PHOTO: MATT THOMAS/SAN DIEGO PADRES
This past off-season, the San Diego Padres announced they were ditching the navy blue–centric color scheme they’ve used since 2004 and returning to their original brown and gold. The logos and uniforms the Padres are sporting this season are the culmination of years of research and focus-group testing by the organization’s in-house designers. Here’s how that process played out.
The Padres have always worn an interlocking “SD” logo on their caps, but the new version is streamlined. “We’ve had a lot of different uniforms and logos, and we really wanted to make sure that the future is consistent and on-brand,” says Padres vice president of marketing Katie Jackson. “The serifs and the widths and the heights
Based on the organization’s original 1969 uniform, the jersey’s wordmark includes a bit of an Easter egg: The “A” is a nod to a bell, since the city is known for its missions. (Also, Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman famously used AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” as his entrance music).
Uniforms with pinstripes tested better than those without them. “This [redesign] is truly representative of what the fan base wanted, not what some marketing folks up at an office at Petco Park decided was best for them,” says Padres chief marketing officer Wayne Partello.
The team conducted two rounds of fan focus-group testing: one to pick a color scheme and one for logos and other design elements. While Padres executive chair Ron Fowler has admitted that brown and gold weren’t his preferred colors, he deferred to the fans. This shade is actually a new one in the latest Pantone book. Its name? Padres Brown.
Initially, the Padres wanted to wear brown tops for every road game—a break from the league’s traditional road grays. “The number one thing that mattered to our fans—no matter what color they chose—was they wanted a unique uniform set,” Partello says. “They wanted something that when they turned on their TV, they knew it was us.”
Major League Baseball informed the Padres that they needed a lighter-colored alternate road jersey in case the home team wanted to wear a solid top. In the past, San Diego had worn sand-colored road uniforms; these alternates update that concept with a new, slightly browner shade.