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MLS Kits 2021


kylonian

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1 hour ago, andrewharrington said:

Paying for two identities to get one? You really think wasting the owner’s money is a solid exec move? 🤔


I wouldn't have wasted the owner's money because I'd have been on the phone, from the get-go, with a graphic designer that had a proven track record of having crafted well-received team brand identities in the sports space, specifically for soccer clients. I see no indication - either in Ms. Shah's CV or the New England Revolution identity she ultimately created - that she was a graphic designer with expertise in said space before the Krafts hired her. I'd have opted to pay for one identity... from a designer with said expertise.

 

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Well, clearly the Krafts think she is indeed “talent capable of creating a truly outstanding visual identity,” and I agree. The proof is right there. Just because the Krafts didn’t hire either of the dudes you like doesn’t mean they “settled.”


The Krafts' stewardship of the New England Revolution over the team's 26 seasons has been - on balance - indifferent at best. That's been particularly true in matters concerning the marketing of the team. As such, to be brutally honest, I'm not sure that their thinking Ms. Shah capable in the realm of sports branding is the ringing endorsement that you make it out to be.

As for "the proof" of Ms. Shah's proposed New England Revolution identity package being "truly outstanding"... well, you and I see things quite differently. What is "right there" to your eyes has, quite frankly, escaped my gaze. I see a not terribly impressive pastiche of what MLS executives and the league's investor/operators believe to be more in keeping with "European" and "International" soccer crest design. Trying to marry the overall feel of such crests to the history of the Revolution's New England home market, Ms. Shaw has opted for "bunting" (Woo-hoo! Fourth of July parades!) arrayed vaguely in the shape of a "clover" (Boston's loaded with Irish!) with the strap from a Continental soldier's cartridge box or haversack (Minutemen!) diagonally bisecting the lot. Oh, and there's a big, vaguely old-timey letter 'R' (The 1700s! Revolution!) right smack dab in the middle... though partially obscured by that random diagonal line. It's a melange that I find more than a bit slapdash.

Does it represent an improvement over the "Crayola Old Glory"? It would be hard for it not to. That said, on its own merits, it strikes me as mediocre, at best. A first pass. An initial concept.

                
 

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Oh, and would it have killed Ms. Shah and the folks at Jones Knowles Ritchie to actually source some stock photography of an authentic Boston neighborhood that the Revolution signage could be digitally inserted into? How about someplace along the Freedom Trail?  It seems more than a bit incongruous to see posters promoting New England's Major League Soccer club adorning a construction site at the corner of 5th Avenue and West 46th Street in Manhattan. That? That's just lazy.

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51 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

Oh, and would it have killed Ms. Shah and the folks at Jones Knowles Ritchie to actually source some stock photography of an authentic Boston neighborhood that the Revolution signage could be digitally inserted into? How about someplace along the Freedom Trail?  It seems more than a bit incongruous to see posters promoting New England's Major League Soccer club adorning a construction site at the corner of 5th Avenue and West 46th Street in Manhattan. That? That's just lazy.

You have turned a crest you don’t like into an assumption that the designer isn’t qualified. Frankly that’s quite ignorant of the process and demeaning to her skill set. A ton of great designers produce subpar logos without being mentioned by name and having their qualifications questioned. It makes me wonder why you have chosen this particular designer. It is clear that the designer is more effective at designing a soccer logo than you have been at putting together a cogent argument against her.

 

With that said I wildly disagree with most of what you have said. It’s not a perfect logo (I don’t like how the bottom left slash plays with the serif and would prefer either a better shape on the white background or none at all) but it’s a massive improvement and pretty easily moves into the top half of MLS logos from dead last.

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So I decided to act on my earlier nitpicks and slightly edited the badge to what I think looks better and more interesting. I didn't change the central elements at all, I changed the font of the roundel to better match the central 'R' and the marketing concepts found alongside the leaked badge. It's not a perfect match, as I couldn't find a similar-looking font to the one used by the designer, but it's close enough to what I was envisioning. Alongside changing the font, I also added red to the founding year to distinguish it from the name of the team and to get some better colour balance.  As well, I also changed the roundel (3rd row) to something that I felt was more interesting than just a simple white circle.

 

The 1st row would work best, IMO, on the kits & hats and other merchandise and in situations when the name and year is not needed. The 2nd row would work best on some merchandise and general advertising situations when the full name is needed, and that (or the 3rd row) would probably be considered the official badge.

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1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:


I wouldn't have wasted the owner's money because I'd have been on the phone, from the get-go, with a graphic designer that had a proven track record of having crafted well-received team brand identities in the sports space, specifically for soccer clients. I see no indication - either in Ms. Shah's CV or the New England Revolution identity she ultimately created - that she was a graphic designer with expertise in said space before the Krafts hired her. I'd have opted to pay for one identity... from a designer with said expertise.

 


The Krafts' stewardship of the New England Revolution over the team's 26 seasons has been - on balance - indifferent at best. That's been particularly true in matters concerning the marketing of the team. As such, to be brutally honest, I'm not sure that their thinking Ms. Shah capable in the realm of sports branding is the ringing endorsement that you make it out to be.

As for "the proof" of Ms. Shah's proposed New England Revolution identity package being "truly outstanding"... well, you and I see things quite differently. What is "right there" to your eyes has, quite frankly, escaped my gaze. I see a not terribly impressive pastiche of what MLS executives and the league's investor/operators believe to be more in keeping with "European" and "International" soccer crest design. Trying to marry the overall feel of such crests to the history of the Revolution's New England home market, Ms. Shaw has opted for "bunting" (Woo-hoo! Fourth of July parades!) arrayed vaguely in the shape of a "clover" (Boston's loaded with Irish!) with the strap from a Continental soldier's cartridge box or haversack (Minutemen!) diagonally bisecting the lot. Oh, and there's a big, vaguely old-timey letter 'R' (The 1700s! Revolution!) right smack dab in the middle... though partially obscured by that random diagonal line. It's a melange that I find more than a bit slapdash.

Does it represent an improvement over the "Crayola Old Glory"? It would be hard for it not to. That said, on its own merits, it strikes me as mediocre, at best. A first pass. An initial concept.

                
 


That’s a lot of words to admit her process was thorough and you just don’t like the result/direction the club chose. How is bunting, Irish heritage, and minutemen any more cliché than Art Deco, Neutraface, and angel wings for LA or Gotham Bold,  subway tokens, and “NYC flag orange?”

 

spacer.png

 

Don’t get me wrong. Matt creates great-looking brands, but this just isn’t the same level of substance as the Revs project, and in my opinion, you’re looking at Matt’s work through rose-colored glasses if you think otherwise.

 

Honestly, I think Matt’s work is proof that you can create a strong brands with simple, low-hanging design driving your identity.

 

1 hour ago, Brian in Boston said:

Oh, and would it have killed Ms. Shah and the folks at Jones Knowles Ritchie to actually source some stock photography of an authentic Boston neighborhood that the Revolution signage could be digitally inserted into? How about someplace along the Freedom Trail?  It seems more than a bit incongruous to see posters promoting New England's Major League Soccer club adorning a construction site at the corner of 5th Avenue and West 46th Street in Manhattan. That? That's just lazy.


It’s a design presentation, not consumer-facing content. Showing the work working effectively in the proper context is ten times more valuable than having the right street signs in your mock-up photo.

 

The forest, not the trees, or whatever.

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3 hours ago, JTernup said:

You have turned a crest you don’t like into an assumption that the designer isn’t qualified. Frankly that’s quite ignorant of the process and demeaning to her skill set. A ton of great designers produce subpar logos without being mentioned by name and having their qualifications questioned. It makes me wonder why you have chosen this particular designer. It is clear that the designer is more effective at designing a soccer logo than you have been at putting together a cogent argument against her.

 

With that said I wildly disagree with most of what you have said. It’s not a perfect logo (I don’t like how the bottom left slash plays with the serif and would prefer either a better shape on the white background or none at all) but it’s a massive improvement and pretty easily moves into the top half of MLS logos from dead last.


On the contrary. Charmie Shah is tremendously talented. I was first introduced to her work when a friend directed me to an Instagram account ( https://www.instagram.com/knockknock_newyork/ ) that she launched as part of a 100 Days Project that was a component of the Masters in Branding program in which she was enrolled. I thought it was one of the most compelling, creative, and entertaining uses of the platform that I'd ever seen. A cursory examination of Ms. Shah's CV and portfolio provide equally compelling proof of her talents.

That said, as you point out, "great designers produce subpar logos" from time to time. In my opinion (which neither you, nor anyone else, is compelled to agree with), this proposed New England Revolution identity package is such an effort from Charmie Shah.  

Now, if your contention is that my attaching Ms. Shah's name to her work while discussing the merits and/or shortcomings of said output is somehow out of the ordinary, or if you believe that I'm somehow the first person in this community to question whether the success or failure of a branding professional's creative output on a given sports identity project might be impacted by the amount of time they've spent working in the field of sports branding... well, you either haven't spent much time here, or you haven't been paying attention. I say that, because if the identity of the creative professional responsible for a given sports branding project is a matter of public record, I can guarantee you that said creative professional is going to be mentioned by name while the merits of his or her project is discussed. I can further guarantee that Charmie Shah is by no means the first design professional to have had their qualifications questioned in a thread in this community. Design professionals are routinely lauded and critiqued by members of the CCSLC, myself concluded. 

Bottom line? I personally find Ms. Shah's proposed New England Revolution identity system to be a middling effort. I'm of a mind that it's greatest achievement as a sports brand is simply that it's not the dated, mid-1990s mess that's been in place in New England for 26 seasons. However, that strikes me as the very definition of damning with faint praise. I think the New England Revolution could do better.             

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1 hour ago, andrewharrington said:

That’s a lot of words to admit her process was thorough and you just don’t like the result/direction the club chose. How is bunting, Irish heritage, and minutemen any more cliché than Art Deco, Neutraface, and angel wings for LA or Gotham Bold,  subway tokens, and “NYC flag orange?”

 

Don’t get me wrong. Matt creates great-looking brands, but this just isn’t the same level of substance as the Revs project, and in my opinion, you’re looking at Matt’s work through rose-colored glasses if you think otherwise.

 

Honestly, I think Matt’s work is proof that you can create a strong brands with simple, low-hanging design driving your identity.

 


It’s a design presentation, not consumer-facing content. Showing the work working effectively in the proper context is ten times more valuable than having the right street signs in your mock-up photo.

 

The forest, not the trees, or whatever.


I don't know that "thorough" is the word that I'd use for Charmie's process. Leaning into Irish heritage and minutemen in a Greater Boston/New England-Based pro sports identity package isn't exactly breaking new ground. Those are "low-hanging" themes driving your identity.  How, to your mind, does her embrace of "bunting, Irish heritage, and minutemen" have any more "substance" than Matt's selection of "Art Deco, Neutraface, and angel wings" or "Gotham Bold, subway tokens, and NYC flag orange"?

I'll say this about her work on behalf of the Revolution: there are aspects of the secondary and tertiary marks that could lend themselves to a strong brand. For instance, I like this...

spacer.png

... as a potential containment shape for a badge. It's cleaner and bolder. The bunting/clover device she opted for is a bit too rococo for my taste. And the way the diagonal bisects and obscures the letter adds to the visual clutter.   

As for "rose-colored glasses", I don't have them for anyone. Every designer is capable of swinging and missing. Amongst Matthew's crests... Central Coast United? City SC Carlsbad? Victoria Highlanders? Oof. Not my cup of tea. Truth be told, if I had to pick the three Matthew Wolff Design crests that appeal the most to me, I'd go Charleston Battery, Virginia Beach City, and FC Tulsa.

Same thing with Christopher Payne. As much as I love New Amsterdam Football Club's crest, that of the Eastleigh Football Club leaves me cold. I want to heap praise on Alfreton Town FC's badge, but the oversized 'A' and 'N' in the word mark - particularly, the latter - drive me up the wall.

As for "[s]howing the work working effectively in the proper context is ten times more valuable than having the right street signs in your mock-up photo", why can't you have both?

In any event, always great hearing the perspective of someone within the industry. Thanks for sharing your insights!

 

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41 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:


I don't know that "thorough" is the word that I'd use for Charmie's process. Leaning into Irish heritage and minutemen in a Greater Boston/New England-Based pro sports identity package isn't exactly breaking new ground. Those are "low-hanging" themes driving your identity.  How, to your mind, does her embrace of "bunting, Irish heritage, and minutemen" have any more "substance" than Matt's selection of "Art Deco, Neutraface, and angel wings" or "Gotham Bold, subway tokens, and NYC flag orange"?

I'll say this about her work on behalf of the Revolution: there are aspects of the secondary and tertiary marks that could lend themselves to a strong brand. For instance, I like this...

spacer.png

... as a potential containment shape for a badge. It's cleaner and bolder. The bunting/clover device she opted for is a bit too rococo for my taste. And the way the diagonal bisects and obscures the letter adds to the visual clutter.   

As for "rose-colored glasses", I don't have them for anyone. Every designer is capable of swinging and missing. Amongst Matthew's crests... Central Coast United? City SC Carlsbad? Victoria Highlanders? Oof. Not my cup of tea. Truth be told, if I had to pick the three Matthew Wolff Design crests that appeal the most to me, I'd go Charleston Battery, Virginia Beach City, and FC Tulsa.

Same thing with Christopher Payne. As much as I love New Amsterdam Football Club's crest, that of the Eastleigh Football Club leaves me cold. I want to heap praise on Alfreton Town FC's badge, but the oversized 'A' and 'N' in the word mark - particularly, the latter - drive me up the wall.

As for "[s]howing the work working effectively in the proper context is ten times more valuable than having the right street signs in your mock-up photo", why can't you have both?

In any event, always great hearing the perspective of someone within the industry. Thanks for sharing your insights!

 


I’m defending low-hanging themes here, so, yes; bunting, Irish heritage, and minutemen do indeed qualify, but I think “thorough” is a fine way to describe the sheer utility of everything in this system, from the marks to the icons to the slogans to the custom typefaces. It’s easily understandable for people and very complete in what it offers. A logo is just one piece of an identity, which is just once piece of a brand. All that stuff that’s *not* the logo is hugely important for a business that has so many different media touchpoints with its consumers. This is one where the support really shines and makes this greater than the sum of its parts, in my opinion (as you noted on the secondary/tertiary elements).
 

As nice as some of the identities those guys have created are, I just don’t see full systems with this kind of range, which is probably related more to project scope than anything else, but the point stands if we’re only looking at the results. Again, no disrespect intended there as I think great identities can be built with very little (and those guys prove it time and again), but to me, this is a great example of a complete club brand with multiple parts working together toward a cohesive whole. I can’t even begin to describe how happy I would be if I worked on a club’s creative team and an agency delivered a visual identity with this much depth/this many tools ready to go from day one.

 

Honestly, I think this’ll grow on people as we see more of it in context.

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6 hours ago, Digby said:

What’s so special to New England about patriotic bunting? There’s bunting everywhere. Probably more down south than here nowadays, honestly. 

Yes, but have they put it in a soccer logo?

 

Check and mate.

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9 hours ago, monkeypower said:

If there's been any example of something staying around for long enough that people just eventually accept it, it's this logo.

4829_new_england_revolution-primary-2009

This logo stinks! I understand why there is pushback from some Revs fans, but there shouldn't really be because all it is is a poorly drawn American flag.

 

As a Revs fan of about a month or so, I welcome this change. This new logo isn't perfect and there would be some changes I would make (I really like Brian's idea of using the fort shape), but it's infinitely better than what the logo is now.

 

The Revs could have clean that logo up, make it solid colour and smoother outlines and I would have been fine with that. 

I can't believe it has lasted this long. 

The new one is better, it gives a Glasow Rangers vibe to it. However,  they did not need a slash. It looks like a mock 'No Parking' sign. 

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14 hours ago, GFB said:

Phew, I thought I was going to look stupid for a minute there. Thanks for the link! 

 

Screen+Shot+2020-11-01+at+10.18.03+PM.pn

 

That's phenomenal.

I think the roundel with the stars should be used with someone like a Glasgow Ranger type monogram in the middle with the larger R and NE interlocked. 

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Any brand for the New England Revolution whose most obvious soccer-world influences are Rangers and QPR gets a no from me, for reasons that are hopefully obvious.

 

I was hoping we might see hints of Brazilian and Portuguese influence, but the club has rarely seemed to notice those demographics despite sitting in one of America’s primary locations for both heritages. Have to think it’d be a boon on and off the pitch, especially as long as they’re stuck in the 495 belt and not Boston.

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15 hours ago, Digby said:


Ah wow I just realized the New England connection.

 

🚫R

Can you clarify for those of us who aren't as up on their history? (Like me :P)

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6 minutes ago, TBGKon said:

Can you clarify for those of us who aren't as up on their history? (Like me :P)


The joke being that the logo looks like a “no R allowed” symbol, and the New England accent drops R’s from the ends of words in a sonically painful fashion.

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37 minutes ago, Digby said:

Any brand for the New England Revolution whose most obvious soccer-world influences are Rangers and QPR gets a no from me, for reasons that are hopefully obvious.

 

I was hoping we might see hints of Brazilian and Portuguese influence, but the club has rarely seemed to notice those demographics despite sitting in one of America’s primary locations for both heritages. Have to think it’d be a boon on and off the pitch, especially as long as they’re stuck in the 495 belt and not Boston.

I mean, is the style of Rangers and QPR not also more or less the style of Flamengo, Fluminense, Internacional and a bit of Palmeiras?

 

(I like the new mark a lot — there's nothing special about it, I just think it works and looks nice and sometimes that's all that matters.)

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3 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

I mean, is the style of Rangers and QPR not also more or less the style of Flamengo, Fluminense, Internacional and a bit of Palmeiras?

 

(I like the new mark a lot — there's nothing special about it, I just think it works and looks nice and sometimes that's all that matters.)


Fair point! I guess it’s a matter of context, that scripty font in the Colonial branding makes it look more British. Given they’re keeping the branding, though I’m glad they did that instead of some CF Montreal garbage, I think I’d rather see something like an old-style serif font to tie it together and feel more Colonial. (That font the designer uses in the non-logo materials, which the Revs have been using in their social and marketing graphics this year, is a good example.)

 

My personal left-field Brazil-style choice I’d always hoped for a Corinthians-type mariner branding ... Would’ve been perfect if they built a stadium in the Seaport or Bayside, like they should’ve when they had the chance!

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7 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:


On the contrary. Charmie Shah is tremendously talented. I was first introduced to her work when a friend directed me to an Instagram account ( https://www.instagram.com/knockknock_newyork/ ) that she launched as part of a 100 Days Project that was a component of the Masters in Branding program in which she was enrolled. I thought it was one of the most compelling, creative, and entertaining uses of the platform that I'd ever seen. A cursory examination of Ms. Shah's CV and portfolio provide equally compelling proof of her talents.

That said, as you point out, "great designers produce subpar logos" from time to time. In my opinion (which neither you, nor anyone else, is compelled to agree with), this proposed New England Revolution identity package is such an effort from Charmie Shah.  

Now, if your contention is that my attaching Ms. Shah's name to her work while discussing the merits and/or shortcomings of said output is somehow out of the ordinary, or if you believe that I'm somehow the first person in this community to question whether the success or failure of a branding professional's creative output on a given sports identity project might be impacted by the amount of time they've spent working in the field of sports branding... well, you either haven't spent much time here, or you haven't been paying attention. I say that, because if the identity of the creative professional responsible for a given sports branding project is a matter of public record, I can guarantee you that said creative professional is going to be mentioned by name while the merits of his or her project is discussed. I can further guarantee that Charmie Shah is by no means the first design professional to have had their qualifications questioned in a thread in this community. Design professionals are routinely lauded and critiqued by members of the CCSLC, myself concluded. 

Bottom line? I personally find Ms. Shah's proposed New England Revolution identity system to be a middling effort. I'm of a mind that it's greatest achievement as a sports brand is simply that it's not the dated, mid-1990s mess that's been in place in New England for 26 seasons. However, that strikes me as the very definition of damning with faint praise. I think the New England Revolution could do better.             

To be completely honest I still find your combination of name dropping and questioning of her effort and qualifications for the project to be off putting and unusual for the site. However, you have convinced me that it wasn’t done in bad faith and you have a better background knowledge of her work than I do or I expected you did.

 

Again I disagree with most of what you’ve had to say on the design but that’s fine. Everyone is free to like what they like and most of my feelings have been eloquently stated by Andrew and others.

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The new Revolution crest isn't anyhow revolutionary (pardon the pun) but it's not a bad crest by any means. It could definitely be better but... at least it's not a "minimalist" letterform like so many European logos are. Like this is something I hope you folk over there don't try to copy.

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1 hour ago, JTernup said:

To be completely honest I still find your combination of name dropping and questioning of her effort and qualifications for the project to be off putting and unusual for the site.

 

Glad someone else noticed too.

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