It’s been quite a long time since the team formerly knows as the Edmonton Eskimos announced they would be changing their name on July 21, 2020, but they have finally picked a new name. The newest identity in the CFL is the Edmonton Elks, a name that was a fan favourite around the CFL.
Without going into the nitty-gritty of all the political reasoning behind the change being made, it was good to see the organization finally listen to the people who the name would affect the most. Ultimately, changing the name was the right thing to do.
The new primary logo is one that took me some time to actually like, and I’m still not entirely sure about it. It’s going to take some time to love it, especially for fans of the team. The logo is undoubtedly better when the background is a solid colour rather than white, like in the image below.
It’s a modern take on the name complete with a sleek design that fans will start to love after they get used to it. When I first saw it, I questioned the design feeling lifeless and corporate, but my opinion has certainly changed, especially with the white added.
On to the secondary logos now, the Elks have potentially the strongest portfolio of logos you will see in the league. They have introduced a logo that features two antlers, one in green and one in yellow that interlock to take the form of a football. From a design standpoint, this is a very creative way to connect the animal to the sport.
These antlers will likely become a massive feature for the Elks who have also slapped them elsewhere, something we will get to. The best part about logos like these is that they will look amazing on merchandise, but will be obscure enough that people who aren’t fans of the team or the league won’t recognize them, something I think is cool.
Of course, the Elks have elected to keep the traditional “EE” as seen with the team prior to the rebrand, albeit in what appears will be a reduced role. The logo has been updated to become less box-like as had been seen previously.
For those die-hard fans who can’t come to peace with the change, the “EE” should provide some kind of comfort and familiarity. While it might in used in a reduced role, the double-e live on and connect the future to the past and is a good reminder that the end of the era doesn’t erase the team’s history.
On to the team’s new wordmark. There’s nothing too special about the new wordmark, but I do appreciate that the Elks franchise decided to re-design this and the “EE” logo rather than trying to make the new name fit the old esthetic. It shares the same curvy font as the “EE” logo and fits the Elk theme quite nicely.
It’s certainly nothing special or jaw-dropping, but I can imagine it appearing on the collar of the jersey and looking good. Props to the logo design team who absolutely knocked it out of the park in my books.
One of the things that hasn’t gotten the attention that I think it deserves is the team’s new helmet design that is exactly what I was asking for. The antlers seen in the secondary logo appear on the side of the helmet much like the Montreal Alouettes with the wings, the Philadelphia Eagles with the wings, and the Los Angeles Rams with the horns.
When on the field, the antlers are going to look tough and in time, will be something that Elks fans will come to love. It will be the most unique design in the league when we kick the ball off later this summer and will become the envy of the league. Above everything else, the team got this one right.
Another point of contention about the name is that it isn’t grammatically correct, but that is wrong. According to dictionary.com, both elk and elks are acceptable, and even if it wasn’t it’s not like sports teams really care, especially that one in Toronto called the Maple Leafs.
It’s going to take time getting used to, not only for fans of the newly-named Elks but for every CFL fan around the country and the world. The new identity is here to stay, but it doesn’t erase the team’s history. They are still 14 time Grey Cup champions, Normie Kwong and Gizmo Williams still will be seen on the wall of honour, and fans will return with the same passion and love for the team they had before the name change. But a new future is upon us. Fans will take to the stands wearing antlers and signing new songs. It’s a rebirth, not the death of something. #ElksCharge