Whenever a established brand redesigns their logo there is immediately a huge commotion on Twitter, and often enough it turns into a shitstorm.
This commotion usually turns into several Medium-published think-pieces. And so goes mine.
Usually when this happens I’m trying to throw myself into the camp of embracing the new visual direction a organization is taking. And although in the past that direction not often makes sense even after lengthy introduction videos and photo collages I try to stay positive.
Well, I hated the Gap logo – but so did everyone.
I liked the American Airlines rebranding, which I was probably the only one.
And here is MLS’s official explanation:
WORDMARK: MLS stands for Major League Soccer.
SLASH: The slash refers to soccer’s speed and energy. The slash >begins outside the perimeter and drives upward at a 45-degree >angle to illustrate both the nonstop nature of our game and the >rising trajectory of our league. It bisects the crest to create >a “first half” and “second half.”
STARS: The three stars represent the pillars of our brand: For >Club, For Country, For Community.
PERIMETER: The perimeter represents the lines that mark off the field of play.
FIRST HALF AND SECOND HALF: The first half contains MLS and the three stars. The second half is an open white space that brings you in and out of the MLS world.
Let me start with the positive here:
The old logo needed refreshing. It was outdated, childish and is past it’s prime. Way past.
I love that the new logo is modern. I’ve always been a fan of modern, clean design. American Sports League have the tendency to wallow in nostalgia, so I appreciate the break from that and the embrace of the future. It’s bold, even courageous. That, I give them.
I also love the idea of giving every team a way of customizing the new logo with their own team colors.
So far so good.
But the rest is complete and utter crap:
Almost every MLS team uses a crest-like shape, so using such a similar shape the MLS logo is actually competing rather than complimenting the teams’ logos.
I get that this is America and we need stars and stripes on everything, but stars are nowhere to be found in soccer, so why use them there?
The MLS word mark placement:
It’s completely forced into the left corner making the whole thing feel way lopsided.
What the hell is that supposed to be?
If the outside lines of the shield are supposed to be representing the lines on the pitch (and if that’s the case, why not make the box rectangular or round, like some of the shapes that can actually be found on a soccer pitch) then why does the line begin on the outside of the pitch? No soccer play happens outside the lines. That completely doesn’t make any sense at all.
Further makes the whole logo feel completely lopsided. And unless the MLS is hoping to turn the game on it’s head and wants to introduce some groundbreaking new rules/ideas to the game this doesn’t feel right at all.
The two halves:
One half feels cramped, crowded and has a completely mis-placed red gradient in it.
The second half is completely empty, white and boring.
If those halves are supposed to be representing the two periods of play than why are they so lopsided and not evened out?
Where is the f^*&ing soccer ball?
I mean, if we’re all about symbolism and are trying to be obvious and stuff, why are we leaving out the most symbolic element that has visually represented soccer for many generations? The ball?
So, there you have it. Craig Robinson summed it up nicely:
The new MLS logo looks like the designer had a deadline and was distracted by the need to poop at the same time.