Ravens' new logo flies with NFL

NFL Properties gives stamp of approval

June 12, 1999|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

The Ravens already have a new coach, a new quarterback and a new offense. And after getting approval from NFL Properties, they will be sporting a new look this fall.

On the heels of a vote in February by nearly 20,000 fans, the Ravens have completed revisions of their primary logo. The team's helmets and other gear and publications will be graced by a profiled head of an attacking raven. Also included in the profile is the letter "B" for Baltimore and some red touch-up to the bird's eye.

"The profile of the Raven's head is truly reflective of our name," team president David Modell said. "We've added some red to the eyes to give it a more menacing look. Plus, it was important for us to have the letter `B' blended into the logo, because we are a Baltimore team and proud of that."

The team's search for a new logo was set in motion by the courts. Seven months ago, a federal jury ruled the team's original primary logo -- a shield featuring a "B" and accompanying wings -- had been copied from Frederick Bouchat, an amateur Baltimore artist who had faxed his idea to team officials three years ago.

Lawyers for the Ravens and the NFL, who are appealing that November 1998 decision, claim the design was dependently created at NFL Properties.

Bouchat sued for $10 million in damages and whatever profits the team has made from the use of his design. That could include millions of dollars worth of hats, T-shirts and other souvenirs. And while a separate jury will determine Bouchat's final compensation amount, the team had no interest in entering the 1999 season wearing a contested mark.

Ultimately, after fans bombarded the team's corporate office with logo suggestions, Modell decided to hear the fans through an official vote. Of the 18,708 who voiced an opinion, 7,107 chose a profile logo over a straight-on look of a raven's head and a shield featuring elements of the Maryland state flag with the initials B and R.

Pub Date: 6/12/99

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