It all started a few days ago when I got a note from reader Josh Wagner, who describes himself as “a recent Iowa State graduate who currently dabbles in a little bit of everything — film, photography. and design.” The design work is what concerns us here, because Wagner has a logo-overhaul project in mind:
I was wondering if you could offer your thoughts on the subject of Iowa State’s logos. It has physically pained me to look at ISU’s logo since it was introduced in 1995, and I am currently in the midst of a redesign that could be considered somewhat similar to the logo’s 1984 version. The problem with that logo, which I’ve sought to correct, is that the cyclone looked very awkward by itself if the words “Iowa State” were removed. So I’ve designed a new cyclone that can stand alone.
I have secured an appointment in a few weeks to make a presentation to the “important people” in the athletic department, and I would love it if you would briefly give me some feedback on the current ISU logo, or anything you’d be willing to offer as far as a suggested design direction. I have been, for the most part, ripped apart by the casual fan [on internet discussion boards and the like] for suggesting a change, and I remain baffled as to why, because the logo is essentially a cartoon bird riding a tornado. Yippee. The biggest argument is that the current logo is the one most associated with winning and success, but at what point do you give up and say the current logo is, ahem, crap? I would love it if you could give me some feedback.
I gave Wagner one simple bit of advice (“Animals that don’t have teeth in real life, like birds, should never be depicted with teeth, no matter how tough it supposedly makes them look”), mentioned that I didn’t much care for the current typography, and then found myself, um, bored. I just can’t get worked up about college sports in late June. So I suggested turning the matter over to the Uni Watch readership. He readily agreed, so here’s your chance to give advice to the guy who’s gonna have a sit-down with the ISU brain trust. (If you want some quick background, the origins of ISU’s team name and cardinal-like mascot can be found here and here. Special thanks to C.J. Andringa, who provided these links in Wednesday’s comments section.)
My two cents: The teeth and the typography notwithstanding, I don’t really think the current logo is so awful, and I definitely like it better than the 1984 version that Wagner says is his inspiration (I hate seeing full words spelled out on a helmet). But that’s just me. Of course, when I spout off about stirrups being awesome and purple being awful, that’s also just me, and there’s no need for discussion of those points because I’m 100% right about them. But I don’t feel nearly as strongly about ISU’s logo. So go ahead and give Wagner your own two cents via the comment link at the end of this entry.
Sabres Update: There have been a few jillion Sabres redesigns leaked on the web over the past few years. Most have obviously been fakes, so my policy has been to ignore all of them. But the Buffalo News is reporting today that this one is legitimate. Great to see the team returning to blue and gold, but I’ve never liked the sword going through the B, and that stylized buffalo — which some fans are already referring to as a buffaslug — is a nightmare.
Speaking of which: Isn’t it time for Buffalo teams to move away from the buffalo iconography, since it just creates confusion? The team isn’t called the Buffaloes, after all. Why not put a chicken wing on the jersey, or a beef on weck sandwich, or a grain elevator?
Uni Watch News Ticker: Bethanie Mattek’s socks, which were discussed at some length in yesterday’s comments section, are absolutely the coolest tennis hosiery since Sernea’s Cameroon-inspired outfit four years ago. … It isn’t football season and school isn’t in session, but Bob Mejia reports that that hasn’t stopped the pigskin-crazed readers of Texasfootball.com from coming up with a contest to choose the state’s best high school football helmet (and there are a lot to choose from). Here‘s the current bracket. … The Blue Jays will be wearing special uniforms tomorrow, in honor of Canada Day. The jerseys will be accented in red (probably something like this), and the players’ surnames will be replaced by “Canada” (like this). And there’s more: According to the team’s web site, “Both the Blue Jays and Phillies will have Canadian flag patches on their hats. This marks the first time both the home and visiting team will have Canadian flags sewn on their hats.” … With the four-day weekend coming up, I may not be writing much between now and next Wednesday, but I’ll try to post at least a few small items over the course of the next few days.