One of Britain’s most revered sporting clubs – Liverpool FC – has updated its visual identity with a new jersey and club crest ahead of its 125th anniversary season.
The new design remains very similar to the one it replaces, simply applying the dates of the anniversary and “125 Years” to the existing crest. To the casual observer, it might seem a hodge-podge of disparate elements; the antithesis of modern design.
History and Tradition
However, history and tradition are key to sporting club brand loyalty. And in the case of the Liverpool FC crest, each element has its own important backstory…
- The liver bird is a mythical creature symbolic of the city;
- The twin flames were added to the crest in the early 1990s, to pay tribute to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 96 were killed at a match in Sheffield;
- The Shankly Gates are a homage to Bill Shankly, considered by many fans to be the team’s greatest manager.
Spurn and Burn
In 2013, Everton FC removed fro its logo a Latin banner with its motto, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum (“Nothing but the best is good enough”). 6,000 angry fans signed a petition, leading Everton to reinstate the banner the following year.
Cardiff City FC changed their primary color to red in 2010, when Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan bought the Bluebirds and switched their logo to his lucky color. However, fan protests drove team management to revert to blue in 2012.
This year, Italy’s Juventus pushed the design envelope with a minimalist logo it wants to leverage into a lifestyle brand. While design professionals love the new work, the club’s football fans are less convinced.