courtesy University of Calgary communications

Debate: Dinos Logo Redesign

New design is fine

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Not everybody likes the new Dinos logo. Although the University of Calgary was probably hoping that the release of the new athletics identity would be met with universal adoration, such a reaction was likely never in the cards. The introduction of new logos and uniforms in sports is often met with a healthy dose of criticism even at the professional level. 

Sometimes redesigns are a huge hit, like the rejuvenation of the old Toronto Blue Jays logo for the 2012 Major League Baseball season. Or logos can flop, like the jarring neon Miami Marlins design that received much ridicule when it was unveiled in 2011. Quite often reactions fall somewhere in the middle. 

While the new Dinos logo won’t blow critics away, it successfully captures the themes of simplicity and fierceness that its designers were aiming for and as a result deserves such a reaction.

Unfortunately, the redesign has come under fire from many students for a variety of reasons: too simple, too childish and too cross-eyed, among a variety of other complaints. Debate over the new logo has created a level of interest in our university athletics teams not often seen when they are actually playing sports. However, the negative reaction to the new logo is somewhat unwarranted.

The instant nostalgia for the outgoing logo is a bit of a mystery, considering that the new logo is in many ways a less atrocious version of the old one. The old lizard logo could be the poster-child for the tragic decade of design that was the 1990s, which gave birth to some of the most questionable sports designs in recent memory. The old dinosaur is far too detailed, from his face creases to his spine. 

The “Dinos” lettering slants awkwardly upward and the “University of Calgary” lettering hangs beneath, unconnected to the logo. While it would have been interesting to see the U of C go in a different direction — such as a dinosaur skull or footprint — the new logo fixes the basic design problems of the old one while maintaining the tradition of having a dinosaur featured.

The new Dinos logo is now among the most modern-looking of Canada West logos. Many CW logos have the simplicity component of a successful design figured out, but are nonetheless outdated. The Dinos logo now has the simplicity that the old one lacked and the freshness that rivals the University of Fraser Valley’s impressive scary green mountain logo. It sure beats the University of Alberta logo, which features a seemingly drunk Golden Bear creepily leering at whoever happens to be looking directly at him.

One of the best features of the new logo is its cost. Designed completely in-house, the new logo was developed at only a fraction of the cost of hiring an expensive external design firm to come up with a concept. While not all U of C students may adore the logo, would they rather have the university pay for an externally designed logo? While the U of C didn’t blow anybody away with the new design, they did a decent job on the new logo at a bargain price.