Friday, July 22, 2011

Winnipeg Jets' New Logo: Verdict and Review

Leading up to the release of the new Winnipeg Jets logo, talk of creating a design reminiscent of and/or that paid tribute to the Canadian Forces Air Command was rampant. I wasn't sure what to think of any potential logo that went down that path.

However, the new logos have now been released, and the tacit association with the military has been confirmed.

new Winnipeg Jets logoAn incredibly short-sighted decision in my opinion. A logo can exist and be part of a team's identity for years or decades to come. But the new militarism that is currently popular in Canada is only a recent phenomenon.

No, I do not mean to suggest that Canadians do not have a proud history connected to our military nor that we have not always supported the work that has been done in the past to defend our country. We have and will continue to do so. But the jingoistic, chest-thumping brand of support is something that has only been imported from the US since 9/11.

Consider how imbecilic the Toronto Raptors name sounds years after they anointed their team with an identity based on the fact that a wildly popular movie at the time had made dinosaurs all the rage. Of course, a country's military is far more likely to stay relevant but it is still not the best choice.

The quietly proud, get-the-job-done-and-don't-waste-time-congratulating-yourselves brand of patriotism appeals to most people in Canada, at least in my experience. To design a professional hockey team's logo with the aim of paying tribute to the air force goes against that.

While the majority of Canadians support their country's military, political considerations often surround the actions that a particular government takes and how they may use or misuse military force. Most people want to leave behind any real-world divisive issues when they go to see a hockey game.

True North Sports and Entertainment (TNSE) has ensured that is no longer the case. Sure, the connection is not official, but the logo automatically creates the sense that the team owners are boosters of whatever military action the Canadian government takes.

The current federal government in Canada has announced that it will spend billions on new fighter jets. The government has also been criticized for failing to take steps to support veterans in a more comprehensive way (something that past governments have not adequately addressed as well). How long before the government reaches out to TNSE to try and gain an advantage by associating themselves with a team that has made their support of the military so clear?

The Blowhards Will Love It

The new militarism in Canada has a few unique features. The people who shriek the loudest and try to associate themselves with this new militarism often seem to be in it to boost their own profile as much as to pay tribute to the military. To me, "support" means not just letting everyone know that you consider yourself honourable for supporting the people who take the risks, but actually giving money or time to help those people.

And most of those individuals are hard-core black-and-whiters. To criticize a logo that has that indirect relationship to the military, of course means to the blowhards that you are criticizing the military. It just adds a permanent angle to the identity of the team that I feel is inappropriate. Keep the tributes to individual games and/or pre-game ceremonies. The intentions of TNSE are no doubt good with regard to the logo, but I believe it wasn't the best decision.

The Verdict

But enough of that. How does the new logo rate in terms of its design?

First, the colour combination of blue, silver and red is slick and looks very good.

new Winnipeg Jets logo mainThe main logo features a fighter jet over a red maple leaf on a white circle surrounded by a blue inner ring and a silver outer ring.

Some people may claim that the red maple leaf is not an accurate depiction of a maple leaf as the stem is made to look like a thrust from the overlapping jet.

But, you might say, who cares? It doesn't have to emulate a real-life maple leaf. True, but it may look a bit off to some people.

Also, for most hockey fans, the maple leaf is part of the Toronto Maple Leafs logo and identity. But who says one team has a monopoly on a symbol that is so important to so many Canadians?

Overall, this logo reminds me of a bottle cap. A tie-in with a local brewery could be in the works.

new Winnipeg Jets logo secondaryAs has been pointed out by others, one of the secondary logos looks like a military medal.

It features a military-type insignia that is shaped like wings, over which are imposed two crossed hockey sticks (that also look vaguely like two splayed feet), a red maple leaf and "Winnipeg Jets" in two white banners. It will likely be a shoulder patch.

new Winnipeg Jets logo secondary twoFinally, the other secondary logo features mainly script, and is weak, in my view. The font just does not look very good.

While nothing is ever final, the look of the new Winnipeg Jets is set, at least for the foreseeable future.


  1. The logos are horrible. How can they have a plane that currently murderers dozens of people daily?

    Shame on this team, I will never support them because of this

    1. The jets logo is no different than the capitols, senators, oilers, red wing, black hawks, stars, almost every team's logo can be accociated with something important to the history of the city or region. A very basic history lesson would make the choice of this logo obvious. You don't have to be a chest thumping patriot to accept that this logo means something to the city of Winnipeg. I don't particularly care for the way the senate works....or dirty oil....or that Texas was stolen from Mexico....does that give me the right to to question the significance of those things to there respective place I don't think so . How far do you want to take this? The redwings logo pay homage to the American auto industry , do you support gas guzzlers?

  2. Both the writer and the other commentor are morons. Nobody thinks of politics when going to a hockey game. You're the only clueless dolt who does. Secondly, just because Winnipeg has a team that honours the Royal Canadian Air Force does not mean that the next step is goose-stepping fascism in Canada. I don't think you're necessarily against the military. I just think you're a bleeding moron for reading WAY too much into the significance of this logo. But this is a free country and you're entitled to your moronic opinion, I guess.

    You can like or dislike the logos based on the merit of their design. I personally like them, but if you don't, that's your opinion. To each his own.

    To the other commentor, I guess you don't support the Oilers because they pollute? Or the Predators because they frighten children? Or the Senators because they're corrupt? Or the Canadiens because they club baby seals? What about the Flames that burn homes or the Lightning that start forest fires? What about the Hurricanes that cause billions in property damage? Or the Kings who oppress their serfs?

    What about the obvious fact that a jet doesn't necessarily have to be a FIGHTER jet? To not support a hockey team based on their name because some jets have the purpose of killing people (often for good reasons!) shows you are nothing but a self-righteous, holier-than-thou ass. You are both clueless dolts.

  3. Oh and I forgot to add, GO JETS GO!

  4. Huge difference between the Oilers and Jets (the other comparisons: Predators, Canadiens, Flames, Kings—are just idiotic).

    The Oilers don't actively seek a relationship with executives of big oil companies, invite them to drop the puck at games, or generally try to set up an arrangement with them that helps to shape the image of the team.

    But the Jets have done just that. And there is no mistaking the fighter jet suggestion...they modeled their logo after the old Canadian Forces Air Command logo.

    But I do agree with your second comment!