Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Northwest Arkansas Naturals

A big thank you goes out to Mike, an avid SLP reader that emailed while I was away to alert me to the fact that the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (currently the Wichita Wranglers, who will be moving after the 2007 season) would be releasing their logo today. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite up and running after my vacation in time to scoop up the story so by now the boards over at Sportslogos.net have already done a pretty thorough job of ripping this logo to shreds. Oh well, I might as well pile on.

I have to agree with one of the posters who said that the logo isn't ugly, it's just bad design. It's a big mess of random ingredients that don't do a good job of illustrating each other in any way.

The hills and waterfall are supposed to illustrate the Natural part of the nickname but they look about as natural as the ones in Angels Stadium. The hill looks more like a building and the waterfall like a fountain shooting out of the top of the building. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall has depth and a little bit of a 3D effect but it is ruined because the clouds (?) of mist are totally flat.

The thunderbolt in the word Natural is supposed to tie back to the movie The Natural but the wordmark doesn't help illustrate the concept of natural that the hills and waterfall are trying to convey. And something is wrong with the thunderbolt. I can't figure out what it is, but it looks off. Something doesn't line up quite right or there is something wrong with the shading or maybe it just has to look like that because it's in the middle of an "N". Either way, it looks wrong.

And don't even get me started on the baseball and double swoosh thing. That is without a doubt the worst part of this logo. It doesn't relate to anything and doesn't belong anywhere near the rest of this logo. It's just plain horrible.

Someone suggested that this logo is probably a victim of too many hands at work. The designer probably had a much cleaner design originally but management got involved and asked them to add all sorts of extras that ended up making the logo too busy. It's definitely a good explanation and probably what happened to make this logo such a mess but it doesn't excuse some of the more technical problems like the "N" or the two swooshes behind the baseball (which might exist to mirror the waterfalls pattern).

However it came to be, this logo is a massive disappointment. A great opportunity for a very special logo has been wasted on a bloated, unnatural compilation.

Team: Northwest Arkansas Naturals
League: Texas League
Location: Springdale, Arkansas

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At 5:56 AM, Blogger Dave2 said...

And don't forget the lightning bolt in the "N" which comes out of nowhere and looks out of place.

I'd have to agree that this logo looks as if it were designed by committee. Kind of like somebody with MS Word and a clip-art package was surrounded by a dozen people, all shouting things to add, until eventually there wasn't room for anything else and they quit. Sad, but a lot of design happens this way.

At 4:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree... way too much "stuff".

I'm more of a traditionalist. A simple "N" in some form would suffice. Whatever happened to the old simple Yankees or Dodgers Logo's. The whole sports world, Pro and otherwise, is going LOGO crazy.

As dave2 said... looks like a bad day with the ol' graphics program.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Nick said...

I reviewed it today. I agree for the most part but I think the big problem is that this logo looks totally unnatural. And bizarrely so.

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the double swoosh looks like the bottom of a weather phenomenon called a "mesocyclone", which Arkansas sees a significant share of.

Mesocyclones are big rotating thunderstorms (which are almost always dark after the "swoosh" of clouds ahead of them, just like this logo) which tend to drop both lightning bolts and rain, which helps form waterfalls. In a strange way that meso/"double swoosh" ties the lighning and the waterfall together...to meteorologists and storm chasers. Don't know how many of those there are in the general public.

My biggest issue with this current logo is that the "Northwest Arkansas" tends to get lost.

BTW, I salute the designers - a "Natural" would not be an easy thing to easily capture in a logo. Here in Northwest Arkansas we can't wait to see what kind of mascot they can tie in with this.


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