Clearly this would have been more timely news about ten days ago when the announcement was first made on the Thursday before Super Bowl XLIV but, technically, we are ahead of the game by about 355 days. Just as we were all — mostly — getting excited about Attik’s work the NFL unveiled not only a new logo for Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas but a whole strategy for an undisclosed number of Super Bowls to come, designed by Landor.
The NFL has historically introduced a dramatically different Super Bowl logo every year based primarily on the location of the game, and using roman numerals for greatest impact. Landor’s strategy for the new visual identity system places at the heart of it the Vince Lombardi trophy, given to the Super Bowl’s winning team each year. Depending on the NFL event, the new system allows for complementary elements to be introduced. The released version, for the Arlington 2011 Super Bowl XLV, is the first example of a region-specific identity which will include each year’s stadium venue and the roman numerals to designate the event. This system affords the NFL consistency from year to year, regardless of the playoff event.
— Landor Press Release
The NFL also announced it’s changing its postseason logo system and trophies. The AFC and NFC Championship Game trophies will change from a brown base with an ‘A’ or ‘N’ on top of it surrounded by players layered on a wall, to silver trophies in the make of a football. Playoff logos also will change to reflect the football as a trophy. All of the new logos and trophies will take effect starting with the 2010 season.
— ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth.
After forty-four years of creating new logos for each Super Bowl game, I can see why the NFL would want to standardize the process, I am sure it is no easy task for client or designer. But it comes at the expense of almost commoditizing the event, as something that the NFL merely produces the same way each year, over and over without giving each year — more importantly, each of the Super Bowl teams — the individuality it deserves. But let’s assume the strategy is correct… The execution is simply boring and I can’t imagine it getting more exciting as years go by. Celebrating the stadiums in the logos seems to me the strangest thing to do, especially when you get to structures that aren’t as relatively exciting or with iconic features as the Cowboys stadium. And as the football shot below demonstrates, once you remove the Vince Lombardi trophy shiny effect, the logo is just a clunky bundle of elements.