It's been a couple months since the Premier League unveiled their new look to the world and frankly I among others am not excited about the new brand identity as I feel it looks more towards an insurance company than the heart of English passion.
Designers all across the world have reacted to the new vision and most believe that it is a good rebrand, the fans however feel very, very different. Ever since it's reveal it has been mocked by press and fans alike with even the Guardian creating a competition to see what the supporters can make. Even then nobody was taking it seriously as most of the images created mocked the Premier League's wealth and money grabbing attitude.
And for this main reason I decided to take it upon myself to create a Premier League branding concept of my vision for what the heart of the English game should look like.
Before I begin my 'Visual Narrative' I thought I would give a little background on my connections to football and my love for the game even if it hasn't been plain sailing.
My first venture into the glorious game was at my local club Bretforton Juniors Under 13's. I'd never really played football competitively at this stage in my ever lasting hobby as I was never seen as good or confident enough to be even given the chance so this was an exciting time for me. The coach at this club adapted me right away to left back and this is the position where I would stay for 5 years before I got told I wouldn't have the strength for 'adult' football. This really sunk my love for football as to be told your aren't good enough at what you love is the hardest thing to hear. I suppose not hitting my growth spurt yet didn't help but I still don't know why I wasn't given the chance. The funniest thing about the whole experience was our team was never really any good. We used to go out each week and come back 0-8 or 0-22 down and I would come off smiling as I was doing the thing that made me happy.
Over the next five years I would be in and out of football slowly veering to the armchair supporter rather than getting out there and playing. The main reasons for this was where I lived there where no opportunities like Bretforton as usually you pick one team and stay there. Now at 20 my passion lies in 5-aside football as no matter how good or bad you are, you will always get a game and you will always come away smiling and that's what football is about. The passion, the hunger and the joy it brings you and on the odd a occasion some profanity from an opponent because you may or may not play like a Roy Keane enthusiast.
Anyway away from my love of the game it's onto showcasing my capture of the nations love for the game.
PREMIER LEAGUE: VISUAL NARRATIVE
The first step was research. In my research I found that many leagues used some sort of football as a visual cue. Now this may seem as cliche but they have been used quite effectively and the bundesliga is a good example of this. There are many other visual cues such as stadiums, pitches and players showing athleticism. I also looked at club logos in the Premier League to see how they incorporate different visual elements to form one brand identity. I did look into getting some style guides from Arsenal F.C but I couldn't obtain them due to Arsenal wanting to protect their image rights which is fair enough. I also looked into how the heritage of England and English football could be introduced by producing mood boards relevant to this i.e lions (too cliche), crowns, and English things.
Things like this you can't just jump straight onto screen so it's always best to start with a couple sketches to gain a scope to develop ideas into something bigger.
*I don't have all my sketches here as some are in the process of being marked*
Now picking the colours for something like this can either be to cliche or to obscure. But I feel going for the classic blue and red fits well with the Premier League's heritage and Englands heritage as a whole.
The logo was probably the hardest part of my whole design process as I needed to create something that wasn't to cliche and something that didn't use a lion as a forefront for the design. I wanted to incorporate elements that mean something to England, English football and the heritage of the Premier League. I didn't want to use any sort of bevel effect, any sort of white space or metallic looks. I started with a circle, even though this may seem basic it represents the old clock ends used in football from its first match since there where no referees with watches, these clock ends where the only way to determine the match time. Next up was the Tudor/Lancashire rose. This rose has been iconic throughout England and throughout English football as it used on a number of football teams residing in the Premier League so I saw it vital to include this on an English heritage factor. Another key element was the Premier League crown, a crown that signifies the elite in football and the style on the logo reflects this. The final piece of the puzzle was the football. Now I could of gone for something really generic but I looked at the way the padding on the Nike football's looked (they actually use Nike footballs) to achieve the design in the new refreshed logo. And that above else is the only visual cue that this is about football, something the current redesign lacks.
Now this next one may seem a little strange for a league. I decided seeing as there are PFA teams released each season why can't there be some sort of match where the first XI and the second XI of these teams can play for charities of the league's choosing. In other words a bit like soccer aid but with the Premier League's best twenty-two playing at once. So for this reason I brought it upon myself to design the kits these two teams would wear. The basis of the design was to use the logo itself as the team jerseys and flow off of that and that's exactly what I did.
Even though there are still quite a few things to show case I thought it best to show a book I worked on during this project to display this more as a Visual Narritve than a case study, as this whole process has been a real journey in finding the passion for what I do and what I want to do. Thats why I thought it was vital to convey this in an editorial form.
This project was done with a lot of love as it invloved my two favourite things; football and design. Most people I have shown this two like it and think it is a better job than the redesign by DesignStudio however im sure someone will find a fault to hate it but that is the design world im afraid. You can't please everyone but if I can please the people that matter I will be more than happy. It's been a really fun expirence branding something that I have grown up with and have such passion for and I can't wait to see if anything comes off the back of it. Onwards and upwards!