We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

sea.0 - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

An expert and an idiot grade the new XFL logos.

Welcome to a new era of football. An era of alternatives and options and BATTLEHAWKS! The XFL unveiled its teams and logos on Wednesday and I am already utterly obsessed with the St. Louis Battlehawks. BATTLEHAWKS!

I use words for a living, so it came naturally for me to judge the team names — but when it comes to design I have no skill or ability. Thankfully, I know someone who does, Tyson Whiting, Senior Designer for SB Nation is responsible for many of the amazing graphics and designs you’ve seen here. Tyson will give his expert opinion on whether these logos are good, or bad. I’ll also say some things, because I enjoy hearing myself talk.

Dallas Renegades

dal - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“I like it. It is dark and brooding. The type feels sharp. I don’t know about that “S” though. I’d buy a shirt with this on it.”

B+

Me, an idiot:

“It’s like a demon cowboy and that’s pretty cool. I don’t know what a demon would need to steal though because they’re demons and don’t have need of material possessions.”

B

DC Defenders

dc - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“This type of logo-badge thing is seen everywhere, and this one, like most, doesn’t have much of a personality. I get the 3 stars and 2 stripes thing is the DC flag, but give me something else. What is a Defender anyway? You could probably make this on a free logo maker. Hurts my heart because DC is my city. It all feels empty and boring zZzZz.”

F

Me, an idiot:

“It reminds me of Firehouse Subs, and they have pretty good sandwiches. I don’t know how they manage to steam the subs but keep the bread from getting soggy. I think it must be witchcraft.”

C+

New York Guardians

ny - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“This is a sweet logo. I’m getting Egyptian Sphinx vibes. You can use the lines in his manes to translate to a broader visual language. The colors are really cool. Only thing I might complain about is that it is really heavy on the right, so you’d have to be careful with the negative space around it when putting it on things. The type cradles “New York” really well.”

B+

Me, an idiot:

“Ever seen that cartoon Gargoyles? It was on TV way too short. I liked it, and I’m digging the color scheme a lot. If you stare at the negative space too long it looks like a bird doing a puppet show.”

A+

Houston Roughnecks

hou - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“The initial logo is a great form. Multifunctional with the ‘H.’ I’d fix some of their line weight issues, particularly with the star and that tiny white outline on the “H” isn’t needed. Otherwise I love this logo.”

B-

Me, an idiot:

“I didn’t even notice the ‘H’ until Tyson mentioned it. It makes me like it more, for sure. I don’t really get the star on top. I feel like it would be a really bad day at the old oil rig if a star landed on top of it.”

B+

Los Angeles Wildcats

la - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“This type is by far my favorite. The logo though isn’t special. It’s a nice form, but it doesn’t tell me anything. It’s like they figured out the recipe for the most generic LA letter lockup and the most generic team name. I’d call them the Firecats with that sweet color combo. I will say I really like the swish, whisker thing coming off the “A”, it leads eye well. It isn’t that I hate it — it is that I hate that I want more from it.”

C-

Me, an idiot:

“I guess this is called a ‘lockup,’ but it looks oddly obscene to me. I can’t work out if I hate it or I’m secretly into it, and that’s throwing me for a loop. Going to just give it a bad grade and move on so I don’t need to think about it anymore.”

F

Seattle Dragons

sea - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“This one feels like the strongest as one cohesive unit. Nice colors, and the type is slick. I’d only worry about the dark blue getting muddled with the green on dark backgrounds, but that is probably a rare usecase. A dragon doesn’t directly “feel” like football to me but dragons are badass so I’ll ignore that.”

A

Me, an idiot:

“There’s something about the dragon’s posture that feels sassy. Like it’s saying ‘yeah, I’m roasting your village you dumb peasants — what are you going to do about it?’ The dragon is almost smiling while burninating the countryside. I really love everything happening here and I would rather be the dragon’s friend than its foe.

A+

St. Louis Battlehawks

bh - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“I think the idea of this logo is cool. The shape of the wings are spot on and the sword is strong and menacing. Separately they are great, BUT, the feel like they are jammed together. If there was a way either of those forms felt like they were blending together I could buy into it more. The logo just don’t feel cohesive. The type is alright, not getting super excited about it.”

C+

Me, an idiot:

“Everything about the BATTLEHAWKS is perfect, because BATTLEHAWKS”

A+

Tampa Vipers

tb - We asked a designer to grade the weird new XFL logos

Tyson, an expert:

“I see what they are tying to do here with the fangs and the shape of the V, but the vibes I’m getting are bad superhero chest logo. The snake feel wants to be curvy but the V letter form wants to be straight. It is doing some weird bending things for me. Colors and type are really nice but the logo is really lacking.”

D

Me, an idiot:

“If you tell me it’s a snake I want to see more snake. Don’t just evoke a snake, give me some 1980’s band t-shirt logo I can emblazon on the front of a Pontiac Firebird so all the kids at school think I’m super cool. I like the colors, but need a lot more snake to be happy.

D

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