Not sure what FSU Athletics thinks subtle means, but what they gave us was not it.
I have a unique position to complain: I have two degrees from this university, one in design. I currently work for the university as an illustrator, animator, and designer and have been happily employed here for three years, having graduated with my masters in illustration from Johns Hopkins University. I've been on this campus for eight of the past ten years of my life and, dadgummit, I deserve better than a cheesy, shoddy mishandling of my beloved Seminole.
I flamed on Facebook until my face was red, then said enough is enough. I had no right to complain as an artist, designer, and alumna if I couldn't find a better solution.
This post presents my solution.
While I had such a visceral reaction to the new design, there were elements that I agreed with: the text on the feather has never been easy to read or replicate, the color "garnet" means anything from apple red to Virginia Tech maroon, and the war paint does have that bacon-y feel to it. Which really, isn't the worst. Because bacon is awesome.
Let me be perfectly clear: my opinion is that our current FSU athletic logo should not be changed at all. However, seeing as how the powers-that-be are bent on revision and we already received a bungled redesign, the images below show my proposed updates to the logo. I will try to be as transparent as possible in what I changed, because it's pretty darn annoying to expect subtle and get, well, you know.
A side by side comparison of the current logo and my proposed updates:
For those fans of Highlights Magazine, look away and find the differences in the image above. For the cheat sheet as to what I changed, see below:My goal is to address the concerns released in the FSU Athletics statement on Thursday while also maintaining the traditional face of Florida State. Their statement on the Seminole Head reads:
To me, this clearly meant the feather. There was little consistency as to whether it said "Florida State" or "State" or nothing at all. Also, those little barbs always annoyed me when I tried to make the logo out of construction paper. Cause, you know, dorm decorating contests."The issue was that our Seminole Head, while as recognizable and iconic as any in all of sports, does not reproduce well in a number of mediums. It is particularly difficult to embroider and impossible to accurately represent on some materials including at midfield at Doak Campbell Stadium."
Here is how my proposed update compares with the design leaked by Tomahawk Nation:
"We tasked Nike for help in refining the logo so that consistency can be achieved without diminishing the identity of the iconic image"Yeah, you...did not succeed. I'm not sure who at Nike illustrated this logo or whether they're an FSU alumnus. Dollars to donuts they're not. The identity of the face was lost entirely. There's a story to that. Many of us know it and love it and yes, we did notice you changed it. [Edit 4.4.14, 6:44PM The illustrator apparently did not use Tommy Wright as the original face reference. He does admit though that the design migrated to a new profile since his original sketch (probably to incorporate Mr. Wright's striking features), I give full concept credit to the original illustrator, John Roberge, who worked in the FSU print shop in the early 1970's.]
The improved feather is nice and seems to be the exact one Nike used on the side of the men's basketball uniform redesign in the early 2000's. However, it was lazily slapped on straight across the circle, completely ignoring the circular flow of the profile, hair, and outer border. The designer seems to have kept it as straight and tall as a basketball player. Have you seen them? They're not circular at all. I amended this by curving the same design to follow the circle, allowing only his hair to break the circular design element on the bottom left.
I also noticed the teeny tiny interlocking FSU logo in the headdress and promptly removed it. Not sure what embroidery machine was going to get that on a polo (which is the reason we're changing this logo at all...right?), but it reeks of the same issues that the feather barbs had on the old design.
So, here it is, my take on this logo update business.