’90s Pro Sports Logos
In typical fashion, Steve, Tim, Ryan and I started our day talking about the Bills and their new coach, Sean McDermott, who comes to Buffalo from the Carolina Panthers. Whenever the Panthers come up in football talk with designers, I can’t help myself from calling out their terrible original identity. They were founded in 1993 and started their existence with the most 1993 logo imaginable:
Kind of makes you want to drink an Orbitz, doesn’t it? Fortunately for Carolinians, the Panthers tightened up their logo in 2012 and said goodbye to the No Fear typeface.
You can’t blame the 1993 Panthers for their time-capsuled logo. A lot of expansion teams were founded in the ’90s and gave their initial identity the Zack Morris treatment. Take, for example, the 1998 Arizona Diamondbacks:
Or the 1995 Toronto Raptors:
And who could forget the 1993 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim?
Most identities are living on borrowed time, but bad sports logos are a special kind of awful. That makes the good sports logos—the ones that never need refreshing—even better. That is why the 1974 Buffalo Bills logo (above) is the greatest in sports.