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Maine Mariners 4

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 2019 January 1

If you do a web search on "hidden symbolism in logos", you'll find more articles than you'll know what to do with. "13 logos with hidden meanings", "50 incredibly creative logos with hidden meanings", "20 clever logos with hidden symbolism", "29 logos with super sneaky hidden meanings" get the idea. (These are all actual links, by the way, and why the people who did that last one couldn't be bothered to find one more and make it an even thirty is beyond me.) Most of these examples are either fairly obvious (who hasn't noticed the arrow in the Fed Ex logo?) or things you've heard of a hundred times before (yes, we all know about "MOM" in the collar on Wendy's's* logo), but some of them are genuinely subtle ones that you don't hear about much (like the hidden bear in the mountain of Toblerone's logo).

I mention this because the Maine Mariners' logo is, to put it simply, full of it. Hidden symbolism, that is. I'll start with the most obvious and work my way toward more obscure things:

  1. The trident, when combined with the capital M, forms ME, the abbreviation for Maine.

  2. The center fork of the trident is a sideways pine tree. Maine's nickname is "The Pine Tree State".

  3. The butt of the trident looks like the butt of a hockey stick, with the diagonal lines implying tape.

  4. There's a lighthouse in the far right of the M. Presumably this is a reference to the Portland Head Light, but it looks to me more like a generic lighthouse than it looks specifically like the Portland Head Light.

  5. The star inside a pentagon located at the intersection of the trident's three tines is the "Dirigo Star", a symbol found on Maine's state seal. (It's called the "Dirigo Star" because on the seal the word "Dirigo" appears beneath the star; Dirigo is Latin for "I lead" or "I guide" and is the state motto.)
Cramming this much symbolism into a logo could result in something truly hideous if not done carefully. But clearly whoever did this was careful, because this logo looks pretty damn good if you ask me. If I have any criticism of it, it's that I'm not sure having the M be white (meaning that half the logo is essentially negative space) was such a good idea. On the other hand, I'm not sure what other color you could make it. Making it blue or green would have made it melt into the trident in a less-than-appealing way, and I don't think adding a third color would have been a good idea. So we'll go with the white M.

As for the name, it's a throwback to the AHL teams that played in Portland back in the late 70s, 80s, and early 90s. I have mixed feelings about re-using old names, but there's no denying that "Mariners" is a good team name for a team along the coast of Maine. For anyone who questions this, let me simply repeat: along the coast of Maine.

In short, a good name and a great logo.

* Seriously, how the hell do you form the possessive of a company whose name is possessive? Is it Wendy's's? Wendy's' ? Just Wendy's? I have no idea. There's a band I like whose name is a possessive (Rachel's), and I'm never certain how to form the possessive of their name, either. If there's a style guide out there that addresses this issue at all it probably just tells you to rewrite the sentence, but that strikes me as a copout.

Final Score: 4 points.
Penalties: Region (egregious), 5 pts; Alliteration, 2 pts; Equip-Logo, 5 pts.
Bonuses: Cool-Logo, -5 pts; Local, -3 pts.

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