MLB Logos in the Style of the Blue Jays
Growing up I always liked to draw, and in high school I did more than ever, to prepare a portfolio to use when applying to architecture school. I decided not to go into architecture and mostly stopped after that, but recently I’ve been trying to start again. I had the idea to create logos for the other 29 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams in the style of the logo of my favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays. My interpretation of this is as follows:
- Most of the logo is either the thing the team is named after or the team mascot, in profile and facing left where applicable.
- That part is illustrated in two colours on a white background, where the top half is one colour and the bottom is the other.
- At the right-hand side of the logo there is a symbol representative of the city, state, or region the team represents.
- This symbol is in a third colour.
For the most part I tried to keep the logos simple, to match the Jays’ style, but several times I found myself getting away from that. Hence, the styles of the results vary somewhat.
This is the first project I’ve done with vector images (I used Inkscape), so while the execution may not be perfect, I think there are some interesting concepts here. Much credit goes to Chris Creamer’s SportsLogos.net, whose archive of old logos I referenced for just about every team, Team Color Codes, which provided most of the colour codes I needed, and U.S. Team Colors, which had the Royals’ powder blue I needed.
I posted this to Reddit (since deleted) and got a great response, including a lot of suggestions for changes to the logos. I’ve linked the modified versions below in addition to my originals.
I’m pretty happy with the way this one turned out. I considered using the Dbacks’ original purple/teal/gold colour scheme, but I decided that maroon/sand/black was more representative of Arizona, in part because it matches the Arizona Coyotes’ look.
Both the Braves and the Cleveland Indians have used caricatures of Native Americans as their logos in the past, but I had no interest in emulating such offensive imagery. Instead, I used the Braves’ tomahawk here and a
tepee bow and arrow for Cleveland (see below). When designing this, I had in mind the Chicago Blackhawks crossed tomahawks logo, forgetting that the Braves have their own version.
The Orioles logo was very simple to translate into two blocks of colour, but I had a bit more trouble deciding what the regional logo should be. I settled on the claw of a Maryland Blue Crab.
Boston Red Sox
Yes, I realize that one of the socks is blue.
In picking a symbol for the city of Chicago, I felt the obvious choice was one of the six pointed stars from the city flag. I didn’t want to repeat that in both the Cubs and White Sox logos, but I had trouble finding a second symbol. Ultimately I decided to give the star to the Sox and let the Cubs use their usual ‘C’, which is a pretty widely recognized symbol of the city anyway.
By request, here’s a variant that replaces the ‘C’ with a six-pointed star.
Chicago White Sox
I was initially planning to draw a pair of socks similar to those in the Red Sox logo, but then I saw this ChiSox logo from the ’50s, inspiring this winged sock. As I wrote in the Cubs blurb, the star comes from the flag of Chicago.
They were originally called the Reds because of their red socks, but that just gets confusing. I wasn’t going to make another sock logo, so I went with Mr. Redlegs. His moustache gave him the edge over Mr. Red.
Between Cleveland and Cincinnati, I arbitrarily gave the outline of Ohio to the former and a simplified version of the state flag to the latter.
By request, I made a variant that replaces the Ohio flag with the Reds ‘C’ logo.
Like I mentioned in the Braves blurb, I wasn’t going to use Chief Wahoo for this logo. Atlanta already uses the tomahawk as a logo, so I settled on using a tepee for Cleveland. However, several Reddit users pointed out to me that using a tepee is not an accurate representation of the Indigenous peoples local to the Cleveland area either. You can see the original tepee logo here but I’ve now switched it to a bow and arrow.
As the “regional” symbol in the logo, I considered using a silhouette of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but it didn’t seem like it would be recognizable enough once simplified.
The Rockies mascot is Dinger, a purple triceratops, but when I think of a purple dinosaur, I don’t think of the Rockies. I knew from the beginning that I wanted this to be a mountain-based logo, but it was still one of the last ones I did. I think this scene turned out alright.
The tire represents Detroit being the Motor City, but also calls out to the Detroit Red Wings winged wheel. The Tigers and Wings are both owned by the Ilitch family.
The star represents both the team name and the fact that Texas is the Lone Star State.
Kansas City Royals
I did not know this before I started research for this project, but Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. Somewhere along the way I read that KC has the second most fountains in the world, after Rome, but I don’t know if that’s actually true. Regardless, fountains are a symbol of the city, and the stylized fountain I used in this logo comes right from the flag of the city.
Los Angeles Angels
I based my depiction of the angel on the logo of the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the defunct World Hockey Association. I considered using an orange at right, to represent Orange County, but instead went with the castle from Disneyland, in Anaheim.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Admittedly, this logo is a bit of a stretch. The Dodgers are named so as a short form of “Trolley Dodgers”, which goes back to their Brooklyn days. It’s not clear what a “Trolley Dodger” should look like, so I just went with a trolley. To bring it back to LA, I went with a palm tree. I haven’t been to LA, but that’s always what stands out to me when I see footage of LA in movies.
This is probably the simplest of the logos I made, and most in line with the Blue Jays style. It’s pretty straightforward: a marlin, and an orange to represent Florida.
Like Dodgers, Giants, and Phillies, it’s unclear what exactly a Brewer should look like, so I used Bernie Brewer as the main part of the logo, with a mug of beer to represent the team name and the city of Milwaukee’s brewing industry.
For the first 25 years after moving from Washington, the Twins used a literal pair of twins in their logo, one for Minneapolis and one for St. Paul. (The logo is still used in some cases, though not as much.) These brothers return here with one batting and one pitching. The failure of the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team (now the Los Angeles Lakers) was attributed in part to St. Paul residents rejecting the team because it was named after Minneapolis alone. The state outline at right shows that the team represents not just the Twin Cities but the entire state.
New York Mets
As with the Rockies, the Mets are named after a place rather than a person, animal, or thing. I could have just drawn Mr. Met, but I thought it would be interesting to pull the skyline and bridge out of the Mets primary logo. The apple stands for the Big Apple and is used regularly by the team, on merchandise and as the Home Run Apple, which rises in Citi Field whenever a Mets player hits a home run.
New York Yankees
The Yankees primary logo features an Uncle Sam hat, so it was natural to use Uncle Sam here. I could have gone with their one-time mascot Dandy, but most people have forgotten about him. With the Mets using the apple, it wasn’t easy to figure out what regional symbol the Yankees should use. The Statue of Liberty would be natural, but I didn’t like the idea of putting a second, smaller face in this logo, plus it would mean introducing green. The pizza is a little goofy, especially for the Yankees, but I went with it.
By request, I made a variant that replaces the pizza with the Empire State Building.
The elephant has been associated with the A’s since their early seasons in Philadelphia. Even since moving to Oakland, they’ve had quite a variety of elephant logos. The oak tree comes from the flag of Oakland.
The Philly Phanatic may be the best-known mascot in sports and it’s a shame the Phillies don’t already have a Phanatic logo.
St. Louis Cardinals
This logo format seems to go well with birds. The Gateway Arch doesn’t lend itself too well to this application, but I think it’s the best known symbol of St. Louis outside of sports.
San Diego Padres
I’m combining a couple of eras of Padres logos here, uniting the Swinging Friar (who’s now making a comeback!) with waves, as used from 2004 through 2011. The shape of the bottom of the waves is that of home plate.
San Francisco Giants
I spent a while trying to figure out how to draw a giant. If you look for drawings of giants online, you find some that just look like large people and some that look like monsters. I like the Vancouver Giants logo but if not for the word “GIANTS” and the big letter ‘G’, I don’t know that the man in the logo would be particularly identifiable as a giant. I gave up and used the Giants mascot, Lou Seal. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge that I use here is similar to that used in this Giants alternate logo.
Here we have a fisherman (mariner) and a rain cloud, because Seattle is known for its rain.
Tampa Bay Rays
On the flip-side of Seattle, Florida is the Sunshine State.
By request, I made a variant that uses the existing Rays sunbeam logo.
My hometown hockey team, the Kitchener Rangers, uses a cowboy theme (for example, here), and that suits Texas even better.
The Nationals whole brand is based on patriotism, so it made sense to use a bald eagle, just as the Washington Capitals hockey team used to do. At right is the Capitol Dome, as used in this throwback Nationals logo.
By request, here’s a variant with the outline of the District of Columbia.