNHL #5: Montreal Canadiens
BTLNHL #6: Pittsburgh Penguins
BTLNHL #7: Chicago Blackhawks
BTLNHL #8: Toronto Maple Leafs
BTLNHL #9: Phoenix Coyotes
BTLNHL #10: Vancouver Canucks
BTLNHL #11: Edmonton Oilers
BTLNHL #12: New York Rangers
BTLNHL #13: Calgary Flames
BTLNHL #14: Buffalo Sabres
BTLNHL #15: Winnipeg Jets
BTLNHL #16: Minnesota Wild
BTLNHL #17: New Jersey Devils
BTLNHL #18: Nashville Predators
BTLNHL #19: Carolina Hurricanes
BTLNHL #20: New York Islanders
BTLNHL #21: Ottawa Senators
BTLNHL #22: Tampa Bay Lightning
BTLNHL #23: Columbus Blue Jackets
BTLNHL #24: Washington Capitals
BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks
BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers
BTLNHL #27: Dallas Stars
BTLNHL #28: Los Angeles Kings
BTLNHL #29: Colorado Avalanche
BTLNHL #30: Anaheim Ducks


27 Responses to “BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers”

  1. […] the last post, you had to know another ’90s animal-related team logo had to be coming up soon. Well, you […]

  2. Dan says:

    the wild logo is a bear wolves don’t have round ears

  3. […] my rant about animals in logos? Well, I didn’t count the most intelligent animals of all – dolphins. I mean, 2nd most […]

  4. Danielle says:

    The Detroit Tigers logo from 1927-28 is AHHHHHMAZING!

    • Justin says:

      They didn’t count some of the MLB animal logos in this, the Tigers among them. Could use an edit. Don’t know what diamondbacks or rays have in their logos, but animals nonetheless.

      • Admin says:

        This post is over three years old now, but the Tigers, Diamondbacks or Rays still don’t use animals in their primary logo, so that hasn’t changed.

  5. […] a weakness because it doesn’t identify your sport. Most of them are not very aggressive. The Panthers are at least trying something even though it needs to be simplified. Vancouver is trying to do […]

  6. […] a ferociousness that (aside from the teeth) feels more authentic and less overdone than, say, the Panthers. Oh, and the Predator isn’t destroying a hockey stick either.  I’ve made lots of […]

  7. Richard Mitchell says:

    Question editor… If this is the Best league in the world.. Then why wouldnt you wish for a very descriptive and highly detailed logo? In that last sentance you would think Detailed and descripitive can be better than simple….. Simplicity is good yes. But there should be some decently contrasting and detailed logo

  8. my dear friend says:

    you’re full of shit. Hands down the Panthers logo is easily one of the top 5. Quit hating and pay attention. You seemed to have placed the Jets & Predators logo over this? come on man…

    • Admin says:

      Well, I gave a full blog entry defending my thoughts from a professional designer’s perspective why I placed them where they are. You gave…um….nothing.

  9. Lee says:

    The Panthers’ logo is not that bad. I’d put it closer to the top 15. As far as designers are concerned, obviously there are some rules to follow but a lot of what modern graphic designers preach is BS. They all seem obsessed with creating logos that are fierce and realistic looking where as so many classic logos were neither. That’s what bothers me about most new logos. They all have strange lines that look like bad tribal tattoo artwork and look angry. They all look like they were designed by the same person.

  10. […] to sports. I have gone to great lengths to critique the use of animals in NHL logos, with the Panthers and Sharks for example. But never did I say that it couldn’t be done. It’s just hard to […]

  11. […] BTLNHL #23: Columbus Blue Jackets BTLNHL #24: Washington Capitals BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers BTLNHL #27: Dallas Stars BTLNHL #28: Los Angeles Kings BTLNHL #29: Colorado Avalanche BTLNHL #30: […]

  12. […] times about how difficult it is to design animals in logos for professional hockey teams (see Panthers, etc) and not have it look overly cartoony or childish. The best way to do this is to just tone […]

  13. […] BTLNHL #23: Columbus Blue Jackets BTLNHL #24: Washington Capitals BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers BTLNHL #27: Dallas Stars BTLNHL #28: Los Angeles Kings BTLNHL #29: Colorado Avalanche BTLNHL #30: […]

  14. […] in the BTLNHL Countdown? That would mean it’s better than the Florida Panther’s logo, ranked at 26th. I’m not totally convinced […]

  15. It’s also good to know why the person is selling the vehicle.
    Franchised dealerships are best for that person looking to improve his car-selling
    and closing-the-deal skills. Selling a car privately also entails expenses on advertising cost.

  16. […] of having a full animal’s body in the design (the same reason the Florida Panthers were ranked so low in the BTLNHL […]

  17. Gary Iscoe says:

    Best logo in the league.

  18. […] More: BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers • More: Top 5: Florida Panthers Logo […]

  19. […] of having a full animal’s body in the design (the same reason the Florida Panthers were ranked so low in the BTLNHL […]

  20. […] • More: BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers  […]

  21. […] • More: BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers  […]

  22. […] More: BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers• More: Worst to First Jerseys: Florida […]

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