BTLNHL #17: New Jersey Devils

By JVDW
In BTLNHL Countdown
Dec 23rd, 2011
28 Comments

With all my preaching of simplicity and refinement in the logo design of NHL teams, I might be accused of being a hypocrite, ranking the New Jersey Devils logo so low, at #17. Essentially, I’m saying over half of the teams have a better logo than this one, and at least half of those are much less minimal and simplistic than this one.

So, what’s going on? Am I going crazy? Not completely, or at least not in relation to this blog. The problem is, well, the logo’s kind of cheesy. Okay, not ‘kind of’. It’s cheesier than a festive cheeseball. It feels like they thought they were clever, they thought they were smart, but they were just too clever by half. Admittedly, there were lots of other (and some much worse) directions they could have gone. And with the N and J, they have a letter combination that works well with the concept, and it’s well-executed. What’s worse though is when a team (say, a minor league affiliate) uses the same concept in a way that totally doesn’t work. It’s about the most unimaginative and lazy thing you can do.

Anyway, by saying well-executed, this is when I start to celebrate the simplicity and refinement of the logo. It has a strength to it, mainly through the massive width of the letters, and it’s got some good movement and flow to it. It also could be argued that it’s iconic. When you see it, it’s easy to figure out exactly what it is (N, J, Devil, got it) and there’s nothing to distract from that. Simply, it works well for what it is. And while it’s simplistic, it’s not necessarily boring either.

The main part of the logo that bugs me is the bottom left, where the N, J and devil’s tail all intersect in the same area. Given the simplicity and strength of the rest of the logo, suddenly this area becomes incredibly busy and the tail of the J gets really thin and weak (or, shall I say, Weekes? Yeah, I think it’s an apt comparison). So, let’s bulk it up a bit, and change the position of the circle, and adjust where the N hits the J, and the result is this. Again, it’s a 10 minutes hack job, so don’t pay too much attention to the rough edges. But, with a few refinements, it cleans up that area a bit.

But, there’s a big difference between liking the execution of a logo and liking the concept. Isn’t there some sort of saying about a pig with lipstick? Like I said earlier, it feels like it’s trying to be too clever, and it comes across as somewhat cheesy.

Also, is it just me, or is it a happy logo? The large curves, especially around the top of the N, give it a less aggressive feeling, which in a sport like hockey and a name like Devils, doesn’t exactly jive well. Unlike these two, who jive very well. If you sharpen up even just that angle, the whole feeling of the logo changes. It needs a lot more refinement to make it a workable logo, but you get my point. Get it, point? Rimshot please!

So, the Devils logo has some things going for it, but like every single one of us, there’s a devil inside. And that places them at 17 out of the 30 team logos in the NHL.

 

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

 

28 Responses to “BTLNHL #17: New Jersey Devils”

  1. fog says:

    A few posts back on the Islanders entry I pointed out a logo from here in St. John’s that worked quite well, then I read this article and see you point out the atrocious logo that was the St. John’s Fog Devils *shudder*. I kinda figured that you would point this out when you got to the Devils I was just secretly hoping you’d skip over it 🙂

    I do admit, I thought the devils would rank a little bit higher on the list, but, I agree with your points that it is pretty cheesy and quite obvious.

  2. Chris says:

    I thought the next three would be PIT, VAN, and WPG, in no particular order. Then NJD. So yeah, I’m a little surprised.

  3. Matt says:

    The next one has got to be Vancouver. That C/whale thing is hideous. and that rectangle with a hockey stick in it is worse.

  4. fog says:

    Its actually a hockey rink with a hockey stick over-layed to make the rink look like a C , i kinda like it.

  5. Vinnie says:

    I always thought that the Devils logo could also be seen as a siloute of a naked womans body posing for some magazine. At least that’s what I see.

  6. Rob Ullman says:

    You completely lost me with this one, brother. It all comes down to opinions, of course, but I’d have to slot the Devils in the top ten at the very least. Worse than the Canucks? The Jets? The Coyotes? YE GODS!

    • Admin says:

      Haha, well, there might be a few more surprises to come, and I’m expecting more and more disagreements as we get closer to the top. To be honest, the grouping from about #8 to #20 was hard to figure out, and yeah, design always has some subjectivity in it.

  7. […] the last BTLNHL post, I argued the New Jersey Devils were being clever with their logo, but ended up being a little bit […]

  8. Don says:

    “The main part of the logo that bugs me is the bottom right, where the N, J and devil’s tail all intersect in the same area.” Looks like the bottom left to me.

    • Admin says:

      I was actually looking for confirmation from readers and was missing the proper punctuation: “…in the bottom, right?, where…”

      I’m a dirty liar. And I’ve changed it. Thanks!

  9. Charles says:

    “So, let’s bulk it up a bit, and change the position of the circle, and adjust where the N hits the J, and the result is this.”

    That’s the wrong picture on “this.” You put the Weekes one again. 😛

  10. […] doesn’t inspire much confidence in an organization’s identity. And while I ranked the Devils at #17 overall in the BTLNHL countdown, at the very least their look has been consistent and unchanging. […]

  11. dcicirelli says:

    Can’t say I agree with the knock on the Dev’s logo being cheesy just because it’s literal. So is the Maple Leaf logo–but even more so. It’s a solid icon that doesn’t need to resort to illustration to communicate “New Jersey Devils” in a pretty striking way.

    I think it’s a standard that most of these other logos aren’t judged by. I mean, how many of these hockey logos have a clever concept behind it? Even beautiful logos like Detroit are literal red wings attached to a wheel to represent motor-city. Not exactly subtle…

    • Admin says:

      Yeah, good points. I might have been a little harsh on Jersey’s logo, as it is a simple and time-tested design. It’s not one of my favourites, but I could definitely see why fans and other people like it.

  12. Moondog says:

    I think lost in the discussion here is the fact that the team’s name is based less upon the “satanic devil” but more the “jersey devil” concept. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil

    If you look at the illustrations of the jersey devil, the NJ logo doesn’t seem so far off in terms of its shape. I had always assumed the letters were put together to mimic the shape of the jersey devil, and not necessarily the satanic devil, horns and tail not withstanding.

    Within this context, it seems the logo is a big nod to local myth, even though it seems forgotten by most.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for sharing! Obviously, I hadn’t heard of the Jersey Devil, but now the name makes a lot more sense. Might have knocked it up a spot or two. I love the idea of local folklore being integrated into sports names and logos.

  13. Justin says:

    It’s true that the Devils logo beats the KC Scouts by a long shot, but I still think the Colorado Rockies jersey was pretty great (and you can’t get more true to a location than using your peculiar state flag on your jersey).

  14. […] #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 […]

  15. […] #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 […]

  16. […] #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 […]

  17. GoDevils says:

    How is it Cheesy? Get real, you’re cheesy.

  18. DevilsFan says:

    I really hope you see this somehow. I hope you come back to this post for some reason or another or maybe you get a notification about this. You realized it was an N and a J; but you failed to realize that the bottom left when they get close creates a D.

    http://i.imgur.com/I2AxcwC.png

    Just take a look. It’s also why the bottom right hand corner has such a curve to it, to help better illustrate the D.

    I’ve loved reading your logo reviews, but you really missed the ball on this one.

    • Admin says:

      I see what you mean, but I think the D is a bit of a stretch. It is was purposefully put there, it’s pretty hidden and there’s several ways, from a design perspective, they could have improved its visibility and make it clear they meant a D to be there. As it is, I’m not sure I buy it, sorry.

  19. […] #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 […]

  20. […] #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 […]

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