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   Bernardino

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Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2021 September 12

It's rare that logos literally hurt my eyes. I'm sure I've commented about many of the logos on this site that they hurt my eyes, give me a headache, et cetera, but I'm usually speaking figuratively. This time I'm not being figurative. It literally causes my eyes discomfort to look at this logo.

Why? Well, let's talk about heraldry for a moment. In heraldry, there's a concept called the "rule of tincture". Basically, the idea is that colors are divided into two categories: "colors" and "metals". Red, blue, green, and purple are all colors, white/silver and yellow/gold are metals, and black can be either. The rule of tincture states that colors should only be next to metals, and vice versa. In other words, no blue figures on a red background, or yellow figures on a white background. There are various exceptions (most notably when a shield has been divided into cantons), but that's the basic rule.

It's not hard to see why. The "metals" are, effectively, neutral colors. Having a good mix of vibrant colors and neutral colors makes a picture easier to parse. Too many neutrals or too many vibrant colors can make it difficult to recognize at a glance what the drawing is of. And even though there are no official rules for logos, you'll see that many logos (be they sports logos, company logos, or some other kind of logo) essentially follow the rule of tincture, although with an expanded array of "metals" and "colors". In fact, if you randomly pick five logos that I've reviewed on this site (baseball or hockey, it doesn't matter), you'll probably find they follow this rule.

Here, we have a major violation of the rule, and boy, is it hideous.

The problem, of course, lies entirely within the combination of cyan and green. The navy blue is effectively a neutral ("metal") in this logo, and if you focus on the areas where the blue is touching the green or the cyan, it's not bad. But the places where the cyan and green touch are a different story.

And it would have been so easy to fix! All they really needed to do was put a thin blue line between the cyan and green parts to give it a little separation, and it would have looked a lot better.

I can't help but wonder if the team did this because they were irritated with their fans. When they announced in 2016 that they were going to rebrand over the offseason, there was talk of changing the name as well as the logo. The old name was one of six names fans could vote for, and they overwhelmingly voted to keep the name (it probably didn't help that the other options were Derechos, Doves, Lamb Chops, Love Apples, and River Runners). In the end the only change to the name was decapitalizing the C such that they went from being the HillCats to being the Hillcats. Maybe the team was feeling petulant that none of the new names had been embraced and decided to punish their fans with a logo that would give the fans headaches? Or maybe they were trying to give the opposing team's players headaches? Or, since the logo was designed by Brandiose, maybe the designers were just being their usual selves. I don't know.

What I do know is this is one ugly fucking logo, and I'm tired of looking at it.

Final Score: 100 points.
Penalties: Compound, 34 pts; Colorful (egregious), 63 pts; Logo, 12 pts.
Bonuses: Graphic, -9 pts.


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