It’s not every day that an NFL team changes its logo. And it’s not every day that a font generates conflict.
Yesterday the Carolina Panthers caught fans by surprise by unveiling their new logo on Facebook.
Many of their Facebook fans did not take kindly to it. The vast majority of the hundreds of comments that I saw were negative — angry even.
Resistance to change? Sure. Some of that is to be expected.
But anger? I wonder if the Panthers organization anticipated the emotional reaction they were about to get.
Here’s my take on the new logo. From a design-professional perspective, I like the new one much better. On the Panther icon itself, the changes are subtle and I don’t think most would notice the slight differences. The major change, and seemingly the cause of the uprising, is with the typestyle. The old Baywatch-style font, trendy in the early 90’s, is now dated. But fans were attached to it. As a group they’ve bought millions of dollars worth of merchandise emblazoned with that logo.
For many businesses, a logo update can be a great thing. But there’s your average business and then there are institutions people hold sacred — like sports teams.
When it comes to sacred institutions, fans love them just as they are. They’ve bought into the brand, quite literally. For years they’ve put on their favorite jersey from their well-worn collection, and cheered their team to victory and cursed the losses in it. Dated font and all. And the sudden change left them feeling betrayed.
Will the fans come around? Yes, of course. But not before some clawing and growling.