Anthony Costa sports branding

Anthony Costa

Sports Identity & Design

What’s Really Wrong with Leeds’ new logo?

January 25, 2018
Leeds new logo

Don’t like Leeds’ new logo? Don’t blame the designer.

Good work never comes from a bad brief. The problem here is the underlying message from management.

What’s ownership trying to say? ‘We’re all fans, just like you’.

The logo’s whole purpose is to pander.

A football club as big and proud as Leeds should never bow and pander to anyone. Not even its own fans.

In today’s digital marketplace it seems every brand wants to be our friend. A likeable life partner. ‘Content creation’ is a snuggly hand-in-hand stroll into the social media sunset.

But brands don’t always look their best when they live on our level.

A football club is an article of faith; a force existing above us, bringing meaning (and often suffering) to our lives. It’s the object of lifelong worship and devotion. Your team is your God.

In trying to be one of us, the new Leeds logo loses its omnipotence. It’s like a church swapping its strong, solemn crucifix for a badge of Buddy Christ.

The Big Italian Giant

Juventus logo

Leeds’ rebranding approach contrasts sharply to the graphic reinvention of Juventus.

Juventus’ shockingly bare new logo drew gasps and howls when it was unveiled last year.

Many still dislike it. But like all great modern design it exists to confront, not mollycoddle. The most masterful modern logos were daring and disruptive when first viewed. Today they feel timeless and right.

The Juventus logo is modernist in the true sense of the word; imperviously reaching for the future, past the clouds of compromise. It earns respect by forcibly demanding it. Confidently crafted, it doesn’t care whether you like it or not. It has class.

Good design needs to relate to people. But brands are not friendship bracelets. Sometimes a logo needs to impose authority in order to inspire trust and loyalty. You can do this using history or a bold new vision. Leeds' logo could do with more of both.

Follow Anthony @costasports
Anthony Costa

Anthony Costa is a designer specialising in sports branding. Anthony has appeared on Fox Sports News , 1116 SEN, ABC Radio and is an Australian Sports Commission Media Awards finalist. His work has been featured in The Age, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and Sports Business Insider Australia.

Follow @CostaSports


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