The Penguins win this Battle of Pennsylvania, but it was close.
On Monday, the orange and black of Philadelphia came in at No. 10 on our list of logo rankings and today, Pittsburgh falls in at No. 8. The skating penguin, who lost his scarf somewhere on the pond, was a fairly popular logo in our discussion, but could have ended up a little higher if the triangle was the yellow it used to be.
Think you can design a better logo for the Pittsburgh Penguins? Submit your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and after our NHL rankings finish next week, we’ll share our favorite redesigns sent in by readers. We’ve got some good ones so far and are hungry for more.
All logos below from Chris Creamer’s website.
HISTORY OF THE PENGUINS LOGO
“The Penguins? No, really, what will the team be called? You can’t call a hockey team ‘the Penguins.’ That’s ridiculous.” – Freelance Pittsburgh artist Bob Gessner in 1967 after the results of a “name the team” newspaper contest were revealed.
Gessner, who was paid $1,500 to design six logos for the Penguins, favored the name “Hornets” for the new NHL expansion team. This nickname had been used for the city’s American League team from 1936-1956 and again from 1961-67. Plus, he designed the Hornets logo when they returned in the ’60s.
“How can you make a penguin look mean? They are slow, small and awkward.”
The first Penguins logo is what I like to call “Beer League Penguin” because it’s the only one with a gut. He’s the most happy, harmless looking logo in the team’s history, with his smile, wide eyes and dangling scarf. But he didn’t appear on a jersey until the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field (the second penguin design was used at the 2008 outdoor game).
The Penguins used the beer-leaguer as their primary logo for just one season and though he appeared on pucks and other merchandise, the team’s jerseys only had “Pittsburgh” printed diagonally down the front.
Though the Penguins’ original primary color was blue, the triangle in the logo represents the city’s downtown “Golden Triangle.” And, eventually, yellow and black would replace the blue altogether.
Learn more about Gessner’s design and other logos he created.