If the 2018 MLB Opening Day logo is any indication, it’s going to be a great baseball season.
March 29 is Opening Day for all 30 Major League teams this year, and like most baseball fans, it never fails to strike a nostalgic chord with me. Aside from the “hope springs eternal” mindset that every fan has on that magical day, I also look forward to the unveiling of the official MLB Opening Day logo. Painted on the fresh green grass of every home field it’s like a ritual branding milestone.
The 2018 design is a refresh of an ongoing concept, which features a red, white and blue bunting banner that has been included in every design since 2006. The good news is, this year’s version is the best of the bunch. Adapting the design to the new darker color palette for 2018, the logo has been greatly simplified, which creates a slick, contemporary symbol that exemplifies the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach. This alone sets it apart from its predecessors which were not bad, but hardly stellar logos.
And unlike the 2011-2015 versions of the logo where the typography displays a startling lack of finesse, this year’s bold, italic all-caps “OPENING DAY” type element is basic but well-crafted. Together with the iconic MLB rectangular logo, it creates a perfect balance for this branding beauty.
But most importantly, the 2018 Opening Day logo does a terrific job of representing the semi-circular bunting and its folds. I love the choice of the bunting as the main element in the logo because it evokes images of long-gone stadiums where buntings fluttered from the decks. And where presidents like William Howard Taft hefted his Ruthian frame from the front row to toss out the first-ever ceremonial pitch by a sitting president. For us, these historical images linger in black and white, but no doubt the ballparks were just as spectacular and colorful back then as they are for us today.
Photo: history.com and Bettman/Getty Images
So I tip my cap to you MLB, I can almost smell the grass. Nicely done. Time to find my ball glove and head to the nearest stadium. After all, my home team is headed to the Series this fall!