Our logo rankings countdown continues with the Boston Bruins at No. 7. Originally, the team used a bear as its logo, but this look changed for the team’s 25th anniversary season – and they never looked back.
So far, the
top 10 NHL logos have included Philadelphia, Anaheim (still not over that one) and Pittsburgh. Today, coming in at No. 7, we present the Original Six look from the Boston Bruins. At times in Bruins history, the logo has shown a bear, but we most associate the team to the spoked, black and gold ‘B’. But the Bruins weren’t always black and gold. Originally, their primary color was brown. Although we’ve noticed some commenters poo-pooing Boston’s look as we’ve counted down our favorite NHL logos, the ‘B’ was almost universally favored by the seven THN staffers who were part of the voting – and debating – process. The goal was to look at all the NHL logos again for the first time, not taking history into consideration, and judge them on design, color and, if applicable, how it relates to the city. The Bruins logo stood up to these tests – and, hey, you have to give bonus points for using a color like yellow. But if you think you can design a better logo for the Boston Bruins, send your art to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the completion of our logo rankings, we’ll share some of our best reader logo submissions. (All logos are from
Chris Creamer’s website.)
HISTORY OF THE BRUINS LOGO In 1924, Charles Adams purchased the NHL franchise rights for a Boston team from Thomas Duggan for $15,000. Adams, who was president of First National Stores Inc., (Finast) also purchased a share in Major League Baseball’s Boston Braves franchise in 1927. Adams, along with GM Art Ross, settled on the name “Bruins” an old English term for bear. But the colors the team would use were settled on before the team name was selected. The color scheme of Adams’ Finast chain was brown and yellow and he wanted his NHL franchise to share that combination. The name Bruins happened to fit rather perfectly with it. As you’d expect for a logo from the 1920s, the original look wasn’t the most refined the team has ever had. This logo, which was
placed on a brown jersey, was used for one season before the team added more white into the mix.
In 1925-26, a face was put on Boston’s Bruin and the whole logo was outlined. Brown was still the primary color used by the team, but white was added to the middle of the jersey, which made it easier to see the logo. During this time, Adams and Ross took advantage of a collapsing Western League to pick up a few star players, such as Eddie Shore. The Bruin would last on the jersey for another seven years before it was kicked off in favor of a look that set the team on a path towards today’s spoked ‘B.’
In 1932, the Bruin was replaced with a brown capital ‘B’ which had a yellow outline. Nothing too special here. The jersey kept an
overwhelming amount of yellow and brown striping along the shoulders and waist, but the team’s color scheme was about to change for good.
Adams transferred his ownership of the Boston franchise to his son and Art Ross in 1935, which spurred a change in color. No longer would the Bruins be brown and gold – from now on they would use black and gold. The ‘B’ logo stayed essentially the same, except the letter was colored in with black instead of brown. What’s interesting, though, is that this ‘B’ only appeared on the crest of the jersey for a few years. In 1936, though it remained the primary logo, the black ‘B’ was moved to the shoulder of the jersey and the player’s number appeared on the chest. In 1940, the Bruins introduced a secondary
yellow sweater with “Bruins” in script, which could be called the NHL’s first alternate jersey. The yellow jersey wasn’t used after 1944, but a player’s number continued to be used on the chest until 1948.
In 1948-49 the spoked ‘B’ made an appearance on a Bruins sweater for the first time. However, the spokes aren’t there to represent a wheel, rather Boston’s place as a “hub” of America. Kind of an “all roads lead to Boston” thing. In the mid-1800s, Boston author, physician and poet (among other things) Oliver Wendell Holmes referred to the city’s State House as the “hub of the solar system.” And though he passed away in 1894 and never knew about the Boston Bruins franchise, his words tie in to the Bruins logo. The spoked ‘B’ was introduced in acknowledgement of the team’s 25th anniversary as an NHL franchise. As you see in the logo, the ‘B’ is surrounded by the numbers 24 and 49, representing their 25 years of existence.
The following season, the numbers around the ‘B’ were removed, but the spoke logo itself stayed on the sweater where it has remained, in one form or another, ever since. This second version of the look gave the formerly rounded ‘B’ a blocky font and turned the spokes yellow. The Bruins’ primary logo has changed somewhat over the years, but nothing too major. This second spoked ‘B’ that was introduced in the 1949-50 season would remain in use until the mid-’90s.
In 1995, the Bruins moved into a new arena, then known as the Fleet Center, and brought a retouched logo with them. The black ‘B’ and gold spokes remained, but a black outline was added around the spokes and the ‘B’ was slightly elongated. During this time, another yellow alternate jersey was introduced that r
eturned a bruin to the chest of Boston’s jersey. But this never became a primary look.
Finally, in 2007-08, the Bruins logo went through another minor redesign, which kind of bolded the old look. As the
Bruins describe on their website:
“Each tweak and adjustment to the Bruins B-spoke is made for legibility, modernization and enhancement of a historic team and an icon of Boston.”
“A lot of these rankings have made aesthetics a priority. The ‘B’ looks fierce enough, and the color scheme rocks, but it’s really just a B with spokes around it. It’s not the pinnacle of logo art. It also doesn’t represent what it could. If you’re lucky enough to have a badass creature, a bear, as your logo, why not use that image every chance you get? Good logo, but it’s more iconic than artistic. Should be a half dozen spots lower in my mind.”
– Matt Larkin