Filed under: Logo Design | Tags: basketball, event branding, logo, march madness, ncaa, symbol, typogrpahy
Imagine this creative brief: We need an event logo. The only stipulation is that you incorporate the year of the event, the name of the city where the event is held, some kind of symbol reflecting that city (or not if you’re somewhere like Indianapolis), the NCAA logo, the words FInal Four (ideally in a relatively even-weighted san-serif, or not) and ideally a basketball.
I really love the March Madness tournament and with this year’s tourney rapidly approaching I was interested to see this year’s logo. Upon checking it out I went through some of the year’s past to have some sort of history to the yearly event branding.
The 2009 logo is disappointing. After seeing it on NCAA.com I looked around with a “is this it” feeling trying to find something more. But this is it.
At this point in history with the auto industry collapsing, how appropriate is it really to use a symbolic tire as the background and as representational of Detroit? Regardless of social standards/faux paus, the suggested tire isn’t really that great, and it only gets worse when you add the flames. They just seem ill-advised, or at least ill-placed. They’re not working with the other logo elements. The “2009” falls way too close to the word “final” and generally I think the typography choice for “2009” and “Detroit” is a miss.
That said, I like most the logo constructed for the 2008 tournament in San Antonio. I could do without the blue gradient behind “final four” and “San Antonio” does not seem to be exactly on the same line as the belt, but the hat is really nicely rendered and the whole thing works pretty well together, given the amount of information contained within it.
However, looking back at some logos from year’s past make me REALLY appreciate the San Antonio logo. They all have so much going on in them they stray far away from anything “iconic.” In the case of the New Orleans logo, the clusterbomb mish-mash is maddening (pun intended). I also have a problem with the generic city identifier icons used. 2007 and 2002 were in Atlanta and no one could come up with anything better in 5 years than to stylize the peach? I mean, we all realize Georgia is the Peach State but there’s infinitely more that could be pulled out of Atlanta to represent the host city graphically. I’ll stop now (before I spend several hours discussing what I don’t like about 2006’s logo), and leave it at this: Considering the above creative brief for these logos, I think 2008 works predominantly for the same reasons the others all fall so short: it nicely packages a lot of necessary information into a cohesive and unified event logo.
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