Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top 30 Logos: 1-10

Day 3/3 of our quest to find the best logo!  Unlike the other two days, I'll be counting in ascending order today.  If you haven't already, hop over to sportslogos.net and check out what they have to offer.  It's a great site, and this countdown wouldn't have happened without it.

1. Milwaukee Brewers, primary, 1978-1993
Was there really any other choice?  I mean, c'mon.  The brilliance and awesomeness of this logo is obvious.  In case you hadn't noticed--and I didn't until about a year ago--the glove spells out an M and a B, for Milwaukee Brewers.  I'll give that a minute to set in.  The ball in the middle of the glove, doubling as, well, a baseball and the hole in the lowercase "b," is pretty genius too.  This logo isn't just clever, it also has great colors.  I love the old Brewers color scheme.  I love whenever I'm watching MLB Network classic highlight shows and Paul Molitor or Robin Yount appears in the uniforms from that era.  They just looked so great, and this logo is a primary reason why.  A+'s all around.

2. New York Mets, primary, 1999-present
This says the Mets' current logo started being used in 1999, but it's really been around since the Mets' inception in 1962 (save for a few very subtle changes).  Anyway, maybe I'm just being a homer here, but I think this logo is really great.  The color scheme is classic, simple, and unchanged since 1962.  The way the circle is also a baseball is very smart.  The script is well done.  Perhaps best of all, the skyline and bridge are just wonderful representations of the "metropolitan" aspect of the Mets' real name.  It's not as good as the Brewers' logo, but it's damn fine nonetheless.

3. Baltimore Orioles, primary, 1966-1988
Before I loved the Mets I loved the Orioles.  (1997 was a weird year.)  One of the things I liked the most about this team and its history was the lovable cartoon bird that adorned the uniforms on the 1980s baseball cards I collected.  Let's start with the bird, who's obviously the centerpiece of the whole shebang: he's cute, fun, but he's also a baseball player.  It's hard to describe just how much the bird works here, so I won't even try.  Other things that are good: the colors.  It's very clear that simple = better, as none of the top three teams try to clash their colors or add non-team colors to their logo.  The text is also very large and easy to read, something that's not always a given with these circular, text-wrapped-around logos.  If the Orioles still had this logo during my one season of fandom, perhaps I'd still be rooting for them to this day....

4. Montreal Expos, primary, 1969-1991
Another clever logo, though this one's a bit more... French?  Yes, that's right--the red, white, and blue M spells out eMb, √©quipe de Montreal baseball (or "Montreal baseball team" for you non-Francophones).  This logo loses a few points for its dull color scheme and the odd integration of "expos" below the M, but those are minor quibbles.  This was a great logo, and it's a shame the Expos were forced to flee to the interesting logo-less Washington, DC.

5. Toronto Blue Jays, primary, 1977-1996
O Canada!  What is it with you and great logos?  This logo just looks... great.  My favorite part of it is the font, which is so distinctive in a good way that few other fonts are.  The eponymous blue jay is remarkably detailed, though not distracting.  Somehow, it just adds to the overall atmosphere of the logo.  The red baseball in the background adds a nice touch of color, though I honestly could have done without the maple leaf, as I feel it just gets in the way a little.  Still, though, I love this logo, and I can't get enough of the Joe Carter WS-winning clip in part because of the great uniform he's wearing.

6. San Diego Padres, primary, 1969-1984
This is another logo where I have to plead guilty to a childlike love of the mascot representation and the colors.  The Swinging Friar looks kind of like a cross between Homer Simpson and Fred Flinstone, but that's part of his charm.  I'm still amazed that anybody ever thought it'd be cool to put a monk on a major league sports team's logo.  The script "Padres" on the bat is a nice touch, as is the yellow ring--again, it's all about having your team's colors in a non-obtrusive and meshable way, and this logo does that perfectly.  This logo screams 1970s, but unlike many other uniform- and logo-related creations from that era I actually give this one a big thumbs up.

7. St. Louis Cardinals, primary, 1922-1948
This one really boils down to the bat doubling as a tree branch, which I for one think is pretty neat.  The "Cardinals" script (well, it's not really script, but you know what I mean) is a familiar but distinct typeface, which is always appreciated.  Even though the logo features a lot going on, it still only has three colors--red, yellow, and brown.  That's tough to pull off, and this one does it quite well.  Also, while the birds sort of look like raccoons, it's always nice to see teams put a well-done visual representation of their team name on their logo.  This one may not have that much to it, but I just love it.  Besides, who wouldn't want to be reminded of Stan Musial every time they look at a logo?

What is a giant, anyway?  (The very tall human thing, I guess.  But why?  Anyway...)  This logo sure isn't going to tell us!  No, this logo isn't here because of its visual skill--the team name in front of a baseball, ho hum--but rather because of its elegant color scheme.  The ball is that perfect orangey off-white that is the base of the Giants' home uniforms.  I love that color.  The stitching on the ball is orange, and the black "Giants" is outlined in orange.  This is just a very simple, elegant combination of the Giants' colors, resulting in perhaps the best "basic" logo.

9. Seattle Mariners, primary, 1980-1986
This loses points for not being descriptive in the least, but I still just love something about it.  Maybe it's how the M doubles as a trident?  Yes, that's it.  Also very good is how the M is outlined in the cheesy yellow, spicing up a logo that had great potential to be boring.  Making a star as the background seems unnecessary, but it's not distracting and prevents the logo from looking too barren.  Good job, team.

10. Colorado Rockies, primary, 1993-present
Somebody's taking "purple mountain's majesty" a bit seriously, eh?  This logo suffers from many traditional pitfalls--too many colors, too much going on, a broken up name--but it's in my top ten because of those aforementioned mountains.  I love the way the baseball looks like it's been hit over the mountains, and the light lavender of the letters compliments the purple of the mountains very well.  Also, I'm a big fan of purple, and I think the Rockies' use of it is pretty exceptional.

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