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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

That ’70s Cap

Shag carpet. The AMC Gremlin. Pong. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. There are some things that are certainly not worth bringing back, but Studio Simon does not consider the yellow-crown, black-visor caps worn by the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1970 through 1975 to be among them.

So when developing the brand identity for the Bradenton Marauders, the new Florida State League affiliate of the Pirates, Studio Simon was hoping to resurrect the look of this icon of ’70s baseball headwear, and presented it as an option for the club to consider. Much to our delight, the B-Bucs brass liked the idea, and included it in their on-field uniform system as an alternate cap.

We love the hats, but the pullover crew neck jerseys that those early-’70s Pirate clubs wore are best left on mothballs!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Anchors Aweigh

Avast, me hearties—today’s the day fer which all ye landlubbers been a-waitin’! Th’ Bradenton Marauders be playin’ their first e’er game on this eve, with the lads sportin’ fine Inaugural Season patches on their port-side sleeves.

Arrrgh—enough with the pirate-speak! I don’t wish to hornswaggle you, but I’d rather dance the hempen jig than try to keep that up for an entire post! So let’s just go with the King’s English...

Our initial development explorations for the Bradenton Marauders included, amongst other nautical-themed directions, one with a ship’s anchor that the client very much liked. Though they ultimately chose to make the black-bearded rogue (seen here in the January 10 Game Faces post) the visual focus of their new team identity, we nevertheless were hoping that we would be able to incorporate the anchor somewhere.

The opportunity presented itself when we were looking for a way to hold all of the disparate pieces of the Inaugural Season logo together, and the shape of this particular seafaring device suited our needs perfectly. By stylistically handling certain elements in a consistent manner—the weather-beaten 2010 banner ties into the BRADENTON banner, the white highlights on the anchor suggest those on the face of the pirate character, the same yellow outline contains both the primary and commemorative marks—we were able to achieve our goal of ensuring that this particular extension of the brand fit together seamlessly with the rest of the system.

Friday, April 2, 2010

One and Done

When the Seattle Pilots joined the American League as an expansion team in 1969, little did they know that their new brand identity would have but a one-year shelf life. Due to poor attendance, anxious creditors and lawsuits delaying construction of a new stadium, a group led by current Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig purchased the team and moved it to Milwaukee, where they were renamed the Brewers for the 1970 season.

Flash forward to 2010, when professional baseball will once again see a new brand identity quickly come and go—but this time the short life span of the logos and uniforms is a matter of planned obsolescence.

The last-minute nature of the Oneonta Tigers’ relocation to Norwich, Connecticut—a move that was only officially approved last Friday—did not leave the New York-Penn League club the necessary time to properly explore comprehensive re-branding options and include their new fans in the process. So the decision was made to go with a temporary identity for 2010 only, conduct a name-the-team contest during the season and unveil a new, original moniker and look for the 2011 campaign.

For the Connecticut Tigers’ interim identity, the team asked Studio Simon to develop a monogram that would tie into the classic look of the parent Detroit Tigers ball club. But other teams have previously run into trademark-usage roadblocks when attempting to use letterforms that were too similar to the Cincinnati Reds-owned Cooperstown Collection insignias shown above, so employing a standard Old English font was out of the question. Instead, we developed a custom C, stylistically culled from the distinctive shapes and forms of the time-honored Detroit marks.

So this season, you will see the C-Cats players pursue their goal of one day playing in the major leagues at Comerica Park while sporting attire that mirrors the traditional Tiger togs that have remained largely unchanged from the Ty Cobb era to the present day—just don’t get used to it!