As the distinct architecture of stadiums defines a local landscape, the best of that architecture has the opportunity to live on in stadium logos, expanding the brand presence of a stadium’s signature.
(Note: This story was produced in cooperation with Tim Newcomb’s new Stadium185.com, check it out!)
Not every stadium—new or old—takes advantage of this opportunity, instead often resorting to simply slapping on sponsorship colours and type to create a bland rendition of a logo void of any personalization or connection. But when a stadium logo embraces the architecture of the building, it can create a logo as specialized as the stadium itself.
Todd Radom, a New York-based logo designer who has created logos for the Super Bowl, World Series and stadiums, says “conveying a specific sense of place is a job one when creating” these logos.
“This can be achieved in a couple of ways,” he says. “Highlighting a piece of architecture is one way and another is to somehow deliver a sense of how the facility fits into the local community.”
Let’s walk through 13 of the best stadium logos across multiple sports to highlight how stadium architecture can enhance stadium logo design.
While not yet opened, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, already has a logo that captures the wildness of the design, an eight-pieced, pie-shaped retractable roof like none ever built. Using black and red as the main colours, as you’ll see from the Atlanta Falcons playing inside, the logo uses geometry to define the roof structure.
Created in-house by the AMB Sports & Entertainment Group Creative Team, the inspiration for the logo was the architectural design of the stadium as not only a building, but a landmark of the Atlanta skyline.
The design process included capturing the identity package needed to serve the Mercedes-Benz naming rights deal while introducing the “personality of the building in a clean and modern way.”
While refining the line work and simplifying the geometry to compliment the three-point star of Mercedes-Benz, designers wanted to “breakdown the stadium architecture to its basic geometry and line-work to develop a modern and minimalistic mark.” Designers also shifted the perspective to highlight both the roof and the interior oculus and video halo from an aerial perspective.
Soldier Field in Chicago and Gillette Stadium outside of Boston both offer a similar design worthy of making the list. Gillette’s logo emphasizes the 12-story lighthouse located at the front entrance of the nautical-themed John Bolles design. The Solder Field logo also emphasizes height, allowing the Doric-style columns found at the west and east entrances to rise high above a stadium bowl in the logo.
Rounding out our final NFL venue on the list, CenturyLink Field in Seattle embraces stadium design by using the roof canopy and arched roof as a key link in the otherwise corporate logo identity. The stadium’s roof has long been credited with helping Seattle create one of the loudest environments in an open-air venue.
Major League Baseball outshines the NFL when it comes to stadium logo design. The top-five logos from this history-rich environment runs the gamut with the famed pillars and façade defining the Yankee Stadium logo right down to the more modern Marlins Park logo featuring the Miami stadium’s bubble-like retractable roof.
History continues in St. Louis where the Busch Stadium logo resonates with a throwback design that features the brick and iron of the venue. Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., offers a heritage roundel design that places a view of the entire venue inside the red and blue logo.
San Diego’s Petco Park does the obvious, but does it well by showing off the stadium’s most defining feature, the Western Metal Supply Co. building.
Worldwide, some of the most recognizable names in sports have the most recognizable logos. London’s Wembley Stadium, with the distinct 1,000-foot arch design by Norman Foster, smartly employs the arch in the logo (just as the old stadium’s logo highlighted the old pillar design of the original stadium).
In Dublin, Aviva Stadium, which has seen the building’s flowing form emblazoned inside the Irish passport, has a logo willing to also celebrate the exterior design. While more abstract, the flow of Aviva becomes obvious atop the wordmark in the logo.
Allianz Arena, Munich’s gem of a stadium, has a colour-shifting, web-like exterior design. While the venue’s logo opts for black and white—quite possibly a nod to the never-ending colour options available on the outside of the venue—the web geometry dominates the logo.
We return to the West Coast of the United States for the final entry on the stadium logo list, landing in Portland’s Providence Park where a 90-plus-year-old downtown stadium has embraced a melding of history and modern and has a logo to match. The modern curve of the logo depicts the historic façade and gate architecture in a slightly abstract manner, offering a logo design reminiscent of Providence Park.
Surprisingly, the idea of creating a stadium logo reminiscent of the stadium it defines isn’t a common practice, a practice remedied by invoking signature stadium architecture.
Follow Tim Newcomb’s Stadium 185 on Twitter at @Stadium185.
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