At No. 11 in the THN logo rankings comes one of the most intriguing, if not the most intriguing, design of all. The Minnesota Wild crest sparks strong opinions positive and negative. Is it a beautiful, multilayered piece of art? Or is it a jumbled, new-age mess to accompany a cheesy, new-age name?
We had staffers on either side of the debate, though the room skewed slightly more toward the positive. We view the logo as chaotic – but it’s organized chaos. Every bit of the design has a purpose. The outer shape forms the silhouette of an animal, and the sunset combines with the North Star, forest and stream to form a nature scene. Everything about it says ‘Wild.’ It feels like you can smell this logo. The odor would be pine needles and campfire, I think.
Redesigning such a heavily stylized logo is a fun challenge, and we dare you to accept it. Would you simplify it? Add more detail? Try something totally new? Send your work to email@example.com and watch for it when we publish our favorites at the end of the ranking process. You can submit a design for all 30 NHL teams if you’d like.
(All logos below are from Chris Creamer’s website.)
HISTORY OF THE WILD LOGO
Aside from the tribute embedded in the current Wild logo, you won’t find anything about the Minnesota North Stars here, folks. They belong to Dallas Stars canon.
If don’t like the Wild logo, its history suggests you’re in the minority. Why else would a franchise make no changes, at least to its primary edition of the logo, in its entire 14-year history?
The franchise’s ownership group got the green light from the NHL in 1997 and held a contest to name the team. The finalists were: Freeze (euw), Northern Lights, White Bears (Polar bears? Did they take a bus to Minnesota?), Voyageurs, Blue Ox (could be kinda funny-lookin’, in a general kinda way) and Wild. The Wild won, because it was the 1990s. Anything Xtreme and predatory was pure gold. If you’d pitched a team called, say, the Kansas City Bite with a cobra as the logo in 1997, you’d be wealthy today.
Breaking down what’s in the image itself, it’s undeniable it captures the concept of ‘Wild.’ The sunset adds to its intensity, too. You want to make sure your kids are home by dusk, lest they wander the forest with that creature lurking.
Speaking of the creature: it’s what holds this logo out of the top 10. On their own website, the Wild don’t commit to a species. Why? What’s wrong with a bear or a wolf? By giving us a generic beast, Minnesota invites criticism. The haters call it a hairy pig, a mouse, a Snuffleupagus. OK, the last one was me.
This design gets points for being one of the most complexly artistic logos in the NHL and all of sports, for that matter. In its current state, however, one of our staffers didn’t even know the outline represented a logo until we pointed it out to him. A tweak to give it more clarity would spike the ranking.
Dissenting opinion: “Not only should the Wild be higher, they should be No. 1. This is an absolutely great logo that encompasses nicely the spirit of team name while incorporating several funky dual elements into the design. It’s one of those great logos that’s cool from afar and up-close. The fact it didn’t get more support from the group is mind-boggling to me. – Edward Fraser
Try your hand at a new Minnesota Wild logo and send your art to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we’ll pick yours as one of our favorites. There’s lots of room for creativity, as the franchise hasn’t taken many risks with its alternate logos.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin