Major League Soccer announced that they were shedding a significant piece from their MLS 1.0 exoskeleton. For the league’s 20th anniversary, though not 20th season, the ball and cleat got the boot, revealing a new crest to mix reviews from MLS fans.
When asked graphic designer Ryan Telle from Telle Designs LLC, the artist behind several of the Fordham and Old Dominion Brewery labels, about the new logo his view was generally positive.
“My initial impression of the new logo is its approach at symbolizing strength; with its bold lines, U.S. colors and shield formation.” Telle said, “I think the concept of strength is the right direction for any brand. Strength uses power, creates longevity and reflects quality.”
Telle, a sports fans that watches soccer only casually during the World Cup, is more of the target audience than the in the bubble soccer fans. While the change in logo has symbolic significance, as fans, we are unlikely the ones the league wishes to impress.
The logo reverts from the obvious link to the sport to something more minimalist. It is a step away from the traditional major United States and Canadian sports logo which have some image of the sport. Rather is it most compared with the new Liga MX logo and the National Hockey League shield which aims to represent the league not the sport. The English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, and French Ligue 1 all have literal representations of football elements in their logo be it a ball, a field, or a silhouette of a player kicking a ball. The sport is king in those countries, a generic shield would be adequate for them.
For Telle’s professional eye he points several design elements that do not appeal to him. “Get rid of the lighting effect on the red half of the shield, do away with the light blue gradient in the slash, not have the slash break the shield outline, and get the TM out of the design.”
The last critique, from a professional eye or not, the new MLS logo screams CORPORATE!
For the soccer/ football fan the stars meet the most ridicule, given the typical symbolism of stars in the sport. It is more egregious given that each team will have a customized shield. Wait, I didn’t know Chivas USA, the Montreal Impact, and the New York Red Bulls each won three MLS Cups. Wow NYCFC and Orlando City too?
The stars alone destroy the design and its authenticity to the sport. Stars have significance in soccer/football and fans and players alike believe it is all for the star.
Fans buy new jerseys for the additional star, not for the new league logo.