Smith reveals how 49ers helped influence Sharks' teal logo


The Sharks' logo became one of the most recognizable emblems in the NHL when it first debuted in the early 1990s. 

Terry Smith, the logo's designer, sat down with NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil to discuss how an unlikely influence helped the Sharks approach their logo revamping process heading into the 2007-08 NHL season.

"I reminded them when the Sharks logo debuted, the 49ers -- about two weeks later -- revealed their new logo. Within two or three weeks, they went back to the old one," Smith said. "So I reminded them, very strongly, saying, 'Look, you have a strong fan base; they've been supporting this. This is their identity; they identify this with this team, these colors and all kinds of stuff. 

"So let me think about this.' "

Initially, San Jose's brain trust wanted to do something completely different from what the final logo eventually looked like.

However, Smith took into account how the fans would react and how they remembered the logo to be and decided to work around what Sharks fans have known since the team's inception.

"And so, what we wanted to do or the thought was, 'Let's take what we have and let's make it a little more 3D, let's clean it up,' " Smith told Brazil. 

After idealizing what the new logo would look like, Smith recalled the original Sharks logo predominantly being black and white, with only a slight hint of teal. With the new logo, the decision was made to make it stand out, hence the inclusion of more teal

When the new logo debuted, there was some pushback though that was something Smith expected, especially as fans pined for the old look.

"The best way to sum this up is, 'Anything we're going to do from a design perspective, you're never going to please everybody,' " Smith said. "... What we did with the update, for a lot of people, if you don't have the two side-by-side, they can't tell the difference.

"And so that was my point when we came back."

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Now, in the franchise's 31st season, the Sharks logo continues to be one of the more recognizable looks in the league. 

And for Smith and the rest organization, they have the 49ers to thank for how they approached the design.

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