Edmonton Oilers Logo History
- Hockey Logos
- August 1, 2018
Today we take a look at the history of the Edmonton Oilers classically styled round logo. The Oilers were founded in 1972 for the inaugural WHA season. For this first year, the team was known as the Alberta Oilers. A team in Calgary never got off the ground, so the Alberta name was chosen to represent the whole province and the fact that home games would be split between the two cities. However, the Oilers never wound up playing any home games in Calgary, and changed their name to the Edmonton Oilers after only one season. The original logo is classic 70s design, with royal blue text designed to look like flowing liquid at the bottom and a contrasting orange oil drop. at the top. The text makes up about 2/3rds of the surrounding circle, with the orange oil droplet and accompanying outline taking up the upper 1/3. The text and oil drop are enclosed in a circle, which frames the bottom of the oil drop.
For the next few WHA years, the oilers logo had some color changes, or rather color swaps, as the text and oil drop colors were traded. In our opinion this is the worst iteration of the logo, as these colors are not the easiest on the eyes. Otherwise the logo’s overall designed would remain unchanged even until now. The colors were also darkened from royal blue to a navy blue, with a copper background, and the oil drop in white through the end of the 70s. One alternate logo did emerge between 1975 and 1978. This logo added the word ‘Edmonton’ in the same font as the existing Oilers above the logo in black. However, the scaling of the font is different, with the ration of “droop” to the rest of the character being much smaller than the “Oilers” font. The black font also seems odd as it is not used anywhere else in the logo.
Through the 1980s and mid 90s, the only changes were subtle ones, with the core logo design and colors remaining unchanged. A thin white line was added and removed as a border to the outside of the royal blue circle several times. For the 96/97 season an orange ring was added to the outside of the circle as a way to include the orange color of the 70s. The oil drop was also changed to a gold color, thus removing the orange from inside the normal logo. The ring would remain with the logo for over a decade until it was removed in 2011.
Between 1996 and 2007, four alternate logos were used. The first of which consisted of an oil worker, also known as a roughneck, pulling a hockey stick as though it were a lever. This logo used a more common looking block font for the Oilers text on one of the two versions. While not a horrible looking logo, it does little to build on the existing logo, while also paying no homage to the history of the franchise. It also has the usual 90s/early 2000s busyness which was common in graphic design of the era. At the same time, the logo known as the “mechanical oil drop” was introduced. This logo incorporated the oil drop over top of two cogs, and appearing to be moving sideways. I remember when this one was introduced and didn’t like it even back then. This was an interesting time for team logo design in sports, as many logos from this time period attempted to show impact and toughness. A few teams attempted to replace iconic logos that had been in use for decades, most of which failed and were abandoned within a few years. In the case of the oilers, all found alternate logo designs were dropped by 2007.
The Edmonton Oilers are currently back to their classic circular design, with dripping text and oil drop. Hopefully they will have enough sense to leave a classic alone and keep the logo as it is for a while.
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