Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summit League Logo Battle: UMKC

When it comes to The Summit League, we have some of the best nicknames in all of college sports. And what better way to embrace our team monikers than to take a look at their visual equivalences: the team logo. For all of our analyses, we used the primary logos for each team listed on the venerable website SportsLogos.net. (Please note that any digs thrown at the schools are just for fun and do not necessarily represent our true feelings about them!)

Program: UMKC

Nickname: Kangaroos

Origin of Nickname: The kangaroo was first proposed as a potential mascot in the 1930s; there were mixed feelings on the name until Walt Disney became involved by contributing a drawing of the animal alongside Mickey Mouse for the university's humor magazine. The name took hold shortly after and has been around ever since. (h/t: The Summit League)

Philosophical Take: It's really too bad that the logo we are featuring today is not the same one shown on SportsLogos.net as the school's primary logo because analyzing a sweater-clad kangaroo would have been a lot more fun than this comparatively normal one. With that said, there isn't a lot going on with this interpretation of the logo. We have an angry looking kangaroo heading left, or forward, which is puzzling considering the program has been taking giant steps back as of late. The typography slants down signifying UMKC's fall to the bottom of Division I and eventual collapse into a lower division. Quite literally, we see the lettering of the university grabbing hold of the beloved marsupial as it tries to escape; Kasey, after all, enjoys his status as the only kangaroo mascot in Division I and would rather abandon his lifelong partner institution than suffer through the constant questions of whether he too could be downgraded to DII or worse. The one thing the kangaroo has managed to avoid is the beating the lettering has taken, as its black and blue facade showcases. Nope, Kasey has gone relatively unscathed in recent years as he has embarked on many vacations to visit the 423 players who have transferred out of UMKC in the last four years. His favorite: Reggie Hamilton.

Final Judgment: This is a very solid, contemporary logo. The aforementioned "kangaroo wearing a sweater" design appeared dated, so this one serves as a great upgrade. The UMKC typography is edgy, and the deep blue looks excellent juxtaposed with the kangaroo's yellow tone (also a great nod to the school's uniform scheme). "Roos" is slightly out of place, and I wonder why it lacks a border of any sort. It's difficult to imagine a kangaroo as angry or fierce so the program gets a pass despite the animal's lack of many defining features.

How We'd Fix It: Since we dig the typography used for the logo, we'd only make a minor adjustment here. To honor the program's lack of direction, we're accentuating the letters with some colorful arrows. These nifty pieces of flair point in all directions because no one really knows where UMKC will go next. Kasey is clearly confused, too, as his facial expression (hopefully) indicates. To make matters worse, the Australian transplant is also perplexed as to why it became acceptable to shorten his name from kangaroo to 'roo. Consequently, his expression of confusion could be considered one of misery. In fact, we wouldn't doubt it.

A Lesson In Elementary Graphic Design:

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