It’s that time of year again where thousands are filled with anticipation, hope and excitement ready for nine months of suspense, thrills and turmoil. That’s right, the football season is back! For football enthusiasts the off season can seem to take an age to come to a close, and regardless of how successful or disappointing the previous campaign finished, each year fans are filled with a new sense of optimism and positivity for the new season to get underway.
Nothing gets you ready for the new campaign like buying your team’s new shirt and wearing it with pride on the first day of the new season. This year some teams have taken a things a bit further, and introduced a whole new identity for their club by re-designing the team badge. Lets take a look at some of the new designs…
Manchester City have opted for a more streamlined design, and removed the eagle, stars and Latin text in favour of a minimal and more contemporary design, with a sans serif typeface being used to give the badge a more modern feel. This new style is actually a throwback to a previous version worn on the kit between 1972 and 1997, however, it has been stylised to reflect what the owner, Sheikh Mansour, describes as a new era for the club. In an attempt to build a bigger and more recognisable global brand the club have also dropped the letters ‘FC’ from the new design. This is a deliberate ploy to try and build a global identity with an outreach that is far beyond the association to football, something that Manchester United and Real Madrid have successfully accomplished. This new badge actually shares many similarities to Manchester City’s franchise teams of New York City and Melbourne City, which may be an attempt to help build a cohesive brand portfolio. This re-iterates how football has changed, and the marketability of large clubs has been prioritised to gain further recognition and awareness to grow the commercial brand of the team.
To coincide with their move to the Olympic Stadium, West Ham have introduced a new badge design to mark this defining chapter in the club’s career. The new design isn’t a total overhaul, and is still a typical West Ham logo, but is more of a rework of the previous version to mark the move to the new stadium. The previous design featured the castle linked to the old Boleyn Ground stadium as a main centrepiece within the crest. However, this has been removed and the hammers displayed in a cross formation have been re-worked to include more detail, with reflections and shading giving the badge, despite its minimal approach, a fresh and confident appearance. In a move that is becoming increasingly more common within football clubs, the design was put to the fans to get their feedback before being officially changed. The new design was well received with 58% of the audience voting in favour of the updated design, with the only change being to make the ‘United’ within the title slightly larger.
In line with the new kit launched for the season, Sheffield Wednesday are looking to the club’s heritage for their vision for the future. The new kit reinvents a design used in the 60s with finer pin stripe white lines, whereas a crest used in the 50s inspires the new badge. The owner of the club, Dejphon Chansiri, has become very interested by the traditions and history of the club, and with this year being the 150th Anniversary, he has personally chosen the design of the badge to reflect the club heritage. The new design certainly captures an essence of the club’s heritage, however, I’m not convinced it does so in the right context, as it looks more outdated than it does traditional. Surprisingly, the new design has been very well received within the fan base, but I personally think the badge looks more like a school logo, or something from Harry Potter than a football badge. When comparing the two designs, I would have thought the previous badge was the new design. The colours within the new design are quite muted and the drawing of the owl with the fine black lines seemingly references old style tapestry or textile design. When this is compared to how Manchester City have referenced an old badge and taken elements to create a modernised version, it seems Sheffield Wednesday could have combined various elements to similar success, rather than predominantly recycling an old design.
Queens Park Rangers are another club that are looking to reinvent the global presence of the club, with the owner looking to present the club as a boutique brand with a more modern and current visual style. The previous logo was extremely complicated to say the least, and in what seems to be coming a bit of a trend, inspiration was taken from the club’s history to design the new badge. The fans were heavily consulted during the redesigning process, with fans given the option to voice their general opinions on what the badge should look like before four designs were presented for them to choose their favourite. Graphic Designers Daniel Norris and Daniel Bowyer, who incidentally are both QPR fans, designed the new badge, so I’d imagine this must have been a bit of a moment for them. Different elements of the previous crests were considered during the consultation process, such as the horseshoe, the crosses, the crown, the football, and reference to Loftus Road. The general consensus was to keep the design as minimal as possible, with all of the above elements being removed from the final design. The final result is a very considered and fluid design that centralises around an elegantly constructed monogram that brings cohesion to the whole design. This design is complemented by the Optima typeface used for the lettering, which was the font used on the back of football shirts until a few years ago – so a nice sporting link there too. The final design is very crisp and minimal, which is exactly what was set out to achieve, the monogram may get a bit difficult to read when scaled down, but overall the new badge is a well crafted and authentic redesign.
How would you feel if your club got themselves a new badge?