Explain the Montreal Expos logo

I know the Montreal Expos are now the Washington Nationals, but I still wonder about their old logo. It looks like, overall, it is in the shape of an “M”, but the red, white and blue letter shapes look like “elb”. What does that mean? Or is there a different way of looking at it? Please help!

Here is the logo in case you’ve forgotten…

I believe the “l” is just leftovers from the “e” for expos and “b” for baseball formed inside overall shape which vaguely resembles an M.

this site claims its an e, b, and m. representing Montreal, Expos, and Baseball.


The team had to move to avoid this sort of questioning.

Just as the Canadiens have been called “les Habs” for so long, Expos fans could easily have called them “les elbs.”

[sub]If there had ever been any Expos fans.[/sub]

You know, it never occurred to me to look at it as anything but a stylized “M.”

Amazing how the brain works.

I knew so many people who looked at me like a chicken without a head when I said I only saw the “elb”. To me the “e” really sticks out. I never saw the “M”.

I can’t think of any logo (sports or corporate) where the logo consists of 1 letter that has another stylized letter within its borders.

Anyone know of any ?

Not sure that these logos are exactly what you’re looking for, but they’re in the ballpark:


Toyota (there was a past thread about this one in which some posters mentioned that all the letters in “TOYOTA” can be made out in the logo)


Sergio Tacchini


Metroplitan Life

The Expos logo was a sort of Rorschact (sp?) test for sports fans; it could be taken to mean almost anything. As a public service, the Expos were just trying to provide you with a mind-expanding test.

It’s an M, for Montreal. There’s an E for Expos, a B for Baseball. Or maybe the E is a C, and the CB means Charles Bronfman. Perhaps it’s a J and a B, Jeu Baseball, “the game of baseball.” (My eyes always saw the logo as JB. I know it’s an M, but I found that difficult to perceive.) Or is it in fact "Expos Le Baseball, with the white vertical stripe being an L? “Expos Le Baseball” doesn’t actually make any sense in French, but it’s all about what YOU perceive.

Of these, only the Sergio Taccini logo qualifies as “letters within letters.” (And Toyota. But I honestly think it’s just a stylized “T” and was not designed with any intent to represent all of the letters of ‘Toyota.’ But that was discussed in the other thread.)

I thoughts Habs was short for les Habitants , whereas “elbs” …?

Yes and no. :slight_smile:

I believe this is a fair reproduction of the Denver Bears logo in 1980. The “M” stands for their major leagure affiliate. :slight_smile:

Those desgners in the seventies were clever. There was also the Milwaukee Brewers logo (photo, graphic), which ostensibly was a baseball glove. A closer look reveals that the image of the glove is made with the letters “M” and “B.”

What about the Sun Microsystems logo linked above? Look at one f the “S’s” sideways. There’s your “u” and “n”.

Ah, of course. My bad. I do love that logo though. Is it a Paul Rand?

That one is pretty clever and well done. I mean, I do believe that the Expos logo could stand for individual letters like “e,” “l,” and “b.” It’s seems a bit silly and arbitrary, but I contend it’s possible. If this is the case, I think it does an ineffective job as a logo as nobody seems to know exactly what letters to see in the logo, and what the hell they stand for.