Fresno Grizzlies / Yakima Bears
One week. Two teams. Two bears. One design firm. One idea.
Cheers to the Silverman Design Group on this one - I'm very impressed with their ingenuity. Why develop two completely different team identities for your clients when you can first basically copy the Brown University and UC Riverside logos and then pass that template off on two different baseball teams? And cheers to the Grizzlies and the Bears for letting this happen. They really did their homework choosing these logos.
Taking both logos on their own and without factoring in their lack of originality, both of these logos are at least minor improvements over their previous sets of logos (Fresno's - a unique and interesting look that I kind of liked but understandably never caught on - and Yakima's). On it's own, I think the Yakima logo is very nice and the alternates are also interesting - I could actually see myself purchasing one of their caps (Ballpark Digest has a PDF of the entire identity package here). The Fresno one I don't like as well, especially the dead white space around the ball. But they will both definitely outsell the previous designs and I'm sure that's all the owners were considering when they approved these logos.
I just think it shows an alarming lack of imagination and judgement by all parties involved, especially Silverman. It would be one thing if the teams were affiliated in some way. If they had a parent company that wanted a standard template, I could understand. But these are two different teams with two different owners. How a design firm can look themselves in the eye after allowing what are essentially the same logos to be released in the span of a week is beyond me. You would think that pride in original, well designed logos would've topped the desire to take the easy way out. But it's also possible that they gave each team original, well designed logos in addition to these retreads and the teams just wanted the status quo.
Either way, those of us that love logos and really look forward to the time of the year when baseball teams start releasing new logos were left scratching our heads. Combine these with tomorrow's review (again, thanks to Ballpark Digest for this PDF), and you can call me utterly confused. What in the world is going on around here?
Team: Fresno Grizzlies
League: Pacific Coast League
Location: Fresno, California
Ballpark: Chukchansi Park
Merchandise: The new caps are really dull.
Team: Yakima Bears
League: Northwest League
Location: Yakima, Washington
Ballpark: Yakima County Stadium
Merchandise: I like the cap, but $31.99?