BTLOly #13: Norway

In John van der Woude
Feb 11th, 2014

Norway-636BTLOly (Best Team Logos in the Olympics) continues today, and will continue during the length of the Olympics. Of note, The “logos” are not the official logos for any of the hockey federations of the countries and have been designed specifically for this short 2-week long tournament. As such, these are meant to be temporary logos to symbolize a country, so there’s different things to consider. That being said, these logos are still symbolizing a country, so a certain amount of thought has to be put into their design. 

Enough with the disclaimer, let’s keep going with #13…

norway-logoLet’s start with saying that Norway has a great jersey. It’s remarkably New York Rangers-esque, which is also a great jersey. But the problem for Norway is that the Rangers actually have a team logo, as well as a historical legacy as being one of the Original Six teams in the NHL. For Norway, during these Olympics, this is all their logo is. Minimalist diagonal lettering, and that’s it. And (as of yet), there’s no historical legacy of success that can make a logo/jersey look better than it actually is (case in point).

I could make fun on Norway’s relative lack of any historic legacy of success in Olympic hockey tournaments, but I wouldn’t go Oslo as that.

But there is a historical precedent to this logo, as it’s exactly the same thing as what they wore in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (being the only team that Nike simply duplicated the jerseys from 2010 rather than designing something new), and at least the text is actually in their native Norwegian language (‘Norge’ being Norwegian for ‘Norway’, in case you needed that explained), so that already gives it points over the Japanese logo, and keeping it out of last place.

For the actual font, it’s actually very odd and unique, meaning it’s probably based on either (a) something specifically Norwegian (not because Norwegians are odd or unique or anything, but because it’s such an odd font that it must be based on something specific to Norway) or (b) just a poorly designed font made specifically for Norwegian hockey jerseys. It’s safe to guess that it’s the latter, especially when you see this photo that dates back to 1964. There doesn’t seem to be any precedent for this font specific to Norway other than previous hockey jerseys, so it’s anyone’s guess as to where and how it was actually created.

The oddity of this font is that it’s kind of sport-esque – with chopped off corners that are very common, especially in hockey jerseys – but the letters are much wider than usually seen in sports, making the ‘O’ and ‘G’ into almost perfect octagons. There’s a couple other quirks too, like the ‘R’ having its top-left corner chopped off (which is strange because that’s not normally a rounded corner that would necessitate chopping off that angle) and the two main arms on the ‘E’ being different lengths. It’s a really strange font construction, but at least it gives the whole logo quirkiness and personality.

But as a logo (as opposed to just lettering on a jersey), it’s lacking overall. An outline or two (maybe to mimic the cross on the flag) would be good. But, seeing as how Nike just regurgitated that previous logo from the 2010 Olympics onto this year’s edition, I don’t think they gave the logo/jersey very much thought at all, which is disappointing because there’s potential there. They’ve been known to use polar bears in the past (which is always awesome), so something else might have been interesting.

As such, the logo itself gets a pretty low ranking here.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.



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