Monday, September 10, 2007

NFL Logos: the good, the bad, the truly awful

Recently, I've been working with a client on a logo project. They're replacing a home-made (or, as restaurant menus now seem to call it "house-made"), type-only logo with something that's a lot sharper and more interesting. They now look more like a "real" company, with a logo that's equivalent to those of their competition.

Logos aren't the be-all and end-all, but they're important. If you're selling in Fortune 1000 firms, having a professionally wrought logo certainly makes you look more like an established player.

So logos have been on my mind lately.

And although I'm not a huge football fan, football's been on my mind, too.

That's because the other night I caught a bit of a Patriots' pre-season game, and the announcers mentioned that their next televised game was of the Oakland Raiders.

Now if ever there were a terrible logo, this has got to be it.

Maybe there's something about the pirate motif. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an awful logo, too. So, for that matter, do the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League.

(Block those pirate logos! Block those pirate logos!)

A lot of the NFL logos are kind of blah, but the highest marks for blah have to go to the Cleveland Browns. When the earlier edition of the Browns fled to Baltimore to become the Ravens, did they decide to blah-out, or was their logo always this dull? Surely, Browns fans deserve better than this.

Type-only logo props go the New York Giants. Very nice. (I'd give second place to the Bengals.)

The only really dopey animal-based logo is Miami. Let's face it, a dolphin in a football helmet is just plain lame. Most of the animal motif logos are pretty good - if predictable.
The Seattle Seahawks do a nice job introducing a totem-pole look that ties to their region. The Atlanta Falcons logo is pretty sharp. But my two favorites have to be the Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills. Very nice design - The Bills are a little old-fashioned, the Texans are happenin' - although a Texan is not synonymous with a head of cattle, is it?

So, play ball - or whatever the operative word is in football.

As for the home-town team, I'm not wild about the Patriots spaceman-Elvis look, but I'd put it in the middle of the pack in terms of logo design. And as for me, interesting as these logos are, I plan to be avidly watching baseball until the end of October, or the first of November or whenever the World Series is going to end this year. Then maybe there'll be time to actually watch a football game.

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