Yesterday’s exhibition in Tampa (Yankees 14, Toronto 5 if you’re keeping track) gave us our first look at the Blue Jays new team logo. We’re not impressed–at all.
You might remember that the Jays came out with a new identity last year (actually, they began using it in spring training of 2000). That design was well intentioned and well executed, with a snarky blue jay reaching around a large T while holding a bat and tossing a ball in the air. We’ve always liked baseball’s cartoon characters (we were sad when the Orioles dumped theirs, though the ornithologically correct bird is handsome) and were happy to have the Jays’ new addition to the field. But the reality was that this logo was too complex for its own good. From any distance, its complicated form was difficult to resolve, especially on TV. In order to figure out what the bird was doing, you really had to get a close-up look, and with the mark being used so often as an information graphic at small scale, that just was not possible. So it made sense for the Toronto organization to do some revamping.
Unfortunately, they’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Gone is our cartoonish friend. In his place, the Toronto design firm Brandid [sic!] has given us the head of one very angry looking blue jay seen in profile and stuck onto a heavily skewed, three-dimensional, and metalic letter J that tries to be both futuristic and olde-time at once and succeeds in being neither. The overall impression is cold and slightly threatening in a corporate way. All of the sass of last year’s design is gone.
But the real problem is what happens when this new logo is transposed to the team’s caps. Its scale is ridiculously overblown; a massive, awkward, and ungainly patch stuck smack on the front of the poor players’ heads. This is the worst uniform modification we’ve seen in years.
J.P. Ricciardi has done a wonderful job putting together this young Jays squad. Let’s hope he can find a new logo that does some justice to the team.