HbD News: Senators’ 25th Anniversary Logo
It’s not often that we devote an entire article to something like an anniversary patch. Their lifespan is generally just one season, it’s typically little more than a primary or alternate team logo with some numbers or decorative text, and it’s generally meant to just sell more jerseys rather than be any concerted branding exercise. A few comments about them generally suffice.
But this Senators’ anniversary patch announced yesterday deserves something more, for all the wrong reasons.
First, it looks like incredibly lazy designing. There’s the Senators logo, on top of the team name, on top of roman numerals, on top of text. It’s paint-by-numbers as commemorative logos go. No thought is given to making it more cohesive and connected. To see what I mean, check out the Predators’ All-Star logo. That thing is a work of art, and it feels like a cohesive, self-contained single element. It’s not a bunch of disparate elements thrown together, like this Senators one is.
But the laziness doesn’t end there. Let’s rip this thing apart, from top to bottom.
The top element, the logo, is basically the Senators logo…all chromed-up. And it’s not even chromed-up well. It looks like a default Photoshop or Illustrator gradient that could be applied to anything within seconds. And there looks like there was no attempt to integrate the gradients into the design of the logo itself at all. I’m not a fan of the chromed-up logos the NHL used for the inaugural Stadium Series, but at least they were applied well, instead of just plastered on top, as it was here. It takes a so-so logo, and makes it worse.
Next is the “Ottawa Senators” text, using some non brand-specific typeface. Commemorative logos like this don’t necessarily need to strictly follow a team’s brand – they’re short-lived and one-off – but it’s not a great typeface. It’s passable maybe, but then the way it’s applied here – super-squished (aka “tightly kerned” for typophiles), with a black outline – which accentuates the strange structure of the typeface.
And then there’s its placement, overlapping the Senators logo, giving the logo’s gladiator an S-shaped goatee. It’s the only attempt made in the logo to create a cohesive whole, and it fails. Oh, and the logo is right there(!), so it’s pretty much redundant too.
The “XXV” is next, with more chrome. Here, at least, the chrome is applied with some sort of thought instead of just slapped on top of letters, like it was with the logo. But there’s more problems, as the chroming is applied inconsistently between the two Xs and the V, which makes it look more like a mistake than a design choice.
If you look at the image on the right, the Xs have a dark grey gradients coming up from the strip of teal (Why teal? No idea. Makes no sense.) along the bottom. On the V, the teal strip just ends with only white coming up the sides. Also, at the top of the V, there seems to be a double grey-to-white gradient on the sides of the top-half of the letter, which doesn’t exist on the Xs. And then there’s the fact that the V doesn’t have a base, looking more like two slanted pillars than a letter V.
Oh, and the gradients don’t line up either across the letters. The more you look at it, the more its apparent that the V was a mistake that got completely missed. I can’t imagine any competent designer letting that pass. It’s really awful.
Next up, the “Anniversary” text. Sadly, this could be the best part of the logo, but like the quotation marks on these signs, it’s completely unnecessary. If you look at the recently announced San Jose Sharks anniversary patch for example, the “Anniversary” part is generally implied. Nobody’s wondering what the 25 means.
For the Senators, “Anniversary” is using the same strange typeface as above, but at least it’s applied better, widely kerned (typophile for “lots of space between letters”) and all-capped. But again, it’s unnecessary.
And then there’s the “1992–2017” with the two bars. Again, unnecessary, although less unnecessary than the “Anniversary”, as some people aren’t very good at math, and calculating 2017 minus 25 can make the brain hurt. But, it’s only the third most unnecessary thing in the logo, behind the “Anniversary” and the “Ottawa Senators” text.
Ugh, this is just awful. And there’s not really any excuses for it. It is completely amateurish. This tweet actually sums it up quite nicely:
— Rusty Shackleford (@R_Shackleford9) July 7, 2015
Note: Silver Seven Sens pointed out to me something awful that I totally missed. The “1992–2017” at the bottom is also off-centre, shifted to the left, with the right bar not even extending to the edge of the logo. I have no idea who worked on or approved this clusterfuck of a logo, but man, they deserve to get fired. Or moved out of the Sens’ design team. Or something.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!