Justin Bell's 28 in 28 project has been really fun to follow as a fan of both the Crew and the city of Columbus. From the start, we've wanted this project to be more than just Bell's work, though. Each of Bell's posts at massivecityffc.com have included a call to fellow designers (amateur or otherwise) to submit designs for their own mock-ups. Presented herein are more designs we've received since last week's roundup, along with any explanations included by the designer.
FIRST SUBMISSION: Jon Bentley (@JonBentley7)
I don’t believe there is any one object, or even group of objects, that could be used as a symbol to represent Columbus on a new Crew logo. We have some very cool images and phrases that represent either our city or our state (the Short North arches, the Scioto Mile, “The Heart of the Heart of It All,” “Ohio is for lovers,” etc.), but I feel that any of these items being represented on the Crew logo would feel too forced and contrived. I don’t believe we need to try and box in what represents this city in a new logo like so many professional sports teams have done in the modern era.
I also don’t believe the logo needs to try and represent any one subset of our diverse community. To go off the topic of where the current FO has mentioned they want to go with the logo, I don’t think we need to go the route of trying to represent either “white collar” or the “blue collar.” As I would imagine, I think there would be many people in the Columbus community that wouldn’t want to be categorized into either of those ideas, and as we have the opportunity to represent not only Columbus but the state as a whole, I think trying to patronize to any subset of our community would be a mistake. That includes trying to make a logo either more “German,” “English,” “South American,” etc. to try and play to the cultural background of a potential fan base within the city/state.
So where does that leave us? So far, it seems to be a lot of no goes. No symbol, no phrases, and no pandering to a subset of this diverse community. I believe what we need a symbol that can represent the community as a whole, and that also still pays homage to our beginning and to the foundation laid out by Lamar Hunt Sr.
I believe that Precourt is right in that we should not change the colors. Out of a league filled with very limited variations blue and red, our colors are a refreshing change of pace that allows us to stand out as a smaller market team. As many Crew supporters would say, “I’d rather be dead than red.”
I also believe that any logo change needs, needs, NEEDS to have “1996” as a focal point. As the league continues to expand, and at some point I’m sure we’ll see 30 teams in MLS, we should take pride in the fact that Columbus was the first MLS franchise awarded. While MLS, and soccer as a whole, may be the new hot thing in town for a newly awarded franchise, we were here since the beginning, and have been supporting this league through the highs and the lowest of lows.
My last point of what should be considered for this new logo, and probably the one that would bring the most debate, is that it should be simplistic. In this era of new teams, new logos, re-brands, etc. we tend to see teams try to go the route of some cutting edge look where there is just a complete hodgepodge of marketing and/or graphic designer ideas rolled into one ball of puke (see: San Jose Earthquakes and their “Brand Constitution”).
I believe a simple logo plays a few important roles. For one, in terms of thinking about the sport traditionally, a simple design can tie into inspirations from a variety of different countries/cultures (Italy, England, Germany, Argentina, etc.). In thinking about what makes an American sports logo iconic, the first ones that come to mind usually have a very simple approach (see: Packers, Yankees, Cowboys). A simplistic approach allows for easy variations and alternative designs that can be taken from the main logo without completely losing the concept and image of that logo.
So, after much more writing than I expected to do tonight, here would be the main logo:
As you can see, “Columbus Crew Soccer Club” is slightly off center so as to put the focus on “Crew” within the larger C. That way, when you go for an alteration on the main design, you still have the team name as the highlight of the logo. You can put “Columbus” or “1996” within the C to highlight the city as well:
More than anything, as you feel with your “28 in 28” project, I hope people are able to build off these concepts, and that the ownership, at the very least, takes your ideas into consideration. Not only are there some great ideas, but some great stories to back them up as well.
SUBMISSION TWO: Andrew Adolph (@Andrew_Adolph)