Nowadays it seems that nobody can redesign a logo without coming under attack from the general public.
From Uber to the London Olympics (remember that?) and now the Premier League, no brand is immune from the scathing words of Joe Public with variations usually along the lines of “I could have done better”.
I’m often of the opinion that, ok, maybe you could, but maybe you couldn’t. Either way, you didn’t. You weren’t briefed, consulted or commissioned to use any design expertise you may have for this project, which perhaps says more than your flippant opinion.
I’m not saying people aren’t entitled to their view or opinion on whichever new identity has been announced, I encourage opinion and feedback alongside honest and open debate. Social media sites such as Twitter make this expression of view accessible and it’s easy to tap out a few words, but this is in part what has turned the internet into a battlefield of trolls throwing insults and misunderstandings at the work of designers rather than saying anything actually constructive.
It has been no secret that a new Premier League logo and overall identity was being worked on by DesignStudio and Robin, and yesterday it was announced.
When I first saw it my initial thought was that it was smart, clean, and modern. Albeit with a hint of digital bias.
By that I mean I think it looks somewhat led by how it would look in digital format (apps, web pages) rather than across all media (print, advertising boards, football shirts). This isn’t a criticism just something I felt that the logo emanated.
Although in this day and age perhaps that is the right way to drive a new and refreshed identity. The original Premier League logo was launched in 1992 when the internet was barely a pipe dream, whereas now virtually everyone has access to digital content in their pockets. Brands would be fools not to embrace this era.
Not to say it doesn’t work in print either, by and large I think these images in bold colours and graphics look fantastic.
I think that a lot of the negative feedback stems from a lack of understanding of design and the inherent value that it can bring. Working in the design industry myself I know it is all too easy to criticise or be criticised about work you don’t know the details of.
Likewise with this. We don’t know what the full design brief was, nor do we know what the constraints or specific requirements were.
Often the best judge of a design’s success is the client, and Premier League MD Richard Masters is said to be “delighted with the modern look”.
We are very pleased with the outcome: a visual identity which is relevant, modern and flexible that will help us celebrate everyone that makes the Premier League.
A lot of the negative comments, of which there are many (and not helped by establishments like The Guardian touting this as journalism), are simply insulting to the design team rather than an actual valid opinion and are based on a first glance of the standalone logo as they swiped through the internet over breakfast yesterday morning.
Of course even without the rebrand, many of the Premier League teams are currently making headlines at the moment for the rising price of match tickets after failing to commit to a cap on tickets at a recent shareholders’ meeting. There have been many suggestions to look at club models in Europe where fans can get a season ticket at Bayern Munich for a little over £100, or at Barcelona for £75!
The reason I like the rebrand is that, even with the digitally biased look I mentioned earlier, it does in fact work extremely well across all applications. It is not just a logo, it is an overarching identity that embraces every instance where it could be used.
I think it helps that from 2016/17 there will be no single main sponsor which, in previous years, has only added to the branding inconsistency surrounding the Premier League and resulted in a mismatch look.
The new logo mark itself is adaptable to fit square, rectangular, or even pentagonal (in the case of a football) boundaries, it has a strong colour palette (to be updated every three years), an aubergine and white logo “for more formal applications” (I presume letterheads and stationery items), as well as embracing the iconic lion which was so prominent and well known in the previous logo.
It has been brought right up to date and allows for the expansion of sub-brands (such as Kicks) to be seamlessly integrated whilst bringing much needed consistency to a previously variable look.
There’s also an animated graphic which looks inspired by a lion’s scratch marks and, in context, works too.
The only aspect where I feel it lets itself down a bit is on the sleeve patches for next season’s kits. Even with the lion still present they seem to have lost some of their prowess and look somewhat lacking in their emblematic and iconic nature that has come to represent Premier League kits.
I don’t know if this is perhaps because they are now a circle rather than a shield shape? Time will tell with this one.
I hope I warm to them in time, I remember some pretty terrible football shirts over the years and I got over them quick enough.
No one likes change, or so the saying goes, but, whatever your think, the Premier League was in need of an update. Overall I say job well done, DesignStudio.
What do you think of the new identity?