The Ferris State Bulldogs were declared "Best Sports Logo in the State of Michigan" last week in a bracket-style poll conducted by the Detroit Free Press at freep.com.
(Note the contest was logos, not mascots or nicknames, otherwise the Watersmeet Nimrods would have wasted the field.)
The Bulldogs' Cinderella run through the "tournament" is a surprise since it had no business beating the Detroit Red Wings in the semifinals or the Detroit Tigers in the finals.
Ferris State Bulldogs
Detriot Red Wings
Top row from left to right: Oakland Grizzlies, Grand Valley State Lakers, Northern Michigan Wildcats
Bottom Row: Wayne State Warriors, Detroit Lions
Let's all be real here and honest with ourselves - even you Bulldogs fans. Ferris does not have the best logo in the state of Michigan. The university just did a better job flooding social media and getting out the vote than everyone else because the real big dogs of the state just didn't seem to care as much as Ferris State did about an online poll.
The Bulldog logo is OK, but in no way unique.
To be the best logo - in my mind - you need to be unique and if you're not unique, be iconic. When you see a logo, do you think of the organization it represents?
When I see Ferris State's Bulldog, I think dog, and not of Ferris State.
If you do a Google Image search of "Bulldog logo" you'll see what I mean. Ferris State's Bulldog just doesn't stand out, and I would know about generic nicknames/logos that are as far away from unique as one can get.
My alma mater is the Northern Michigan Wildcats, which does OK differentiating itself, but is still the oh-so-common Wildcats.
Here are my rankings for the top 10 logos in the state of Michigan:
1. Detroit Red Wings - There's no better logo. When you see the Winged Wheel, you think of Hockeytown.
2. Detroit Tigers - You could argue the Old English D is not unique, but it's a timeless mark for the city of Detroit. Even people who aren't Tigers or baseball fans associate the Old English D with Detroit. Throw in the Tiger, and it's even more awesome.
3. Hillsdale Chargers - It's clean, it's modern, it's simple. The graphic designer in me likes this logo, it just lacks history.
4. Michigan Bucks - Who are the Michigan Bucks? Who cares? Wikipedia says it's a USL Premier Development League soccer team. I say it's a club with a cool crest.
5. Michigan Wolverines - Like the Old English D, it's not unique, but iconic. Some of its fans, unfortunately, give it a bad reputation.
6. Oakland Grizzlies - I toss this in the same category of Hillsdale. It's just a fresh, cool-looking spin on a common mascot.
7. Grand Valley State Lakers - I'm a sucker for simple letters to distinguish yourself. The redesigned GV logo helped separate it from all the other Lakers that insist on using a sailor or the least unique Lakers' logo, an anchor.
8. Northern Michigan Wildcats - I like NMU's Wildcat because it looks good on a T-shirt, as a decal and as a tattoo when simplified. It also differentiates itself from other Wildcats, which are just bobcats, lynxes or a random clawing paw.
9. Wayne State Warriors - There's a right and a wrong way to replace your Native American warrior logo. Wayne State does it right with the gold W.
10. Detroit Lions - Nothing reminds you of losing more than a blue lion. The redesign freshened up this icon of losing well.
Best of the Blog features notable posts from the Inside 1401 Sports blog, written by Mining Journal Sports Editor Matt Wellens. Visit the blog at inside1401sports.tumblr.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mattwellens. Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.