The Billings Mustangs, members of the Pioneer League since 1948, have been playing this year with a series of new logos that update and complement the team’s previous brand, which was created in 2006. The new marks, created by Delaware-based design firm The Barn Creative, are intended to honor the team’s heritage while updating the visual tone of the brand.
The team was intentional about steering clear of certain current trends in minor league baseball branding.
“The goal was to get away from the cartoon-y, superbly kid focused designs that are prominent in minor league baseball, and rather go in a more mature and crisp look,” said Nick Matarese, President and Creative Director of The Barn Creative.
The new suite of logos is highlighted by a three-quarter angle horse head with a local geological feature embedded in the design—the Billings Rimrocks are 80 million-year-old sandstone formations that frame the city. Other new marks include an updated version of the team’s existing double horse shoe M and a front-facing version of the horse head outlined with the state of Montana.
One mark in particular, however, did not change.
“It was important to look at the current and “historical” marks of the team as we knew some would stay,” Matarese said. “For instance the classic roundel has been with the team for decades and in our minds was untouchable.”
One entirely new mark focuses on Billings’ nickname, the Magic City, which it earned because of how quickly it sprung up, seemingly out of nowhere, in the late 1800s.
“With the new tone of voice going away from kid focused and more into an aggressive, modernized, and even western design theme we got to push the logos with more localized design elements and features,” Matarese said. “Incorporating the Billings Rimrocks into the neck of the Mustang, and a ‘city jersey’ brand with Billings’ nick name of ‘Magic City’ has been received very well by the local community.”
The Mustangs’ first season in the new look is underway and will wrap up in early September.