Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tampa Bay Rays

Welcome back correspondent Chris Roberts with his review of the soon to be released Tampa Bay Rays logo. My thoughts are in the comments...

When it comes to a good logo, especially in sports, I’m almost always a huge fan of simplicity. Logos that are simple, yet classy, and convey a solid imaging really appeal to me – that’s why I’m almost always a fan of baseball logos like the Red Sox, A’s, Yankees, Dodgers, and Cubs. The logos are simple, but they aren’t so simple that a solid brand can’t be built around them.

For contrast, enter the Tampa Bay Rays.

Now before you say, “Hey, new guy at the Sports Logo Pundit, the team’s called the ‘Devil Rays,’” note that the team from the glowing orange dome is being reinvented across the board – new logo, new unis, new colors, new name. Well, not so much a new name so much as the name going on a diet and shedding six keystrokes.

I hated the old look. The color combination was horrible, and the logo always seemed too busy to me. I say that because, well, I prefer the old logo to this one.

Blue is a favorite color of mine, so points to the Rays for the new color scheme, but the logo is painfully bad for two reasons.

First, the font is a very weak choice. While this slight skewing of the Mediaeval font might look nice on a book jacket or a plaque, try telling me with a straight face that it looks passable on a uniform. Well, I suppose it doesn’t look all that bad, but it’s at best quite weak looking when on the uni.

Second, the primary logo could have been so much more, especially when you put it up against the old logo. Maybe they’re trying to pander to the roughly 25% of people living around Tampa Bay that are over 65 with something easy on the eyes. Maybe they really wanted to have a logo that would cause people to think they were going shopping instead of going to a Rays game – heck, that might even boost attendance. No matter the motivation, the new logo is a downgrade from their gaudy former logo – this is very noticeable when you compare the old word mark to the new.

Other minor details are the diamond – I’d rather have it without home plate and second base; with those features I think it looks cheap and makes something that should be subtle annoyingly obvious – and that odd gleam on the “R.” Plus, the logo is just plain – you can be simple without being plain. The plain logo leads to the even plainer uniforms, which can be a good thing, just not here.

Overall, this logo gets a grade of a weak (recurring theme here, which is quite fitting considering the franchise’s considerably weak history) C-, higher than it should be if only for the use of blue.

Team: Tampa Bay Rays
League: American League (MLB)
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Stadium: Tropicana Field
Mascot: Raymond D. Ray
Merchandise: Get your Devil Rays merch before it’s too late!

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At 11:40 PM, Blogger Brandon said...

I hate it. I hate the whole package I hate that they dropped the Devil. Tampa Bay Rays sounds so frigging stupid.

And while their history of logos is kind of rough, I think that if they would've taken their ideas to someone with half a brain and half an ounce of design talent (Plan B Branding anyone?) they could've had a winner using the Devil Ray.

At 2:23 AM, Blogger Mallrat said...

That is the most boring logo I have ever seen. That wordmark looks like it should be used for an attorney's office. The Rays thought they were the laughing stock of the AL East before? So bad.

At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like their current logo and color scheme. This new stuff is just aweful though. What were they thinking??


At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Luckman said...

The problem is they got even worse than they had been before, as much as that wasn't anything special in the first place. I read about this branding overhaul a while back (I am big into logos and really like sports/sports logos) and couldn't believe how boring and dull the appeal of this logo is. It's simple (which is fine) but it's ultimately ineffective through the drab use of color and that there is nothing really going on at all within the logo. It makes the "Rays" seem completely irrelevant and uninteresting. Where is the identity I ask?

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... that we're in the World Series - who gives a crap what all you pompous asses think! The team needed a change, just like the Bucs needed a change. Personally, if all it took was new colors and a logo to change the attitude in the clubhouse - then I say they made the right decision

At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic logo done with alot more class than the cheesy devil ray! This has alot more overall appeal and will go over well to a mass market. If you want to keep your little devil ray and the hyper color shirts and faded green... go for it but the rays are moving on to much BIGGER and BETTER things. That logo says PRO a hell of a lot more than the old one.... YOUR PROBABLY NOT EVEN A RAYS FAN!


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