Super Bowl winners stole logo from amateur graphic designerArt D. Rector (3164 pencils) | Wed, 2013-02-06 22:59
Interesting story - I never heard this before. Some accounts say the only thing the artist was asking for in compensation was a helmet signed by the entire team. The Ravens refused.
EVOLUTION OF THE RAVEN LOGO --- A BUMPY RIDE
One of the classier things about Art Modell's moving the Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore in 1996 was he left the Cleveland Browns colors, logos and record books behind him, in effect saving the continuity and brand identity of the Browns for new ownership in Cleveland.
Of course, that created a new problem for Baltimore fans--- hoping that Modell could come up with a classy logo and uniform for the new team in town.
I urge you to take a short trip over to Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.net .... it's a fascinating look at the design and evolution of the Ravens colors and logotypes.
And the history of the design logo is a rocky road in itself.
The team's first helmet logo, used from 1996 through 1998, featured raven wings outspread from a shield displaying a letter B framed by the word Ravens overhead and a cross bottony underneath (see graphic above at top of article).
But The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict that the logo infringed on a copyright retained by Frederick E. Bouchat, an amateur artist and security guard in Maryland.
Amazing. Here's the sketch Fred Bouchat had sent into Art Modell's office building (shared with the Maryland Stadium Authority at the time) when he learned an NFL team was coming to Baltimore again:
Pretty close? I'd say damn near identical!
Bouchat had submitted his design to the Maryland Stadium Authority by fax after learning that Baltimore was to acquire an NFL team. He was not credited for the design when the logo was announced. Bouchat sued the team, claiming to be the designer of the emblem; representatives of the team asserted that the image had been designed independently. The court ruled in favor of Bouchat, noting that team owner Modell had access to Bouchat's work. Bouchat's fax had gone to John Moag, the Maryland Stadium Authority chairman, whose office was located in the same building as Modell's. (Bouchat ultimately was not awarded monetary compensation in the damages phase of the case...another strange story in itself).
You can find out more about the logo controversy and many more details about the Ravens and other NFL team uniforms and banners at Chris Creamer's site.
Images, etc here...
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