Wednesday, July 27, 2011
New Winnipeg Jets logos are just plane plain
Logical. Corporate. Practical. Sober.
Sorry, what was I saying? I dozed off.
As every Winnipegger knows by now, the new Winnipeg Jets logos are a joint venture between True North, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Reebok, Don Cherry, Casey Anthony, Amy Winehouse, Rupert Murdoch, the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse, a panel of experts, lovers, dreamers, and stakeholders.
All designs have constraints by definition, but ask any advertiser: when you seek agreement from everyone, you end up with something that's for no one.
To me, the new Jets logos are offensive in their inoffensiveness, as corporate and bland as "I'm lovin' it."
Counterargument: "But the city has been waiting for the NHL to return for so long, we shouldn't complain about a logo." As true as True North. There is so much goodwill for this brand's return, most fans seem to be in the "the logo is growing on me" camp (yeah: like a fungus!).
It makes sense, because everyone wants to love the logos as much as they love the team's return.
I remember wanting to love Star Wars: Episode I after a long Star Wars drought, but sooner or later, even I had to admit that Jar Jar is an arsehole. But if Episode I taught me one thing it's that it's better to fall in love with the Force than to use the Force to force yourself to fall in love with the Force. Or something.
A brief summary of my beefs:
1. Where there's a stick, there's a J.
When the hockey team kept the name, it was a nod to tradition, and the fans loved it.
Why not a similar nod to tradition in the logo?
Yes, the old logo was in need of an upgrade, but I would've still tipped my hat to tradition in terms of one element: the J.
For years, every hockey fan in Winnipeg has stared at that old Jets logo with lust in their hearts, hoping that the team would one day return and be called the Winnipeg Jets. But while they stared at that logo, they made an association: "J" = hockey stick.
So update the logo, but come on - we know the J in Jets is just as much a hockey stick as the last two Ls in Hell.
2. Where's the emotion?
The new logos are fitting in the sense that they remind me of True North itself, which brought our hockey team back by being quiet and corporate and not drawing too much attention to itself.
But people don't fall in love with "corporate" - even corporations know they can't be corporations, which is how we ended up with the Apple logo (thank you, Beatles), the Nike swoosh, and the Disney mouse, whatever his name is.
So give us something that touches our hearts, not our minds. Yes, the logos make sense intellectually, but they're as emotionally stale as that crusty Danish in your kitchen. And if Lars doesn't leave your kitchen soon, I'd call the cops.
3. Where's the depth?
San Jose knew the shark was just lying there - all dead and flat.
If you have to make it a jet, make it a badass stealth fighter that drops heat-seeking hockey sticks on your arse before disappearing into the night.
4. We already have a hockey team called the Maple Leafs.
So, make like a tree...and get that maple leaf outta there.
Is there something more Winnipeg-based you could put on that shirt? You can put a Cheese Nip in its place, for all I care: but the maple leaf is taken by the very city Winnipeggers pride themselves on not being.
Oh, True North: we wanted logo love, and you gave us the business. We'll get over it. One day.