Next year, it'll be way easier recognizing which Super Bowl it is than it has in the last 30 years. The NFL has decided to do away with Roman numerals for Super Bowl 50's logo, which have been part of the Big Game since Super Bowl II (1968).
I'm not upset about it. There's a bunch of folks that would say that the decision to use Roman numerals wasn't factoring in Super Bowl LXXXVIII (Super Bowl 88 which will be held in 2054). I don't blame the creators. II looks better than 2 and certainly presents itself with more gusto and heritage. And, of course, there's the whole Roman Coliseum and it's violent sporting events. It was good decision at the time, but maybe not the most sustainable.
However, the Romans aren't history. Super Bowl LI (51) will see them back in action. I guess the League thinks that Super Bowl L isn't striking enough to do the most watched annual sporting event justice. Or, more likely, they want people to actually know which Super Bowl it is instead of pretending they remember how to read Roman numerals in a snap. Its not a terrible decision, but it's a shame to do away with them entirely. Theres so much fun to be had...
Above is a little doodle I did the afternoon before Super Bowl XLIX (49). Now, let me go ahead a put out there that I fully understand this a very stylized doodle that isn't at all in line with the NFL's modern aesthetic, so I'm not saying "hey you guys should use this" because that'd be a bad move on their part. However, the concept done in a different way would be awesome! It'd be a great teaser.
The Super Bowl started as the two best teams of the then two pro football leagues, the National Football League and American Football league. playing each other. Eventually those two leagues became conferences in one league. It would also be an easy opportunity to highlight that fact and pay a little homage to the whole thing.
It seems like a missed opportunity to not play with something to incorporate the L. Hell, Lombardi even starts with an L! Sure, maybe they want to spell it all out as plainly as possible. Its not surprising. Sports branding and design doesn't exactly always hit it (Remember the uproar over Pentagram's Big 10 logo?). Still, it'd be really striking. Lots of interchangeable parts to play with.
So, remember when I said that that this didn't fit in at all with the NFL's aesthetic? Well, here's what it would look like if it did.