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243. If anyone ever needed a rebrand...

The Detroit Lions are it. After going 0-16 last year, the lowliest NFL franchise is looking for any advantage and unveiled not just a new logo - but a comprehensive new look and even used the term 'brand.' Will the new look be enough to get the team on the path for more wins? "We stand firmly committed to improving the team on the field," team president Tom Lewand said. "That success is always the most determinative factor of any NFL brand." But he also went on to say, “It’s about changing a culture within our organization and within our community that says, ‘We are going to do this the right way and we are going to start from the ground floor and we’re going to build a championship football team that year-in and year-out the people of the City of Detroit can be proud of.’ This is our representation of that.” Definitely not the worst rationale I've heard while unveiling a redesign.

The team colors appear to remian the same, featuring 'Honolulu blue' and silver - it's the lion symbol and typography that gets the most attention. The lion silhouette has more modern curves and points along the perimeter and a bit more detail within the shape providing a more muscular form. The new lion now has eyes and teeth and more defined paws, but still is in the familiar upright - ready to pounce - stance. I really like how the redesign eliminated the awkward negative space around the paw and jaw area. The type on the otherhand is a bit much and not nearly refined. (As is often the case.) The most awkward feature is the '“tail-like” tips applied to the letters and numbers, now comprised of a more italicized font. Also the terminals of all the letters are unresolved, but particularly those of the O, N and S. I could live with the L and I. There are just some weird shapes resulting from the attempt to make the negative space between each letter flow in the same manner, and the counter in the O draws too much attention to itself.

Also when locked together within the combination mark, there is a little inconsisitency with the strokes of the lion and the type. I wonder if the lion wouldn't be better off without the black stroke around it - or if the type needs such an element. This could be explored pretty easily.

Overall, it's an improvement. There is still enough heritage left in the design to satisfy long-time fans of the Lions (poor things) while enough contemporary touches to take the team into the future. A future full of wins. Or heck, just one win. My favorite fan comment on the forums that I've read is this beauty from GrPlayer22 via "Not terrible, at least it looks less like an animal cracker..." Well said.

You can read more about the logo and the rest of the rebranding on the official lions site here as well as ESPN. Oh, and just to prove that this design thing isn't easy, here's a gallery of 70-odd fan submissions. (I did include one at the bottom I thought was interesting. Though maybe a bit too Mayan for a Detroit team.)

Out with the Old:

In with the New:

One Fan Submission of Many:

This leaked out on a fan forum last week:

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Reader Comments (1)

Here's another take on the Lions new look from a great site:

He talks about the Lion's division and the uniforms they wear - a great perspective.
April 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergocubs

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