We have to admit, we’re pretty avid football fans at Nephew Media – Palace, Newcastle and Man Utd to name but a few of the supported clubs.
So when it was announced that the amazing chaps behind the Airbnb rebrand – London based design agency, DesignStudio – were going to ‘play a part’ in the new identity, we were eager to see how the new identity would take shape.
Today, the new identity has dropped to much fanfare and pomp. So just what can we expect the new Premier League to look like?
Football fans will know that, since 2001, the Premier League has partnered with British financial institution, Barclays, as their title sponsor, being officially known as Barclays Premier League. At the end of the current season, that association is set to end, leaving the Premier League without a title sponsor. This, combined with the influx of a huge new deal over broadcasting rights, has created the opportunity for a new identity, created by DesignStudio and Robin Brand Consultants.
The incumbent Barclays Premier League identity has been around since it’s inception, way back in 1992. Understandably, it has a lot of fans and is held in high regard amongst football supporters around the globe.
The proud looking, regal lion with it’s paw commanding the ownership of a football was, and is, an undeniable emblem of the Premier League. Mixed with the corporate Barclays branded elements, the logo is steeped in history, memories and nostalgia.
The New Identity
Wow. What a departure.
The new identity is bold, very bold. Rather than try to explain it, we’ll let the designers go for it:
Working in partnership with the League we looked to create a bold and vibrant identity that includes a modern take on the lion icon – a symbol that is part of the competition’s heritage, that is now flexible for digital and broadcast formats.
Our aim was to create an identity that acknowledges everyone who plays a part in one of the most exciting leagues in the world.
And with a fresh new take on the iconic Lion, we’ve created an identity that’s purpose-built for the demands of the modern world. While staying true to the Premier League’s history and heritage.
For what it’s worth, we’re split in the office. Personally, I think the new identity is an exciting new direction for the Premier League. The lion symbol is retained and is executed sumptuously. It’s gorgeous. As a graphical device it still maintains the regality, honour and integrity that the Premier League exudes – an excellent job. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing the crown exalted slightly – it doesn’t seem to quite match the distinction of the zig-zag pattern of the Premier League trophy.
The wordmark leaves a lot to be desired but is very on-trend. My feeling is that this will need an update in the near future. It won’t last.
The colour palette is something else – vibrant, bold, disruptive and exciting. OK, so it does look a little like Spotify on acid or, as an eagle eye blogger commented, “Ministry of Sound presents Premier League”, but I can handle that. I’m all for being disruptive.
The animated patterns look wild, literally, wild. There’s something Tony the Tiger about it, but my initial reaction was it has a kinda Anime style, video-game-come-Japanese-Kung-Fu aesthetic. Are the Premier League chiefs trying to appeal to a wealthy and growing Asian market? Who knows?
Overall the new identity looks roar – sorry – raw to us. There’s been a slew of mixed reactions, understandably, so far. We always reserve judgement when new identities are released in isolation but the early visuals look fresh, bold and unique. We’re excited to see how the new brand is applied from next season.
As always, comments welcome. What would your new Premier League look like?