After working at Alfalfa Studio as part of their design team to create the recent New York City FC badge, I'm no strangers when it comes to sports branding and badge design. Therefore, when I came across the news that Manchester City, the parent club of NYCFC, was redesigning their own badge it was of huge interest!
The current Manchester City crest previously featured on an old blog post I’d written for Alfalfa Studio NYC titled, ‘The Graphic Design of English Soccer’, which gave a run down of the best designed badges in the English Premier League. Manchester City was placed at the distinctly average position of eleventh out of the twenty teams; so some may say this redesign was long coming and somewhat expected.
According to Manchester City, the club has worked closely with fans in a major consultation process where they could openly air their views about the direction of the new clubs visual identity. The club announced recently that after analyzing the responses, there was an overwhelming desire amongst fans for the badge to change and that a round design, as used in two of the Club’s three previous crests is to be the chosen design direction. Furthermore, it was mentioned that there is a distinct possibility that the eagle, a feature that has become so synonymous with Manchester City’s identity may be reduced in importance or lost completely during the redesign process. The design will be completed in the coming weeks and first shared with club members.
Changes to football club badges can often be controversial. Back in 2013, another English Premier League club, Everton, unveiled a new badge which it had supposedly consulted fans over. However, many supporters were outraged at the new design and very critical of the selection process, leading to the new badge being scrapped and a replacement design chosen by the fans.
It seems Manchester City have chosen the right way to go about the redesign, keeping fans in the loop and consulting them over important design decisions. I’m really keen to see what new badge is created, but lets just hope it’s not an own goal.