Name the fifty states.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Logo – If you are like most Americans, you forgot a few… or more. If you are like many Americans, one of these left-out states was Idaho. Idaho is a lovely place (yes, I have been there) with many fine qualities, but most of us associate it with only one thing: potatoes.
Idahoans work hard to overcome this image and actually rather resent it. Now, a powerful organization in their state appears to be encouraging the spud madness. We have seen a lot of brands associated with sports lately in special marketing deals, and even sponsored bowl games. The Idaho Potato Commission is hoping to promote their rather humble product by sponsoring one as well: the game formerly known as the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl. Henceforth, it is to be known as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
This seems like an unlikely choice for a bowl sponsor, but consider this: despite their bad reputation in our low carb society, potatoes are actually a very healthy food. They are relatively low calorie, filling and full of nutrients. This, of course, is before you load them with butter, sour cream, and all of the toppings that make them actually taste good.
The change in name comes with a change in logo design as well. The new logo design features—what else?—a giant potato/football topped with sour cream and chives. Because of its shape, the vegetable blends in with mountains in the background. The fonts and lettering would be atrocious for any other brand, but they are typical of the sports design genre.
This logo design and brand will be representing the bowl, and the State produce as well, for six years thanks to a deal between the Idaho Potato Commission and the NCAA. To be fair, it is not the only bowl to have a commodity-related name. Consider notable examples such as the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. On the other hand, these commodities have the significant advantage of actually belonging in a bowl. If most people are like me, they eat potatoes off plates and leave the bowls for things like… sugar and oranges. And then there is the new logo’s bright, Technicolor palette, which seems too first grade for a bowl game.
Despite the issues with this logo design, I rather like it. It is a design that begs you to suspend snickering and just watch the game. In addition, it is much simpler than many other sports logo designs. It has no gradients, beveling, randomly placed shadows or other design atrocities. It is, simply and plainly, itself. This is much like the potato, if you think about it.
Branding can be used to tie almost any concepts together. That is the magic of design. It makes the implausible possible and the plain aesthetically appealing—all in one easily viewable image. I rather look forward to seeing this design change over the years and build a brand worthy of the fine food that it represents.