And The College Logo Madness Winner Is…

Well there you have it. The University of Michigan have beaten back UCLA to take the first ever Block Club College Logo Madness bracket.

It appears that simplicity wins out. I can’t say I am surprised that Michigan won; you can’t deny the “M.” The large collegiate letterform is so recognizable and well executed that it would be tough to beat.

What struck me most about the bracket was how the more traditional logos progressed versus the refreshed or modern logos. I’m not sure if it is engrained in our brains because these institutions have such storied histories that we find their logos more appealing, or if the modern takes on these logos feel more like a professional sports team instead of a college. I’d like to think that a logo meant for a college has to represent both the “ferocity” of a sports logo and the college community as a whole. There needs to be a balance between the educational aspect and the competitive nature of sports and as I reflect on the bracket those logos that found that balance seemed to have more luck throughout the tournament.

As a side note, I was really hoping for the Wichita Shocker to pull through.

Some insight from my colleagues:

“My favorite logos are simple and strong. The University of Michigan’s ‘M’ tells me that they are confident, grounded, definitive and singular.” —Ben

“All in all, this whole bracket was a surprise to me. Not many of the logos I liked best from the initial set made it too far. However, I did generally vote against most of the cartoony character-based logos and looking at these results high level, you can see how simplicity overwhelmingly won out over complex illustration styles. No matter how cute your turtle is, a logo serves a specific function and a simple emblem that your tribe or clan can rally behind and identify with is always better. If you can’t draw it with pen on your algebra binder or get it drunkenly tattooed on your butt cheek, it’s probably not a good sports logo.” —Ryan

“Go Big M! This is the best logo in college sports. It says everything it needs to say without being too explicit. It’s classic and evergreen. The border-less version is even better. Also, why did the angry sheriff lose so quickly? I was sure he’d make it to the final four.” —Dave

“The simple M is where it’s at and I’ve got to root for my midwestern brothers. Lastly, the best sandwich shop in the world, Zingermans, is just a few blocks from the school. Solid logo, solid food.” —Patrick

“I picked the UCLA Bruins logo. It feels human, more bubbly and fun than a lot of the logos in the championship, but with heritage. It’s sports how I want sports to be, which is basically on an uncle’s old TV in the garage and pennants with cute lettering and striped tube socks. In comparison, I find the University of Michigan logo lacking any real character—it’s an M! For Michigan! Regardless, I’m pretty unhappy that not even one of my favorite animal teams made it to the final round such as “running horse” team, “alligator with its mouth open” team, “that scary turtle” team or “just chilling beaver” team.“— Julie

“I’ve always been drawn to simple, strong logos that really invoke a sense of pride and tradition. The University of Michigan logo has always done that for me and will definitely continue to do so.” —Steve

“I think the big, bold ‘M’ is so easily recognizable to everyone, and that’s what good logo design is all about. The UCLA logo is great, too, but it gives me more of a baseball vibe than basketball or something universal. Sorry, Bruins!” —Pat

Can Michigan defend its title? We’ll have to wait ‘til next March and see.