Grading and review of new Topeka Pilots logo!

When the NAHL’s Topeka RoadRunners announced they were changing names, we waiting with much excitement for the new name and logo.

Well, earlier this month the team announced they were changing the name to the Topeka Pilots, to honor the area’s strong aviation history, a solid name, and an improvement over RoadRunners, in this writer’s opinion, but sadly, on the day they announced the name change, they did not reveal a new logo, just a generic font with a hockey stick, and a hint at what the team colors would be.


But today! Today we have a logo, that we spotted this morning on the NAHL’s page in a nifty video that showcased all of the Topeka hockey team names and logos over the years, dating back to the city’s days as a CHL team.

Take a look at the new Topeka Pilots logo:


As jersey and uniform experts, Shawn and I felt compelled to review and grade this new logo, and here’s what we thought of it:


First off, let me note that I am a season ticket holder for one of the teams in the division Topeka plays in, and I always thought they had the most bland, boring, nickname and uniforms (they wore Blue Jackets jerseys just with the RoadRunners logo on it) of the teams in the division, so I think the name and colors are a major upgrade.

There’s a lot going on in this logo, but I think it’s pretty good. I like the simplicity of the TOPEKA PILOTS font, the wings coming off the sides of the crest are a really nice touch, and the head-on view of the plane, complete with the motion swipes coming off the back of the wings are really nice and gives the logo good action. The little yellow accents in it are nice too.

That said, it’s a bit too busy, mainly because of those hockey sticks. Those look cartoony, cheap, and just flat-out aren’t necessary, I did a two-second PhotoShop job so you could see what this logo might look like without them, and I think it would be a major upgrade. We know you’re a hockey team, you don’t need hockey sticks in there to prove it.


I feel like that’s so much cleaner and less busy, and a really dang good logo without the hockey sticks.

But again, this is a big upgrade from the RoadRunners name and colors, and I’ll be interested to see what jerseys they come up with for this logo.

Overall: An upgrade that had the potential to be really good, as it is, a solid B.


The colors on this logo are honestly great. They’re not too flashy and not overdone, they hit a nice middle that allows you to have a lot of options for jerseys and alternates.

Pilots isn’t the worst name, all things considered. It’s about your team history and what you do with this. This logo is a good start, with the old front-rudder style plane. I’m personally the type who overly appreciates ridiculous names or very art-house style logos (like the creativeness of Peoria SPHL’s team as the Rivermen in a old boat wheel), but I think based on geography and the logo-name combo, this works.

At least way better than RoadRunners. That’s not saying much though, Kansas.

When Rovitz first showed me this logo, the first thing to pop into mind was the busy-ness. I really believe that it does a lot right as a logo! The “wings” off the pilots name, full team name listed, and not being a circle or being confirmed within the crest. The plane wings coming out is arguably awesome, and the perspective of the plane flying towards you rocks.

It’s those hockey sticks that just throw this way overboard. Hockey sticks are such a cop out way for almost any logo to prove what sport it plays, and that removes the subtlety and genius of branding and a logo. If this logo got rid of the sticks, much like Rovitz said and showed, I’d be very high on it.

That being said, I actually do like this logo, colors, and team name. You can do WAY worse than this, and I’m feeling generous today.

Overall: a logo that’s failures aren’t as severe as its success. B+.


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