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Mike Chamernik’s Question of the Week (June 24-28)

Last week, we had another of Mike Chamernik’s “Question of the Week” series, and again the response to that article was tremendous, and Mike is back again with his next question.

Question of the Week
by Mike Chamernik

The Los Angeles Kings revealed new logos and wordmarks last week. The new primary is an upgrade over the “home plate” shield, but though the new typeface is nice, it replaces a wordmark that I really loved. In my mind, the lettering somehow conveyed both royalty and SoCal. No, I’m not design-savvy enough to explain how.

What are some of your favorite wordmarks, typefaces, and jersey lettering styles? And, what do you think of the wordmarks used by your favorite teams?

Among my favorites are the Raiders (the no-nonsense block text suits them perfectly), the 1990s Magic (whimsical) and the 1980s White Sox (bold and retro-futuristic). The Yankees have the most elegant cursive. The 1980s-1990s Vikings block font was distinctive. The Mavs 1970s fauxback motif is fun. The Cavs look during LeBron’s first stint was very clean.

And of my favorite teams, I like the current Lions sleek wordmark. The Bucks and Brewers lettering styles each represent the industrial vibe of Milwaukee. And I’m a LA Kings fan so I’ll miss the outgoing wordmark. (Yes, I know, I root for an odd collection of teams.)

• • • • •
Thanks, Mike. This is definitely another great installment.

Readers? Fire away!

Comments (29)

    Wow! Where can I start? Perhaps my favorite wordmark is the mid-seventies Cleveland jersey script, which seemed cribbed from a blue cardboard coffee cup. It reminded me of the wooden signs which would hang at the entrances of national parks. It dovetailed well with the team’s name at the time.
    I was also a fan of the one-season “SAN FRANCISCO” lettering of the 1977 orange jersey. It had psychedelic flair a la Rick Griffin.
    The 1980 Padres lettering struck me as klutzy, but at least it displayed the three-color treatment well.
    And I really love the jersey script of the 1983 Giants and 1985 Padres.

    As a kid in the 80’s I always liked the NFL team word marks that fit their team so good it seemed “cartoonish”: 49ers, Patriots, Eagles come to mind as examples.

    I’m a HUGE fan of the 80’s Patriots wordmark with the “stars and stripes” in the lettering

    I miss the script Washington on the Nationals road uniforms. It was the best road jersey in D.C. baseball history and they switched to a bargain bin block font for no reason.

    On a related note, my favorite uniform number font is the old “school bus” style originally used by the Montreal Expos, and that font would look so good with the curly W and scripts based on it. Could be a real nod to design history and franchise continuity, but instead the team doggedly sticks with its weird Dallas Cowboys numbers.

    I think the Blue Jays’ wordmark and NOB lettering is amazing. I can’t really think of another example in MLB that is more identifiable. By that I mean if any word were right in that font, it would still be recognized as the Jays’ font. Not sure if that works for anyone else.

    I always liked the Dolphins cursive-like wordmark, both the 80’s version, but especially the update in 1997. The 1997 version was a little busy as there was all sort of outlining and drop shadowing, but the font itself, divorced from all that was really good. Best version to articulate that is if you just focus on the white portion of this:
    I wish they brought back a single-color version of this as the wordmark.

    New York Rangers drop shadow.

    I didn’t much care for it the first time around, but the return of the Niners’ saloon font is a huge upgrade in the character dept.

    Yes, and yes. The Rangers’ letters are an eternal classic. I still wish there was a sweater where they spelled out NEW YORK.

    I always loved the old-timey look of the 49ers wordmark from the ’80s (link). Nothing they’ve had since then has come close to surpassing it. I’m also a big fan of the Dodgers’ wordmark (link), which feels like it could have been the script lettering upon which all baseball script wordmarks were based. And the Utah Jazz’s wordmark from the ’80s (which doubled as its wordmark) was just about perfect, with the musical note as the “J”(link). If only they’d played in an area that actually liked jazz!

    Distilling my hodgepodge collection of rooting interests down to my current home (Denver), I’d evaluate the local teams as follows (from worst to best):

    Colorado Rapids (link): Love the color scheme. Otherwise, it’s pretty lame. Too simplistic, to the point of not even including the team’s full name.

    Colorado Avalanche (link): Points for working the team colors into the wordmark. Otherwise, this feels a little too cartoonishly stylized in a very ’90s way.

    Denver Nuggets (link): Not great. Legible, but too monotone for a team that has had such a range of colors on its palette over the years.

    Colorado Rockies (link): Decent to good. It could use some purple to liven it up. But they get points for choosing a classic, easy-to-read font and sticking with it.

    Denver Broncos (link): I like it! The extended crossbars on “B” and “R” make it distinctive, but still very legible. It may not rate a “great,” but I’d give it a “very good.”

    It’s become a clean classic look. Is it exciting? No, but glad they have stuck with it.

    Gotta disagree on the Avalanche wordmark. Is it extremely 90s? Yes. But I love it! As an Avs fan, I’m so glad they haven’t changed it and they’ve kept it around.

    I’m not much of a Heat fan, but their “Vice Nights” wordmark is perfect.


    Of my teams, I always thought the early Expos nailed it.


    For the Heat’s Vice jerseys, “Miami” was in the same style as the sign on the Miami Arena back when it opened, in the 1980s. Nice tie-in.

    It’s not the flashiest, but I really like the cursive Yankees script. It’s still pretty conservative (of course, these ARE the Yankees) but feels pretty unique from most other Yankees design language which is VERY print-heavy. If the Yankees were ever to do an alternate, I’d want it to be similar to the Navy Players Weekend unis.

    I’ve always loved the script “Milwaukee” used by both the Brewers and Bucks.

    and the “Brewers” wordmark later created with that same script.

    The Packers also used a funky wordmark in the 1950s that I’m dying to see as a throwback end zone logo. (Of course, the NFL likes to pretend the sport of football didn’t exist before Super Bowl I, so we may never see that.) I think a modern version would be a lot more interesting than the stencil font the team currently uses.

    Yes! on the Milwaukee font ~ i wish the brewers would bring that back, i don’t care for the current blocky script

    Something about the Blazers’ drop shadow look of the 90s has always spoken to me.

    On another note, the original Mighty Ducks of Anaheim wordmark rocked as well. A perfect mixture of classic and cheesy.

    The Cardinals script, interlocking with the birds-on-the-bat, can’t be beat.

    I really like the new version of the Twins script on their home white jersey too…really clean.

    I’m a soccer guy, so I’m a sucker for anything tri-lined too, which was a popular soccer-jersey numbering style when I was growing up in the late 70s to late 80s…so I like my hometown Grizzlies more stylized back on the tri-line font.

    So many it’s almost futile to try to make a list, so instead a pet peeve of mine in this department:

    Script, particularly on baseball uniforms trying to walk the line between precision and “improvisation”. The A’s, Braves, Indians, to a lesser extent, the dodgers are guilty of this. The Yankees and current Twins script marks are committed to precision and they look good. The Hank Aaron (feather sleeve) braves unis have a nice natural script (once you take away all the outlines) as did the mid 70s and 20teens Padres.

    As a Seattleite since just about the beginning of the franchise, I love the 2 styles the Seahawks have gone with!
    Current: link
    and the original just seemed fitting on the SnapBack Chuck Knox always wore:

    The SuperSonics won the NBA title the spring after I moved here and that 3/4 basketball with the skyline… oh, yeah:
    Wasn’t a fan at the time of this short lived “cartoonish” Sonics change, but Gary Payton, Nate McMillen, and Shawn Kemp did make it to the finals…

    I thought I was the only one who liked the original Seahawks lettering. So learned and dignified; nearly ironic.

    While not my all-time favorite as far as uniforms go, I really admired the mod/Schmidt era Phillies word mark … it looked particularly good on those maroon BP tops.
    Over in the AL – it’s the original trident M Mariners all the way.

    I’m neither friend nor foe to the Mets but I LOVE the one-year only 1987 road jersey. That giant swooping cursive Y…what a thing of beauty. This could only be done on the pullovers.

    I also like the Steelers and Pirates fonts. The Pirates are a classic and very unique. Their home whites with that Pirates wordmark is chef’s kiss perfect! And the Steelers wordmark is reminiscent of the stenciling seen on I-beams used in construction.

    I agree with all these comments because majority states we all prefer the back then uniforms to reflect the team, nowadays they have an obligation to reflect their AI sponsors.

    thank you for doing the question of the week, i look forward to it every week :)

    I’m starting to think this question was written with me in mind. The Padres, by dint of their obsessive need for change, threw a lot of kindling on the fire. I love the lettering on their 1969 jerseys, and the SAN DIEGO on their 1976 road shirt.
    Any team that has used vertical arching at some time (Oakland, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, &c) looks especially good in a full block alphabet.
    Outside of baseball, the Clippers looked good the season they adopted royal blue, and the Walt Frazier-era Knickerbockers had beautiful full Varsity block.

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