Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nascar Sprint Cup Team Logo Collection

NOTE: Due to today’s race inexplicably starting closer to 4pm than 1pm, here’s a pre-race article instead of a post-race recap.

The very nature of Nascar means that we see sponsor logos constantly.  But what we don’t always see so much at the forefront are the logos of the teams themselves.  From vintage to futuristic, from professionally designed to looking like they were slapped together in an hour, every team logo has a story to tell—the question is, is it one worth hearing?

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
A bit dull, with a definitely 1990's feel to it.  Very crowed, but still much easier to read than the old "Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates" logo.  The stylized "CHIP" seems a bit out of place (and wouldn't a chip be round?).  This team usually appends "TARGET" at the beginning for the 42 car.

Furniture Row Racing
This one looks MUCH better on its usual black background than just on its own, but it's still a bit too slap-dash.  While they had to factor in the "Furniture Row" logo, this one really looks (and feels) like it was thrown together last-minute.
Germain Racing
Pretty disappointing.  The team has had Geico as their sponsor for years now, but their logo is red and black?  The stretched-out checkered flag on the bottom looks like an original draft that was never fixed.  The drop-shadow is just slight enough to get lost, and just noticeable enough to make the whole thing look blurry.

Hendrick Motorsports
The gold standard on and off the track, the Hendrick Motorsports logo has changed very little since the team's second year (its first year, they were All-Star Racing).  The "speeding checker" is a very nice touch, and the red-and-black color scheme is decent.  The "Hendrick" letter-style is a carryover from the Hendrick family of car dealerships, but can't help but look a bit outdated in 2015.

HScott Motorsports
The somewhat oddly named "HScott" (are there other Scotts to worry about?) has a nice combination of the H & S in the logo.  The two-toned chrome color is a great touch and matches with almost anything.  The "Motorsports" is a little bit of an afterthought, but it's really just nitpicking an overall great logo.

JTG-Daugherty Racing
One of the more cumbersome names in Nascar today, they're represented by a 90's-ish logo.  The "everything in italics" look is a bit overdone, and the crescent around the top-left doesn't really serve much of a purpose.  Nice color scheme, but the "Daugherty RACING" portion is pretty crammed-in at the bottom.
Premium Motorsports
Pretty much what could be expected from a team that came together just before the start of the season.  Looks like a knockoff of an old ESPN graphic, and the generic name doesn't leave much room to work with.  The color scheme is a nice change, but other than that, let's hope the team sticks around long enough to do more with their logo.

Richard Childress Racing (RCR)
RCR's logo hasn't changed much since the days of Dale Earnhardt Sr., and it could be argued that this is the "most classic" logo in Nascar after the Woods Bros.  That being said, this is a decent logo, with a common color combination and a simple design.  The outline on the "RCR" is a tick too thin, and the full team name is in such a thin font that it's easily lost.  The red checkers are a nice variation.  Odd how the logo leans to the right, since all the RCR car numbers lean to the left.
Circle Sport Racing/Hillman Racing
Two teams that operate out of the same building, but with different names due to ownership & team alliance differences.  The #33 races under the Circle Sport banner, and what a banner it is.  The combined "CS" is something not really seen in Nascar, and the "Circle Sport" across the "dash" is a nice touch.  The color scheme pops, and even the letter-style is slick without being hard to read.
Meanwhile, the #40 car runs as Hillman Racing, with quite the unattractive logo.  The "H" looks like a History Channel knockoff, and the double checkered flags look like clip-art from an old-school CD-ROM.

Stewart-Haas Racing
Pretty much the best logo in Sprint Cup, and it's easy to see why.  A pair of vintage letter-styles set the old-school tone.  The "flying V" at the bottom blends in with the overall theme, and sticks out just enough to let you know its there.  The overall black, silver & chrome color scheme works almost perfectly, and the outlining (from the lettering to the logo itself) is a nice touch.  Tough to top this one!
Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR)
One of the dullest logos in Nascar.  The "crowded" letters (also known as the "kerning" of the font) sets it a bit apart from everyone else, but the rest is just plain dull--and dully plain.  The color style is seen almost everywhere, and the letter-style itself is clunky and outdated.  This one could really use an update.

Front Row Motorsports
Front Row has gone from a glorified start-and-park operation to a race-winning team.  Still, their logo--while serviceable--seems to be missing something.  The stylized "racetrack" on the left is a nice touch, as is the color scheme.  But the letter-styles are pretty generic, and they'd probably benefit from either an outline or some slight 3-D effects.

No review of Go FAS Racing's logo (aka the #32 car), as they don't have one, continuing to use the old FAS lane Racing and Go Green Racing logos

Richard Petty Racing (RPM)
Beginning as a new logo for the old Petty Enterprises, this logo-style has been through numerous ownership changes over the years.  The specific font is a great choice, as is the red-and-blue color scheme.  Yeah, the blue isn't Petty Blue, but that shade of light/sky blue wouldn't show up well on white.  The curves could probably use a refresh, and an "RPM" alternate logo would be great, but all-in-all, this is a great logo.

Roush Fenway Racing
What a great logo!  The letter-style is perfect for racing, and the curved and pointed shape is fantastic.  The green color scheme is a nice nod to the team's baseball roots and the black outline makes the "ROUSH FENWAY" pop, either in 2-D or 3-D form.  This is everything a Nascar team logo can and should be.

Team Penske
Another classic logo, with the added benefit of being used uniformly across Roger Penske's Nascar and IndyCar teams.  The "Penske font" is an almost instant identifier, carrying over to the team's Nascar numbers, but probably could stand a slight bit of refreshing after so many years of use.  The Captain's probably the only one who could get away without having "Racing" or "Motorsports" in a logo, but still have virtually everybody know what they are.

BK Racing
While the name doesn't make much sense (they're named after the team's quasi-sponsor?), the logo does.  The letter-style is great, and the extended K, while a little clunky, helps them stand apart.  The "Racing" is a bit tacked-on but doesn't stand out too much.  A good logo for a lowbuck team.

Joe Gibbs Racing
Joe Gibbs Racing is unquestionably one of the top teams in Nascar, but their logo is one of the worst.  The "JG" is vintage early-90's, and the "JOE GIBBS RACING" is in a bizarre font that always seems to look messed-up.  The fade-in checkered flag looks a bit like a Hendrick knockoff.  Not much to like here, and here's hoping they update ASAP.

Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR)

One of the newest power-teams has a modern logo to boot.  The heavily-stylized curved W is fantastic, and looks good in gold against black or white.  The skinny "MWR" is a nice touch, even though the team is essentially run by Joel Kauffman now.  A great look even if the team is in a slump.

Leavine Family Racing (LFR)

Leavine Family Racing might be new, and they might be part-time, but their logo is fantastic.  The font is consistent and just enough in-your-face.  The color scheme of red, white & blue is an old standard that almost always works.  They incorporate their Texas roots with the outline of the state and the "Lone Star" at the top.  The red-and-white of the "LFR" is a great stylistic choice.

Wood Brothers Racing

It's tough to top the Wood Bros. when it comes to anything classic.  The logo, while admittedly a bit dull, has remained almost completely unchanged since the 1980's, and does a great job of incorporating their classic #21.  Maybe a bit of sprucing-up could help a bit, but it's just polishing a gem.  Note that the team is using a retro logo for this, their 65th anniversary season.