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Grand Rapids Griffins 20th Season Logo Concept

Grand Rapids Griffins 20th Season Logo Concept

The Grand Rapids Griffins unveiled their 20th season logo today and my immediate reaction was of serious disappointment.  Not like when I wasn’t happy about what choices they made for their “fan designed” jersey contest.  This was professionally designed.  There’s no excuse for this.

The Griffins say the following about the design:

The logo, designed by the Griffins with input from Reebok, consists primarily of a silver shield dominated by a “frozen” numeral 20. Silver, a secondary color for the franchise since its inception, is given prominence due to its similarity to platinum, a modern theme for 20th anniversary gifts. Red, which the Griffins began to feature significantly in 2002 when they cemented their affiliation with the Detroit Red Wings, serves as an accent in the logo’s border.

I say the “frozen” 20 looks less like it’s covered in ice and more like it’s dripping.  The over-use of silver makes the logo look like a photocopy.  The use of red without any of the Griffins’ other colors is something I’ve ranted about repeatedly, as I hate seeing the Griffins defer to the Red Wings’ branding.  The Griffins’ primary color is blue.  They should use it.

I re-drew the logo the way I think it should have been.  Here’s the comparison.

Side-by-side comparison of the Griffins' 20th season logo and my take on it.
Side-by-side comparison of the Griffins’ 20th season logo (left) and my take on it (right).

I’ve removed the “drip” and the unnecessary bevel from the 20.  The black shield is replaced with the Griffins’ standard blue and the full-color Griffin logo is added.  The silver used is the same as is already part of the team’s identity.  Red stays as an accent color and the black outline becomes blue.

Disclaimer: My version is a slightly-incorrect trace of the original, so some of the shapes aren’t quite right.  I wasn’t trying to change them, just too lazy to get it right.

Now, I still don’t think this is a fantastic logo.  Aside from the colors, the only part of the Griffins’ identity used in this is the primary logo, which is partially obscured.  The Griffins have a unique jersey number font, I’d love to have seen that used.  I do think my version is better, though.

Update: By request, I drew up a version that keeps the bevel.  I think it might look better than my original idea.

An updated version of my Griffins 20th season logo.
An updated version of my Griffins 20th season logo.

2 thoughts on “Grand Rapids Griffins 20th Season Logo Concept

  • DC

    I do like your design better. A minor league team surely can have different colors than a parent team and that should be celebrated. Red and blue do work together, and it’s possible to still be “Hockeytown West” with the red and blue because the red alluded to the parent team.
    Yours also looks cleaner, which is better because the “icicles” just aren’t needed and aren’t well-defined as icicles. I do like the city skyline and bevel from th original.
    I think there’s a time and a place for a one color design, but when you have so much silver/grey and black it does look like a photocopy. Indeed.

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