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Austin FC

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16 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

So...a bat would be bad because it would be just as recognizable to people outside of Austin as to those from there.

Meanwhile the tree is “a top mark” despite being “static and familiar.” 

 

I think you talked yourself in a circle. 

 

It’s a top mark (probably the top mark) from a technical standpoint. My point there being that the fantastic composition and execution of the mark itself shines even though I, and obviously many others here, don’t see anything innately “Austin” in an oak tree.

 

Never did I say a bat would have been a bad choice (I actually noted that it would have been a great choice), only that I understand why they didn’t go that route. The mold for MLS identities has often trended toward the hyper-local as opposed to imagery that is universally recognizable, and I think it’s because they want to build hyper-local brands and fanbases, in contrast to the other major sports, where many team identities target a more national or even global audience.

 

Those I know who live or have lived in Austin lament the transition of the bats from local curiosity/spectacle to full-on tourist attraction as the city has grown. As a native Clevelander, I can relate; we just saw an All-Star Game logo featuring a giant guitar. Certainly that’s an icon that people outside Cleveland recognize and associate with the city (and being a league-wide event, it is more acceptable in the context), but as someone deeply familiar with the city and the icons that resonate with Clevelanders, it’s a big facepalm and would never work as a team identity.

 

All this is to say that, because the identity was built by locals, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that the imagery they chose resonates with locals. I’d love to hear what Austinites think, though.

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15 minutes ago, andrewharrington said:

All this is to say that, because the identity was built by locals, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that the imagery they chose resonates with locals. I’d love to hear what Austinites think, though.

That’s what’s so fascinating though. That a “local” team came up with something that, objectively, is so uninspired. 

Plenty have people have rightfully mocked the branding sheet because you could replace “Austin” with any other city name and nothing else would have to change. 

 

You mentioned your hometown of Cleveland. I’ll bring up the town where I went to university; London, Ontario. 

Both Cleveland and London have the nickname of “the Forest City.” 

You could replace “Austin” with “London” or “Cleveland” and the logo wouldn’t have to be altered beyond that. Hell, it would be more fitting in either case because of both of those cities have the “Forest City” nickname. 

 

Austin, however, doesn’t have that imagery to justify such a mundane mark. Nothing in the city’s flag or seal depict a tree. And the city’s nicknames are all devoid of forest or tree references.

 

Which is even more odd. Check out these Austin nicknames...

“Live Music Capital of the World”

“Silicon Hills”

“City of the Violet Crown”

 

There’s some unique imagery to be mined from that, but instead they chose a tree. 

 

For all the talk of “local designers” we need to keep in mind that Anthony Precourt is not from Austin. 

It’s very likely he just liked the idea of a tree and told the local design team to make it work. 

 

Just because locals crafted the mark doesn’t mean they had a hand in deciding what it was. 

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On 8/23/2018 at 6:42 AM, Gothamite said:

 

The Scorpions are dead.  Have been for years. 

 

On 8/23/2018 at 7:56 AM, MJWalker45 said:

They haven't used that logo for years. It's been San Antonio FC since SS&E bought the team.

 

This is the current logo:

Image result for san antonio fc

 

I know all that. 

Still saying it's a waste of a good brand... 

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The tree (which is purposely designed to be a live oak) can also represent the Council Live Oaks that used to mark territories between old native tribes as well as the meeting place that Stephen F. Austin held to negotiate Texas land boundaries with said natives. It may seem "bland" to many but this logo has greater historical relevance than you may realize. Austin's a great place for sports, and with football/baseball/basketball taken up by UT (who basically are a pro team down here), our best bet to sustain a major pro sports franchise is through MLS. It sucks our new owner (who i agree is a d-bag) had to poach the O.G. MLS club from Columbus, but it is a business. There's also a good chance the Columbus Crew can be revived in a few years, the same way the Cleveland Browns were after the original team moved to Baltimore.

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I have to agree, soccer is the one sport that Austin can play on a major league level... ironically for the same reason it worked for Columbus.

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8 hours ago, Primzahl said:

The tree (which is purposely designed to be a live oak) can also represent the Council Live Oaks that used to mark territories between old native tribes as well as the meeting place that Stephen F. Austin held to negotiate Texas land boundaries with said natives. It may seem "bland" to many but this logo has greater historical relevance than you may realize. Austin's a great place for sports, and with football/baseball/basketball taken up by UT (who basically are a pro team down here), our best bet to sustain a major pro sports franchise is through MLS. It sucks our new owner (who i agree is a d-bag) had to poach the O.G. MLS club from Columbus, but it is a business. There's also a good chance the Columbus Crew can be revived in a few years, the same way the Cleveland Browns were after the original team moved to Baltimore.

They should have mentioned that in the logo sheet. Instead it comes off as a big middle finger to Columbus and the supporters trying to keep the team in Columbus. By omitting the mention of the council trees, of which only one remains of the original 14, PSV comes off as arrogant.

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6 hours ago, NicDB said:

I have to agree, soccer is the one sport that Austin can play on a major league level... ironically for the same reason it worked for Columbus.

So we should expect Austin to get an NHL team a few years after the MLS club kicks off?

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18 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

 

It’s a top mark (probably the top mark) from a technical standpoint. My point there being that the fantastic composition and execution of the mark itself shines even though I, and obviously many others here, don’t see anything innately “Austin” in an oak tree.

 

Never did I say a bat would have been a bad choice (I actually noted that it would have been a great choice), only that I understand why they didn’t go that route. The mold for MLS identities has often trended toward the hyper-local as opposed to imagery that is universally recognizable, and I think it’s because they want to build hyper-local brands and fanbases, in contrast to the other major sports, where many team identities target a more national or even global audience.

 

Those I know who live or have lived in Austin lament the transition of the bats from local curiosity/spectacle to full-on tourist attraction as the city has grown. As a native Clevelander, I can relate; we just saw an All-Star Game logo featuring a giant guitar. Certainly that’s an icon that people outside Cleveland recognize and associate with the city (and being a league-wide event, it is more acceptable in the context), but as someone deeply familiar with the city and the icons that resonate with Clevelanders, it’s a big facepalm and would never work as a team identity.

 

All this is to say that, because the identity was built by locals, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that the imagery they chose resonates with locals. I’d love to hear what Austinites think, though.

 

Any Austin identity should be weird and unexpected. Because that is the identity of the city, not any symbol or animal or ladmark; what makes that place special is something that can’t easily be captured in an icon, so to actually make an icon that makes people say “the hell are they doing?” Is really damn ikmpressive especially when pulled off and executed to such a high level of craft. Like i said before, when they hired Steve Wolf, they hired local and they hired the best. 

 

I think I’ve just about talked myself into liking this this identity, the only thing i still question is if i were a potential fan or Austinite, do i really want to wear a shirt with a tree on it? I’m not sure. But the approach is bold and perfectly in the spirit of Austin I applaud it

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7 minutes ago, BrandMooreArt said:

 

Any Austin identity should be weird and unexpected. Because that is the identity of the city, not any symbol or animal or ladmark; what makes that place special is something that can’t easily be captured in an icon, so to actually make an icon that makes people say “the hell are they doing?” Is really damn ikmpressive especially when pulled off and executed to such a high level of craft. Like i said before, when they hired Steve Wolf, they hired local and they hired the best. 

 

I think I’ve just about talked myself into liking this this identity, the only thing i still question is if i were a potential fan or Austinite, do i really want to wear a shirt with a tree on it? I’m not sure. But the approach is bold and perfectly in the spirit of Austin I applaud it

I have to disagree here. If they had guitars and a badge that wasn't confined to the shield, that screams Austin more than the current badge. Using actual Austin city colors may have worked, but since they would be involved on a rivalry with Dallas and Houston that was thrown out. I appreciate having local designers work on this but it seems like they were given a ton of restrictions on what the client wanted.

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1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

They should have mentioned that in the logo sheet. Instead it comes off as a big middle finger to Columbus and the supporters trying to keep the team in Columbus. By omitting the mention of the council trees, of which only one remains of the original 14, PSV comes off as arrogant.

 

Exactly. That’s reaching for a meaning that was clearly never intended. 

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41 minutes ago, 4_tattoos said:

So we should expect Austin to get an NHL team a few years after the MLS club kicks off?

We already have the minor league team for the Dallas Stars called the Texas Stars (formally Austin Ice Bats).

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9 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Exactly. That’s reaching for a meaning that was clearly never intended. 

It’s not even just those particular live oaks. There’s hundreds (if not thousands, due to the conservation efforts the city council has enacted through the years) of live oaks all over town. People definitely associate live oaks with Austin. There’s tons of references to the tree through street names, neighborhoods, and store names.

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I lived in Austin for twelve years, and go back often to visit friends there. I was involved in the art scene, with crossovers into the music, film and theater industries, a lot of the things that 'keep Austin weird'. I also saw the city grow from a sleepy college town to a traffic clogged city overrun with development. I've got a lot of mixed feelings about this logo. Outside of believing the team should not leave Columbus, my initial thought when I saw this was to think of Oakland's city logo.
 

As far as Austin goes, and the Live Oak representing the city, I can see that working well. The city is very environmentally conscious, with protection of its green spaces a high priority for its residents (they even blocked a proposed stadium along Town Lake due to these concerns). Live oak trees are everywhere, the green movement is a way of life, and also the name of a long established local brewery, so the idea of a tree representing Austin *feels* right, but the idea of the tree representing the team doesn't quite *feel* right, maybe because 'Austin FC' sounds really generic and the tree seems to be a local nod. 

 

I do think any inclusion of guitars and bats would just induce a huge eye roll for most Austinites now, as the city feels like its moved past its music city/bat city identity into something more cosmopolitan in thinking. So overall, while I don't think it's a great logo, I actually think it works well for Austin and I can see it becoming iconic in the city. 

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18 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

Never did I say a bat would have been a bad choice (I actually noted that it would have been a great choice), only that I understand why they didn’t go that route. The mold for MLS identities has often trended toward the hyper-local as opposed to imagery that is universally recognizable, and I think it’s because they want to build hyper-local brands and fanbases, in contrast to the other major sports, where many team identities target a more national or even global audience.


What other cities in MLS use hyper-local identities? I agreed with everything you said but kinda feel lost by that statement. The league to me largely feels very generic or high level identities, with the fans providing the connections. Beyond the long-established names of the PNW teams, which identities besides Minnesota hint at hyper-local things?

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Anything that had included music/bats would’ve been much cheesier. Simple is better in this case. Just wish we had another color in the palette. The other two green-dominant teams have unique secondary colors (Seattle has blue, Portland has gold) while white or black are their third or fourth colors. Purple, gold or orange (could represent our sunsets), or red could represent heat.

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10 hours ago, Primzahl said:

The tree (which is purposely designed to be a live oak) can also represent the Council Live Oaks that used to mark territories between old native tribes as well as the meeting place that Stephen F. Austin held to negotiate Texas land boundaries with said natives. It may seem "bland" to many but this logo has greater historical relevance than you may realize. Austin's a great place for sports, and with football/baseball/basketball taken up by UT (who basically are a pro team down here), our best bet to sustain a major pro sports franchise is through MLS. It sucks our new owner (who i agree is a d-bag) had to poach the O.G. MLS club from Columbus, but it is a business. There's also a good chance the Columbus Crew can be revived in a few years, the same way the Cleveland Browns were after the original team moved to Baltimore.

 

So a place that was used to formalize the theft of land is the inspiration for a logo of a stolen team.  Hold the phone people, we may have had some galaxy brain-level thought behind this after all!

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30 minutes ago, Primzahl said:

It’s not even just those particular live oaks. There’s hundreds (if not thousands, due to the conservation efforts the city council has enacted through the years) of live oaks all over town. People definitely associate live oaks with Austin. There’s tons of references to the tree through street names, neighborhoods, and store names.

 

That’s nice.  I like cities that plant trees. 

 

Maybe Precourt should have mentioned that in the marketing materials, if the connection was really intended. 

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1 hour ago, schlim said:


What other cities in MLS use hyper-local identities? I agreed with everything you said but kinda feel lost by that statement. The league to me largely feels very generic or high level identities, with the fans providing the connections. Beyond the long-established names of the PNW teams, which identities besides Minnesota hint at hyper-local things?

 

NYCFC leans pretty heavily into the subway imagery.  Plus the city's color scheme, and the Gotham font they use everywhere. 

 

And I’m not sure there’s any entity in NYC, including the city government itself, that uses our flag as much as NYCFC is doing. 

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1 hour ago, 4_tattoos said:

So we should expect Austin to get an NHL team a few years after the MLS club kicks off?


The ONLY other city in this state that's getting an NHL team is Houston. 

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1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

I have to disagree here. If they had guitars and a badge that wasn't confined to the shield, that screams Austin more than the current badge. 

 

I don’t believe that’s a good thing and as @schlim said, probably would have induced eye rolls from the locals. It’s too easy, too cheesy, and doesn’t capture what Austin is, only what it is known for. You may as well cap it off with a slice of brisket.

 

I do agree that it is hard to know what the brief and goals were here, and I’m still not sure how much i like a tree being the team logo, but its certainly a better place than the expected. 

 

FWIW, here’s what Steve said about the project:

 

”Late last year, @The Butler Bros were approached to brand a Major League Soccer team for our hometown, Austin. Inclusivity is a hallmark of soccer and the brand needed to be big enough for everyone, but also project the towering ambitions of our Club. The brief was simple: design a “team for all of Austin.” Austin’s majestic live oak trees were the perfect symbol to represent the city’s togetherness, pride and strength. Building off this idea, we developed a narrative and visual identity that honors our legendary city and gives all who live here a team to finally call their own.

Honored to be a part of an amazing project.”

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