Finally, my two greatest loves (apart from my good wife of course) have collided, giving me the opportunity to write a blog post about football AND design!
Behold, my beloved Everton FC’s new look:
Old vs new.
Shite isn’t it?! And I’m afraid I’m not the only one that thinks it…
Now don’t ge me wrong, I’ve not been a fan of our club’s, ‘visual identity’ for some time so a refresh is long overdue.
This is a massive disappointment though, as well as a missed opportunity.
Several elements of previous badges are missing, though that’s not the big issue for me. It’s just really badly crafted.
The typography sucks, the colour combinations are awful and so it jars and feels like there wasn’t enough time taken over it. As a consequence we’ve ended up with a watered down placeholder logo that looks like the sort of thing you get in games where we’re called ‘Merseyside Blue’.
I totally take on board that all of those points can be made about the previous incarnation too but, like I said, this is a missed opportunity.
What makes it worse is knowing there are other clubs out there that seem to take this sort of thing so much more seriously - Spurs being the best example.
A club not a million miles from us in terms of their current league standing, recent history etc, redesigned their badge back in 2006. But rather than asking their in-house designer, ‘what would you do?’ they got Navy Blue and Dalton Maag in.
(Dalton Maag! how cool would that have been!)
Old vs new.
Together they produced something crisp, clean, simple and totally outstanding - I’d be so excited if we showed anywhere near that level of ambition. Sadly we haven’t.
So without turning this into a (even longer) rant about my club’s misguided and seemingly clueless board, delivering yet another crushing disappointment to our (long suffering) fans - football fans can be so melodramatic can’t they(!) - I’ll leave it as a lesson in the importance of getting your brand’s visual identity right and what happens when when you don’t.
The fall out has already been massive - 14,000 and rising have signed a petition - and the media coverage of that fall out is only going to make things worse: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-22679092
Creating or evolving a brand’s visual identity can have a significant impact on almost any product. When that brand (or club) has 135 years of history and some of the most passionate ‘brand champions’ you could ever hope for, you better beleive it’s worth investing some time and money.
What a shame that argument wasn’t articulated strongly enough to Bill Kenwright and he didn’t dig a little deeper.
UPDATE: So after all the fuss, Everton released this statement on their official site:
A regrettable bank holiday weekend
It has been a full-on weekend for many Evertonians and undeniably you have spoken to us loudly and clearly. We have listened. Several meetings and countless discussions have taken place. And, we have reached a decision; a decision that starts with an apology.
We are sorry.
It is clear that you wanted to be involved in the selection of our new Club Crest. We agree with you and we are sorry we spoiled so many weekends. We regret we didn’t ask every Evertonian about something that matters so much to every one of you.
It is also clear that whilst the Fans’ Forum is an excellent and effective group of representative fans, they faced too big a burden speaking for the entire fan-base on something so significant. It is only right that we thank them for their impartial and valuable contribution.
A reminder of what we were trying to achieve
We remain firm in the belief that our Crest should be modernised - not a unique or unprecedented situation and one we know our fans would accept and embrace. Effective logos are simple and streamlined. Simplicity achieves stand-out recognition. This was our starting point for our new Crest.
Our solution, in a globalised, technology-led world - was to present one word, loudly and clearly -EVERTON, along with a truly representative Everton Turret, better than it ever has been done before. Feedback has not been universally negative. Many of you have agreed we delivered on those objectives.
Indisputably, ‘Nil Satis’ has been the most controversial ‘casualty’ of the new Crest. But never was it a casualty. Not for one second would we ever consider dropping the fundamental statement of belief from our Club. It always has been, it is, and it always will be what our Club stands for - the permanent link in our DNA. Across Goodison Park and in our Club shop, ‘Nil Satis’ will always be living and breathing in everything we do.
Our rigorous process, our thoughts, our benchmarking, our homework and our design work is set out at evertonfc.com/crestevolution.
Putting it right
Robert Elstone, CEO, says: “Clearly the weekend’s response has meant that we have reviewed how we went about the whole of the re-design process and whilst many objectives were achieved, we recognised we missed the key part out. Our Chairman had demanded widespread consultation and we stopped short of that. We talked to our Fans’ Forum, our commercial partners and our experienced staff around the Club. That was not enough.
"We want to put this right. Whilst the time-constraints of kit suppliers in particular present challenges, which inevitably means the version released on Saturday will be in operation for the 2013/14 season, we are determined to give our fans a greater say in how we represent the Club on our jerseys, at Goodison Park and across media around the world.
"In advance of the 2014/15 campaign, we are turning to you to help us shape and refine the badge we’ll adopt in the future. Evertonians from all sections of the fan-base will be pulled together in a fully transparent way. This group will conduct an in-depth review of all aspects of past and present Club Crests. The panel will then develop ideas and put forward suggestions to you. Evertonians will make the final decision.
"We have worked hard over recent years to give our fans a greater sense of involvement in the Club and dialogue flows openly and freely in many areas from the Fans’ Forum, to Supporters’ Clubs and of course, via Everton in the Community. We will ensure the same happens with the future development of your Club Crest."
Details on how the panel will be comprised and selected will appear in late summer.
Fair play I guess, at least they’re listening. What’ll happen from here only time will tell. Hopefully they’ll engage with a great agency that can help take them forward with the parts they got right.