Early statement: I know I rip on JJ Watt a lot on here but I really do want to stress that I don’t hate him or anything, I just find his goody two shoes robotic #brand machine kind of exhausting. He seems like a really great guy; he sets a wonderful example for the children with his personality and it seems like he really helps out in the community. It’s telling that the only real reason people can come up with to knock him is basically that he’s too perfect. So I don’t hate JJ Watt, he’s just the sort of fun personality that is ripe for ripping on. Also, his new logo is bad. It’s pretty damn bad.

From a graphic design/artist standpoint I kind of hate it. It’s not necessarily a bad logo, it’s just a bad logo for what he’s going for. It looks like an extreme energy drink logo (EXTRA WATTAGE, NO CRASH! drink it now!). It looks like it should be the logo of the “evil” faction in a command and conquer game. It looks like a Battlebots logo. It’s got early 2000’s EXTREME angles on it (It didn’t need to be angled like that) and I hate the big pointy serifs on the wrong spot of the letter. Now that I think about it though, a Battlebot would be a pretty great way to describe JJ Watt, in both a positive and negative light. The reasoning behind the logo is okay, but it doesn’t come through in the design. It looks like two J’s back to back, so one is vaguely an L. It also looks like a W, sort of. This part is okay, I think it’s easy enough to see that. But then he claims that it also resembles a 99 when turned upside down, for his jersey number.


Uh, no it doesn’t. It looks like an N and maybe a P. I’d say upside down it resembles more of a spaceship of sorts, or even a penis. I can see a penis more than I see 99. Maybe that says something more about me, but if you are going to claim that’s a 99, then it’s also a dick. Lastly, JJ claims it’s supposed to resemble two buildings rising up to represent his work ethic. Symbols and logos in art can get rather abstract with how they represent things sometimes (interpreting that stuff is half the fun in art) but even for me, a total creative mind who has a big imagination and sees things like dicks in everything, I have to stretch to my absolute limit to see the “buildings” he’s talking about here. This logo isn’t terrible, it just feels like an early draft of a much better logo. Like he took the graphic designer’s rejected versions and said “actually no, I like that one” and the graphic designer died a little inside as he had to scrap a much better idea.

I don’t really blame JJ Watt for this. To be honest, he probably had very little to do with it. Dude is a corporate brand machine, I bet he had his agent or publicist farm this out to some low graphic designer and what we got is a vaguely stupid experiment in typography. This is hardly unique to JJ, this is a major problem across all of sports figures. Almost every sports figure good enough to have his own “logo” has some version of the same problem: It’s an overdone typography experiment. It’s some form of their initials or number. RG3’s logo is just the characters R, G and 3 Lebron James has an L and a J with a crown. Damian Lillard is a D, L, a 0 (his number). Tom Brady’s logo is a goddamn hideous mess of letters and numbers. None of these logos are particularly iconic. None of them actually create something really unique. Only Lillard’s kind of works because it’s more contained into a single symbol. They are all just EXTREME typography, and as a consequence, really boring. Look at the logos in the NFL with words, and look how simple those letters are, or how the letters are part of a larger design. NY is just a simple, straightforward NY. 49ers are just an SF in a circle. KC is two letters in an arrowhead. Chicago is a big, simple C. Green Bay is a big G. No Bs in there, no fancy fonts or CRAZY ANGLES, just a goddamn G, as easy to read as possible.

You know what player logo I like? Derrick Rose.  It’s more than just a letter. We also all rightly praise the Jumpman for Michael Jordan. Guess what isn’t in that logo at all: typography bullshit. I wish more athletes would try to come up with something more interesting than typography with their initials. Want to see the absolute worst player logo I’ve ever seen? Russell Westbrook. What the hell even is that?

IN OTHER NEWS WE HAVE A GREAT NEW PODCAST FOR YOU. I got none other than PFTCommenter on the cast and we chat about JJ’s logo, Joe Flacco’s elite status, how internet porn has ruined millennials, and gritty chain restaurants.