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Ranking the PLL Throwback Logos

To go along with the PLL throwback jerseys unveiled last weekend, the league also dropped some old school logos to go along with the throwback weekend. The irony here being that the PLL has only been around since 2018 so there isn’t much history to go off of when unveiling throwback logos.

In order to compensate for the lack of history, these logos were meant to be stylizations of what each team would have looked like back in the day. I think this concept is important to remember as we browse through this list as that was my main criteria when ranking these logos. I would argue that half of the PLL throwback logos feel like rushed attempts to make something that feels dated, whereas the other half actually achieved the goal of making me believe that these teams actually have some history behind these logos.

8) Whipsnakes

There isn’t really a lot to like here. I will speak highly for the snake as I think that it is the best part of this logo. Other than that, what exactly is going on here? This doesn’t feel like it fits anywhere in history which kind of defeats the point of a throwback logo in my opinion. This feels more like the logo for a Harry Potter fan fiction than a PLL throwback logo. Thank you, next.

7) Cannons

This was the best we could do for a team with two decades of actual history behind its name? I could make this logo in five minutes flat on Microsoft paint. Here is a crazy idea, just use the Cannons original logo. They could have easily made it feel more dated while still using the outline of the team’s original logo. This logo has no heart which is a shame considering the Cannons are the only team in the PLL where a throwback logo makes sense.

6) Redwoods

This is a t-shirt design, not a team logo. I understand what they were going for here but it’s too simple for me to care. The Redwoods should have utilized the bear fully here as that would’ve felt more on brand for a throwback logo. Imagine a bear logo for the Redwoods similar to what Brown University has used for years? That would have felt more like a throwback logo instead of a t-shirt design you would find at Old Navy.

5) Chrome

It is difficult for me to put into words why I don’t have this Chrome logo higher on this list. On paper, it’s doing everything it should be. It feels very minimal with good color usage and a great typography choice. However, I think it is missing the essence of what it means to be a throwback logo as corny as that sounds.

The logo itself looks good, don’t get me wrong, but in no way shape or formed does this feel dated which was the whole goal of unveiling these PLL throwback logos. I would have loved to seen a hand drawn medieval knight here as I think that would have been more on par.

4) Archers

I don’t think this look is terrible for the Archers but it just feels very forced. As ironic as it sounds, it seems like this logo is trying to mimic what a throwback logo should be instead of actually trying to replicated what a throwback logo would actually look like. The remaining logos on this list understand that concept perfectly where this logo feels like a rushed job trying to pay homage to certain logo tropes from the past.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is terrible. I enjoy the typography here and like that the colors being used feel very dated, which is what you want in a throwback logo. I think the patterned design on the interior of the “Archers” wordmark is extremely forced and the logo would have benefited greatly without it. Everything here just feels very forced which makes this PLL throwback logo fall to the middle of the pack.

3) Chaos

When I originally saw this logo I did not think much of it. Now that some time has passed I really can appreciate it a lot more. The scorpion featured at the center of the logo is excellent. It pairs nicely with the typography and really hits the nail on the head when matching the Chaos energy. The badge really pops on the red background due to the minimal colors used inside the badge overall.

Keeping it all tidied up in a circular badge with a strong border was the right move. Overall, I think this feels like it could be an actual throwback logo and feels very on brand for the Chaos.

2) Atlas

This was definitely the safe route for the Atlas but I’m happy with the result. The horseshoe just makes sense for a team called the Atlas and the team’s color scheme blends in very nicely with the whole design. The typography here feels dated yet very genuine as a throwback logo. The slight curve in the text is a subtle but nice touch. No need to overcomplicate things or reinvent the wheel, this is a good throwback logo.

1) Waterdogs

By far the best PLL throwback logo by a country mile. This feels like an actual throwback logo that you would see from an old school university. The “W” itself holds enough weight on its own but the old school dog with his head cocked to one side really is the icing on top. The typography here is great along with the different weighted lines that really make this logo feel dated, which is a good thing.

If you showed me this logo prior to it being unveiled by the PLL, I never would have guess that this throwback logo didn’t have decades of history behind it.