Friday, October 24, 2008

The Logo

Here's the origin story for the famous MLB logo which I am shamelessly ripping off and running directly to the right. And while most of us know this by know, let's once again take the opportunity to debunk an old myth:

Mr. Siegel recalls that he tweaked an action photograph of Jerry West, the Los Angeles Lakers' Hall of Fame guard, for the figure in the NBA logo. By contrast, Mr. Dior maintains that the player in the baseball logo is "pure design."

His son once heard a radio broadcaster say that Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew served as his model for the logo. Mr. Dior's response: "That's completely untrue. It's not Harmon Killebrew. It's not anyone in particular."
Jerry Dior, the man who designed the logo while employed as a graphic designer for a marketing firm, has never been given official recognition for his work, though Major League Baseball "has had a number of discussions with Mr. Dior and his family and are researching the history of the silhouetted batter in connection with its 40th anniversary." Dior doesn't want any money or anything -- he was paid to do his job -- he just wants his grandchildren to be able to point to something that says he did it and maybe throw out a pitch at a ballgame.

Seems to me that a nice little announcement of recognition would be free and that, given there are over 2,000 games a year, a first pitch wouldn't be that hard to come by.

(once again, a hat tip to Pete Toms, who seems to know the kind of stories I like)


bigcatasroma said...

I think Rob Neyer is right when he says, no one, either Dior or MLB, is claiming that the logo is Killebrew, b/c then Killebrew will be owed a SUBSTANTIAL sum of money, what with all those legal infringements and all.

I'm only a in my second year of school, so can you espouse on those, if they do exist, Mr. C?

Craig Calcaterra said...

Not my area of expertise, bigcat, but I'm a bit dubious that Killebrew could collect anything if someone said that this abstract design was inspired by him. It's certainly not a likeness of him in any literal sense. It doesn't use his actual image or anything.

Maybe some copyright lawyer out there could set me straight, but even if this were based on Killebrew, I'd liken it to him being a painter's or sculptor's model or something, and I don't think they have any rights in the finished product.

Mark said...

According to some links on the Uni Watch blog, there apparently are quite a few people claiming to have designed the logo: (scroll down a bit)

Anonymous said...

Killebrew is total BS. I know Dick Stigman's shadow like the top of my Dick Stigman.

RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

There is no way that's, "The Killer" in that image. A pitch that high and inside..? That he's that far behind?? No Possible way.