The Super Bowl is today, and the New York Giants and New England Patriots will square off. But, the week leading up to the Big Game, it’s been our Carolina Panthers who have been making headlines. You wouldn’t expect the Cats of recent years to be in conversations at this point in the season. Nonetheless, here they are – lighting up blogs, flooding the AP, and even rising to the #1 trending topic on Twitter.
It’s not because of the upcoming draft, or even stud QB Cam Newton’s bout for Rookie of the Year. It’s all because of a new logo that really doesn’t look that different from the one the Panthers have had since joining the league in 1995. The logo still utilizes the Panther face. And, it still maintains the shape that is designed to represent how North and South Carolina appear on a map (if turned slightly sidewise). Reportedly, the new Panther is intended to be fiercer and resemble the smooth statues outside Bank of America stadium.
The franchise is also ditching the funky, fun logotype for block letters mauled by a few anticlimactic cat scratches. In the image below, you can compare the old (top) and new (bottom) logo/logotype:
When the news broke the Internet, it seemed as if our Panthers had become the latest chapter of the GAP logo fiasco. Fan reactions were both harsh and hilarious. On one end of the spectrum, diehards criticized the team for changing brand elements that had become iconic. On the other end, people wondered why they did not opt for a complete rehaul.
Here at Off Forty, it’s tough for us to criticize the changes, because the team had emerging media in mind. According to a press release, one of the franchise’s key goals was making the logo “more three-dimensional for ever-increasing digital use.”