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Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
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Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 29

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 2013 June 10

This is one of those rare logos where nothing is wrong and yet it's all wrong.

If I look at any part of the snake, I can't find anything that's really wrong with it. The eyes are fine — they aren't realistic, but they effectively look like a menacing pair of eyes glaring at you. Likewise the fangs: fangs on an actual timber rattler wouldn't be visible when its mouth was closed, but we all know snakes have fangs and they look suitably menacing here. The tongue is fine except for the color (it should be black), but color change is acceptable artistic license, and it's perfectly reasonable that a snake would have its tongue stuck out like this. The markings are a good approximation of an actual timber rattler, and the rattle is — well, it wouldn't be called a timber rattler if it didn't have a rattle. There are no goofy baseball references in the logo. All in all this should be an effective logo.

It isn't.

If I'm brutally honest, then I have to say that the snake looks goofy. It looks like a slack-jawed simpleton with crossed eyes, a pronounced overbite and its tongue hanging out of its mouth. None of these items look that way when you focus on just that one item, but look at the whole face and it's sort of undeniable. I'm not sure quite why. Is it that the artist used artistic license one time too many? Is it something in the snake's rictus that changes it from scary to silly? Is something else in the logo causing this? That last part seems unlikely. There's really nothing else to the logo but the name. The way the word "Rattlers" is written is a little odd, but again, there's nothing wrong with it in isolation. If taking that away would fix the issue (and I'm not convinced it would), then it's still the case that the real issue is simply the combination of multiple things that are fine on their own.

I'm totally at a loss as to how anyone could fix this logo, other than to just throw it out and start over. How do you correct something when it doesn't have any mistakes?

As for the name, it's hard to argue with for the most part. Sure, there's the use of the state name instead of the city name, but I'm resigned to that by now. The "timber rattlers" part is fine. Based on the maps I've seen of the timber rattler's range, there are definitely timber rattlers in Wisconsin. There don't appear to be any in Appleton itself (the team plays in Appleton), but the indicated range is such that it wouldn't surprise me to learn there were some in the area until recently, or that they're spreading into the area. And yes, they could very easily be spreading. Timber rattlers' conservation status is "Least Concern", which is conservationist-speak for "These things are all over the damn place." Most conservationists probably wouldn't even care much one way or the other if timber rattlers' range spreads which, when you think about it, is about the least amount of respect a species can get from science. Even showing an active desire to keep the species' range from spreading would at least indicate some form of respect. But when it comes to the timber rattlers, conservationists quite frankly can't be arsed. Thus, "Least Concern".

In any case, the timber rattler's range is not so far away that I'm going to penalize the team for picking such a foreign creature, and it's so widespread that they wouldn't get the Local bonus either way. So, no harm no foul on the name. And it's undoubtedly a good name, which is why the only penalty to the name is the one for using "Wisconsin". But I keep coming back to that logo. I'm fairly certain this is the only time I've ever hit a team with the penalty for a bad logo without hitting them for any actual logo infractions. But like I said at the outset: nothing is wrong, and yet it's all wrong.

Final Score: 29 points.
Penalties: Region (egregious), 17 pts; Logo, 12 pts.
Bonuses: None.

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