Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Logo Lineages - Part 2

 This is a continuation of a review of a number of logo or graphics variations that can be found for the classic CFL franchises, part one with the preamble is here.

Ottawa Rough Riders

The classic logo of the Rough Riders is a detailed line drawing of a cowboy atop a bucking bronco in red over a football with dashed lines and black text.

This early rendition of a cowboy on bucking bronc is from the cover of a 1930's Rough Rider game program.
A stylized version of the same design from a 1945 game program. The same graphic without the dust clouds was used on the Rough Rider card sets as early as 1940.

Here the rider is now turned to the familiar right facing direction although he's a football player with a football instead of a cowboy. From a 1948 game program cover. 
For a short while the team wore a simplified version of their classic logo horse and rider without the ball on their helmets. This picture from a 1964 magazine cover.

Although the official colour scheme was red design with black text, different colours were sometimes used. This black rider with red football and text is from the 1960 media guide.
This white rider with just the city name in red on black background is from a 1966 pamphlet.

Separately from the horse and rider logo, sometimes the team was represented by a football with flying pennant design. This was from the 1956 All Star program cover.
A triple ball with flying pennant design was used as early as 1961on this Topps transfer insert, as well as on correspondence letterhead into the seventies.

Sometimes the Rough Riders "borrowed" the logos of other clubs. In 1949 they printed game programs from a graphic design used by the Alouettes. They just airbrushed out the lark and then appropriated the logo.
Here it appears that the team flipped the Stampeders horse around and used it for this pinback. Probably early seventies.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg has had a number of classic logos, one of the earliest being this elaborate design with the multiple scrolls and the city of Winnipeg coat of arms crest in the team colours of blue and gold.

This 1958 Grey Cup winners glass version has the scroll separated from the body of the football and the crest portion shrunken and lowered. The ball has added laces at top as well.
This 1961 differently coloured version added the founding statement at top. This is from a 1961 league promotional booklet.

Before the scrolled logo was in use, the team had certain player graphics that were utilized for things such as this cloth patch for Junior QB club members.
The same graphic used in 1961 for a decal, possibly intended for car windows, probably for season ticket holders.

Getting inspiration from another landmark, this finely detailed rendition of the golden boy atop the Manitoba legislature was used on the Bomber's media guide in 1961.

A much less realistic rendition was also put into service, here on a 1961 schedule with no arrow, the team name removed from the ball and much more prominent laces.

The team updated their logo to a more modern jet design in the sixties. The colours used on this logo can vary quite a bit, here yellow and purple on a 1964 league promotional magazine.

This version in truer colours is from a team letterhead from 1966. The additional underneath line elements extend under a curved team wordmark off to the right of the page.

Another change made to modernize the logo in the late sixties, here from a 1970 CFL Properties sticker set.
The W behind ball logo sometimes was represented without the nickname on top and with a dark colour scheme for the ball details. This is from a 1975 bumper sticker.

Toronto Argonauts

   The classic logo of the Toronto Argonauts is one of the most inventive in all of Sport. The football becomes a rowed seagoing vessel, cresting the stylized waves, complete with sail and rigging and masts and one lone Argonaut seaman armed with a spear at the rear of the boat.

The original boat graphic was from the Argonaut rowing club and features a dragon head prow with 5 armed crew members. This rendition is from a 75th anniversary program in 1947.
For the hundredth anniversary in 1972 a pennant was issued with the original A.R.C. galley warship but the dragon head has been updated to more of a horses head.

In the early part of the 20th century the Argos tended to use player graphics in their double blue colours. This from a program cover in 1936.
A similarly themed player graphic on a program cover from 1952. Updated helmet and different uniform style but the general idea is maintained in the drawing. 

A number of different player graphics were used on ephemera and correspondence during the fifties. Here is one such style from a team letterhead in 1958.
And the same graphic but with more than two colours on a league information booklet from 1961.

Slight variations in the logo can be found, here the sole Argonaut at the stern of the football is missing. This is from the 1960 media guide.
Sometimes just the outline of the ship logo was used, such as on this decal from the 1960s.

Sometime in the latter seventies the ship logo was updated into a much simplified and cleaner look. The waves are calmer and the city name is gone. This version from a 1980 team letterhead.
Variations on this logo were also used, here with light and dark colour reversal and direction reversal. This is from a mid seventies blue versus white intrasquad game program.

As mentioned in part 1, there are additional logo variations than what I have shown here for these three teams. Part three to come next month.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Logo Lineages - Part 1

 Most CFL fans are aware that their teams had classic logos used for various time periods in the past (ten of which are displayed in the banner of this blog) and of course are familiar with the modern logos in use today. There are numerous sites on the internet that track historic sport logos and there is a lot of good information there for CFL teams although I wouldn't consider them particularly complete or necessarily accurate, especially in terms of the dates they assign.

Besides official logos there were a whole host of graphics that were used on various publications or ephemera, sometimes only on single occasion, that is related to the teams and is not so well known. Since a properly comprehensive repository of these types of images does not exist (hopefully one day) I am going to just display a whole bunch of them (primarily up to roughly the seventies) in this post with some descriptive information.

Logo usage usually overlapped, meaning that even after a new logo was unveiled the old logo was often times still occasionally used years later. Also although a particular logo might have been official, in some cases a whole bunch of variations on that logo were still used on many different items  

Calgary Stampeders

    The classic logo of the Stamps is the cowboy riding a bucking bronco superimposed on a football  with the laces (4) on the left and the team name running slightly upwards left to right.

This banner was carried by the Calgary fan contingents at the 1948 and 1949 Grey Cups and featured a cowboy riding a bucking horse
This logo was from a 1953 team letterhead and is the same cowboy that the Hockey Stampeders used for their logo during this time period

This is the complete version of the Hockey team logo that was also used by the football team, in this case from a 1954 Stampeders program
This is believed to be the prototype drawing of what became the classic logo from a large one of a kind canvas pennant in 1956

An early sixties version of the logo on a pennant but from obviously a completely different drawing rendition. Three laces instead of 4
Another sixties pennant version, the facial features having been reduced to looking like a skeleton. Three constricted laces remain

Pinback probably issued during the 1968 Grey Cup, it is the same logo theme but a totally different graphic version. No laces on the ball
Pinback issued for the 1970 Grey Cup, a completely different rendition of the cowboy on bucking bronc with hat on

Another different version of the same logo, this time on the Stampeder's media guide for 1969. The ball laces have moved to the right side

1970 CFLPA Pennant rendition closer to the classic version but with no laces on the ball and the city name at top 

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

   The classic logo of the Tiger-Cats is the fierce snarling leaping tiger superimposed on a yellow circle with the team nickname and sport spelled out within.

I actually illustrated a lot of Hamilton's formative tiger logo history in this earlier post, so only one of those images is reproduced here as well.

A 1949 detailed tiger head logo from a Hamilton Tigers 75th Anniversary program the year before the merger with the Wildcats
Late 1940's Hamilton Wildcats logo from a game program, a year or two before the merger with the Tigers

Another different tiger head logo, this one a photograph from a 1953 team letterhead

An early version of a leaping tiger from a pennant, sometime in the early fifties

Sometimes the leaping tiger logo featured the city name in the circle (and sometimes nothing at bottom).This image from a game program in 1961

The classic logo adapted to celebrate Canada's confederation centennial in 1967

This attractive version superimposes the tiger on top of a fiery steel mill with the city slogan at bottom. Pennant from sometime in the early Sixties

More variations with the tiger on this pinback, different slogans and a gold ball with city name between the paws. issued for the Grey Cup in 1972

Sometimes three dimensional versions of the team symbol are produced, this one from the Sixties. This is one of those plastic with fuzzy coating toys of the era, it is not home made
From time to time a totally different rendition of the tiger head was used, such as this pinback from the 1972 Grey Cup

B.C. Lions

   The classic logo of the B.C. Lions, a snarling North American mountain lion, is somewhat unique because it is the only classic CFL logo that the team was using right from the inauguration of the franchise.

But the franchise pre-dated the organization of the CFL so early versions were associated with the Western Interprovincial Football Union, game program 1956
A different graphic of the snarling lions head was also used separately as on this 1956 bumper sticker

A leaping mountain lion was also utilized in the franchises early years, this decal probably dates from the mid fifties
Leaping lion carrying a football with a teammate lion in helmet while the human opposition runs away. Pennant probably mid fifties 

Occasionally the Lions were incorrectly depicted as African species as on this late fifties or early sixties pennant
Another African lion but definitely associated with the CFL Lions in Vancouver, probably early sixties

A series of decals was produced for the B.C. Lions over a 12 year period with the classic logo combined with different graphical elements and slogans every year
If you look closely there are minor differences in the Logo such as the partial versus full line on the middle of the tongue and the font size on the ball is different

The Lions head was transformed to a two dimensional graphic in the seventies, this sticker from 1975
A couple of years later transformed again and would then further evolve into the eighties Lions logo. Sticker from 1977  

You definitely could easily find a lot more variations than what I have shown here for these three teams. I will follow this post up with similar images for the remaining teams in the future. Thanks to Darryl Slade for the Stampeders prototype pennant image.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

You Bet Your Life

 A very wide variety of businesses have sponsored the creation of CFL ephemera over the decades, including Radio & TV, Newspaper, Automotive & Petroleum, Food & Restaurant, Printers and all manner of local small businesses. Two of the primary industries using sports to sell their products (Alcohol & Tobacco) generally shortened their client's lifespans, the more successful they were. No matter, you could even your odds by taking out a life insurance policy with the businesses that are the subject of this months post.

Insurance corporations have a long history of involvement supporting the CFL to help market their services. Here is a quick rundown of some of the publications they underwrote the expenses of producing, that now make interesting items for the modern day collector to pursue.

Late 1940's / Early 1950's ? London Life Radio Listener Booklets

London Life issued a series of booklets to help fans who listened to the games on the Radio follow the action. There is at least one older version of this publication as well that could have been issued as early as the late 1930's but I am actually unsure of the dates of these items. There may have been more than 3 issued, and certainly they would have been discontinued once television became the primary medium to deliver games to Canadian homes.

Crown Life 1955 Roster Booklet

Crown Life began sponsoring a roster publication for Canadian Football teams (from the three senior unions at the time) at least as early as 1955 which was  something of a precursor to team specific media guides. The insides were pretty bare bones mimeographed type written pages but the information presented was the key deliverable. Some statistical analysis of the players demographic information was included as this was what Life Insurance companies specialized in.

Crown Life 1959 and 1962 Roster Booklets

The outsides were pretty plain as well for the first 3 years and then gradually incorporated different graphics each season. These references were most likely produced in small quantities just sufficient for team and media personnel because they are quite rare today and had they been meant for fans there would have been a lot more survived. The O.R.F.U. was dropped from the rosters after 1958. The 1962 cover is particularly inventive with the football helmets numerical motif.

Crown Life 1964 and 1967 Roster Booklets

These guides were continued up until at least 1967, by which time each CFL team had been producing media guides for at least 10 years, so exactly who the distinct audience was for these during the sixties is unclear. Replica summarizations of the contents of these booklets were produced by Joe Cronin at some point in the eighties, but naturally getting your hands on the originals is by far the preferred outcome. Wouldn't be cheap, I would expect that each of these guides would bring between $75 and $100 at auction today.


Crown Life 1958 Schedules Pamphlet

During the same time period Crown Life did produce mini fold out pamphlet types of combination schedules (Canadian Pro and College & U.S. Pro football) that also contained some historical statistical summaries and various other bits and pieces. These were targeted at individual fans and were a way to generate publicity for individual Life Insurance agents across the country.

Crown Life 1970 Schedules Pamphlet

With 16 panels of information (8 per side) these were pretty neat little collectibles. The earliest one I am aware of was issued in 1958 and the latest is 1970. From at least 1962 the cover featured a cartoon boy football player. These are not the easiest items to come across either, but much more plentiful than the roster booklets and are more in the range of 10-20 bucks. 

The panel to the left of the cover was generally printed with a local Crown Life representative's name in a particular city (not necessarily a CFL franchise city either). Sometimes there was a different sponsor such as a radio station and sometimes the panel was blank. In any case it means that there were likely dozens of different versions of the schedules issued every year.

1971 Standard Life Schedule with classic team logos

Jump to the Seventies and Standard Life sponsored a fabulous looking series of schedules starting in 1971 with a vibrant multi panel colour game action scene one one side. The schedules were issued for each team with their specific schedule on one of the reverse panels and the league schedule on the other two panels. Unfortunately they did not think (or it was too expensive) to have different colour action scenes for each team. 

1973 Standard Life Schedule with classic team helmet logos

For all of these years there are at 10, maybe 11 schedules per year to collect for completists (one per 9 teams, French version for Montreal and potentially for Ottawa as well). 

1976, 1979 & 1986 Standard Life Schedule designs

By 1976 the action photos were replaced by the league and team helmet logos and then from 1977 through 1984 they won the least ambitious graphic design award with the same large two digit year theme. The final three years of the schedules from 1985 through 1987 returned to a player graphic with a team helmet on the front indicating which franchise that schedule was for.   

1975 Pioneer Life Saskatchewan Schedule

In some cases smaller regional life insurance firms got into the promotional schedule game for certain teams. On the prairies Pioneer Life put out items for Saskatchewan and Winnipeg over several seasons including a couple with historic teams from the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Nice.

1977 Pioneer Life Winnipeg Schedule

No matter where you currently sit on the actuarial tables, adding some of these interesting items to your collection is bound to be generate feelings of contentment, that should have a beneficial delaying effect on your eventual cashing in of your policy.