Tampa Bay Lightning Logo

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo

While the logo of the ice hockey team Tampa Bay has changed its overall look not less than four times, its main symbol – a lightning bolt inside a circle frame – has been the same ever since it was introduced more than 25 years ago.

Meaning and history

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo history

The earliest logo was developed by Phil Esposito, the team co-founder. “Developed” isn’t the right word – in fact, Phil just doodled the outline on a napkin. The original draft featured a silver lightning bolt with the lettering “Tampa” and the state of Florida in the background. This version was used as the secondary logo, while the primary one was further modified by Lowell and Paul, who added the round frame and removed the map of Florida.

Old logo

Old logo Tampa Bay Lightning

The final version of the primary TB Lightning logo, which was unveiled in advance of the 1992/93 playing season, included the white lightning bolt on the silver background, the full name of the team in blue script, and a blue round frame.

The following redesign, which took place in 2001/02, brought about darker shades of blue and grey without changing the shape of the elements.

Symbol

Tampa Bay Lightning Symbol

The design introduced in advance of the 2007/08 playing season had a more refined and professional look. The text became more legible as the script font was replaced by a traditional typeface. The word “Lightning” disappeared, due to which the image became cleaner. The lightning and its shadow were modified in a way that made it look as if it was slightly turned. The outline grew bolder, while the shadow of the lightning became dark blue.

In fact, this logo was a result of a long search for a new brand identity. According to Ron Campbell, who used to be team President at the time, they were looking for “something that people will gravitate to, something they will have pride in,” but they also didn’t expect a drastic change.

Interestingly enough, the introduction of the new identity coincided with the beginning of a highly unsuccessful period for the team.

The 2012 emblem

Emblem Tampa Bay Lightning

For this reason or another, this version was used for only four years, and in 2012 was replaced by a new logo once again. The update was initiated by the new owner, Jeff Vinik. He put a very ambitious goal before himself and the club: he expected to turn it into “a world-class organization,” so there wasn’t just a need for a plain hockey logo, but for something that would become the core of a successful brand identity.

This logo looks simpler and cleaner than any of its predecessors. Now, only two colors can be seen: dark blue and white. The lightning has lost its shadow, while the outline is now an ellipse, not a circle. While the thickness of the outline on the previous version was equal throughout all its length, the thickness of the outline on the 2012 logo varies.

Font

The primary Tampa Bay Lightning logo doesn’t contain any letters, but the team has an extended version of the logo with the words “Tampa Bay” in white capitals. While the lettering is rather a custom work than a retail font, several typefaces look somewhat similar: Industry Black Italic, Komu A, Nomad, and Duke, to name just a few.

Color

Color Tampa Bay Lightning Logo

The team calls the shade of blue used on its logo Tampa Bay Blue. This is a rather dark and saturated shade, which creates a good contrast when used on the white background.