Sunday, December 8, 2013

On my Fascination with Insects: Part Two

I found one of these guys on my walk the other day.  I had thought they were mostly a southern North America thing, but apparently mole crickets can be found on every continent but Antarctica.  In Australia they have an arch enemy, the Blue Ant wasp, which uses the mole cricket as food for its larva.  The Blue Ant is actually far more interesting, but I didn't come across one of those.  This particular mole cricket is the Gryllotalpa Monanka, found in North America.  It is also known as the Dark Night Mole Cricket, which is actually the coolest thing about this particular insect, aside from the fact that it looks horrifying.

The mole cricket usually is a subterranean species, which means it isn't seen very often above ground.  So, I guess I was pretty lucky to see it in the first place.  My picture isn't very good, for example, you can't tell that this thing is nearly two inches long.  Also, its front legs aren't visible, and they are pretty cool looking; hooked and claw-like for tunneling.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Back to Charlotte

 To expand on my other logo design posts, the Charlotte Bobcats (i.e. worst expansion team in the history of the NBA) will be allowed to change their name to the Hornets after this season, as that name was abandoned by the New Orleans club.  This makes perfect sense for a team that has struggled for identity since it's debut in 2004.  The original Hornets franchise left Charlotte in 2002 for New Orleans, and although the city of Charlotte was awarded a new franchise, the fan base hasn't been the same.

So, the Hornets will return to Charlotte next year.  The club has already pledged to bring back the original teal and purple colors.  The question I have is whether the club will use a new logo, or just bring back the old cartoon logo used by the original Charlotte Hornets, and then by the New Orleans Hornets.  Just in case everyone forgot... the old logo looks like this:

The hornet's name is Hugo, and he looks a little jittery.  Too many sodas, perhaps?  I hate logos like this for professional teams.  It's the mascot.  The Red Sox don't have a picture of Wally the Green Monster as a primary logo.  Minor league teams have cartoony logos like this.  Worst logo in NBA history?  probably.  I'm glad it's currently retired.  

Here are some concepts that I consider far more respectable and professional for a major league club: 

vote here
a more abstract hornet that has more of an insect-like vibe as opposed to a saturday morning disney cartoon from thje '90s feel.  This one also alludes to a representation of the basketball without actually showing a basketball.
This is part of a concept that promotes the use of the old logo as a primary, and this logo as a secondary, and patch.  However, I think it would do nicely as a primary.  It bridges the old Bobcats identity with the new Hornets rename and colors.  

full concept
Hornets are pretty difficult for designers to do without looking like comic books, apparently.  But if the club really felt it necessary to have a logo that sells to children, then I'd rather go with this modernized and toughened up hornet.  He's sleeker and dangerous looking, and not as minor league as Hugo.

This is another one from a bigger concept that focuses on the Hugo logo.  Also pitched as a secondary and patch, the honey comb shape idea is intriguing, even though hornets don't make honey.  But it is a departure from the circle logos used by everyone else.  

99 Designs submission
99 Designs showcases design contests.  This one is from designer Eren G.  Also submitted was the same design with an orange basketball replacing the purple one above.  The design concept incorporates the Queen City and Hornets Nest nicknames for Charlotte and puts to rest the ridiculous Hugo logo, replacing it with an elegant insect design that can be taken seriously, and still appeal to children.  Best design so far, sure.

Of course, they could revert back to the true original logo, used only for the 1988 draft.  It is similar to the Canadien's red and white Canadian Hockey logo, but I think it is different enough to not have to worry about copyright infringement or brand confusion.  The original original logo looked like this: