BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks

By JVDW
In BTLNHL Countdown
Nov 3rd, 2011
29 Comments

After the last post, you had to know another ’90s animal-related team logo had to be coming up soon. Well, you didn’t have to wait long. With a slightly better logo than Florida, coming in at #25, is the San Jose Sharks.

A lot of my feedback about this logo can pretty much be summed up by (as mentioned) re-reading the post about the Panthers (the post so nice, you should read it twice), but there’s definitely some points of differentiation. So first off, let’s examine what’s better about this logo:

1. It’s more simplistic. The whole body isn’t being shown, the details on the body are a lot more streamlined and the colour scheme is much less complex.

2. It’s more dynamic. The angle of shark denotes aggression and movement, and it’s accentuated by the angles of the fins, the triangle that the shark is emerging from, and pretty much everything else in the logo. You’d be hard pressed to find something in this logo that’s following hard vertical or horizontal lines.

3. It looks meaner. While the orange eye is wandering into zombie shark territory, it’s still a pretty mean looking mofo. Or mo-shark. Or Mo’shark (it is Movember, after all).

But it’s not all good times. What’s worse about this logo?

1. It’s more cartoonish. Chomping through a hockey stick, with bits flying off in all directions? Really? Let’s leave that stuff in the minor leagues.

2. Skin disease. I understand the need to show the prominent teal colour in someway, but that patch of teal on the top of the shark looks like it contracted some sort of shark rash or something. Their original logo didn’t have it, and I think it’s better for it. It’s not a flattering or necessary part of the design and detracts from the logo.

3. Teal. Need I say more? Okay, maybe I should. Teal’s not a great colour for sports and it doesn’t exactly scream toughness or aggression in any way. I think it other instances of design, outside of hockey, teal can be a lovely colour to use, but not in this instance. Remember the Red Army? The Orange Crush? Nobody mentions the Teal Tornado.

4. Chomping through a hockey stick. Seriously? Worth another mention.

But, in this case, the positives outweigh the negatives, and the Sharks’ logo works better. And so, their logo is only the 25th best in the NHL. Congrats Teal Attack!

 

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

 

29 Responses to “BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks”

  1. Garrett79 says:

    What is the teal on the shark’s back supposed to be? I never have understood why they felt the need to add that. As much as I hate the Sharks, I will freely admit that their old logo was pretty good. This thing is an abomination.

    And that isn’t even mentioning how stupid their jerseys are now with all the extra numbers on the front.

    • Admin says:

      The teal is just meant to be a highlight I think, like a reflection of the glistening water on its back? That’s my best guess and just the fact that we need to guess about it takes away from the design itself.

    • Admin says:

      And yeah, don’t like the numbers on the front of the jerseys either. Makes the whole thing like cluttered and clunky. But for now, I’m only talking about logos. Jerseys will come up in the future.

  2. Dan says:

    the shark is teal the black is shadow used to give the logo depth the original didn’t have

    • Admin says:

      The problem is that then all the fins would have to have the splotch of teal on it as well. So, if you’re right that the shark is fully meant to be teal, it’s not consistent becomes an odd bit of colour. I think it’s like a ‘glistening’-type highlight, but it does nothing for the design.

  3. Andrew says:

    Whether you like it design wise or not, I thought I would chime in as a Sharks fan who knows a bit about the logo redesign. The logo was redesigned by the same man who designed the original logo (Terry Smith), and he said the primary complaint/suggestion for an update was that you didn’t know their primary color was teal by looking at the all black logo.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for sharing Andrew. I’d love to know more about the design process of these logos. Do you know Terry Smith personally?

      • Andrew says:

        Sorry for not getting back to you, I’m not a regular reader (only took a look when UniWatch linked to your ongoing list). Imagine my surprise when I remembered to check if anyone had responded to my comment, only to find an interview with Mr. Terry Smith himself! I don’t in fact know him, just happened to be following the redesign when it was going on and remembered some bits from the news at the time. Nice work getting in contact with him!

        • Admin says:

          Thanks for giving me his name! He was easy to find at that point, and gracious for letting me talk to him. Hope you enjoyed the interview.

  4. Steve says:

    I have a question that i know will be answered more in depth when you get to them, but why is the penguins logo not around the sharks in the rankings? They have a similar design: cartoon-like animal on a triangular background. Would you categorize Pittsburgh as better because of the color choices, or is there something deeper I should wait for the Penguin’s post to see?

    • Admin says:

      Totally a fair question. And I’ll definitely address this when the Penguins come up in the countdown. Sorry, that’s all I can say for now.

  5. […] the San Jose Sharks logo, both the original and the current redesign. After placing his logo at #25 in the BTLNHL archive, I was pleased he even took my call. In fact, he was very friendly and open to discussion. Probably […]

  6. Adam says:

    Ridiculously subjective assessment. The Sharks logo is generally considered one of the best logos in all of hockey. Both by fans, and by professional designers. Obviously the Original 6 have the most recognizable logos, but it’s basically impossible to create “classic” logo when the team was created in 1991. Overall, the Sharks logo is a win on a ton of levels.

    As far as teal, generally I agree with you in sports, but the Sharks are the one and maybe only pro-franchise to truly pull it off. It’s not too overused and the simplicity of the logo design and heavy use of black get it done. In addition, tons of people buy Sharks gear just because it is the only pro sports team to pull off the use of Teal. Finally, it is used regularly in reference, as the Sharks are known as “Team Teal” to their fans and around the league.

    … now, the numbers on the front of the jersey are another matter… they are atrocious.

  7. […] Planet, it’s the Great White Shark. Unfortunately, for naming an NHL team, that moniker is already taken. Next? Lion. Well, that’s not very hockey-esque (unless you’re from Finland), and has […]

  8. Christine says:

    Fun fact. You may bash the teal for being “not a great color for sports,” but part of the reason it was chose was because it’s a color that appeals to both men and women, which is evident by the number of people who wear jerseys to games. In other words, this color that isn’t great for sports is being worn by the majority of the fanbase at games *in support of the team* (to clarify, I’ve been to other arenas, and even in Detroit, the team with the #1 logo, fewer fans actually wear the jersey or even team colors).

    Perhaps I’m slightly biased here, but first, as a fan it’s nice to go to a game where the arena is “a sea of teal” and second, I’m glad the Sharks aren’t one of the million teams that has red or blue as a primary color. In a league where those two colors are incredibly overused, it’s nice to see a team break away from that, and with a color that is actually connected to the area (deep pacific teal?).

    I agree with some of your other points, for instance that the old logo was better, and that this logo is sort of cartoonish. But bashing the color is sort of a weak way to justify your dislike for the logo.

    • Admin says:

      You make excellent points Christine, and you’d probably like the interview I did with Terry Smith, the guy who designed both Sharks logos (you can read here: http://hockeybydesign.com/2011/12/hbd-interviews-terry-smith-san-jose-sharks/). He made some of the same points that you make, about how it became the best selling team merchandise in all of sports, not just hockey, behind the Jordan-era Chicago Bulls. The teal has something to do with that for the exact reason you mentioned, that it appealed to women as well.

      At the same time, I think part of the problem is that women are not the target market of any sports branding. I’m not saying I agree with or condone that at all, but that’s what generally happens. And that’s probably the reason why you don’t see teal used very much at all in any sports.

      But what it did do, as one of the first sports teams to use teal (and have it sell so well), is persuade manufacturers to expand their offerings to a whole array of different colour possibilities, which has unquestionably been great for all sports.

      I’m not a teal fan myself, so I’ll stick by my ranking, but I can definitely appreciate what it has done for the league and in building the San Jose fan base.

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Graceland says:

      All things cosidnered, this is a first class post

  9. Joe says:

    Definitely the beginning of the downfall of NHL sweaters

    If your kid ever asks you what the 1990’s were just show them a sharks jersey and say, “Nuff said”

  10. […] 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: […]

  11. […] 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: […]

  12. […] 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: […]

  13. […] shark, the teal makes a bit of sense. Their original logo is better than the newly designed one (ranked at #25), but at least they’ve moderately improved their jerseys this season, making it a little […]

  14. […] 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: […]

  15. […] makes a bit of sense. I’m a fan of their original logo more than the newly designed one (ranked at #25), and I find their new jerseys awful, with the numbers on the front and overly-outlined striping […]

  16. […] More: BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks • More: Worst to First Jerseys: San Jose Sharks • More: HbD Interviews: Terry Smith (San Jose […]

  17. […] More: BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks • More: Worst to First Jerseys: San Jose Sharks • More: HbD Interviews: Terry Smith (San Jose […]

  18. […] More: BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks • More: Worst to First Jerseys: San Jose Sharks • More: HbD Interviews: Terry Smith (San Jose […]

  19. […] More: BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks • More: HbD Interviews: Terry Smith (San Jose […]

  20. […] More: BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks • More: Worst to First Jerseys: San Jose Sharks • More: HbD Interviews: Terry Smith (San Jose […]

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