We're nearing the end of our NHL logo rankings and today we crack the top three with the St. Louis Blues. The Blue Note has represented St. Louis' NHL team since its inception in 1967, with some alterations along the way. It's a symbol that stands not just for the team, but the city and region, which is renowned for its history of jazz and blues music. The color blue is an obvious fit with the name and is accentuated with a yellow that used to take up more space on the logo and jersey. What we liked about the design were the colors and stylized look that jumps at you. It's clean, to the point and representative of the city. It's a slick look that's easily identifiable. What else can you ask for from a team named the Blues? If you think you can design something better, now's your chance. Send your redesigned St. Louis Blues logo to firstname.lastname@example.org and next week we'll run all our favorite reader submissions from each NHL team.
HISTORY OF THE BLUES LOGO In 1967, the St. Louis Blues were one of six expansion franchises that were added on to the NHL's Original Six. What would the new team be called? For owner Sid Saloman Jr., it was an easy decision. From the
St. Louis Blues website:
"The name of the team has to be the Blues," exclaimed Salomon after being awarded the new franchise. "It's part of the city where W.C. Handy composed his famed song while thinking of his girl one morning." Handy wrote a song called St. Louis Blues, which you can
listen to here. At first, the newly structured NHL was split into Eastern and Western conferences, with the Original Six in the East and the expansion teams in the West. The competition was very lopsided and though the Blues made it to the Stanley Cup final in each of their first three seasons, they were swept every time, twice by the Habs and once by the Bruins. The original St. Louis Blues logo had the recognizable blue note inside a yellow cycle that said "St. Louis Blues" and "National Hockey League."
In 1978-79, the circle and wording around the blue note went through a major change, while the note itself was given a little more bulk. Though this logo and the one before it were recognized as the primary looks for the team, it was
just the note that appeared on the jersey.
In 1984-85, the word "St. Louis" was subtly added to the top rung of the blue note, while "Blues" was spelled out in large letters above it. This logo did appear on the team's jerseys, though not for very long. This logo also introduced a tinge of red into the logo, which would remain for 15 years.
In 1987-88, the script "Blues" was removed from the top of the logo and the blue note that was introduced in 1984 was enlarged to become the stand-alone design. For the first time, it sat by itself as the primary logo for the team and would inspire a pretty terrible jersey. If you'll recall,
Wayne Gretzky wore this jersey when he briefly played there in 1996 and
this secondary logo appeared on the shoulder. Yikes! The '90s, everybody.
Finally, in 1998, the Blues went to the logo they still use today. The red outline was removed and the blue coloring was darkened. Out of all the Blues' logos, this one is my favorite. And though we don't take alternate logos into consideration for these rankings, the Blues currently have one of the
best in that department, with the blue note sitting inside a circle and the Gateway Arch in the background.
Dissenting opinion: I'll admit the Blues are handicapped by their name and they've done quite well with what they have to work with, but this isn't a ranking based on difficulty of execution - it's simply a list of the best, and St. Louis doesn't belong in the top 10, never mind at No. 3. My apologies to logo enthusiasts on behalf of the THN panel (of which I was a part and tried vociferously to have the Blues ranked lower).
- Edward Fraser