[logo] The Thorns Would Look Good On Your Arm

2902.I finally got a chance to take a good, close look at the new Portland Thorns FC logo, and I have an abashed confession to make.

At first, I wasn’t all that wowed by it. It’s a good and appropriate solution, and doesn’t work against the team at all, but it didn’t exactly excite me.

Then I took a nice close look at it.

My bad, people. This is one of those designs that rewards those who look and look again.

The logo (see right) has much cleverness to speak for it. In a conversation with the designer, Brent Diskin, in this Q&A at the team’s site, we find out that this logo is full of clever: its circular design was informed by the history of similar football club logos down the history of the Timbers (both clubs have the same owner), that he was shooting for a design that resists datedness, and something that represented Portland on more than one level (the hypocycloid forms – the four pointed stars – that hold the letters F and C are inspired by the four-pointed star at the focus of the Portland city flag’s design.

With so much Portland-centered passion here, we shouldn’t be surprised that the designer is also a proud member of the legendary Timbers Army.

But what really got my attention was the roseate design at the center, called by the designer a vortex rose. A vortex it certainly resembles. At first, though, it reminded me of the strange looking roses we find in heraldic – coats of arms – designs.

An heraldic rose –
The arms of the German city
and region of Lippe

But as I said, it rewards the patient viewer. The ‘vortex’ rose has a lot of shapes at play with each other that mesh and work together as one in a very satisfying way. Not only to the forms merge in the center to form a five-petaled design resembling a soccer ball, but the red shapes spiralling out from that center look very much like salmon jumping the waterfalls on the journey upstream.

The 2 entwined thorn vines make loose five-pointed designs as well, which reminds me of the pattern on a soccer ball.

In the main, we wish we’d of thought of this. It’s very well done. About the only thing that could be adjusted is the color scheme … the green of the vines and the red of the road are a little dark in all the versions I’ve seen, and tend to be dominated by the black of the logo’s background. When you used a shaded color against black, contrast tends to suffer as a result, and the design elements get a little lost in the design.

The last thought we had after we had our fun playing in the vortex was that this was probably going to go on a lot of biceps.  It’d work very well as a tattoo, and as much ink as flows in Portland each year into eager epidermi, and as soccer-nuts as this burg is, I’d be quite surprised if that didn’t happen already.

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