BTLNHL #23: Columbus Blue Jackets
In design, context is huge. And before making this list, I had no idea what a Blue Jacket even was. A type of bee? The Italian soccer team’s official outerwear? Tobias Fünke’s outerwear? There’s quite a few different things a ‘blue jacket’ could reference and thanks to Wikipedia, I attempted to disambiguate myself.
So exactly which Blue Jacket is the hockey team referencing? As I’ve never been to the state of Ohio, or that area of the States in general, I had to look it up in order to get a sense of what the logo was representing. Little did I know that Ohio played a large part in the American Civil War, producing luminary generals such as then-future president Ulysses S. Grant. Suddenly, the logo makes a little more sense and I started to get a sense of how difficult it would be to transfer the huge historical significance of something like a civil war into a hockey logo. No easy task, which is probably why this logo suffers a little bit and falls in as the 23rd best logo in the 30 team league.
The logo was originally the alternate logo for a few years, and the decision to go with something simple like a star and the Ohio state flag is a probably a good place to start, but it’s also a bit cliché and not incredibly inspired or inspiring for the fans. There’s a few other issues as well.
There’s a huge attempt to create dynamism and movement in the logo, and it’s all a bit overkill. The angled star, the grey sections within the star, the swooping Ohio state flag, everything pointed at discombobulated angles, without anything to really tie it all together into one cohesive package. The elements are there to create a logo that could work but it feels like it’s trying to be too much and, as such, feels over-designed.
Usually when this happens, some of the elements that are shoved in start to become unclear. For instance, is the swooping flag meant to just be a swooping flag (more dynamism! more action!), or was it really intended to also from a ‘C’? Could be, but it’s not totally clear if it was an accidental element or not, so it adds a certain amount of confusion and ambiguity to the design. Confusion and ambiguity can work very well to draw people in sometimes, but in logos, it’s a killer.
Okay, bad stuff done. Good stuff.
The colour scheme is very patriotic and true to the Ohio state and theme of the team’s name, representing themselves as a team for the entire state. And like I said before, the elements are cliché, but they do make sense given the context in which they’re working. There is a certain strength and vitality to the logo, but as I said above, it’s just totally overdone.
They’ve done a better job with their alternate logos over the last couple years (But am I missing something with always having that pattern in the star? Is it that necessary?). They’re much more indicative of the Blue Jacket historical roots and have a distinctive style of their own. I know that retro/vintage stylings is the new black these days, and this could change in the years to come, but at least the Blue Jackets’ name has a legitimate attachment to something historical. They might need some more revisions if they were to replace the current logo permanently, but it’s a step in an interesting direction.
(Note: A commenter pointed out to me (see below) that the pattern in the star is actually a symbol for the US Navy, so considering that ‘Blue Jacket’ can also refer to a Naval officer, it makes perfect sense to use it. I figured I was missing something with that star, so thanks to Graeme for pointing it out.)
And their logo now is a helluva lot better than their previous logo, so they get bonus points for that.
The Blue Jackets may be #30 in the league right now (can somebody get this team a new GM and a centre for Nash please!), but in my heart, they’re #23.
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