The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team that plays in the American League East division of Major League Baseball. Their home city is Toronto, Ontario. The club plays its host games at the Rogers Center on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. The team got its name in honor of the Blue Jay, a passerine bird resided in North America and Canada. Historically, blue is one of the traditional colors of diverse Toronto-based sports teams.
The Toronto Blue Jays came into existence in 1977 as an expansion franchise to join Major League Baseball. They are the second MLB club located outside the United States.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Toronto Blue Jays went through obstacles predictable to an expansion team, commonly finishing in the last place in its division. 1983 was their first winning season. Two years later, in 1985, they became East division champs. In 1985-1993, the Toronto Blue Jays were a powerful driver of the American League East division. They won five division championships in nine seasons. In 1992 and 1993, the team became the World Series champions after sweeping Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
The Toronto Blue Jays are the first (and, to date, the only one) franchise outside the USA that won a World Series. Unfortunately, after 1993, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons until they clinched a playoff berth in 2015, ending the longest playoff drought in baseball history. The club clinched a second playoff berth in 2016, but they lost to the Cleveland Indian in the AL Championship Series. During two years, the Toronto Blue Jays won the AL Division Series but lost AL Championship Series.
At first, the team played at Exhibition Stadium, but in 1989 it began playing its host games at the SkyDome (original name of Rogers Center). Since 2000, the Blue Jays have gotten new owners – Rogers Communications, a Canadian communications company. In 2004, the company purchased the SkyDome and renamed it Rogers Center.
The official color scheme includes royal blue, navy blue, red, and white. The Toronto Blue Jays uniforms combine the given colors. The team is extremely popular in Canada and the United States. It is warmly welcomed during both home and away games.
Meaning and History
The history of the logos of this team began with the blue jay. Savage Sloan Ltd. from Toronto suggested the bird. Over the many years of the club’s existence, she went through several transformations, but she was always present on the corporate logo. Realistic, fragmented, anthropomorphic – only parts of her image captured in each of the six original emblems.
1977 – 1996
At that period, the Toronto Blue Jays are Canada’s only Major League Baseball team. They emerged as a part of the 1977 MLB expansion. Toronto-native designed company Savage Sloan Ltd designed Their first Toronto Blue Jays logo. It was classic in every way with iconic lettering and imagery. The logo featured a red-seamed baseball sprouting a red maple leaf and overlaid by the stylized head of a blue jay in profile. The inclusion of a red maple leaf in the emblem was a critical focal point of the design to ensure the Blue Jays were “Canada’s team.” The blue-scripted “Toronto Blue Jays” wordmark was located around the baseball.
1997 – 2002
The new modified logo was unveiled in 1997, twenty years after the team joined MLB. It presented a blue jay on top of a white baseball with red seams. The emphasis was made on the red maple leaf as a backdrop. The texture was given to the jay and a new block-font navy blue-scripted “Blue Jays” wordmark accompanied.
In 2003, the team added another logo. It featured an animated version of the team’s mascot, Ace, wrapping himself around a poorly stylized letter “T,” and holding a white with red seams baseball and a yellow bat. Red “T” obviously stood for Toronto. The maple leaf tattoo on the left bicep of the Blue Jay seems like an afterthought.
2004 – 2011
It was an angry bird period. In 2004, Brandid, another Toronto-based company, developed a new logo Toronto Blue Jays. It featured a three-dimensional, yet very angry Blue Jay located to the left from “Jays.” This design abandoned the maple leaf and color red entirely. The metallic blue, grey, and white scheme was balanced. Also, the “Blue” was knocked from the team’s name.
2012 – 2019
Back to the simplistic design, and cashing in on the nostalgia from the team’s glory years, and add a new modern emblem Toronto Blue Jays. The current Toronto Blue Jays logo was designed with the assistance of the MLB Design Services headed by Anne Occi, Vice President of Design. Like the original 1977 logo, it featured blue, and navy blue Blue Jays head with a red maple leaf to the right on a baseball with a split-lettered team script surrounding it within a blue double-outline. The Jay itself has sharper features, and the red leaf no longer emerges from the red line of the baseball itself. “Toronto” and “Blue Jays” wordmarks are solid dark blue and located in a semicircle on the inner white circle. The design signals to the fan base and the league that the Blue Jays are focused on winning the long game.
2019 – present
Today, the franchise uses a version introduced at the very beginning of a sports career and reworks in a modern way in 2012. The previous version, developed by Major League Baseball’s design services department led by Anne Occi, only the blue maple-leaf jay that was previously located in the center of the rondel remains.
The current logo features a bird’s head turned to the left. A single horizontal line connects the upper part of the beak and eyes. The lower half of the beak harmoniously merges into the contour outlines, forming the neck. A blue jay has a raised crest, and next to it is a strict red maple leaf.
Font and Color of the Emblem
In almost all emblems, the bird is supplemented with a ball, reflecting the club’s sports orientation and its connection with baseball. The only exceptions are two versions, in which there is a blue jay, but no ball – this is modern and 2004-2011. The same can be said for the maple leaf, which is missing in only one logo. In the other five cases, it is present as a background, on the hand of an anthropomorphic character or at the head.
Having changed several options, the team’s management admitted that the debut emblem was the most successful. It was returned in 2012-2019, later developing a minimalistic version. The most shocking logo refers to 2003, where an anthropomorphic blue jay with a bat in his hands looks out from behind a huge letter “T.”
The typeface used in the Toronto Blue Jays branding is similar to ITC Elan Bold, a serif glyph font proposed by Albert Boton. Despite the differences in the proportions of some characters, the similarity can be traced to the serifs’ design. In other years, the typeface was double, chopped, and italic.
The official palette of the baseball club is stable, so in all variants, there are two shades of blue (Royal and Navy), white, and red. In 2003 there was also a yellow color.