California League’s 66ers get an overhaul

This one hits close to home as I’ve lived in the IE (Inland Empire for my non-Southern California friends) for all my life. Growing up near Pomona (home of the NHRA’s Winternationals, Finals and Hot Rod Museum), I’ve been immersed into car-culture since I was little. Pops was one of the founder of the “STYLE” car club in the 70’s and ended up in one of the pages of LowRider Magazine; my Uncle was a Super Comp driver for many years and Pops, Uncle and my Grandpa all painted cars on the side. While I never took up the family hobby, I’ve been around the So Cal Hot Rod scene for as long as I can remember…

So what does that have to do with the 66ers? Well, our friends at Brandiose knocked out a new logo series for the team. I was excited to hear they were going to base the new logos off of Southern California’s car culture…until the logos were revealed:

Inland Empire 66ers’ new logo set

There are certain aspect of Brandiose’s work that I enjoy. I’ve always loved how well they research and develop an identity, along with how they incorporate a “whimsical” nature to their designs; with that said, I feel as though they missed the mark on this one.

The overall design does reflect car culture, however, the logos, wordmark and swinging mechanic (another swinging mascot?) really give off an art-deco/1930’s vibe; which is 100% off from the “muscle car” theme the team mentioned they were going for. The only logo reminiscent of the muscle car era, would be the engine, however it loses its power by leaking oil instead of shooting flames. Anthromorphics aside, the engine logo looks like a tangled mess of metal and it’s hard to distinguish the eyes above the fan.

Orange is a great muscle car color and ties into the city’s history as a citrus producer. However the powder blue dulls the dark grey; white would have been a better highlight color (as seen in certain aspects of the engine logo). The whole powder blue/dark grey combo come off as dreary, which is nothing like the muscle car scene of the 60’s/70’s. That era was full of bright, bold colors and it’s nothing like this depression-era set that Brandiose presented.

I’m wondering what part of  the city the Brandiose team spent their time in to get something this drab and melancholy.