Inspired by Von Glitschka’s redraw of the Orioles Cartoon Bird in his blog post Fowl Ball, I decided I would give an Orioles rebrand a go from a Baltimorean’s perspective along with my desire to create Cartoon Bird cap mark that felt related to other iterations of the Walsh Cartoon Bird.
When the Orioles unveiled their refreshed logos and uniforms for the 2012 season I was ecstatic to see the team bring back the beloved Cartoon Bird. Having grown up in Baltimore I immediately felt nostalgic for my childhood, cheering on my favorite ballplayers such as Steady Eddie and the Iron Man Cal Ripken, Jr. from the seats of Memorial Stadium. I can recall the rain delay antics of Rick Dempsey and hoping today would be the day I would catch that fly ball so I could hear Rex Barney declare, “Give that fan a contract!” 1983 was by far the most magical season of them all as the Cartoon Bird sat majestically atop the players’ caps to witness the team take their third World Series Championship.
With the reintroduction of the Cartoon Bird for the 2012 season I noticed a glaring disconnect that’s always been present between the Cartoon Bird and the fully rendered “Swinging Bird” and the “Proud Bird” illustrated by designer Stan Walsh. I wanted to take the the design of the Cartoon Bird one step further to make it part of a cohesive family of marks exuding the same confident attitude of the Walsh Birds. I feel I’ve created a mark emblematic of a team known to grind it out each season, doing things the Oriole Way.
Included in this rebrand exercise are word mark studies along with uniform mockups to show the new marks in context. Over several decades of redesign the script has become homogenized, losing some of the quirkiness that made this a uniquely Orioles mark. I took a pass at redesigning the script to maintain the balance of the current mark while infusing some the most interesting features of the 1955 Orioles script.
For the majority of the uniform I’ve only made modest changes utilizing my redesigned Orioles script, Cartoon Bird cap, black lettering for player names and a tricolor piping detail, a thinner version of the piping that appeared on the uniforms during the 70’s and 80’s. The big change is the black alternate uniform which I’m calling the the O’s alternate. This alternate now features the O’s word mark on the left side of the jersey along with simple orange piping. Now that the O’s mark appears on the jersey it seemed redundant to have it on the cap as well so the away cap with the Cartoon Bird replaces the O’s cap in this scheme. I thought it would be fun to include the Walsh Swinging Bird arm patch on the jersey to highlight this new kinship between the Cartoon Bird and the Walsh Birds.