The San Jose Sharks, with their menacing yet cartoony design, finish 16th in our logo rankings. Is there room for improvement with such a cool team name?
On the heels of Sharknado 2 comes San Jose’s logo, checking it at No. 16 in THN’s rankings. As you can imagine, any image falling in the middle of the pack divided the voters.
Half the room praised it for its sense of fun and wonder – It’s a friggin’ shark! When is a shark not cool? – and the other condemned it for being too cartoony and reeking of the 1990s predatory animal team name boom (cough, Jurassic Park, cough, Toronto Raptors).
On the plus side, San Jose’s current shark logo is one mean S.O.B. Its teeth are razor-sharp and its eyes glow with the same yellowy orange found in San Jose’s uniform scheme. Sharks are scary enough. When their eyes glow demonically, it’s just cruel.
Then again, nothing about the shark feels overly real. The teal and black suggest it’s coated with water and shadow, but the world associates sharks with grey more than any other color since most of them are, you know, grey. The glowing eyes and cartoony sneer also make the shark look like some kind of cyborg mutant Shredder and Krang cooked up to battle the Ninja Turtles. Holy mackerel, Donny! It’s Robo-Shark!
The fun thing about a logo with so many pros and cons? The redesign possibilities are endless. Whether you prefer a more organic-looking shark or you want to take the surreal look even further, we want to see what you can do. Take your best shot and send your art to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we’ll publish yours among our favorites at the end of the ranking process. Don’t stop with San Jose, either. Draw one for all 30 NHL teams if you have the artistic itch.
All logos below are from Chris Creamer’s website.)
HISTORY OF THE SHARKS LOGO
Toronto’s shameless use of the Raptor was deplorable, but the shark, which was chosen out of 5,000-plus fan entries before the team began play in 1991-92, is entirely defensible. Sharks are found all over the Pacific Ocean and specifically in the Bay Area’s Red Triangle, so it’s not a stretch for a San Jose team to feature one. Better yet, the region is known for its shark research facilities.
Note that I said ‘Sharks’ was chosen out of the 5,000 entries – not that it won. Ownership did you a huge favor, San Jose fans. The winning entry was the Blades. Really? That’s the best the Silicon Valley could come up with? Woof. The Gunds decided ‘Blades’
sucked sounded too much like a weapon and had gang connotations in the area, so they went with something equally deadly but not man-made.
It’s not a bad start, as it’s really hard to screw up a shark. But the logo also looks more like a first draft, as it’s crudely drawn. According to the brain trust behind the design, the decision was deliberate, as they didn’t want to scare children. And the triangle wasn’t simply capitalizing on Pittsburgh’s success at the time – it actually stands for the Bay Area trifecta of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.
The new and still-active primary logo arrived for 2007-08. Even if you’re not a fan of the design, it’s undeniably better than the first. The shark is much more three-dimensional, menacing, powerful – pick any adjective you want. It’s bursting out of the logo to bite that stick. It would make the original shark wet itself. Hmm, that doesn’t work. Dry itself?
Dissenting opinion: “The original Sharks logo made me a fan of the team back when they joined the league – I miss you, Pat Falloon! – and I was but a burgeoning hockey fan. The updated, more 3-D version is even better. It has a menacing, comic-book-villain factor to it. It easily belongs in the top 10, if not the top five. Some of the logos that are ahead of it in the rankings can’t hold the Sharks’ water…(sorry about that).” – Edward Fraser
Send your best Shark redesign to email@example.com. Tone down the look, like the team did with its alternate logo, or give us something fearsome enough to murder Samuel L. Jackson. It’s your call. Watch for your name when we announce our favorites at the end of this process.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin