My thoughts on the new Tampa Bay Lightning logo
It's been almost 2 weeks since the leaking of the Lightning's new crest and logo and from the poll here on Boltsmag (as well as polls posted on team forums) the reaction to the logo/crest isn't that positive.
There are aspects I like and I dislike about the logo and both of them have been spoken of in both negative and positive undertones. I don't know if any of the fans out there can really truly have an opinion until we see the uniforms with the new artwork upon them, but as it stands right now -- fans aren't rallying around these things.
Let me start with the image I like most and try to explain things -- elements of the logo and why it works how it's designed, or what they are attempting to do.
The first thing I need to explain (after reading comments in the original post about the logo) is that the Lightning logo is not just the bolt of lightning -- the circle is part of things simply because bolt of lightning alone would leave the logo empty. Ditching the circle, as some fans suggested, would likely be a non starter if anyone tried to update the logo (and, from Jay Feaster's terminology, "modernize" it). Every other element can be looked at as excess (the state of Florida, for instance) but the circle doesn't just compliment the bolt of lightning, it strengthens its presence on a jersey.
The top of the bolt is not straight in order to depict movement or action of the image. It's a marketing thing and though it looks weird to long time fans, it comes off well, especially with the blue accent added to the bolt of Lightning. The state of Florida -- with the bolt covering Tampa Bay -- does seem a little out of place with thanks to the other in-state franchise being named Florida. The bolt of Lightning looks especially strong against the black matte (background)... which I cannot say for the next image:
This image is what will end up being the road crest (unless white jersey's are once again home jersey's this season). While you have the same bolt of lightning and crest as the first (black) image -- it's muted on the white matte. Stunted may also be a good term to use. It hurts presenting the crest.
What also hurts is the font and placement of the words above the bolt of lightning. One can focus on the font with much disgust as we've grown accustomed to the Tampa Bay cursive ("Reporter Two" is the fonts name) that has adorned the Lightning logo since it's inception. Yet the major drawbacks of the font in this case is how "Tampa Bay" is placed off-center above the bolt and the font size dominating the crest more than it should. Yes, we're all prideful of Tampa Bay to one extent or the other but (from a marketing standpoint) the focus should be on the bolt and the circle -- not on the region of the team.
The same problems exist on the black version of this image (though the bolt of lightning does not come off muted or shortened as much). The white version of the shoulder patch (first image) I presented also has that stunted, muted aspect to it that I spoke of, though the focus is not taken away from the bolt as much as in the above white crest.
Also on the graphic one-sheet of the supposed Lightning logo re-design are three font-only presentations for the team. At no time is "Lightning" used -- it's always "Tampa Bay" which can be compared to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays logo of current where "Tampa Bay" is used to characterize the team, with no mention of the team nickname. I find that bothersome. Some have said the font looks "cartoonish" but it has elements that are much more marketable than the cursive script of current... The pronounced T and B can certainly be used on hats (with and without the lightning bolt). Take the following for example:
THat's a no-frills letter meld that does not give much more than an example of how the font can be used in marketing (TB ballcaps work for the Bucs and the Rays, and could for the Lightning).
So in all, there are obvious problems with the logo and how it's presented but there also strengths that people aren't going to jump up and down about... This is a far cry from the rainblow Devil Rays inaugural logo and an epic distance from Bucco Bruce and the Buccaneer logo of yesteryear... But it still amounts to change for the sake of change.