Oct 06/17
By Joe Ross

San Diego Gulls: Reimagined

We here at Traina are passionate about our beautiful city and our local sports teams. As an expression of that passion, we took it upon ourselves to reimagine the brand identity for one of our favorite local teams—the San Diego Gulls.

Current logo


The current San Diego Gulls logo (or a close variation of it) has represented the team since 1995. They did a slight reboot two years ago, but overall the illustration still feels dated, and ready for an update. In addition to feeling old, the current logo lacks the spirit, aggression, and ice-cold intimidation factor of a perennial Calder Cup contender. There is a nice “Easter egg” within the word mark of a bird silhouette in flight but it’s so subtle and small it may easily be missed.

Our logo explorations

We took three unique approaches to the redesign. With each approach, we wanted to provide a robust and flexible system so that each logo could be deconstructed and used in a modular way, across multiple branded materials and contexts. For example, in Concept One, the full gull illustration can be reduced to just the expressive head shape. We also felt it was important to pay homage to our beloved San Diego, with a hometown typographic monogram. Using the counter form of the ‘SD’, we inserted a hockey stick and have paired this with all options as a nice secondary mark.

Concept one: Evolution



Our first concept is an anthropomorphic approach. Out of the three logos explored, this logo snaps closest to their existing brand, and would be an easy transition to slide into. We gave the gull an intense determined expression, and angled its body in an aggressive posture, which intersects with the type sloping up at an opposing angle.


Concept two: In Flight



For the second option, we wanted to explore a new approach. We elevated the gull to be in full-flight, with a strong focused expression on his face, hockey stick in beak, and ready for battle. The winged illustration brings a new type of energy and motion to the overall mark.


Concept three: Winged Crest



In this bold exploration, the gull appears head on, wings spread, looking down at the puck below, as if ready to attack. The shape of the wings form a modern crest. This is perhaps the most engaging/aggressive option.


Final thought

While we love our San Diego Gulls team, we’d be stoked to see them update their brand and would be even more stoked to get to be part of that process. That said, the work presented here is not affiliated in any way with the San Diego Gulls and exists simply as a passion project of the design team at Traina (as if we didn’t already have enough to do). We hope you enjoyed our quick reimagining process, and if you happen to represent a fantastic sports team that could use some killer branding, please feel free to reach out.

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