Oct
19

World Series Logo History

World Series Logo History

With the World Series starting tonight, I thought it would be interesting to look at the history of World Series logos. As usual, a big hat tip must go to Chris Creamer’s sportslogos.net for the logos and dates.

While the modern World Series has been played since 1903, from all sources I could find, the oldest official logo was in 1974. It seems to me there have been a few patterns the in Major League Baseball’s World Series logo design.

The 70s

The early World Series logos were unrelated to each other, and with the exception of the 1975 logo, all have very period-specific type.

In 1978 and 1979 (left), MLB re-purposed a World Series logo for the first time, a trend that would basically continue until 2000. The 75th World Series logo from 1978 is actually one of my favorites. It’s the first time the World Series logo was a nice, uniquely typeset mark.

 

The 80s

The 1980s saw two logos the whole decade – the one above and the one below. The 1980-86 version is another one of my favorites. Other than the outlined type, it feels like it could be around today.

The Little League World Series Days

After seven years of the same logo, MLB introduced a new World Series logo in 1987 and stuck with it until 1992. It’s so very… 90s. And it seems more appropriate for the Little League World Series.

The Grown Up World Series

In 1992, the logo got an update, and while the color palette was never great, it felt more professional.

In 1998, the logo got another update and some perspective – almost so much that it became difficult to read. Since the reuse in 1999, we haven’t seen a World Series logo used more than once.

 

 

The Planet Earth Series

In the year 2000, the World Series logo left traditional behind and went super-modern. In addition to the globe, the logo featured a ball orbiting said globe for the next 4 years. These logos, especially 2001, feel more like soccer event logos than baseball to me.

The Corporate Series

While the 2000-03 logos used just an orbiting baseball to tie them back to the sport, the 2004-07 versions for the most part ditched even that. They all share these modern technology company-like typefaces and feel more like take over the world corporation logos than sporting event logos.

The Fall Classic

The 2008 World Series brought traditional baseball elements and type back to the logo, and this time with a sense of modern design. The last four World Series logos have shared a similar fall color palette and, with the exception of 2009, type style. They all incorporate leaves, too, which I don’t think is entirely necessary. They’re using the tagline “Fall Classic” in 3 of the 4, but the leaves don’t really have anything to do with baseball. I like the 2008-10 versions, but I think the 2011 World Series logo went a little too fall and not enough World Series.

So as you can see, the World Series logo has gone through many phases, and I think it’s in its best one now. If they can just rake the logo of its leaves, they’d be great. I am a little surprised MLB is so willing to change the colors on its logo to match the logo each year, but it helps the logos.

What do you think of this year’s? And years past?

4 Responses to “World Series Logo History”

  1. Ted Machnik
    October 19th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I think MLB finally got it right with the Fall Classic series (2008-present). I like the absence of red and blue, although I suspect it will return eventually. In keeping with the fall theme, perhaps we will even see oranges and purples in the mix. Hope so.

  2. BCRS
    October 19th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    One of the greatest tragedies of our modern baseball times is the fact that the glorious 2004 Red Sox World Series run had such a horrific World Series logo. Boston fans desperate to commemorate the first WS title of their lives were forced to buy gear with that fauxtallic mess prominently displayed. Shoulda been considered a crime.

  3. JoAnne
    February 12th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    What are the leaves on the patches? One looks like an oak tree, what is the other? I am doing a trivia night and would love this to be a question.

  4. Tony
    March 22nd, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I am personally a big fan of the 2011 fall classic logo. It is instantly identifiable as a World Series and MLB logo, and makes me think of chilly Autumn games. Big fan of the changes that MLB has made. Unlike the NFL, which now have a Super Bowl logo as corporate as their league has become, MLB are finally getting it right in the last couple years.

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