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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day Job

Christmas? We recognize the allure of waking up to find scads of presents under a fir tree in your own living room. July 4th? Grilled meat, cold beer and fireworks certainly make for about as good of a national holiday as it gets. Thanksgiving? Sure, we love loosening our belts a notch and watching football as much as the next guy.

But when we’re talking about a packed ballyard trimmed with red, white and blue bunting, an immaculately-manicured, green-striped lawn stretched out wide before our eyes and a man in blue yelling “Play Ball!” before the start of the very first game of a brand new baseball season, now that’s a day!

For all of us who are baseball fans, Opening Day is indeed a highly-anticipated event, but here at Studio Simon we also look forward to it from a sports branding standpoint. On top of the Opening Day marks we have already created for numerous professional teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1996 through 2001, this season marks the fifth straight year that Studio Simon has developed the official Opening Day logo for Minor League Baseball.

In addition to its use on a wide range of materials by the league itself, the OD10 logo is distributed to each of the 160 affiliated Minor League Baseball clubs for on-field and in-stadium applications, as well as for any and all of their merchandise, marketing and other collateral needs. Millions of fans see it, so it has to be special—every bit as special as the day itself!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Higher Power

“Why are we learning this stuff? I’m never going to use any of this in real life!”

It is safe to say that I am not alone in having had those thoughts while sitting in one class or another as various teachers droned on about things like reflexive pronouns, ionic compounds and logarithmic equations. But recently, I actually had the occasion to apply some of my secondary education to a sports branding project.

When developing the home cap logo for the Walla Walla Sweets (see January 20 Game Faces post), we realized that any interlocking, stacked or side-by-side WW treatment would appear derivative of the existing logos used by the city’s high school and college teams. So we decided to go back to school ourselves.

Recalling the lessons in exponentiation that we first learned oh-so-many years ago in math class, our solution was to raise the letterform to the second power for a new twist on traditional baseball headwear logos.

The W with the superscript 2 turned out to be a hit, with the first shipment of caps quickly selling out. It turns out that it’s hip to be squared!

(Special thanks to the Walla Walla Sweets’ Brett Axelrod for the photo.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The New Black

Over the past five years, Studio Simon has developed the graphics for more than 20 different Louisville Slugger TPX baseball and TPS softball bats, including the last five incarnations of the Omaha, a favorite of top college players since its debut in 1999.

The latest in the line was unveiled on Sunday, and it is notable more for what it doesn’t have than what it does. Whereas most bat artwork is intentionally bright and eye-catching, the new, limited edition TPX Omaha Silhouette stands out due to its unmistakable absence of color.

Had Darth Vader had this enticing black-and-shades-of-black beauty to offer, we’re certain that things in a galaxy far, far away would have played out quite differently, as Luke Skywalker would most definitely have turned to the “Dark Side”!