The Cleveland baseball team has officially unveiled their team identity for the 2022 season and beyond:
The Cleveland Guardians
The team (I think we can call them the Guardians now? You can’t stop me anyway.) revealed their new look with a video narrated by Tom Hanks.
That may seem like an odd choice on the surface, seeing that Hanks was born in Connecticut and is considered more of a national treasure than a Cleveland-specific one. But as the Akron Beacon Journal broke down shortly after the video was posted on the Guardians’ Twitter account, Hanks has several ties to the City of Cleveland. He thanked the Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland during his Golden Glove acceptance speech last year, and he’s also a Cleveland sports fan.
The Guardians name itself pays homage to the four large Art Deco statues that have unofficially welcomed fans across the Hope Memorial Bridge to Progressive Field for decades. Each of the statues holds a different motor vehicle meant to symbolize the evolution of transport under their protection, from a hay wagon and stagecoach all the way up to a concrete mixer and other trucks.
Following the 2021 season, the Guardians of Traffic will formally become a part of the city’s baseball history when the team rebrands as the Guardians.
Of course with a new name, the team also dropped a full set of new logos, including the new script versions of the Guardians name for home jerseys, a new “Block C” dubbed the “Diamond C,” the script lettering for away jerseys, and a new primary logo that features two winged g’s presumably guiding a two-seamer to the outer edge of the zone.
Cleveland also updated their landing page for the name change process that has been ongoing for over a year now and ramped up in earnest last December when they announced that the name would officially be changing in the near future.
The new page includes the video reveal, press releases, updates about the branding process, background on The Hope Memorial Bridge (where the “Guardians of Traffic” statues reside), a letter from team owner Paul Dolan, and graphically breakdowns of the symbolism found in each of the new logo designs.
For instance, the Diamond C was inspired by “letterforms from the 1920 and 1948 World Series” winning teams, and the peaks of the C draw inspiration from the “ascending diamond motifs at the top of each Guardian pylon.”
The winged g logo, formally called the “Guardians Fastball Logo,” is inspired by the helmets of the Guardians statues and their placement is a nod to a split-finger fastball and the franchise’s “strong pitching heritage.”
Another nice touch on the landing page is that you can see the new logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
Look how sweet this looks just sitting out there on the website. Goodness. pic.twitter.com/zYoKJGgTXU— Covering the Corner (@CovertheCorner) July 23, 2021
The Guardians also released mock-ups of what the uniforms could look like next year. A sleeve logo will finally return for the first time since 2019, with the Guardians Fastball Logo appearing on the arms of Cleveland players. It’s not a huge visual change, especially the away jerseys, but the new name and symbolism are enough to do it for me.
To help you visualize next year's uniforms: pic.twitter.com/slz9Uy9kot— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) July 23, 2021
One small thing to note: The Guardians Fastball Logo doesn’t appear as tilted on the sleeves as it does in the official graphics package. These are obviously very rough visualizations, though, and they could end up more tilted in the final look.
With all of this said, Cleveland will still be finishing out the 2021 season with their current name and there is no word on when merchandise featuring the new branding will be available. With only four images and some rough mock-ups to go on, it might be a while before we get more concrete things to look at and hold.
But for now, look forward to the 2022 Cleveland Guardians.