You may have heard by now that the NFL will be depicting Super Bowl L as Super Bowl 50.
As a graphic designer I said to myself, “duh” an “L” on its own would look bad. As I visualized the traditional logo as a lone “L,” I laughed. It’s nice to know the decision makers are willing to break with tradition in order to have a logo that graphically makes sense. Don’t believe me? I stumbled across a logo with the lone “L,” and it did look bad.
Football is not my area of expertise, but, graphic design is. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, and my head spins at the thought of how many committees and versions the design team had to go through before getting the logo approved as the number 50 and not the Roman numeral. Then when reading an article on ESPN, I was hit right in the face with the actual number, 73. They went through 73 versions of a logo before getting it approved. Think about that and imagine that at version 35, they were almost halfway there.
I also discovered there was a lot of testing done for the logo. They even tested how it looked on a football and on a field. To some people this might sound extreme. To me, I again thought, “duh.” As designers, we always want to test our designs.
So, now I’ve read how they started working on this logo in 2013, they went through 73 versions and they tested it for color and design in real-life applications. From all this we should be “wowed” by the result.
But, after all this hard work, what I see is the same old logo they’ve used since Super Bowl 45. You know the one. It has the Roman numerals large with the Lombardi trophy. I thought for sure since they had decided to depart from the Roman numerals and make this a “special” logo, an exception, that the entire logo would be unique. Don’t get me wrong, the logo looks good. It just isn’t unique.
I used to look forward to the Super Bowl for two reasons. I used to love seeing what they did with the logo each year and, of course, I enjoy watching the commercials. Maybe it’s time to get back to creating a unique logo for each Super Bowl. And it seems like this would have been the perfect opportunity to start.
But I’m not worried. Since Super Bowl L/50 isn’t for two more years, they have time to try out 73 more versions.
I wonder what they’ll do for Super Bowl C/100. How many versions will it go through?