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State College Spikes 15

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2012 April 21

State College, Pennsylvania is, predictably, where Pennsylvania State University (formerly Pennsylvania State College) is located. This strikes me as an odd name for a town even if it is where a major university is located. I understand the concept of "college town" and all that, but most college towns still manage to come up with a name other than "Heylookwe'reatownwithacollegeville". I mean, there had to be something else in the area to name a town after, right? A noteworthy hill or creek or forest or something? And aren't colleges supposed to teach thinking skills such as, oh, I don't know, creativity? Unless this was intended as some kind of hipster, more-ironic-than-thou name, there's not a lot of evidence of creativity here. And I don't think there were a lot of hipsters in 1896. But maybe the people in this part of Pennsylvania were just more-ironic-than-thou before it was cool.

(The area's nickname — "Happy Valley" — is considerably better in the creativity department, but that name implies their creativity was aided by...well, by something that would grow in a place called "Happy Valley", if you get my drift.)

The team name fares a little better in this regard. There's apparently not just a double-meaning, but actually a triple-meaning to the name "Spikes". First, "spikes" is the local term for the short, unbranching antlers founded on young male deer; since this Short-Season "A" team is where many fresh-out-of-college players start their professional baseball career, it's a fitting reference. Second, it's a railroad reference, which makes perfect sense since there aren't any railroads in State College and haven't been for decades. Third, it refers to the cleats on baseball shoes. Okay, so the last two are rather goofy, but the first one is actually clever.

Given the first meaning, the logo actually makes perfect sense. Far from being the irrelevant feature it appears to be at first glance, it is a relevant feature which is given context by showing the entire animal instead of just the antler. This is a good thing; if the name "Spikes" is meant to represent the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates, then having a spike detached from the animal would paint a pretty grim picture of the Pirates' future. And yes, I know that it would probably be pretty accurate given the Pirates' recent history, but you still don't want to admit that in a logo.

The logo is well-drawn as well. Nothing cartoony, and they don't try to make the deer look ridiculously fierce. It has a serious, determined look, but it leaves it at that. There's no baseball equipment in the logo, no distracting scenery in the background. And the logo is balanced without being too symmetrical. All in all, this is a very good logo.

Final Score: 15 points.
Penalties: Reference, 10 pts; Alliteration, 5 pts.
Bonuses: None.


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