The Hickory Crawdads revealed a new look Tuesday, but they didn't tear up their logo or swap out their nickname for something more outrageous than the hometown crustacean. Instead, the Crawdad will remain front-and-center for Hickory—as it has since the South Atlantic League franchise debuted in 1993—when the team takes the field on Opening Day next spring.
Here it is! We’ve rebranded! Check out all the new logos & let us know what you think! Thanks for all the feedback! pic.twitter.com/RSADl8nqUj
— Hickory Crawdads (@HickoryCrawdads) October 6, 2015
But it's a much better looking Crawdad, one with sharper colors and a few spiffy alternate looks designed by Studio Simon, and it marks a significant upgrade for the franchise's appeal. Don't just take my word on it. Resident BA logo expert Will Lingo, our general manager who has been reviewing hits and misses in the world of minor league logos for more than two decades, calls it a winner for Hickory.
“The Crawdads were part of the second wave of innovative minor league nicknames and logos, after the initial explosion from teams like the Durham Bulls, Chattanooga Lookouts and Carolina Mudcats,” Lingo says. “The logo had served them well but definitely showed its age. They obviously weren't going for a radical change, and the cleaner, bolder look is a good update of their existing marks.
“The Crawdad with his claws resting on bats that are crossed behind his shoulders (do crawdads have shoulders?) is the strongest look and what I would most like on a cap. The claw superimposed over the outline of the state of North Carolina, with Hickory's location as a star, is also a cool idea and one I expect to see copied a lot. You see that kind of iconography a lot these days on t-shirts and the like, as people like to show their love for their home states, and this is a good way to blend that with minor league baseball.”
Studio Simon, which generally takes a more conservative and traditional approach to logo design than its rival Brandiose, spiced up the primary logo, which previously featured the Crawdad mascot intertwined with the letter H. Now it centers around the Crawdads rising out of the water, with the team name emblazoned just above its claws gripping a baseball.
"We were thrilled to be tapped by the Hickory Crawdads to collaborate with them and give their identity the love that one of Minor League Baseball’s iconic brands truly deserved,” Studio Simon owner Dan Simon said in a team press release.
The team also revealed several alternate looks. The details, according to the team press release:
The new primary logo is joined by three brand new secondary marks as well as two updated team logos. The new secondary images include a claw holding a star indicating Hickory’s location over a blue outline of North Carolina, a full-body Crawdad holding a pair of crisscrossed, blue bats, and finally a close-up of the revised Crawdad head. The Crawdads traditional “H” logo returns, but with an updated Crawdad emerging from behind a revised “H.” The team’s claw logo is also back, albeit with a slightly redesigned shape along with updated shading and coloring.
“We felt like it was a good time to introduce a new color to go along with our established red and black combo,” Crawdads executive director of corporate sales and merchandise Douglas Locascio said. “It gives us an opportunity to freshen up our look while also staying true to our history. Red is definitely still our primary color, but fans will notice blue cropping up in small and big ways.”
New team uniforms are also part of the new look, with the home jerseys remaining primarily red but with black sleeves and red piping. Three new hats will also make their debut next season. According to the release:
The home hat will feature a red crown with a black bill and will maintain the tradition of displaying the “H” logo. The road cap will be all black with the revised Claw logo on the front, while the new alternate cap will have a black crown with a blue bill and eyelets showcasing the Crawdad eyes emerging from the water on the front.