“Inspired by the past, built for the future.”
Those words, straight from the Minnesota Twins, describe their brand new logo and uniform set for the upcoming 2023 Major League Baseball season. The new look was unveiled earlier this morning at a team event held at the famous Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
“Today is a proud, historic and – above all – truly exciting day for the Minnesota Twins and our fans,” Twins’ Executive Vice President Joe Pohlad said in the press release. “Our new look reflects the North Star we’ve set our organization towards, as it celebrates our special bond with our home community, honours our heritage and pushes us into the future in a dynamic, modern and uniquely Minnesotan way.
“We are proud to be Minnesota’s baseball team, we are driven to create a bold new standard of excellence and we cannot wait to take the field in these fun, vibrant new uniforms that – like our organization itself – are inspired by the past and built for the future.”
The familiar gang’s all here: the original “TC” cap logo and “Twins” jersey script, the 1970s sleeve striping, the “Win-Twins” and road pinstripes of the World Series years. All of these have been updated with a new modern, simplified, and cleaner look.
There are some new friends joining the crew: a darker shade of navy blue and red, a brand new “M” logo featuring a North Star above, a state map of Minnesota patch, a custom player name and number font, an alternate cream-coloured “Twin-Cities” uniform (with no hint of red to be found).
Of course, some sacrifices had to be made. There’s no longer any trim on any of the Twins’ jersey wordmarks, player names or numbers. The Kasota Gold? That’s Gone. There’s no hint of the old “M” cap of the ’80s and 90s. The powder blues have been eliminated. And as for Minnie and Paul? They’re off the uniforms entirely… but fortunately, still sticking around on the Target Field scoreboard.
The result is a cohesive look that ties together a brand that, for many years, was an uncoordinated mashup of various decades of Twins baseball. Now, all packaged together into a singular, consistent design that actually looks like it belongs together.
“The Twins have a strong history and legacy and we didn’t want to leave that all behind – but we wanted to push the brand forward so it more accurately represented where the Twins are headed,” said Heather Hinkel, the Twins’ VP of Brand Marketing to SportsLogos.Net. “We knew we wanted to simplify and modernize our look and feel, but do it in a way that still represented the Twins and the territory of fans we play for.”
“Our organization has been innovating for years now – on and off the field. It was time that our ‘face’ (e.g., our marks) more accurately reflected who we are and where we’re going.”
While the Twins did make changes to their logos, the biggest and most visible change to their new look is, by far, to the uniforms. An entirely new home white and road grey pairing, with two new alternates — one home cream uniform and a navy blue set which can be worn both in Minnesota or on the road.
Let’s start with the home uniform.
The cap is navy blue with a slightly tweaked version of the classic “TC” logo, in use by the club off-and-on since their first season in Minnesota back in 1961. There are no pinstripes on the white tops and pants. A single-coloured red “Twins” scripted wordmark is across the chest, a tribute to the original 1961 home uniform lettering — cleaned up and altered to include the separated underline below “WIN” that first appeared in 1987. A new custom Twins player number font in single-coloured navy blue is below and to the left. The alternating colours between the uniform script and the player’s number are to showcase both the navy blue and red of the club’s colour scheme while also keeping the design as clean and simple as possible.
On the sleeves are three horizontal stripes presented in a navy blue/white/red pattern, a nod to the sleeve striping of the club’s uniforms in the 1970s and early 1980s. Above is a new sleeve patch showing the state map of Minnesota in navy blue with a red North Star noting the location of the Twin Cities. This patch is a reference to the old Minnie & Paul sleeve patch (just without, you know, the Minnie & Paul part of it). The back of the jersey features the player’s name and number in the new custom typeface seen on the front, the player’s name in navy blue arched over the player’s number in red — like the front, both of these elements are each just a single colour.
The pants are plain white to match the tops, and the belt is red, with red/white/blue stripes down the side.
On the road greys, we get our first look at the all-new “M-Star” cap logo, designed to be similar in style to the “TC” worn with the home set — same font, same half-red, half-white concept. The red star placed above the “M” symbolizes the North Star, as Minnesota is known as the North Star State.
The jerseys and pants are both grey with a subtle, slightly darker set of grey pinstripes — this references the Twins’ road uniforms originally worn from 1987 to 2009. Another reference to this same era is made through the new road jersey wordmark, which sees “MINNESOTA” arched across (now in the new Twins-specific font) in single-colour navy blue. The player’s number is below and to the left in red. The same Minnesota map sleeve patch as seen on the homes and below that, the same red/white/blue striping. The player’s name is in blue on the back, with the number centred below in red. On the pants, we have a blue belt and red/white/blue stripes down either side.
The first of two new alternate uniforms is the navy blue option, available to be worn at home or on the road.
Regardless of where the team is playing, this jersey is paired with the team’s new road cap with the new white “M” — this is to give the home fans a chance to see it occasionally during a game. The jersey has “MINNESOTA” arched across the front in white, the player number below in red, and the same blue/white/red striping as seen on the road uniform. A different sleeve patch here from the rest of the set; now it’s the new “TC” logo in place of the map of Minnesota. The pants worn with this jersey depend on whether the game is played at home (white pants with a red belt) or on the road (grey pinstriped pants with a blue belt).
The final uniform of this set is the new cream-coloured home alternate uniform.
There’s a dedicated home alternate cap for this one — a navy blue lid with the “TC” logo presented in just cream; this is the first time the Twins haven’t used two colours with this particular logo. The jersey is cream with a new “Twin Cities” mark scripted in navy blue across the chest in the same style as the “Twins” on the home whites – the use of “Twin Cities” instead of “Twins” gives this particular uniform more of a “City Connect” feel than that of a regular uniform. Unlike the home whites, the underlined portion of the script doesn’t just read “WIN”; it reads “WIN CITIE”, of which there is no relevance beyond my own silliness. Of note, however, is the rippling water effect at the bottom of the word “Cities”, a nod to the Mighty Mississippi (and to scripted lettering in general). Below the wordmark is the player’s number, which is again in navy blue.
On the sleeve is a navy blue and white stripe as well as a new blue crossed pennant logo patch featuring the letter “M” on one flag and an “STP” insignia on the other. No, this isn’t a nod to Metallica and Stone Temple Pilots. This design represents Minneapolis and St. Paul and both of these letter logos are straight from the jerseys worn by twins “Minnie” and “Paul” in the classic 1961 Twins logo featuring the two shaking hands over a river.
You’ll quickly notice there’s no red on this uniform whatsoever.
“If you look across the league, it is littered with red, white and blue,” explained Hinkel. “We knew we didn’t want to completely abandon our colours that we’ve worn since 1901, so we decided to re-prioritize our colour palette and lean more heavily into navy vs. red. We used red more as an accent colour where we wanted pop – like the Twins script on the home whites. As for the Twin Cities uniform, we decided on cream because it has a rich history in our past. We kept the design to two colours since it looks best – it was a cleaner, more classic look and feel. People feel like they need to over-design things – but they don’t. Keep it simple and it will say more.”
As for logos, the new red and blue “TC” emblem becomes the club’s primary mark. The previous primary logo of a scripted “TWINS” inside a blue roundel has gotten quite the facelift — no more baseball, the word “CLUB” is removed, and the blue circle has been opened up and no longer filled in; this is now the team’s “Corporate Logo”, personally I’m going to refer to it as a secondary or alternate logo. The “M” star logo from the road cap is also a part of the club’s logo package; when presented on a white background, the “M” is blue and the star remains red.
The new “TC” primary mark is the fourth distinct primary logo in Minnesota Twins logo history (sixth if you include subtle colour changes). The original “Minnie” and “Paul” logo was introduced for the team’s first season in Minnesota following the move west from Washington in 1961. A slight change came in 1976 with the introduction of the “Win! Twins!” mark above the twins. In 1987, the team introduced its first major rebrand with entirely new logos and uniforms, a logo associated with Kirby Puckett and two World Series championships. Following a slight colour tweak in 1994, the Twins modernized this logo considerably upon their move into Target Field for the 2010 season, which they used right up until the introduction of the new “TC” logo earlier today.
The Twins turned to Minneapolis-raised designer Matthew Wolff for their new look, who began developing the new set back in the early part of 2020. Sights were set on debuting the changes for the start of the 2022 season, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed things back a year to 2023.
Wolff had previously worked on the designs of several professional soccer clubs, including Major League Soccer’s New York City, LAFC, and Chicago Fire (yes, the better, newer one), but up until now, had never tackled a Major League Baseball team.
“In soccer, you’ve got the crest, which is the most important piece of the branding system,” Wolff explained to SportsLogos.Net. “In baseball, there are many more pieces, all with equal importance. We’re talking about multiple caps, multiple wordmarks across jerseys, and patches. The branding system is much broader. Part of our goal here with the Twins was that this whole system felt like one cohesive family, whether it’s the script, the block wordmarks, or the cap marks; we wanted them to all feel like they could sit harmoniously with one another.”
The Twins explained they chose Wolff for this project both because he was a native of Minnesota as well as his past experience working with Major League Soccer.
“We were intrigued most by bringing in a sports designer from MLS since we felt that league and their teams were really innovating in terms of uniform design,” said Hinkel. “We wanted Matthew to bring that lens to our project – to help push us and the category forward.”
Wolff, before becoming a designer, grew up as a Twins fan, going to games “all the time” when he was younger.
“We lived just a couple miles from the Metrodome. My brother and I used to pretend to be Paul Molitor and Chuck Knobloch when we played catch in the backyard,” Wolff remembered. “It hasn’t quite hit me yet, but to have the opportunity to help shape the visual identity of this organization, that’s a dream come true.”
For the Twins re-brand, Wolff said that right from the start, the club knew it wanted to reference the old while also looking forward.
“It’s a very delicate balance,” Wolff said. “The last thing we would want to do is ostracize lifetime fans; that would be a failure. Early on, we understood that the ‘TC’ really had to remain in the system and that any modifications should just be cleaning it up and refinements. We’ve modernized it to set the tone for the rest of the system, and it’s been rebalanced and optimized for the way that baseball fans can ingest their baseball, which is, oftentimes now, on a cell phone or small digital screen.”
“The ‘TC’ has been the face of the Twins for many years now – really, since our first game in 1961 – and we are now putting that stake in the ground,” said Hinkel. “The ‘legacy M’ will forever be synonymous with ’87, ’91 and the early 2000s, and will always be a beloved part of those cherished memories for everyone associated with the Twins and our fans. While we’re looking forward to introducing a new ‘M’ mark for the next generation of Minnesota champions, the ‘TC’ was the first, and is still the most beloved, professional sports logo in Minnesota. It’s become ubiquitous with community and civic pride – a symbol not just of the Twins, but of our state. It has carried us for 62 seasons (and counting!), through three ballparks, good times and bad, and is loved (and worn) by many; for all those reasons, it makes sense and feels right for the ‘TC’ to stand as the face of not just our past, but also the present and future of Twins Baseball.”
Like the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals before them, the Twins have made some slight but necessary improvements to their classic cap mark. In the side-by-side below, you’ll see the “TC” of the original design, made back in the 1960s, is off-centred, and the serifs are not balanced. These imperfections, perhaps loved by some, have been corrected here.
“We really tried to make this a respectful evolution, knowing the strong emotional attachments that Twins fans, myself included, have with the mark,” said Wolff. “We thought long and hard about this, even little decisions. It’s not like we just cleaned it up willy-nilly; we thought long and hard about it. We did focus groups; we went back and forth on the pros and cons.”
“It was very important for us to hear from our fanbase (current and future), our employees and our players (current and alumni),” said Hinkel. “We did a lot of listening! We took back our learnings and tweaked the design based on what we heard. Mostly the focus groups validated that we were heading down the right path.”
The thoughts and feelings of the players and coaches were especially important during the process as “ultimately, they are the ones that will be wearing the new look,” Hinkel continued. “We wanted to make sure they felt like it accurately represented our team. The players really liked the look once they got to try it on – showing them images on a flat piece of paper was a bit harder. Overall, their reactions were positive; we saw their faces light up once they put it on – I don’t think they realized how much the old uniforms didn’t fit our personality. Seeing the fun they had wearing them during our photo shoots was great!”
One far more noticeable change comes via the wordmarks and player lettering across the entire set, which are now just a single colour versus the triple-colour logos the Twins had been using in recent years.
“We wanted to get a nice, clean, timeless look with high readability or legibility, especially with small sizes on digital or print, across the stadium, across the bar, across the park,” said Wolff. “Readability was an important part of the new system. [With the old jersey logos] sometimes it got a little bit muddied, we determined, so we went for a much cleaner look.”
The new typeface used for player names and numbers, also designed by Wolff, was developed to be an imagined extension of the “T” from the primary “TC” mark.
The new “M” road cap will likely be the most polarizing element of this new set — it’s an entirely new look for the Twins featuring a white “M” and a red North Star above. The design of the “M” was done to resemble the same style as the “T” and “C” of the home cap logo as if they were originally created as part of the same set. The red North Star was modelled to look like both the archways of the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis, as well as the general shape of a baseball diamond.
“I just hope the fans know that we did our absolute best to balance the past, respect the fans, the Twin Cities, and the team’s history while also trying to look forward for the next generation,” said Wolff.
We got a bit of an idea of how the fans could digest this news following the circulation around social media earlier this week of a photo showing a leak of some of the new Twins’ merchandise, visible through a small gap in the window of the Target Field team shop.
“The good thing about leaks is it lets you get a sneak peek into how fans will react, and thankfully, the comments have been positive,” said Hinkel. “There will always be some that don’t like anything new – because change is hard. But so far, the fans have liked the elements from the past and have liked the more simple and refined design. We feel confident we’ve delivered a look that Twins fans will rally behind and call their own for generations to come. For those who don’t like it, I’d ask them to give it time – and remind them even if they wear their old TC; we still consider them a fan of the Twins!”
Merchandise featuring the new Minnesota Twins marks is already available, with fans in Minnesota able to grab jerseys, caps, and t-shirts at the Twins pop-up shop at Mall of America (located on the west side of the Rotunda) today, starting tomorrow merch will be available at the Target Field Twins Clubhouse Store. For those who are unable to make the trek to Minnesota, they can do their shopping for new Twins gear right now online at MLBShop.com.
We’ll get our first look at the new Twins uniforms in action when they open up the 2023 season in their road pinstripes at Kansas City on March 30th. One week later, the Twins will début their brand new home uniforms when the World Series Champion Houston Astros come to town for the Twins’ 2023 Home Opener at Target Field on April 6th.