The splendour and natural wonder of the Pacific Northwest is the inspiration and focus of the 2023 Major League Baseball All-Star Game logo, unveiled tonight by its host, the Seattle Mariners, just before their game against the Houston Astros.
Featuring the Mariners’ primary colour scheme of Northwest green, navy, and silver with a bit of yellow thrown in there, the logo pays tribute to both the nature and city sides of life in the region. In the upper left, we see the skyline of Seattle with its famous Space Needle, this transitions into a silhouette of navy blue evergreen trees in the upper right. Behind everything, the dominating presence of Mount Rainier towers above them, all with a setting sun in the distance.
The design was a collaboration between Major League Baseball and the Seattle Mariners, with the league taking the lead on the design side of things and the Mariners providing feedback on what they wanted for the game’s identity.
“We immediately reached out to the Mariners, and while we have our understanding of what the logo should be, we still need to speak to them and get their take on how they want to portray themselves to the world through an All-Star Game,” said Jason Yeadon, Major League Baseball’s Creative Director of Brand Design during a call with SportsLogos.Net. “We get their understanding of the club, who they are and their community, and then design based on that creative brief.”
“The league did a great job listening to our ideas; it was a collaborative process,” said Kevin Martinez, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications Marketing for the Seattle Mariners. “We had that first meeting, and they came back with some initial designs, and as you might imagine, there’s feedback. They did a terrific job listening, being upfront, and coming back with designs we were immediately drawn to. A couple of feedback points, some tweaks, and we got to a place we were all very excited about pretty quickly.”
The five-point shield used to hold the logo together represents the five states that make up the Pacific Northwest — Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The typeface for “ALL*STAR GAME” was inspired by the Mariners’ jersey lettering and vintage travel posters. The yellow nautical rose between “ALL” and “STAR,” taken directly from the Mariners’ primary logo, is tilted to point to the Northwest and the City of Seattle.
“When speaking to the Mariners, we talked about their club, their identity, but then also a broader identity of the Pacific Northwest and what they wanted to capture that in the mark,” Yeadon from MLB continued. “We started talking about going beyond Seattle; the idea of the five-state region is the inspiration behind the five points of the logo’s shape. We looked at different typefaces – the ‘Seattle’ at the top and the compass pointing Northwest is taken from their primary mark. They wanted to have that ‘Mariners feel’ but then also expand upon that. So Mount Rainier is at the top as a focal point to the Pacific Northwest, and then you go from the city to the trails to the mountains.”
“We are the Pacific Northwest team, and we strive to be. We were hopeful that the logo would be a celebration of the region to capture how special this place is. It’s majestic — the mountains, the water, the trees, and Seattle, a world-class city,” said Martinez. “So how do we marry the two ideas in a compelling way, in a visually interesting manner, and in a way that is unique to our area? They came back with designs that hit the mark.”
Comparing the design with past Seattle-hosted All-Star Games…
You can see the logo has an entirely different focus from the two previous games. While the 2023 design, as we’ve established already, looks extensively at the Pacific Northwest region, the 2001 logo was more about the team’s new ballpark, the then-named Safeco Field (now T-Mobile Field), which had just opened two years prior. When the Mariners first hosted the game in 1979, the club was only in their third season; therefore, the logo paid tribute to the team itself and used their primary logo as the basis of the design (this is also the only All-Star Game logo that was so popular that the club eventually adopted it to be their full-time logo afterwards).
“I think it’s a great mark; it represents the Mariners, it represents the area, and it’s going to be a unique look for this game,” finished Yeadon. “I could see this on a water bottle or a laptop, going from the city all the way out on a hike; it’s going to be in many different locations. It’s that perfect succinct mark.”
Let’s take a look at how the logo stacks up amongst other recent Major League All-Star Games:
Additional alternate, secondary, and wordmark logos that play off this central design theme are still yet to be unveiled, as is the actual date of the 2023 MLB All-Star Game and its festivities — based on past All-Star Game scheduling patterns, I’m predicting the game will be played on July 18, but I’m just guessing.