November 12, 2008

Birds Preen Their Feathers

What do you do when your team isn't creating enough interest on the field?  Update your logo and uniforms!  In an effort to reconnect with the Baltimore area, thats exactly what the Orioles have done.  

While the beatifully-drawn 'Orioles' script remains the same, the elements around it have been slightly tweaked.  The bird pearched on the script has been slightly modified, removing some unnecessary yellow highlights while simplifying the feet and beak.  The diamond shape in the main lockup has been eliminated, a much needed addition by subtraction.  The beautiful script is now be cleanly viewed against a clean background, which emphasizes the forms.  

The biggest change to the uniforms is to the grey road jerseys, which now feature a new 'Baltimore' script across the chest.  The script is inspired by the old road uniforms worn by the O's before 1972.  While the script is nicely drawn, it is somewhat lackluster, and its hard to avoid comparisons to the Budweiser script.  It looks best on the black batting practice jerseys in the bright orange sans outlines.  All uniforms are now sporting orange and black striping around the sleeves and down the pants.  This is a nice addition that brings some color back into the uniforms.  The Orioles previously succumbed to the widespread prohibition on color in professional sports.  We are now seeing franchises coming full circle as they slowly inject life back into their on-field presence.  Its good to see unique colors back on the field.  For the last decade I've been slapping the side of my TV, thinking that I was watching black and white television.

Another addition to all the uniforms appears to be strategically based.  When the Senators moved out of Washington after the 1971 season, the Orioles tried to minimize the tie to Baltimore in order to attract fans left in the baseball vacuum of D.C. by removing 'Baltimore' from the jerseys and emphasizing the nickname as opposed to the city.  Now that The District has a team again, and interest in The Birds has fallen off in their own city, the Orioles are looking to re-establish themselves as Maryland's team.  This is no doubt where the new sleeve patch comes from.  The patches are neither inpiring nor original, as the Baltimore Ravens football club has been incorporating the state flag of Maryland in a secondary logo since 1999.

While the tweaks to the logo are nice, the uniform changes are mostly insignificant. Hopefully it will make a connection with the fan base from a positioning point of view, but on the whole, the update doesn't do much to ruffle anyone's feathers. 

1 comment:

Cody Harrod said...

Updated, but keeps tradition. I like it.