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Modernised premier brand for The Premier League

Modernised premier brand for The Premier League

Thursday, February 11, 2016

This week The Barclay’s Premier League announced that it was stripping away its sponsorship and is set to become The Premier League from the start of the 2016/17 campaign. With this came an overhaul of the logo and brand that has lead to differing opinions amongst the public. Here’s what The Premier League had to say The Premier League employed the help of DesignStudio, the minds behind the Airbnb branding, to redesign and rebrand The Premier League for modern audiences. The task being to redefine the identity that is applicable for the digital and broadcasting worlds whilst maintaining the competition’s heritage. Here’s what they came up with: PL1 Richard Masters, Premier League Managing Director, had this to say, “we will move away from title sponsorship and the competition will be known simply as the Premier League… We are very pleased with the outcome: a visual identity which is relevant, modern and flexible that will help us celebrate everyone that makes the Premier League.” Paul Stafford, DesignStudio CEO, said “Our aim was to create an identity that acknowledges everyone who plays a part in one of the most exciting leagues in the world.” Here’s the video they released with the launch:

Here’s what others think     Gary Lineker seemed to be excited about the change.

However, there seemed to be some negative sentiment online. Shockingly the  Twitterati were’t impressed, surprise surprise. Some felt that the clean, minimal style was just not creative enough. Others thought that breaking tradition was a corporate move overlooking how the new logo could be applied.

There were also comparisons drawn with the fictional characters of Simba – of Lion King fame – and Aslan – of Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe – and they have a point. But the Premier League has always been coupled with a lion, an animal deep seeded into English history.

Here’s what I think Whenever a brand decides to change its identity there are always mixed opinions. In 2015 Google released their new logo which received varied reactions, some loved it and some just couldn’t get used to it. This is to be expected when large brands change their identities as suddenly the image that has been burnt into people’s memories has to be erased and replaced with the new logo. The success in this brand change comes when you can still recognise the brand even after the change. This is where I believe DesignStudio have done well, for me it is instantly recognisable as my beloved Prem. The logo – I’m with them on this one, I think it has achieved what they set out to achieve by rejuvenating the logo and colours to suit the modern world. The previous design was not applicable for today’s digital world that requires a logo to be adaptable without loosing its identity. They have stripped away the shield that once held the lion and name and with that the constraints on the logo’s flexibility. The lion has become the defining feature and can stand alone and still be recognisable as seen with the various adaptations provided by DesignStudio. Clearly this is something Designstudio feel works as seen with the airbnb identity. pl2 The logo sits well on digital because of its many applications and adaptability. Just look at how well it works as an app. They clearly had digital in mind when they designed the logo for use as an app, following the trends of the most recognisable apps like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. pl3 Type – They have gone for what seems like a digital industry standard by changing their type from a serif to a sans serif font. This aligns with what other digital brands have done as the belief is that it looks modern and clean. I welcome this change as a sans serif font works within the digital world and especially with the look they are trying to achieve. It feels friendly and casual whereas the previous font was ceremonial and traditionalist.  Colour – They are bright, vivid and, well, not very football. I think unintentionally the Prem has been associated with red, white and blue with a lot of teams playing with at least one of those colours. Therefore, the intention of the designers to set the prem colours apart from any club colours is important in defining The Premier League on its own. While they have gone for very young and modern colours they have to remember that football is enjoyed by all walks of life and perhaps it will be an unwelcome change from the traditionalist of the sport. I was surprised when I first discovered that The Premier League was changing their brand. I hadn’t really thought about it needing a new identity but that’s because I have always grown up with the prem as it is. Now that I have seen this new rejuvenated Premier League I can completely see why they decide it was time to adjust for the digital age. Whilst many disagree with the facelift I have a suspicion that once it is implemented there won’t be many people still saying they dislike it. It will just become the norm. Football is for ever changing and modernising. Just look at any Premier League club’s badge, they have all changed dramatically over time and despite moans of breaking tradition eventually the grumblers pipe down.

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