Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Raleigh Flyers (AUDL)

Part of the series critiquing professional ultimate team logos and nicknames.

Team: Raleigh Flyers

Web: // twitter: @Raleigh_Flyers

Representation: City // League: AUDL

Disc within logo?: No. // Ultimate element in team name?: Yes.

Background:  Brewers was the first choice for team names, but was "denied" by the league.

North Carolina's license plate boasts "First in Flight" to commemorate the Wright brothers piloting the first powered airplane at the Outer Banks in December 1903. (OBX is 200+ miles away from Raleigh.) The original Flyers logo was a $99 online design contest winner:

First impression(s) from SLUDGE: Winged logo returns to the AUDL! The paper plane is goofy, yet playful. The logo design is very similar to this Wham-O (GASP!) Frisbee.

Eli's Eval: There is a lot going on in these designs, and although it is of a theme it does not create a cohesive branding platform. These designs suffer from an editing problem; someone needed to point to a few places and simplify. The split-color treatment that the city and team name have is dynamic but having both words use it gets way too busy, and adding a horizontal stroke of an accent blue only adds to the busy-ness and distracts from legibility, especially at the small size. It looks as though that horizontal is meant to be a contrail from the paper airplane that is flying out of the city name, but this is not the most effective execution.

The wordmark is on a slight angle and is also slightly italicized. This is then paired up with the wing shapes, which are beautifully executed but their symmetry is rendered moot because of those angles on the type. Perhaps the wings could be larger, perhaps the words could be on a flat baseline...I'm not sure what would be the best solution but I know I'm not looking at it.

There is an alternate logo that is a calligraphic R with the same arrow running through the crossbar and out of it. The R is very swashbuckler-y and the paper airplane is still somewhat awkward. Cutting a capital letter on its crossbar does not increase legibility.
Raleigh's many alternative logos throughout the 2015 season.
There is not really a separate logo here which causes turbulence. The typography has the paper airplane running through it and wings on the side, but if you look at these as separates they still don't really work all that well. This one has good technical execution but bad design choices and not enough editing to be cleared for takeoff.  The R-with-wings alt logo just still seems like two separate things slapped together. It's better than the big jumble but there's still no sophistication to it.

:Eli's Grades:
Grade: C
On Logo: C
On Typography: C

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