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Friday, March 19, 2010

Blue Man Group

“Hey blue—you're missing a good game here!”

“You couldn’t make a call in a phone booth!”

“How’d you get a square head in that round mask?”

Since the dawn of baseball, umpires at every level have had to endure being the objects of such ridicule, and discourteous witticisms far worse. Their reward? Expletive-filled rants spewing forth from the mouths of irate managers, deep bone bruises courtesy of 100 mile per hour foul tips off of inadequately protected appendages, and living out of a suitcase, away from their families, for six months at a time—all while only receiving notice if they happen to mess up!

They indeed have a thankless job, and, until recently, these arbiters of balls and strikes suffered the further indignity of not having a logo that was representative of the professionalism they display or the respect they deserve. Knowing a thing or two about toiling away in anonymity, Studio Simon stepped in to right this injustice.

Initially, the client was of the opinion that a depiction of an umpire should not be a part of the new Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation identity, likely due to their dissatisfaction with how this particular element was rendered in, and was not well-incorporated into, their existing logo (seen at right).

But here at Studio Simon, we thrive on solving creative challenges, and felt that we could capture, with the type of simplified, stylized iconography necessary for such brand marks, the authoritative nature of this highly-skilled fraternity of men (and, in about half a dozen instances over the years, women) without having them come across as churlish or aggressive.

After the three different directions shown above were presented, we were asked if it would be possible to marry the one featuring an umpire with the typographic treatment from another. This “Frankenstein” approach does not always work, as meshing disparate elements that were not originally designed to coexist can sometimes be tantamount to mixing oil and water. But in this case, we were fortunately able to fulfill a request that was, as it turns out, an excellent call!


  1. Frankenstein LIVES! Great story and even better logo. Makes you really open your eyes (unlike during that bounced "foul" ball during ALCS among others -- just ask Charlie Gibson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70KsXOaIFAg)

  2. Three pitches and a balk lead to striking logo.

  3. Outstanding - and striking - logo for the Umpires, Dan. Well done!

  4. As an umpire and an artist, this is aesthetically pleasant on both levels. Bravo!