New tricks: RockHounds roll out logo refresh
Of all the teams in the Double-A Central, the Midland RockHounds sported the oldest look in 2021. Starting next season, the circuit’s old dogs will have some new tricks. For the first time in over two decades, the RockHounds will take the field with a fresh set of logos. “We
Of all the teams in the Double-A Central, the Midland RockHounds sported the oldest look in 2021. Starting next season, the circuit’s old dogs will have some new tricks.
For the first time in over two decades, the RockHounds will take the field with a fresh set of logos.
“We knew the direction we wanted to go,” said Ray Fieldhouse, the RockHounds' assistant general manager of operations. “We wanted to modernize our logo. Changing our team name was never on the table.”
To that end, the RockHounds found an eager partner in local agency Torch Creative.
“Torch is regional, out of the Dallas area, and we just hit it off with those guys,” said RockHounds assistant general manager Jeff VonHolle. “We liked what they've done in the past, and based on what we knew we wanted to do, we thought they would be able to do a really good job of delivering that final product.”
In short, a Texas-based design firm felt like the right choice to incorporate regional elements into the RockHounds' new look. (A "rockhound," a term for an amateur rock collector, also refers to a geologist who searches for oil.)
“When we talked to Torch, [we conveyed] we liked the old logo," said Fieldhouse. "There was really nothing wrong with it except for the fact that it was a little bit dated. It was that late-'90s, early-2000s look ... and there were several things we liked and wanted to bring over to the new logo while at the same time modernizing it.”
Midland’s updated logo set features a hound dog wearing a helmet with a bat-inspired tool slung over his left shoulder. It’s not a pickax, the team points out. It’s a rock hammer. The primary logo also features other subtle elements like a dog tag hanging from the wordmark.
“The dog tag has a star in it, and obviously the star represents the state of Texas,” Fieldhouse said. “That’s something Torch came up with, and we said we love it.”
The tag is in the shape of a drop of oil, which is also a theme in Midland’s new pawprint logo, made up of five such drops of the black gold that helped build West Texas. An alternate logo showcases an “M” as part of the pocket on the front of the dog’s overalls. Another features an “M” made from two rock hammers in front of the state of Texas.
“We wanted a unique ‘M,’ one that nobody has,” VonHolle said. “People from Texas love that image. They love the state of Texas. We used to have [a similar] one with our old logo with Juice the Moose in it -- before we became the RockHounds [in 1999] -- and that’s still very much endeared in this office.”
Along with the new logos comes a simplification of the color scheme, which was six colors, making printing and embroidery a challenge.
“When we started this, one of my first questions was, ‘Can we make sure it’s a four-color logo?’” Fieldhouse said. “Everybody was 100 percent that the royal blue had to go from our previous logo. In terms of a marketing and merchandising standpoint, it’s a great secondary or accent color, but not a good primary color.”
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Blue, orange, gray and white. That’s all now.
“The color scheme just works so much better for the direction we wanted to go, especially on merchandise and apparel,” Fieldhouse said.
Of course, a couple key characteristics of the team name had to be added as well.
“The old [logo] didn’t have ears,” VonHolle added. “I personally have a hound dog. I’ve got a Bluetick Coonhound. I know how long her long, floppy ears are. Now we have a dog with floppy ears because that’s what hound dogs have. Our old dog, at least in the logo, you couldn’t see a tail. The full-body one now, you can see a long tail.”
The newest dog in the Double-A Central is ready to go for 2022 -- ears, tail and all.
Tyler Maun is a reporter for MiLB.com and co-host of “The Show Before The Show” podcast. You can find him on Twitter @tylermaun.