New Whitecaps Logo

 

The much-loved Vancouver Whitecaps unveiled their new logo yesterday, in anticipation of the club’s first season with Major League Soccer (MLS). The new design dispenses with the familiar (and too literal) soccer ball on a wave motif, but tries to maintain some of the brand heritage with a blue and white colour palette.

In North America, garish, comic book style, team logos reign supreme and in this regard, the Whitecaps’ attempt at a “clean and efficient” design is refreshing. On paper it even sounds good – inverted Vs form abstract mountain peaks that are reflected in the ‘water’ below and compose the letters VW – the kind of concept that Rolf Harder, Ernst Roch or Hans Kleefeld might have knocked out of the park in their day. Unfortunately, the execution here is dull and amateurish. The static composition of the Vs, their clumsy relationship to the type, and an arbitrary silver border, all contribute to the visual clutter. While the club and the media describe the new look as minimal (presumably because it’s abstract and geometric), in reality the design is begging for a good edit.

It’s not clear from the official press release exactly who’s responsible for the final design; however, there are hints that ‘design by committee’ and a heavy-handed client might be to blame.

“… the new brand and logo following a 10-month consultation process that included world-renowned soccer brand adidas, Publicis Canada, Whitecaps FC ownership group, staff, fans, and season ticket holders.” – Whitecaps FC Press Release

“Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi, who has seen at least six Whitecaps-86ers logo changes in his years with the club, said there has never been more collaboration on a logo project than this one… …”Our owner [majority owner Greg Kerfoot] does not get involved much publicly, but this, for him, was a labour of love,” Lenarduzzi said. “He was very particular and very hands on — right down to the shade of the blues.” – Vancouver Sun

Understandably, reaction to the rebrand seems fairly underwhelming – it’s hard to imagine fans getting too worked up about such a banal design. With any luck, the club will see this design as a half step in the right direction and rework it sooner rather than later.

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