October 1, 2008

"Goodbye Mr. Spalding!"

A letter I actually sent a little over two years ago:

Dear Spalding,

As a lifelong sports fan, athlete, and graphic designer I am highly disappointed in your new logo (the S with the swoosh around it). The first time I picked up a basketball to see that atrocity, I felt betrayed. A company that was once represented by a CLASSIC, timeless, and immediately recognizable icon has decided that it does not want to stand above its peers, it wants to follow the pack and disappear into anonymity. The new logo is neither distinguished, unique, memorable, and its barely legible. On top of that, it is redundant. What is the need for another 'S' right above the word 'Spalding'?

Spalding has a rich 130 heritage that it should be emphasizing. A more appropriate campaign would have kept the tradional mark, which was immediately recognizable to anyone involved with sports. The new NBA ball looks marvelous, but its aesthetic appeal is tarnished by the disgusting mark above the Spalding name. Imagine the beauty and symbolism if it had the traditional circle and diamond instead: a forward-thinking company with 130 years experience in sporting goods: one foot in the past, one foot in the future. Beautiful.

True to the Game, maybe; but true to itself, I think not.

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