BTLNHL #16: Minnesota Wild
In the last BTLNHL post, I argued the New Jersey Devils were being clever with their logo, but ended up being a little bit cheesy. The Minnesota Wild also are also trying to be clever with their logo, but ended up being overly complicated. So what wins out? Cheesy or complicated? I guess complicated in this case, but just barely. If the Devils were just too clever by half, than the Wild are just too clever by nine-sixteenths (which is, coincidentally, the size of dice), coming in with the 16th best team logo in the NHL.
This is probably the highest ranking for any of the teams with logos borne from the ’90s logo designs that I’m not so fond of. And obviously, I do think it’s the best of the bunch, especially considering the team name they had to work with. Seriously, Wild? Sounds like a team name from the ill-conceived XFL league, back in the ’90s and early ’00s when extreme (sorry, Xtreme, which is actually an XFL team name) sports were all the rage (another XFL team name, and by the way, all their logos sucked).
But, when you’re stuck working with a team name like Wild, especially in a place like Minnesota, you think of wilderness and wild animals. The designer fused the two into what could have been a disastrous mess of a logo, but turned out to be halfway decent. From the distance, the logo is a bear’s head with strong, slightly jagged lines, denoting strength and motion. Pretty decent, although you might wonder why the bear’s ear is yellow (ear wax problem, anyone?). Look closer, and it’s actually a pictorial dusk scene from the wilderness, replete with trees, a meandering river and a single glistening star in the sky. If only van Gogh could have made something so lovely.
Okay, it’s a little bit cheesy too, but I have to give credit where credit is due, because it’s done quite well for what it is. Ferocious bear, wilderness scene, all in a logo that fits together into one cohesive package. Not always an easy thing to do.
I mentioned earlier that the logo is overly complicated, but maybe I’ll take that back. They say less is more. But less is not always more. ‘Just enough’ is always more. If you added anything else to this logo, it would be too much. Take anything out, and it would be awkward. There’s a fragile balance between the elements that works.
But, there are problems, and given the time of year it is, it’s a perfect time to bring a couple of them up.
1. The colours. I totally get the green. It’s the colour of wilderness, it’s the colour of trees, it makes sense. The red, well, not so much. It almost doesn’t matter what the context is, if you combine standard hues of red and green together, you’re going to make people think of Christmas. It’s not so bad when the Wild wear their predominantly white jerseys, as the red becomes more of an accent colour and separated by light beige striping, or their green jerseys, which has almost no red at all, but when they wear their red jerseys, it’s like a veritable gathering of elves on the ice. If you want to get into the spirit of things, they should wear these jerseys for all home games in December.
2. The trees. Those are not trees from the wilderness, they are cookie cutter trees, which makes me think of shortbread, which again, makes me think of Christmas. Kind of like what I’m eating right this second. Would it make more sense to make trees that look a little more, I don’t know, wild? That, or they make an alternate logo to put on their December jerseys. Perfect and delicious!
A couple other smaller things. The aforementioned yellow moon seems a little off when the logo is seen as a bear portrait. Maybe it’s meant as a homage to Minnesota’s former team’s colours? Also, I don’t think the light beige outline around the logo is all that necessary. It’s a minor thing, considering how subdued they made the beige. But then you have to ask, if it’s necessary to make it that subdued, is it even necessary at all? Probably not. How about fixing both these issues by swapping the beige around?
So, some good things are happening here, and some not-so-good things. It seems some of my complaints are minor and somewhat trivial, but I guess that means we’re climbing the BTLNHL list into the top half. More good things to come!
In the meantime, Happy Holidays from the 16th place Minnesota Wild!
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