It’s time for A-League badges to join the 21st century

Evan Morgan Grahame Columnist

By Evan Morgan Grahame, Evan Morgan Grahame is a Roar Expert

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    This week Sydney FC officially changed their team badge, releasing images of a spangly new crest, one chairman Scott Barlow felt better emphasised Sydney FC’s place as “an iconic club in an iconic city”.

    Central to the composition of the new badge is a minimalist two-toned rendering of the Sydney Opera House as well as a more unified, subtle colour scheme, disposing of the rather garish use of orange as well as the fairly redundant soccer ball icon.

    The new badge is certainly a welcome update, as Sydney’s old crest – along with most of the inaugural crests that linger on in the league – reeked of the mid-2000s as a sort of pictorial relic of clunky clip art, cringeworthy gradients and teal-and-orange colour schemes more often seen in one of Michael Bay’s cine-stinkers or indeed plaguing the entire first season of TV’s The Leftovers.

    The asymmetrical flanking, tapered strips of the old crest – placed, one assumes, to imply some sort of vital energy or hint at some graceful movement – look silly, as does the orange halo around the ball.

    They’ve teased the Opera House silhouette more prominently – it is a lovely building – the typeface of the club name has been smartened up, and the badge as a whole has been flattened.

    The revamp has gone along the same lines as the process the refurbishment of the A-League’s own logo undertook a few months ago. It is a simpler, cleaner and more confident image that has been fashioned.

    Sydney have joined Brisbane in updating the most crucial piece of branding they have as an organisation and are all the better off for it. These badges adorn almost every item of merchandise the clubs spend so much effort trying to hock, and sporting teams in all codes across all sports are all attempting to bridge the gap between fan-wear – clothes a person would feel they could only wear to relevant sporting events – and everyday fashion.

    The Chicago Bulls, now a decade and a half removed from the heights of the Michael Jordan era, are still trading with the currency of their iconic logo – a symbol Jordan’s greatness launched into the social stratosphere – with hats and T-shirts still proudly worn by trendy types who, despite their snapbacks and hoodies, wouldn’t be able to recognise Scotty Pippin, let alone Luc Longley.

    So what about the other clubs? Who among the rest of the league could do with a badge face-lift?

    Personally I quite like the Mariners’ crashing wave, and the Phoenix’s winged crest, while obviously meant to represent the bird reborn, also looks pleasingly like the arms of a trophy – not that the Nix have really ever been in a position to lift one.

    Adelaide’s needs work, as does Perth’s, but the club I’ve chosen to apply my own feeble graphic design skills to is the league’s biggest and one of their most successful: Melbourne Victory.

    Big, outlined bubble letters cannot be allowed to endure any further into the 2010s, and the little ‘F.C’ planted underneath is just awful. The big white V is so basic it may as well be a giant ‘meh’ and, again, like Sydney’s old crest, there is no need for tapered edges or the allusion to three-dimensional form.

    Things must change, and so, such as it is, my own humble mock-up can be seen below.

    The colour scheme needs no modifications, as dark blue, grey and white make for a sleek palette. The Victory have always been a little odd due to their name: Victory, a moniker begging for defeat in a way, just to prove itself ironic.

    As it happens, the club are league’s best run and, alongside Brisbane and Sydney, the most successful, so why not illustrate their name in a literal sense, with the Greek goddess Nike, the deity of speed, strength and of course victory itself? Most famously depicted in the Winged Victory of Samothrace, Nike is also seen here lunging forward with wings splayed behind her in pursuit of some grand athletic triumph.

    In Greek mythology Nike flew at great speed around the battlefield, rewarding the victors with fame and glory and laying exquisite laurel wreaths around their necks. A wreath is seen here on the new badge too – a fitting backdrop for a club with such consistently lofty ambitions.

    Naturally all of this makes proud reference to football’s Greek roots in the city. A sword is held aloft, drawing the eye up to the golden crown insignia adequately capping one of the A-League’s most regal institutions.

    Well, all right, that all might be a bit much; the fervour may have carried me away a little. But this was pieced together in an afternoon – imagine what a trained designer could come up with.

    Certainly the Victory aren’t the only ones in need of an updated crest, but as Sydney have moved on from pictorial relics of the early A-League, so should Melbourne’s biggest club.

    Evan Morgan Grahame
    Evan Morgan Grahame

    Evan Morgan Grahame is a Melbourne-based journalist. Gleaning what he could from his brief career as a painter, the canvas of the football pitch is now his subject of contemplation, with the beautiful game sketching new, intriguing compositions every week. He has been one of The Roar's Expert columnists since 2016. Follow him on Twitter @Evan_M_G.

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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • May 20th 2017 @ 6:32am
      Buddy said | May 20th 2017 @ 6:32am | ! Report

      I for one am pleased that the SFC badge has been thought and and now has some meaning even though there is no sign of the other iconic landmark. However, it was probably not felt to be too important around formation time even though the club badge is often a rallying point for players and fans.
      History of club badges is quite interesting in that many clubs either didn’t have one in the early days, have changed numerous times in their history or in many cases, used the coat of arms from their town or city and then developed from there. What has to be remembered as well is the name of the club and its nickname (not derogatory ones from opponents). Personally I am far too old and traditional to be a fan of the naming of some of our clubs and at least the worst offender was re-branded but I’m not a fan of constant meddling either so a simple V on the MV shirt is fine by me. The rallying cry should be based around that – with all the crowd holding up their fingers a la Churchill and singing the club song – club songs now there’s another good subject for the off season!

    • May 20th 2017 @ 6:49am
      Locomotiv said | May 20th 2017 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      Finally after 10 years i can purchase decent merch without ill feeling. I may even become an interstate member.
      These are the details that is ironing out Football. Once again its SFC leading the pack.
      That might hurt “Victory ” a little bit more now that Sydney FC did it before you. Even though Evans design was constructed in one afternoon, the logo on the left “Victory” looks like it was done in less than that.
      Sydney FC kicking even more goals after seasons end. Already looking forward to next season, now with new logo and kits, we will certainly look the part. Victory, Adelaide,Perth……pull your socks up, get some proper football logos.

      • Roar Pro

        May 20th 2017 @ 9:24am
        David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        Umm, Brisbane changed theirs first so Sydney isn’t exactly leading the pack. However, I may be a little biased…. 🙂

        • May 20th 2017 @ 9:39am
          Waz said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          Nope, you’re not biased, it’s a typical southern attitude – completely oblivious to what happens outside NSW/VIC lol ?

        • May 20th 2017 @ 10:02am
          Redondo said | May 20th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          The lion in the Roar badge is wearing a backpack – what’s that about?

          • May 20th 2017 @ 1:37pm
            Waz said | May 20th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

            There’s quite a few quirks with the current badge which only become obvious if you study it (the back pack, the baseball bat for a tail, the lion looks like it’s been on a diet, the scarf/banner wraps all wrong, the scarf goes over one part of the body but illogical behind another … a long list of things people have pointed out) and the the club recently announced plans to refresh the badge, effectively keeping it the same but just taking out some of the quirks blind-Freddy made when he did the original design. But the fan backlash was pretty severe saying “leave it as it is” underlining the affection fans have for these things. If clubs are going to change them then proceed with caution.

            • May 20th 2017 @ 6:21pm
              Lionheart said | May 20th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

              The fans reacted because the new lion came straight off the net
              nothing original in at all, jus a quick google search
              the fans saw it for what it was – very lazy management

              • May 20th 2017 @ 7:19pm
                Waz said | May 20th 2017 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

                The old lion that was being “beefed up” came off the Internet as well, there’s nothing particularly original about the current badge nor was it designed with fans input – and fans arced up immediately the fact it was a stock image surfaced several days later – which is another lesson, if you want to make changes involve fans early in the process.

              • May 21st 2017 @ 12:47am
                The Auteur said | May 21st 2017 @ 12:47am | ! Report

                The Lion is clearly dancing to ‘Thriller’.

                Because that’s what Roar games are: thrillers.

              • May 21st 2017 @ 10:24pm
                Lionheart said | May 21st 2017 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

                Roar’s first change, to the upright lion, came at a low point for fans – recall unpaid bills, unpaid super etc – it was just another wtf moment back then. This latest change, this season, came in completely different circumstances.
                It’s not just, or always, about consulting fans. Far from it, ask ten fans and you’ll get ten different answers. Nor is it about corralling fans, deceiving them. It’s about leading them.

          • Roar Pro

            May 20th 2017 @ 3:14pm
            David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

            He’s health conscious.

            • May 21st 2017 @ 6:53am
              Waz said | May 21st 2017 @ 6:53am | ! Report

              lol. A lion on a diet ?

        • May 20th 2017 @ 3:58pm
          Locomotiv said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

          Your right David, all that’s left for Bne is to change that name.?

          • Roar Pro

            May 20th 2017 @ 3:59pm
            David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

            Unfortunately, that name is glued on now, it has pretty much been accepted up here.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 9:54am
        Footoverhand said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        You don’t like Melbourne Cities badge?
        I think it’s one of the better ones.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 20th 2017 @ 7:28am
      Grobbelaar said | May 20th 2017 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      Reeking of the mid 2000s, a case of back to the future

    • Roar Rookie

      May 20th 2017 @ 9:00am
      Fussball IUL said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      So, no disrespect to Evan, but his attempt at a new MVFC logo is awful. It made me want to vomit as soon as I saw it. When you have to explain a badge to justify the imagery you’re doing it wrong.

      Ok. Maybe the typeface used on the Victory badge can do with updating. But, the emblem & the message & the imagery needs no change.

      I don’t care if other clubs change their logo every 12 years. I don’t want my club changing anything.

      If the emblem looks old fashioned to artistic minds – too bad. To this football fan who is a Member of MVFC, the badge is fine.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 10:41am
        Chris said | May 20th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        Took me a while to work out what the 2 flanking images are on the “new” MVFC badge were. What were you thinking!

      • Roar Pro

        May 20th 2017 @ 3:16pm
        David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

        I like the current Victory badge but everyone has their own opinion, which of course is wrong if its not the same as mine.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 6:23pm
        Lionheart said | May 20th 2017 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

        oh cut it out Nemesis, he said change your logos, not revert to your old names

      • May 21st 2017 @ 12:41am
        Pauly said | May 21st 2017 @ 12:41am | ! Report

        Our badge is like our children’s name, ain’t changing for nobody!

    • Roar Pro

      May 20th 2017 @ 9:56am
      Andrew Macdougall said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      “wouldn’t be able to recognise Scotty Pippin, let alone Luc Longley.”

      Then spells Pippen wrong.

    • May 20th 2017 @ 9:56am
      Footoverhand said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      What is the star for?
      I don’t remember Sydney FC winning the champions League.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 10:43am
        Chris said | May 20th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

        Commemorates our Federation? Who knows

        • May 20th 2017 @ 11:54am
          Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

          First club to sign up for the A-League. We are Sydney FC!

          • May 20th 2017 @ 1:39pm
            Waz said | May 20th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            You’re part owned by the former FFA Chairman, of course you were the first team to sign up lol

      • Roar Pro

        May 20th 2017 @ 3:18pm
        David McDaniel said | May 20th 2017 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        Yeah, I am wondering that too…..maybe it stands for Bling FC?

      • May 22nd 2017 @ 5:30am
        Arto said | May 22nd 2017 @ 5:30am | ! Report

        It’s the Commonwealth Star (or Federation Star; same one that’s on the national flag) and is meant to symbolise the Federation of Australia.

        • May 22nd 2017 @ 8:12am
          Chris said | May 22nd 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

          Yes but why is it on the crest?

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