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Chicago Wolves 3

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 2004 February 6

I'm beginning to get just a bit frustrated here.

The last two logos I reviewed -- for the Johnstown Chiefs and the Augusta Lynx -- were both fairly gentle; the Chiefs review was in fact highly positive. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, but let's face it: I'm not writing these (and you're probably not reading them) for the positive reviews. The point here is to mercilessly mock logos which deserve to be mercilessly mocked. This is easy to do when the next team on the agenda is someone like the Amarillo Gorillas. But when it's a good logo, it's difficult to find inspiration.

And here I am, being confronted by one of the best logos in all of minor league hockey.

It's not perfect, of course. We do have the gratuitous puck and stick, and the relative sizes make for a rather bizarre mental picture (imagine a puck that's four feet in diameter and you see what I mean). But they're clearly not intended to be proportionally sized, and somehow that's less of a sin than if they were (don't ask me how; it just is).

And then there's the wolf itself. This is arguably the most realistic depiction of an animal in any professional sports logo, period. And it just plain works. As I noted in my review of the Fresno Falcons, the face-to-face view is very compelling -- especially on an animal which people tend to be rather nervous around to begin with. I'm really not sure why so few teams use this effect, but for some reason they don't.

As usual, a lot of the magic is in the details. Look at the teeth, for example. This isn't the cartoonish toothy grin of the fish in the Toledo Walleye logo. It isn't the reasonably accurate, yet still stylized set of teeth the lion in the Reading Royals logo. We get to see every tooth, and the effect is much more convincing. The little detail of making the teeth less than perfect (they're asymmetrical, for starters) makes it even more effective. I would be scared if I was face-to-face with a lion, but the Reading lion doesn't scare me because it looks like a representation of a lion rather than looking like a lion. This doesn't look like a representation of a wolf, it looks like an actual wolf. And when I look directly into the eyes of this wolf, some little nerve in the less-developed portion of my central nervous system twitches like a scared little hairless ape. This is exactly the effect a logo should have.

Since this page has already descended to the level of a lovefest, let me actually stoop to the point of saying good things about the puck and stick. They actually serve a purpose in this logo. First, they keep the logo from being too symmetrical. Second, by being in the background, they reinforce the fact that the wolf's face is the foreground, which increases the immediacy. I have a souvenir from the year the Wolves won the Turner Cup, and it shows just the wolf without the puck and stick. The effect isn't as powerful.

Okay, enough with the warm fuzzies. Where's the next logo? I can't wait to be mean again...

Final Score: 3 points.
Penalties: Equip-Logo (egregious), 8 pts.
Bonuses: Cool-Logo, -5 pts


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