The High-A Minor League Baseball team in Rome, Georgia, unveiled a much-anticipated new look today, introducing the Rome Emperors. The brand, created by Louisville-based Studio Simon, pays tribute to the city’s relationship with the Italian city of the same name as well as the largest species of penguin, the emperor penguin.
The new brand, unveiled along with home, road, and alternate jerseys, features a penguin in two stances, one with a bat on his shoulder and another with its wing in the air as if it is waxing wise.
Designer Dan Simon, who created the brand, indicated that a penguin character and the visual aesthetic of ancient Roman were a surprisingly natural combination.
“Having the penguin character along with the sophisticated elements of Roman columns and type makes the sophisticated elements more fun and the fun elements more sophisticated,” Simon said. “They work very well with each other. It’s like Abbott and Costello. You’ve got one that’s the funny guy and one that’s the straight guy, and they work very well together.”
Typographic treatments and stylistic elements evoke Roman columns specifically and the Roman kingdom in general. The team will denote its continued affiliation with the Atlanta Braves with a Braves A sleeve patch.
For fans of Easter eggs, the stripe pattern highlighted on the sleeve creates the letters GA (for Georgia) on repeat. Another tidbit that takes a bit of explaining is that the Roman numeral MMIII included in the primary logo stands for the franchise’s first season in 2003.
The new brand represents the continuation of a trend in Minor League Baseball of teams ditching parent club nicknames for identities that reflect the local community. The Emperors will take the field beginning in the 2024 season.