Welcome back Toronto Blue Jays!

So here’s the thing. I’m a Canadian boy and, growing up back in the 80s and 90s I was a die hard Toronto Blue Jays fan. From the classic line-up of Bell, Gruber and Moseby right up until they won back-to-back World Series’ in ’92 and ’93, I was cheering for my Jays. And you know what a big part of that was? The logo which they’ve used since ’77.

But in the late ’90s it seemed the norm to “re-brand” sports teams like nuts. It drove me crazy because so many of the classic logos were perfectly sound without need of a re-design AND all sports team logos started looking the same. Some kind of angry animal or whatever busting through a wall. No respect for the legacy of the team … just something the marketing people would say “looks cool”. Screw you.

My Jays were no different. In ’97 they revised the classic logo which made the Jay look over-weight, like he ate too many of them ballpark franks after the World Series wins. Then in 2003 … geez, I have no idea. A blue jay getting friendly with the Texas Rangers? A maple leaf tattoo on his “bicep”? Ugh.

And then in 2004, full-on generic angry blue jay logo complete with the beveled “Jays” hunk o’ turd. Zero reference to 27 years of the club’s history. Looks like every other logo across 3 sports in North America. Being a longtime fan and a designer, this was a disappointing reveal when it happened.

In all honesty, I lost track of my Jays in 2004 mostly because the identity of the team, to me, was totally stripped. The team I had loved was gone and replaced by … well, these guys. Yes, I understand players come and go as time goes on, but there was NOTHING familiar to me anymore. They even had black uniforms. Black uniforms on a team with BLUE in the name.

Why am I going on this tangent? To offer a nice contrast to what happened last week. The Toronto Blue Jays unveiled their new logo and uniforms and when I clicked the link to see, 7-year-old James cheered his ass off. After 14 years of seeing that other team playing the part of my Blue Jays, I was thrilled to see my guys come back. Kind of teared up, I’m sure you can see why.

There’s going to be people whining about the new type, or line thickness, or colours, or that face that they think the Blue Jays suck, but I don’t care. Keep it to yourself.

To whomever was in charge of pulling off the Blue Jays new identity, a huge high-five on this one. You brought them right back to when every kid in Canada was a Jays fan. Simplicity and respect will always win.

7 Comments

  1. PJ

    One thing the new logo misses out on though is the awesome lining up of the maple leaf, both to the baseball and the lighter blue.

  2. This was a tremendous job by the Blue Jays organization, personally I love the type treatment. I also really love the illustration of the blue jay, not sure why someone could complain about those things. This is in great contrast to what the Miami Marlins did with their new *ahem* look. Hopefully Toronto can stick with this logo and not feel the urge to rebrand again in 5 years.

  3. I’m not even a fan and this makes me smile. That 2003 buff logo was a joke!

  4. I so love the classic Logo and i am so happy the re-design has that classic feel to it. I´m not long into Baseball since i am from germany but i fell in love with sportslogos ans the blue jays especially! Slickest Team in the MLB next season!

  5. This is excellent news, like seeing an old friend you have missed so much for so many years. Even just to know they are doing okay.

  6. The logo looks great… but I agree with PJ. The stem of maple leaf looks better when it lines up with the ball. However, not a big deal because this logo still looks a million times better than the logo in recent years!

  7. Ron

    Wow! I love the re-brand! It’s fantastic, I had lost all hope as well, I disliked their logos since ’97. I like the typography, the bluejay design and the colors, very nice, glad they switched it back.

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