Updated Buccaneers Branding and What Might Have Been

I am an NFL junkie. My offseason blues began on February 3rd this year. I almost never listen to sports radio these days because you can only talk so much about how KU is good and I am not a fan of baseball. I am willing to take scraps when it comes to NFL news. As a graphic designer and illustrator, I am also becoming a bit of a connoisseur of the sports logo. I have even begun to dabble in sports branding myself. So when I heard about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers new branding I was very interested to take a look. Here are my thoughts.

First, the original logo was not bad, but I agree that it needed an update. The standard for vector graphics has risen considerably in the last few years. This 1997 logo no longer qualifies as elite as it probably did when it was created. The line work, particularly in the skull and crossed swords, is not clean and does not meet the craftsmanship standard of 2014.

The updated logo, created by an NFL design team, polished up the line work in the skull and crossed swords. They also added gray shading to the skull and swords, as well as dark brown shading to the football to give the logo more depth. As you can see, the size of the flag is increased to a gargantuan level on the football helmet. My initial response is that it is too big, but I want to wait to see them in the context of an actual football game before I give my final judgement.

Fraser Davidson is my favorite designer in the world of sports branding. Oddly enough, he has not been commissioned to work on any major sports franchises that I am aware of. Perhaps he doesn’t have the right connections. He took a quick crack at the logo and I must say I prefer his additional changes. The bolder line work gives the brand a feel of a logo more than an illustration, which I think is desired. His skull looks more menacing, yet remains close enough to the original. Even the sword being slightly tilted more gives more motion and a more dynamic appearance to the logo.

Although I think the logo update is good, I don’t think it is as strong as it could have been. What do you think? Do you like the brand update?