Here’s an unusual rant for me, and a lighthearted one since I’m not a big graphics nerd. However, let’s geek-to-the-max on this garbage…
Here is the team USA logo for that appears on their cap. It has been used for Team USA baseball in the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics since 1996.
It’s unusual for a Team USA logo in that it’s mostly a “US” logo with a vague “A” in the form of a star. The idea is intriguing, but crap in practice. It ends up looking like we’re team “us”. I’m rooting for us! Go us! It’s accurate, but isn’t everyone “team us”? The star as an “A” idea is fine, but it’s not well defined if that’s what they were going for. If it’s an “A”, it should have a border that matches the letters, and maybe some crosshatching to show that it’s an “A”. If it’s just a star, the red border should be ditched for a silver star in the background. Also, why is it silver? Against the white lettering, it just looks dirty. The logo would be marginally better if the white and silver were all the same color, one or the other.
The ordering of the letters also looks very odd. I’m fine with the interlocking of letters like the “U” and “S”, but it looks strange with an “A” between them.. Even if the star isn’t intended to imply an “A” at all, the ubiquity of “USA” in name, other logos, chants, descriptions, etc. makes it unavoidable. It reads as “UAS” with the U and S tethered together, simply looking scrambled. Combined with the super italics, at first glance, you have to stare at it for a bit to figure out what you’re looking at. The odd ordering and additional tri-color borders for each letter make it a mess that’s trying far too hard to be cool. It doesn’t even feel baseball-y or fit with the other WBC logos.
When you compare it to the uniform logo, things get even stranger, because the cap emphasizes “US” and the uniform emphasizes “UA”, since the wavy striped “S” appears set far apart from the navy “U” and “A”. “UA” makes me think of all those Chicago ads for the United Association of plumbers, fitters, welders, and service technicians… Pick a name! The stripy “S” is difficult to recognize as a letter because it is simply a flourish of kinda-3D color, more like an accent than a letter.
Not to simply nay-say, let’s look at some previous Team-USA logos for other sports:
Lovely. You’ve got a clear “U-S-A” in only two colors on a white background. The star is incorporated into the A in a way that you can clearly identify both the shape and letter. The wavy S flows into the color and stripes of the flag, making the entire logo indicative of a waving flag. It’s simple, but the italics and flowing stripes make it look like the logo is skating supper fast. The wavy “S” avoids the separation issues of the baseball uniform logo by beginning in Navy, and lying on top of the “U” and “A”, insisting on recognition. Well done.
That’s right, “soccer”, because this is Team ‘murica, damnit. Again, you have a clearly identified “USA”. It’s a part of a shield, much like the crest in the Seal of the United States. Shaping the bold text into the shape of the pentagonal blue field keeps it from being boring. Primarily navy blue text with minor decorations in red appears to be a common theme of Team USA logos and uniforms, and it works here as well. The font and shape also feels very soccer, in that it’s a shield. You won’t score on us, and that’s what matters because no one ever scores in this fucking game. Ever.
Here’s some of the other WBC logos:
So, some people think the team USA logo is pretty rad, and they are obviously, objectively wrong, and they should feel bad about that opinion. If you want to try making some (serious) alternatives, send them to me and I’ll post them here.