USA Swimming’s LSC Logo Redesigns, Ranked

by Emma Edmund 25

October 25th, 2021 Industry, News

USA Swimming recently unveiled 10 logo redesigns for its Local Swimming Committees (LSCs), the beginning of a massive endeavor to redesign all 59 LSC logos.

In a news release, USA Swimming wrote that though the idea for LSC logo redesigns had long been on the minds of its creative team, the correct timing to begin such a project didn’t arrive until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figuring out how to tackle 59 rebranding projects was the issue,” said Matt Lupton, senior creative director, in the news release. “We attempted various panacea solutions, but ultimately decided that rebranding each LSC individually not only would maintain the visual integrity of USA Swimming, but it would also allow each LSC to emphasize its own unique aesthetic.”

Lupton and USA Swimming creative manager Natalie Elzinga officially began the project in April 2020, refining sketches and concepts to show the LSCs. Final packages include the logo in every design and size to fit LSCs’ needs, and LSCs are free to use the new logos as they please.

Each new logo recognizes the LSCs’ unique geographical features while maintaining a uniform brand nationwide. The resulting logos utilize the same color scheme and level of graphic design.

“USA Swimming is truly a big family of the very best and brightest,” Lupton said. “When we build one super strong brand visually, it inherently helps us all realize we’re all unified in this for the same reason – because we love this sport.

SwimSwam has ranked the ten new logos based on visual appeal, showcasing of unique geographical features, and the difference between the new and old logo.

  1. Maine Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    This logo takes the cake for a number of reasons. First, that lighthouse — a quintessential landmark of Maine (though Michigan technically has the most lighthouses of any state) — fits perfectly within the name of the LSC, while still maintaining the logo’s readability. The addition of the light emanating from the lighthouse, not necessary to make the lighthouse recognizable, is a nice touch.

    Second, the logo also uses the new brands’ brighter blue, which helps it stand out against LSC logos like Potomac Valley and Middle Atlantic. Third, the visual update from the previous logo to the current one makes this transformation all the more stunning.

  2. Wisconsin Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    Who doesn’t love the “WI” play on words? It was a clever touch that was missing from the old logo’s plain and unexciting design. The updated logo also subtly features a wheat design, which does a nice job emphasizing Wisconsin’s role as a heartland state for crops, though, if we’re getting in the *weeds,* Wisconsin’s top crop is corn. Giving Wisconsin its own unique logo, instead of a mildly altered USA Swimming logo, goes a long way in making this redesign feel huge.

  3. North Carolina Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    The addition of color to the new logo goes a long way in bringing this logo into the 21st century. But the new logo goes even further in giving North Carolina swimming a logo to be proud of. While it doesn’t have a play on words or as minimalist design as the previous two (and, let’s face it, when this logo is bunched up into a thumbnail, it may be hard to pick out its nuances), the mountains in the background are classy nod to any one of North Carolina’s famous mountain ranges, including the Great Smoky Mountains, the Appalachians, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

    The star in the corner appears to be a reference to North Carolina’s flag, but the connection isn’t super clear.

  4. South Carolina Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    The new South Carolina logo pays respect to the old design, but updates the logo to make it clearer. The “C” in the old logo could look a little unclear depending on how small the image was, but the new logo still features the crescent and palmetto from South Carolina’s flag. Also, the red adds a nice touch without being overwhelming.

  5. Potomac Valley Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    Similarly to North Carolina, the new Potomac Valley logo keeps the same geographical feature while getting rid of the dated look from the old logo. The use of the Capitol helps make this logo instantly recognizable, but it’s nothing groundbreaking or particularly different, aside from a cleaner red and the transition to a more navy blue.

  6. Middle Atlantic Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    The sheer update of this logo keeps it in the middle of the pack, but it doesn’t have as many of the unique features as the logos ranked higher. The old logo, though it had the fun addition of a person diving into the “water,” looked seriously dated. The new design looks like it came from this decade, plus it more centrally featured the actual name of the LSC.

  7. Florida Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    This logo declutters the old, featuring just the state outline while dropping the sun and water. Once uniquely fun perk of the logo is its postcard-like font for “Florida,” evoking the general sentiment that Florida is a vacation destination. Other than that, though, the logo, though cleaner, doesn’t represent as much of an update as the previous ones.

  8. North Texas Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    Like Wisconsin, this logo gives North Texas an image to call its own, not just a slight variation on the USA Swimming logo. Other than that, though, the new logo doesn’t particularly tell us much about the LSC.

  9. Virginia Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    This logo’s greatest achievement is making the brand more uniform with the rest of the LSCs by ditching the orange-red color of the previous logo. The “V,” for those not as familiar with the LSC system, could be confusing. Does it represent Vermont? (Vermont doesn’t have its own LSC). Luckily, the “Virginia Swimming” on top mostly minimizes any confusion, but the addition of the lane rope and water, though helping unify the brands and keep the LSC from looking like a UVA ad, doesn’t add a ton.

  10. Niagara Swimming

    Credit: USA Swimming

    This logo, though smartly getting rid of the half-highlighted New York, doesn’t tell us much about the LSC. Does that say “NI”? Northern Illinois? What does the star represent? This logo could benefit from the spelling out of “Niagara,” but it is cleaner than the previous version.

     

    The updated logos definitely update and unify the LSCs. How would you rank them? Let us know in the comments!

     

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Dlane
1 month ago

Registration fees well spent.

BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

I’m impressed. All the new ones are pretty damn good — certainly better than the old ones.
Esp. that old Maine one. That’s like a background graphic for a late 80s cable public access TV show.
Looking forward to seeing California’s new logos.

Ningbo Just1n
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Lol u mean CA or PC?

Steve Nolan
1 month ago

I like the old Maine one. Looks like it should only be printed from a dot-matrix printer on one of those really long sheets of paper w/ the holes punched on both sides.

BearlyBreathing
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

comment image

KEVINM
1 month ago

very sure the wheat on the wisconsin logo represents the state well as “the beer capital of the world”…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breweries_in_Wisconsin

Swimws
1 month ago

They time for this but cannot respond to emails or phone calls from clubs and coaches who had questions. I’m so glad that we have a paid staff who doesn’t seem to want to do their jobs, but hey as long as each lsc has a new logo we should be fine.

Katie
Reply to  Swimws
1 month ago

I’m a new-ish swimming fan who is primarily from another sport. Does USA Swimming’s creative department answer phone calls and emails from coaches and clubs? It says this project was started in April 2020 and it seems like a fairly good work-from-home-while-the-world-is-closed project. I have a number of complaints and concerns about my sport’s High Performance and membership departments – and our SafeSport employee is *impossible* to get in touch with – but I don’t blame the marketing or creative teams for that.

Joel Shinofield
Reply to  Swimws
1 month ago

I apologize if that has been your experience. I can assure you that our expectation is to be responsive and our goal is to serve our members.

Please contact me and I will connect you with the person who can best assist.

Joel Shinofield
Managing Director, Sport Development
USA Swimming
719-216-3045 (m)

Guerra
1 month ago

What a classic waste of time, money and resources… Thanks Tim Hinchey?

Fluidg
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

Yeah, who cares about competent branding? Great insight.

Small gov
Reply to  Fluidg
1 month ago

Leave the branding of the LSCs to the LSCs.

NC Fan
Reply to  Small gov
1 month ago

Yeah, the almost all-volunteer LSCs with their focus on meet sanctioning and scheduling, swimmer development, and safe sport are so well equipped to design modern logos to help our sport put its best foot forward.

Small gov
Reply to  NC Fan
1 month ago

I apologize if you are in an LSC that is not run by the professionals of the sport.

simpyvonsimp
Reply to  Fluidg
1 month ago

because this will make swimmers flock to the sport? ohhhhhhh, I wanna join <insert LSC> because their logo is so cool.

Admin
Reply to  simpyvonsimp
1 month ago

I don’t think the LSC logos were like an existential benefit that will make the sport explode in popularity.

I do, however, think this project is prudent long term and serves a function in helping to professionalize swimming, which I know is one of Tim Hinchey’s overall goals. Some of those old logos didn’t scream “we’re a real organization run by real adults who know what they’re doing, please give us your children for 20 hours a week.”

I know it’s popular to jump on branding as trite and trivial, but branding does matter. Always has, always will.

James Beam
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

I wonder what the marketing department at USA Swimming could do with a redesign of the SwimSwam logo…..

NC Fan
Reply to  James Beam
1 month ago

Can’t improve on perfection…unless you’re swamswim.

Wave 1.5 Qualifier
1 month ago

Niagara’s cleverly incorporates Niagara Falls into the logo. Look more closely next time.

LMAO at this being an article though, and a ranking. I hope next we get to rank the LSC abbreviations. My favorites are CA (SoCal) and PV (Potomac Valley).

Taa
1 month ago

I think the logos are all well done. Hopefully it didn’t take them 18 months to do 10 of them and they have them all done and awaiting release