Sports | July 26, 2021 10:50 am

What Do Experts Think of the New Cleveland Guardians Logo and Branding?

Cleveland's Major League Baseball team will be known as the Guardians starting in 2022

The Cleveland Guardians
The Cleveland Indians announce their name change to the Cleveland Guardians.
Jason Miller/Getty

In a move that was expected but still surprising due to the timing. Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team announced on Friday that the ballclub would be known as the Guardians, not the Indians, starting in the 2022 season.

Selected from a pool of more than 2,000 names, Guardians somehow emerged as the winner. “Through our research and discussions, we identified a few key themes that were most important to fans — connect to the city of Cleveland, honor our rich baseball history and unite our community — and we believe Guardians upholds all three of those pillars,” said Cleveland president of business operations Brian Barren.

As part of the announcement, the franchise also rolled out new logos and branding for the re-named team, but stopped short of revealing the club’s new uniforms. Phil Hecken, who writes for Uni Watch, shared his thoughts following the announcement. “I’m not a huge fan of the name (as I said, I preferred ‘Municipals’) and I don’t love either wordmark. Depending on how it’s used, I might grow to really hate that Winged G logo. But it was high time for the team to change its name, and in light of how they’ve spun things, I can definitely see how the team is trying to connect with the city and its fans.”

Not a huge fan of the script or the logo for the rebranded team, Uni Watch founder Paul Lukas was at least a little forgiving of the name. “The party line throughout the team’s messaging about the new identity has been ‘It’s the first name that counts; Cleveland, that’s what counts.’ That feels very City Connect to me,” he wrote. “That’s not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing — it’s just the vibe I get from the name, its inspiration, and how they’re framing it. I do worry a bit that ‘Guardians’ lends itself to all sorts of comic book/superhero nonsense, but let’s see how they leverage the name in the months and years to come. Any way you slice it, it’s better than the old name, and the local Indigenous community seems pleased with it. I’m happy for them.”

Some may have been happier had the team went with a name like the Spiders, the Rockers or the Moondogs, but Matthew Blazer, a partner at BrandPivot in Cleveland, said the team’s rebranding is off to a strong start regardless. “It’s been decades in the making and they engaged the community, engaged the fans and gave them time to process a change was coming,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal. “And they didn’t pick a name out of a hat — they grabbed something uniquely Cleveland. They’ll have to keep building on it and some of it will be trial and error.”