Sunday, July 19, 2009

Should the Maple Leafs change logos?

Toronto Maple Leafs logoIs it time for the Maple Leafs to update their famous logo? Some fans think they do, and they've started a web site and petition to make their case.

To be clear, the idea isn't to create a new logo. Instead, the petition is calling for the Leafs to go back to the 1930's style Maple Leaf currently found on their alternate jerseys, and drop the "modern" version that's based on the Canadian flag.

The basic argument seems to go like this:

  • The modern version is associated with the Ballard era, the darkest period in Leafs history.
  • The old version has as much (or more) tradition behind it, and was worn for 10 of the Leafs' 11 Cups.
  • Everyone seems to like the alternate jerseys better these days, so why not make them permanent?
What do you think? I posed the question on twitter today and the feedback was mixed.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards keeping the current leaf. Here's why:

It's simple - There's something to be said for simplicity in a logo. These days, every team seems to want to create some overly-complicated monstrosity, full of hidden symbolism and influences (as no doubt explained to team executives in a powerpoint presentation delivered by some guy wearing horn-rimmed glasses and outrageously complex facial hair).

I've always thought that a good logo should be able to pass this test: can a little kid draw it on his pencil case? The modern 11-point leaf can, with a little practice. The 1930s version? Not so much.

(Do kids today even have pencil cases? Do they still know how to use pencils? Do I need to update my rule to something like "does it look good as a small icon for an app on a five-year-old's iphone"? Get off my lawn.)

I have about 8,000 items with the old logo in my house - Seriously, it's everywhere. Bottle openers, salt and pepper shakers, pillows... Apparently when you're Christmas shopping for a Leafs fan, you just buy the first thing you see with a logo on it and move on.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't feel like replacing every item in my house. And I think my personal convenience needs to be a priority for everyone on this one.

It's all about the flag - Have you ever stopped to really think about the fact that the Maple Leafs' logo is a direct ripoff of our national flag? That, my friends, takes some serious grapefruits. Even the Yankees and Cowboys don't go stealing national symbols.

And as a Leaf fan living in hostile territory, I can tell you that the flag thing drives non-Leaf fans crazy. And if you can convincingly pretend that you think the Canadian flag is actually based on the Maple Leafs logo and not the other way around, there's a 50% chance the other fan will have a stroke on the spot. That has to be worth something, right?

So that's my argument: the current logo is better because it's simple, it's all over my house, and it annoys people. I think I'm on pretty solid ground here, but I'm open to being swayed.

What do you think?




58 comments:

  1. Gotta go with the old logo. Tradition trumps all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Umm, actually the Cowboys use a star that is ripped right off the star-spangled banner. Bah, I'm just giving you grief.

    Truthfully, I want a new logo, even if its only for an alternate. The sabres, senators, oilers, canucks etc. all got decent new looks. I still like the old canuck better though, and the isles made a big mistake with the longshoreman. The logo is outdated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stick with the current one. Why pay some marketing "Guru" who probably has little if any feeling for the franchise to come up with a logo that will be rammed down our throats. The current one is fine, the old one does it's job on the alternate jerseys. Let's all remember we will need to by new tops if they change it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really don't care, anythin that says Toronto Maple Leafs on it is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. your points are valid, and having grown up with only the current logo, i have mixed feelings as well... but i've been hearing this from people for a few months now and the more i think about it, the more i like the idea of going back to the old jerseys. the alternate jerseys are nicer than the regular ones. especially since the switch to RBK, when someone decided to get rid of the stripes on the bottom of the jersey. simply put, the current jerseys are, well, boring.

    the current leaf may be simple, but that doesn't make it that easy to draw. the proportions have to be right otherwise it looks funny. the old leaf is a bit more complicated, but i'm sure the little kids will have something to trace... :)

    also, you don't have to replace the items in your house. i'm sure after a few christmases, the items will basically replace themselves... and switching logos doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything with the old logo.

    the columbus logo has stars and stripes, so i guess the leafs aren't the only ones. and the symbol of the maple leaf will still have the same meaning even if it's not the exact same leaf. (how 'bout we just change the canadian flag too?)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I vote stick with the current one, and use the old traditional one sporadically, such as against other original 6 teams or whatnot.

    I also vehemently reject the notion of creating a new logo. One of the things I love most about my leafs is that they don't pander to cheap publicity stunts like the Super Nintendos of Ottawa or the Usain Bolts of Tampa do.

    Nothing new, bring back the old once in a while, and that include the great St. Pats jerseys they brought out once or twice years ago (no doubt for marketing since I own one) and then were never seen again. I'll never understand why on March 21st of this past year the Leafs didn't wear those jerseys while playing in Montreal. I was wearing mine proudly in attendance.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think the current crest is much more bold- the 1930s version looks like it belongs there and feels terribly outdated.

    Whatever happens, though, the Leafs need to restore the maple leaf as a shoulder patch. When Conn Smythe created the Maple Leafs, he specifically did so just so the team could have the leaf on their shoulders just like the Canadian soldiers do. That kind of symbolism is one that needs to be maintained, especially with a team that orients itself so clearly as "Canada's Team".

    ReplyDelete
  8. The best logo is the '67 one, but I can understand if they're trying to stay away from that one.

    They should just leave things the way they are, the alternates would lose something if they were the everyday sweaters, and I have a feeling they wouldn't look as nice in blue as they do in white.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I vote for pick a jersey and stick with it. I'm sick of the current ambiguity about logos and uniforms. I shall elaborate in due course.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like the 1970's and onward logo for all the points you mentioned. Honesty, seeing its silhouette on the roof of Maple Leaf Gardens shows you what a perfect, simple, strong, logo it is.

    We should be fighting the right battles. The current jersey is an absolute joke. The lack of stripes at the bottom of the jersey makes it look like bush league crap. Bring back the early-mid 90s jerseys. You can even keep the number outlines. But if you put the shoulder-crest back on the shoulders, (and of course the bottom stripes) then you get an awesome jersey AND get to use the old logo all the time again!

    THE BLACKHAWKS DIDN'T ELIMINATE THEIR STRIPES, YOU DOPES!

    ReplyDelete
  11. "We should be fighting the right battles. The current jersey is an absolute joke."

    True.

    ReplyDelete
  12. THEY ARE THE ONLY ORGINAL SIX TEAM NOT USING A PRE EXPANSION JERSEY ENOUGH SAID BRING THE OLD LOGO BACK OR ONE OF THEM THE OLD ONES
    BUT GET RID OF THE POST EXPANSION ONE IT SUCKS

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just had a good look at my current jersey hanging in the closet to be sure exactly what i was arguing here. Now that my chub has subsided and the blood has returned to my brain, I gotta say I love it. The new RBK jerseys make it look that much better in its simplicity. Can you imagine a jersey like Minnesotas? (They should have stuck with North Stars, Dallas be damned) or better yet, can you imagine LEAFS written a la SENS and BOLTS?

    Point is, why change, the old style is a great alternate and the current one is the symbol of the most popular thing in Canada. (Seriously, the Leafs get more coverage than any issue, group, landmark, company etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love the current logo. I'm with you, DGB.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like the current. I think it's great that the logo was cleaned up and modernized in the right sense. And obviously, the current is the most truculent.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think we need a good first line before we worry much more about the jersey. It's fine the way it is. Everyone knows it. Anyone who doesn't love and dream of it either 1. hates it 2. fears it. That's enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Have you ever stopped to really think about the fact that the Maple Leafs' logo is a direct ripoff of our national flag? That, my friends, takes some serious grapefruits. Even the Yankees and Cowboys don't go stealing national symbols.

    Ah, but the NY Rangers did appropriate the Statue of Liberty for their former third jerseys. Big cohones, indeed.

    Rangers fans didn't object, for the most part. Why shouldn't we use a national symbol for our team? It's in New York, right?!

    Besides, we have to pick our battles with a team that gives us so many reasons to lament.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I like the od logo, but keeping with the ripping off the flag theme my wife and I have a running bet during the hockey season.

    When the Habs beat the Leafs, the Habs flag flies over our house. When the Leafs beat the Habs, the Leafs flag flies over our house.

    I had two options for a Leafs flag, a vertical banner with the old logo i nthe middle and stripes o nthe top and bottom, or a blue version of the Canadian flag with the Leafs logo in the middle.

    Keep it simple, keep it neat, and keep it a subtle reminder who is "Canada's Team".

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think if you took the view that if each logo was made into a requisite ninja star, the new version would maim and brutalize people more than the traditional one. I believe that fits under the plan of having more truculence. Maple Leafs to the Eye, bitches!!1

    ReplyDelete
  21. I say keep it the way it is. The current logo is simple, effective, beautiful. But I also wouldn't mind if they trot out the classic pot leaf every now and then (IE as a third).

    ReplyDelete
  22. The current one represents failure, and harold ballard. the old one represents stanley cup championships and conne smythe. its not even close. the old one for sure. Go Leafs Go!

    ReplyDelete
  23. As long as it's not a stupid ass Roman General i'm happy.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Maybe we should ask the Habs players - what would they prefer to see close up before getting smeared along the boards? Might be the last memory some of them have before the long coma.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great topic of conversation DGB.

    The old white jerseys - especially with the shoulder coloured blue and the older Leaf in the middle, with the newer Leaf as a shoulder crest - without 'Toronto Maple Leafs' written on it.

    As an aside, where do the Calgary Flames get off putting a Canadian flag patch on the shoulders of their jerseys? We are Canada's team and Conn Smythe (the name of the Flames' old division, coincidentally enough) would be turning in his grave to see any team other than TML trying to present themselves as such.

    I think its time we go back to the good old days and revive a tradition of winning, while keeping the simple Leaf on the shoulder as a reminder to ALL Canadians that we are - and will remain - Canada's team. Go Leafs Go!

    ReplyDelete
  26. And as a Leaf fan living in hostile territory, I can tell you that the flag thing drives non-Leaf fans crazy. And if you can convincingly pretend that you think the Canadian flag is actually based on the Maple Leafs logo and not the other way around, there's a 50% chance the other fan will have a stroke on the spot. That has to be worth something, right?

    HAHAHA yes, I like doing that as well.

    It's the best of both worlds for fans and MLSE right now. We get to buy merchandise with either logo and MLSE gets to sell twice as much stuff.

    The shoulder patch needs to come back though. Taking those off (and not putting stripes at the bottom of the current jerseys) were mind-boggling stupid ideas that could only have come from exactly the kind of twit that you described.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm a Bruins fan so I probably don't get a vote, but I hope they keep the current logo.

    It's simple, it's bold, it's symmetrical. It looks GREAT on a jersey, and on any piece of merchandise you can imagine. As pointed out above, a little kid can draw it... and a determined mom can cut it out of felt to be sewn to a white sweater. That alone makes it worthwhile.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Getting rid of the shoulder patches and bottom stripes on the Edge sweaters is annoying, but considering what they could have done, I'll take it. I was really worried they were going to have those apron strings that a lot of teams have now (Edmonton and Florida come to mind), so I was just relieved that that wasn't the case.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The old logo represents winning. And has some style. I say go old. I'm not buying a jersy either way. They go no money from me until they win.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I say keep your logo, you dont have to bow to the flavor of the month and go retro just for the frickin sake of it. The old logo really is dated looking, which is nice for a third but lame for your primary.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love both logos, but the historical one only infrequently. The modern one is OUR logo*, not our dad's, not the logo of the past, not the logo of "when the Leafs were good" or won. That's crap. Barring normal bad periods here and there, the modern team has been incredibly competitive.
    What's more important an issue is bringing down the price of a customized jersey to something that average kids or their parents could afford- the #1 home jersey at Shop.NHL.com is $344.99, and that's %20 off, for god's sake. You actually have an option to finance the thing. The only hope for someone with my budget is to luck out and find one at Value Village.
    Lastly, could we please stop referring to our team as "Canada's team"? Sure, by all means, use it to infuriate Habs and Sens fans, but don't in any seriousness use it for the Leafs. It cheapens the national team and puts a hockey team before your country. Enough.

    *In addition, if I went ahead and got my tattoo design done of the Canadian flag with a blue maple leaf in the centre, I sure wouldn't think of replacing it with the bud logo. Something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Lastly, could we please stop referring to our team as "Canada's team"? Sure, by all means, use it to infuriate Habs and Sens fans, but don't in any seriousness use it for the Leafs. It cheapens the national team and puts a hockey team before your country. Enough

    Relatedly, I would happily see Canada finish last at the next three Olympics if it meant the Leafs would win the Cup next year.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Stittsville SluggoJuly 20, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    Keep the new logo. Wear the third jersey (which is beauty !) against the other original six teams. Bring back the bottom stripes on the new shitty Reebok jerseys, I do like the plain shoulders though, has a more classic look (glad that sickening TML is gone). I would love to see the St.Pat's sweater at least once a year, obviously sometime close to the holiest of holy days. Erin go bragh and the Maple Leaf forever !

    ReplyDelete
  34. The modern logo would look fine if it wasn't ruined by the horrible numbers and typeface for players' names on the backs of the sweaters (jerseys?). That typeface is god-awful.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You're just evil, Godd. :) The ultimate straw man argument.

    ReplyDelete
  36. You're just evil, Godd. :) The ultimate straw man argument.

    Hey, I reject nationalism, unless Leafs Nation is involved...

    ReplyDelete
  37. Bring back the old sweaters.

    And by "old sweaters", I mean those wonderful green Toronto St. Pats uniforms. Brown pants and all.

    Do it. Doooo iiiiiit...

    ReplyDelete
  38. The Leafs are CANADA'S TEAM...keep the current logo!!!

    I second your thoughts on simplicity and cleanness of a logo.

    the old one looks like garbage anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think they should revert to the old logo. Which reminds us of the sucessful era not the dark days.

    ReplyDelete
  40. C'mon guys, the 3rd jersey looks AWESOME, while the home/away jerseys are terrible. The old logo is soooo much better its not even funny!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Definitely keep the modern one. It just looks better.

    I mean, come on...do you guys REALLY want to cling to glory from 40-some years ago???

    ReplyDelete
  42. LMAO i think they should use a logo that's tyler kennedy gettin his SOUL DESTROYED by luke schenn lol

    no but seriosly i think they should keep the current one but maybe use some black in there update it a lil

    ReplyDelete
  43. I like the current logo, but I think that the jersey itself could use some work. It needs those stripes at the bottom back.

    Relatedly, I would happily see Canada finish last at the next three Olympics if it meant the Leafs would win the Cup next year.

    I probably would too.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Lots of good feedback here, with a pretty even split.

    So is it safe to say that everyone agrees that we need stripes on the current RBK jerseys?

    ReplyDelete
  45. While it's an interesting discussion, this marks the first time I've ever not laughed out loud while reading a DGB post. I hope that never happens again.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hells ya we need those stripes back! Plus, why do they have blue collars on the white jerseys but not white collars on the blue jerseys? Who came up with these things?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yeah, we need the stripes back badly. I won't buy a RBK Edge jersey until they're back where they belong - it looks more like a stretched out sweatshirt than a hockey jersey. Chicago got it right.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Puck Daddy ripped you off, Downie.

    Wasn't Wysh, though; it was Leahy.

    ReplyDelete
  49. As a Sabres fan who greatly loves watching fellow Leaf fans take over HSBC Arena with Damion Rhodes jerseys on (I'm actually serious), I say go with the classic look. The Leafs, unlike the Sabres, have never had a bad logo. But the alternative jerseys are awesome, and some creativity can go into the next jerseys.

    No offense, but the current home and away look more like practice jerseys, and if they could use the vintage logo and incorporate it correctly...the Leafs could easily pull it off.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Stick with the current one absolutely. It's a classic that is among the most recognized (and valuable) logos in sports. The old one is nice as an alternate and a nod to the past, but that era is done.

    The change I really want to see is for teams to go back to wearing their white jerseys at home. For a guy raised on Sittler, Clark and Gilmour, the dark ones at home just don't look right.

    ReplyDelete
  51. The real problem with the current home and away jerseys isn't the logo(it's a classic), but that they look like PRACTICE UNIS. Just too damn plain! They need to add something to them.

    IMO, the best Leaf jerseys were the 98-00 ones with the jagged leaf on the shoulder and the more circular numerals. And the "C" on Mats' chest looked much cooler without any ugly outlines.

    http://sports.webshots.com/photo/2657528060100337552PWYBQH

    ReplyDelete
  52. Here's a shorter link to the pic of that classic jersey

    http://tinyurl.com/njke2b

    ReplyDelete
  53. @ Len

    The numbers in the "Leaf" font looked kind of childish to me.

    But the shoulder patch is definitely the best. None of that TML bullshit, or worse, nothing at all.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yes they should change the logo. Then they should pack their shit, move to Vancouver, and call themselves the Canucks.

    Seriously though, lost the stupid TML logo, bring back the stripes, and leave it alone.

    ReplyDelete
  55. DGB: You are acquiring some media clout now. How about a poll of your readers to see if some actual change can be effected?

    I think the majority of Leaf fans want at LEAST to have stripes on the current sweater.

    A main uniform harkening back to the glory days may be too much to ask as a main design, but as a third sweater - totally. I remember the white one with blue shoulder patches particularly as the uniform the team used when they repeatedly cornholed the Senators the last time we were any good. For that reason alone, that should be part of the shirt rotation.

    But back to the poll - find out if modifying the new uniform (stripes plus a leaf shoulder patch) or adding a traditional 3rd sweater is the way to go, and get pushing!

    PS, I'm a Leaf fan in Ottawa too. Few things really make my day the way aggravating an insecure Senator fan does.

    Senaturd fan: This is Hockey Country.

    Me: Silly rabbit. The Leafs are Canada's team, everybody knows that. That's why the Team Canada logos are based on the Leaf crest.

    Senaturd fan: 1967!

    Me: Can't beat us in the playoffs. Or...anyone else, apparently.

    Senaturd fan: Leafs isn't a word!

    Me: Our GM has groovier hair. Man, I just noticed my team will be on TV every Saturday night on HNIC this season, unlike certain other less relevant clubs whose superstars don't want to play for them. I love being a fan the nation's official, most popular team!

    Senaturd fan: *every molecule in his head simultaneously exploding at the speed of light*

    ReplyDelete
  56. No, they should make the switch, can't believe some of you people don't want it switched. Current logo is boring and tainted with failure. Love wearing blue at home too! Go LEAFS GO

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anon @ 7:18

    The Leafs are boring and tainted with failure, and thus the current logo is perfect.

    I say keep it.

    ReplyDelete
  58. You said a 3 year old has to be able to draw the logo right, but can a 3 year old draw a red wings logo? how bout a black hawks logo? I think not, it doesn't matter if a 3 year old can draw it or not, the old logo represents the glory days the new logo represents pain and loss.

    ReplyDelete