Updated Cleveland Browns Logo Design 2015: Previous Dawg Pound Logo Designer Designer Todd Radom Weighs In

Updated Cleveland Browns Logo Design 2015

Our recent post, “New” Browns Logo Leaves Cleveland Graphic Designers Deflated” collected expert advice from local authorities on the matter including Todd Radom, independent graphic specializing in branding for professional sports franchises and events. Todd has designed everything from Super Bowl logos to All Star Game logos and has created the graphic identities for multiple franchises as well as over 50 team anniversary marks. His two decades of work with the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball have resulted in some of the most familiar icons of our popular culture. Todd’s work includes the previous dawg pound logo.

Todd’s full interview with Cleveland logo designers, Go Media is included below. Enjoy and be sure to catch the full story, featuring fellow experts William Beachy, Wilson Revehl, Chris Comella, Aaron Sechrist, and Julia Briggs here.

Interview with Todd Radom

The new Cleveland Browns logo design has been harshly derided in some circles for being underwhelming or, as some have put it, “just oranger.” Do you think that kind of criticism is unfair?

In my opinion the criticism is fair—and partially due to the fact that the team has been readying the fan base for a logo change for two years. An already cynical constituency has been discussing the kind of change that was coming, and was given a primary logo that represents a lateral move. Fairly or otherwise we have been hearing “well, that’s such a Browns move” since the announcement, and that gets your customers wondering if this confused messaging extends to other aspects of the franchise. I have likened it to this scenario—it’s Christmas morning and the Browns had a present for the fans. They gave them a gift card. Disappointing.

Is there anything about the new logo that “works”? If so, explain.

If nothing else, it defends the status quo. There is a very vocal portion of the fan base that wanted no change at all—this placates those concerns (although we’ll have to wait until the new uniforms are unveiled in April before we collectively make a truly informed judgement.) I’ve been trying to emphasize the fact that any team logo is one single piece of a series of visual assets. All of these need to work in unison in order to properly amplify the message that the Browns want to send. If we were marking this in a traditional way I’d give it an “incomplete” as of right now.

Is there anything you would have done differently if you had tackled this project?

Wow. I’d have loved to have seen the creative brief on this one. There are lots of stakeholders here and I suspect that the design team pushed it far out there at the outset of the process, only to see it fall back to what ultimately emerged. The process of branding a professional sports team is incredibly complex and multilayered. Creating bulletproof assurances and holding hands is often as important as execution. What is the franchise DNA of the Cleveland Browns? Who do they aspire to be? I’m certain these questions were asked at the outset of the project—but I’d be very interested to hear what transpired along the way.

Do you think this logo design change was ultimately the best decision for the team?

Time will tell. The success or failure of most sports identity projects has a lot to do with the success or failure of the team making the change. Also—if the new uniforms represent a real change—preferably one that builds upon the past in some relevant way—then the logo becomes a single asset among many that can be deployed in strategic ways. If I were king I would have introduced something, anything, other than another helmet—even if it never was meant to appear on the real helmet.

Anything to add?

This had to be a difficult project to work on. The Browns are a weird, weird case in many respects. This is a team that hasn’t won a championship in over a half century. A team that was shifted from Cleveland to Baltimore after the 1995 season and reborn as an expansion team several years later. Putting a logo on the helmet has been declared a non-starter for years. They are a team frozen in visual amber with little opportunity to renew their look in a meaningful way. Some teams can blow it up and start from scratch, the Browns cannot do that, which had to have made this a challenging assignment.

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