Established in 1993, the Florida Panthers are the NHL team of South Florida (Miami metropolitan area) playing in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team has had its up and downs, making the finals only three years after joining the league, then not making the playoffs for a while, and, in the most recent season, winning its division title but losing in the first round of the playoffs. Their new logo has been leaking since April and last week the team officially introduced new logos and uniforms designed by Reebok.
The new Panthers primary logo includes a more mature and stoic panther inside a shield with “Florida” set in a tab across the top of the mark.
The old logo had a remarkable extended run of 23 years — that’s like five StubHub logos — and although it felt dated for its longevity its overly aggressive style kind of defied any specific era. That panther was in an angry league of its own. The new logo goes for a much less aggressive panther (but still threatening) and a different pose that, although more “stoic” as explained in the press release, also loses the “I’m going to rip your guts out” attitude of the old one. Which might not be the worst thing. The panther drawing is pretty good and I like how they retained the angular construction used in the old logo. The shield shape is meant to represent a military badge — there is a whole spiel about it in this press release — and it works fine. The typography is decent but I wish they had spaced it out evenly with the same space on all sides of the letters. The updated color palette is a strong improvement moving away from the pee yellow to a more golden hue.
In addition, the team introduced a new alternate logo that will serve as the patch on the shoulder of the home and away jerseys. The alternate logo includes the Florida state flag with a sleek prowling Panther above it.
The secondary logo is cool and a perfect merchandising hook, showing a panther on top of the Florida flag ready to pounce. The panther drawing is quite good here with some nice execution in the shadows. Same comment applies to the type.
Finally, a tertiary logo that displays the evolution of the original leaping panther has been given a new polish and will be used as a helmet decal for home and away contests. The tertiary logo holds sacred the great history of the franchise while presenting a developed look for the team’s original logo.
A tertiary logo — did I already mention merchandising opportunities? — comes in the form of an updated version of the old logo, which could have easily passed as the new logo and I wonder if that was a consideration at some point. It would have been perfectly acceptable as it’s a much more striking interpretation of the original.
“When Vinnie shared one of the early designs with me I was really excited that we were creating a powerful statement to the league about what it now means to be a Florida Panther,” Panthers President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon said. “The new traditions we will create under Vinnie’s leadership and the pride our guys will have in putting on the new sweater is fantastic.”
I don’t know much about hockey uniforms but, yeah, these looks pleasing. The tie detail looking like the Florida flag is the kind of thing that wins your client’s adulation and it really is a great touch. Overall, a solid improvement.