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MLS Chicago Fire FC Reveal Disappointing New Logo


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10 hours ago, QueenCitySwarm said:

Yeah, but RSL got its blessing from Real Madrid, not the Spanish King. Maybe if it was Royal Salt Lake it would be acceptable, but they're clearly trying to imitate Real Madrid. The name "Real" has no connection to Utah or Salt Lake.

 

This is a common error. We're actually trying to imitate Real Sociedad!

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22 minutes ago, Digby said:

My favorite piece of the Real Salt Lake "how do you do, futbol kids" identity is that they paired that name with a color scheme that screams Barcelona.

I think it was actually supposed to look like the Spanish national team, not that that's an improvement. 

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9 hours ago, Gothamite said:

I’m not actually sure that’s the case. 

 

Yes, you list a long line of strategic developments that have lifted MLS to where it is today.  And those are important.  But I also think that one additional factor is the move towards traditional football names, which matters to a lot of many existing fans of the sport.  If you want to reach out to fans of international clubs, you tap into that tradition.  Just as adopting a legacy identity like “San Jose Earthquakes” helps you tap into a different market than “San Jose Clash”.

 

Now, a lot of this really is chicken-and-egg.  But I do not doubt that there are football fans who started taking the league more seriously when the league started taking itself more seriously.  And that meant, in part, losing the silly 90s names.

 

I'm of the mind that "the move towards traditional names", while an "additional factor" in winning over a certain subset of "fans of international clubs", has been nowhere near as important an element in Major League Soccer's growth as the developmental achievements I outlined. If Major League Soccer hadn't  encouraged the construction of soccer-specific stadia, adopted IFAB rules, established the Designated Player rule, negotiated and signed TV deals that actually paid the league rights fees, hired full-time pro referees, and leveraged ancillary revenue streams such as jersey sponsorships and stadium naming rights deals... well, if the league hadn't achieved those benchmarks, it wouldn't matter one iota if every team in the league carried a "traditional football name". Without the nuts-and-bolts steps I've cited, 26 permutations of FC, SC, Athletic, City, Inter, Real, Rovers, Sporting, Town, United, Wanderers, etcetera would be nothing more than window-dressing on a league poised on the verge of collapse.    
 
Further, "tradition" is in the eye, ear, and heart of the supporter. One fan's "silly" is another fan's "traditional". In Columbus, Crew is traditional. In Portland, Timbers is traditional. In San Jose, Earthquakes is traditional. In Seattle, Sounders is traditional. In Vancouver, Whitecaps is traditional. In Chicago, not only is Fire traditional, but it seems a hell of a lot of supporters consider the old St. Florian's cross-based badge to be traditional. Let's try to remember, there are parts of the world in which the likes of Botswana Meat Commission FC, FC Santa Claus, and Grasshopper Club Zurich are traditional. In that light, American soccer could have done far worse than Dallas Tornado, Los Angeles Aztecs, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Colorado Rapids, Miami Fusion, New England Revolution, Charlotte Independence, Indy Eleven, or Rochester Rhinos.

Soccer is constantly touted as "The World's Game", it's global reach and history trumpeted as evidence of its appeal. If that's true, the soccer teams that have called the United States and Canada home - even those that have borne "silly" names influenced by the North American sports branding tradition - are every bit as much a part and parcel of the sport's legacy as the clubs from any other country in the world. They should be recognized and celebrated as such. Frankly, it gets old seeing fellow American soccer supporters who seem all too ready to cast aside the history of the sport in our country - team branding included - in an effort to ape the traditions of other nations. I'd argue that it's been awfully difficult to build and sustain an authentic American soccer tradition when there has seemed to be a subset of supporters in this country who are willing - indeed, eager - to denigrate what history we do have.


Look, I lent my own voice to grousing about the rule deviations - stadium game-clocks that counted down, 35-yard offside lines, penalty shootouts to decide regular season ties - which various leagues adopted in ill-conceived attempts to "sell" soccer to fans in the United States. Changing the very gameplay of the sport was clearly a step too far. That said, if potential fans were ignoring professional soccer in this country because they felt that there weren't enough teams sporting names akin to those in the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, etc... well, that strikes me as terribly disappointing.             

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22 hours ago, the admiral said:

 

Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver seem to be among the strongest markets in the league, and they have nice intuitive North American names (even if there are FCs or SCs appended to them, I don't remember).

I'd say those are in a different category due to their longevity. All have been the names of soccer teams in those towns off and on for the past 40-50 years. So I'd think even die hard world soccer fans accept those American-style names without hesitation due to the history.

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11 minutes ago, hawk36 said:

I'd say those are in a different category due to their longevity. All have been the names of soccer teams in those towns off and on for the past 40-50 years. So I'd think even die hard world soccer fans accept those American-style names without hesitation due to the history.

Yeah, it's almost like history and tradition is something you have to develop on your own, and isn't something which can be branded on your team by copy-pasting a glamorous club name

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3 hours ago, hawk36 said:

I'd say those are in a different category due to their longevity. All have been the names of soccer teams in those towns off and on for the past 40-50 years. So I'd think even die hard world soccer fans accept those American-style names without hesitation due to the history.

 

My favorite traditional soccer name is the Wolverhampton Wanderers. Who go by Wolves.

 

Some MLS teams try this, like how people call Atlanta United "Five Stripes" or Orlando City the "Lions." Yeah, it's a little forced, but the fans enjoy it and that's what matters. Seeing who's the most punk rock among soccer fans is pretty tedious.

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16 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

 

My favorite traditional soccer name is the Wolverhampton Wanderers. Who go by Wolves.

 

Some MLS teams try this, like how people call Atlanta United "Five Stripes" or Orlando City the "Lions." Yeah, it's a little forced, but the fans enjoy it and that's what matters. Seeing who's the most punk rock among soccer fans is pretty tedious.

I've always loved the unofficial nicknames for soccer teams, like the Pigeons for NYCFC or the Loons for MNUFC.

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I like baseball's unofficial secondary nicknames, too: North Siders, South Siders, Bombers, Bums, Halos, Birds, White Elephants.

 

Hockey is unusual in that the logos themselves often have their own names. The Canadiens have an entire holy sweater, though these days it's more of a sweater with holes.

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10 hours ago, DG_Now said:

 

My favorite traditional soccer name is the Wolverhampton Wanderers. Who go by Wolves.

 

Some MLS teams try this, like how people call Atlanta United "Five Stripes" or Orlando City the "Lions." Yeah, it's a little forced, but the fans enjoy it and that's what matters. Seeing who's the most punk rock among soccer fans is pretty tedious.

Although I don't hear it much anymore, I love how the Union were nicknamed the Zolos due to a misinterpretation. Someone mistook "2010" (their inaugural year) as "ZOLO" and it instantly became an inside joke.

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1 hour ago, jmac11281 said:

Although I don't hear it much anymore, I love how the Union were nicknamed the Zolos due to a misinterpretation. Someone mistook "2010" (their inaugural year) as "ZOLO" and it instantly became an inside joke.

 

That’s sort of similar to why Sac Republic are nicknamed the Quails. That stemmed from a botched April Fools joke, though. 

 

 

 

Anyway, Chicago Fire put out a statement yesterday saying that while they know everyone hates their new crest, and while they “care about their fans” (they don’t) they’re not changing because they’ll be judged in “Years, not days”. 

 

 

AKA: They’re already in too deep, are too broke to change it right now, and :censored: the fans who are worried about getting shot. 

 

 

What an absolutely tone tone deaf organization. Why anyone would support this team is beyond my comprehension. 

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Peter Wilt, the man who originally built the Fire, is expressing his displeasure as well:

 

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Can’t make that badge good, but that is at least a little less-bad. The star is the right shape, and the color scheme is all Chicago.

 

I’d flip the two so the red is on top (because, you know, 🔥) and the blue is on bottom (skyline reflecting in Lake Michigan).

 

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Maybe that would draw too much attention to the bottom of the logo, but at least the symbolism would work better. 

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It's so bad I haven't had the energy to form a more mature take than "it's doodoo from my bottom". It's kind of emblematic of all the different ways branding can go wrong. It should be studied in design schools. 

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1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

It's so bad I haven't had the energy to form a more mature take than "it's doodoo from my bottom". It's kind of emblematic of all the different ways branding can go wrong. It should be studied in design schools. 


I think it’s important to note, though, that this isn’t branding.

 

It’s a logo; a single piece of a larger whole. If the club believes in and is proud of what they’re building, then I think they’re doing the right thing by saying, “Let’s all simmer down, let this marinate, and wait for the side dishes to be done. At least eat the meal before you decide to throw it up.”

 

In that sense, I think it should be studied in design schools, but as a cautionary tale on hot takes, mob mentality, non-constructive critique, and passing final judgment before taking in all of the design.

 

This is is a decent badge. I’m just not sold on it being right for this team. I thought the use of the St. Florian cross was one of those perfect design choices that should stick with the club until the end. From a purely aesthetic point of view, though, this is attractive, refined, and versatile, and I could see it being very appealing and working well under different circumstances.

 

Ultimately, I think they made a few too many mistakes changing out solid, ownable design elements that instantly communicate for ones that are not only conceptually thin, but also more ambiguous and unfortunately similar to the identities of other relevant organizations (Vancouver, Salt Lake, and the Latin Kings).

 

Time will tell, but I still applaud them for not caving to the mob this early.

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Quote

This is is a decent badge. I’m just not sold on it being right for this team. I thought the use of the St. Florian cross was one of those perfect design choices that should stick with the club until the end. From a purely aesthetic point of view, though, this is attractive, refined, and versatile, and I could see it being very appealing and working well under different circumstances.

 

I really don’t think I can agree with you there. Even setting aside the context, I don’t think this is a great design. There’s too much awkward empty space in the roundel, and the color scheme is awfully muddy.

 

I think this would be rejected as the logo for an expansion team. It flat-out deserves to be rejected as a new identity for an established one. 

 

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31 minutes ago, andrewharrington said:


In that sense, I think it should be studied in design schools, but as a cautionary tale on hot takes, mob mentality, non-constructive critique, and passing final judgment before taking in all of the design.

 

Aside from me disagreeing wholeheartedly about this being an "attractive, refined, and versatile" badge, I have to take a bit of an issue with this part of your thought process. It's not hot takes or a mob mentality that are sparking the outrage. It's the absolute disconnection with the few things about their history that people took pride in that people have such a serious issue with. It's that this comes across as a group who disregarded anything their customers wanted, and are now lying to people about it. 

 

New ownership came in earlier in the summer, and towards the beginning of the fall, they got the go ahead to move back into the city. This doesn't read as a group of people who are "proud" of their design. It reads as a group of people who were rushed, and who are now so hellbent on making a change in order to put their "mark" on this that they completely tossed aside common sense. This doesn't read as someone who wanted to make a "bold change", it reads as a group who didn't do any bit of the due diligence necessary to make this thing work. 

 

This isn't a case study of "Hot takes and mob mentality". It's a case study of what not to do, start to finish, when coming up with a company design. This whole thing is nothing short of an embarrassment for both the club, and frankly, the league as a whole. 

 

If I didn't know any better, I would almost think your a plant by the Chicago Fire front office 😂

 

 

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26 minutes ago, andrewharrington said:

In that sense, I think it should be studied in design schools, but as a cautionary tale on hot takes, mob mentality, non-constructive critique, and passing final judgment before taking in all of the design.

 

Except it's throwing away whatever "good" heritage the organization had in favor of the new ownership group "putting their mark on the team." That's not a positive development, it's throwing away all of the good will the owners built up after getting out of that awful lease.

 

26 minutes ago, andrewharrington said:

This is is a decent badge. I’m just not sold on it being right for this team. I thought the use of the St. Florian cross was one of those perfect design choices that should stick with the club until the end. From a purely aesthetic point of view, though, this is attractive, refined, and versatile, and I could see it being very appealing and working well under different circumstances.

 

Sure, it you want to call it that.

 

26 minutes ago, andrewharrington said:

Ultimately, I think they made a few too many mistakes changing out solid, ownable design elements that instantly communicate for ones that are not only conceptually thin, but also more ambiguous and unfortunately similar to the identities of other relevant organizations (Vancouver, Salt Lake, and the Latin Kings).

 

Well then it's not a good badge. It's an awful one.

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48 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

 

I really don’t think I can agree with you there. Even setting aside the context, I don’t think this is a great design. There’s too much awkward empty space in the roundel, and the color scheme is awfully muddy.

 

I think this would be rejected as the logo for an expansion team. It flat-out deserves to be rejected as a new identity for an established one. 

 

I agree. The best comment I read was that this looks like the first concept sketch for the Vancouver Whitecaps logo before it was fully designed and refined. 

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that logo ironically looks too "safe" to really have the "wait how the applications look"/"don't jump to conclusions" defense work. It's not like London 2012 (which in retrospect had some fantastic applications, and was far better than the anodyne Rio 2016 identity) or the Juventus logo update- on top of all the other objections, it's also just really, really boring. "Offensively inoffensive" might sound like an oxymoron, but well...

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