Before we start:
I’m not an Everton fan, or a particular fan of football in general. I am a fan of logos and branding, a football club crest is part of a clubs branding, it often means more than other logos to the fans, but one of it’s primary goals is to sell stuff and make money.
For the 2013/14 season Everton used their in house team and some fan focus groups to develop a new, streamlined badge, seen below. The fans hated it, generally accusing it of looking like a children’s logo, hating that the motto was dropped and accusing it of losing all the heritage. Stacks of info, history and process on the evolution pages of the Everton site.
The 2013-2014 logo, due to be retired!
As a result of the backlash, the club agreed to change the crest after using it for one season (all the merchandise had been ordered), they set about a larger fan consultation (well anyone who could access the internet). They also ran additional focus groups. They employed Kenyon Fraser to manage the actual design elements of the new crest.
I ran through the consultation questionnaire (I didn’t submit my answers as I’m not a fan), and the result of the process is no surprise to me. The question set was very directional and strict, it allowed very little option for the respondent to suggest much beyond a set of cut and paste elements that the Everton crest may or may not introduce.
Previously the badge had the following elements, the questionnaire asked respondents about the importance of these:
– A Shield
– Ruperts Tower
– The Motto
– Laurel Wreths
– A Scroll
20,000 people responded. On the tower most folks liked the previous incarnation from 1991, most also wanted the motto back. It was also decided to stick with a shield and have the word Everton on it. The final less important elements were the wreaths and 1878.
There was a lot of love for the 1991-2012 badge on social media so it’s no surprise that the new consultation focused on this so much. The club is clearly trying to avoid generating the ire of the fans again. So of the 3 logos on offer (which are all essentially variations on the 1991 version) pretty much all of the elements have been in included on each.
The Three Crest Options
I won’t beat around the bush, the results are underwhelming. The tower now matches the 1991 version but has been cleaned up and does look better and fans looking for an evolution rather than the revolution they got. But it’s just not very interesting, exciting or future thinking. It’s a 1990’s club badge not a 2015 and beyond badge.
But hey, who am I to argue with the fans?
Crest A – This one will win.
Crest A – A shoehorn to win
This is the safest option, it’s absolutely everything from the old badge crammed into a new shield. Again, this one will win. For me it’s too fussy, too much going on an there is no need for the wreaths.
Read more about Crest A on the Everton site.
Crest B – Best of a bad bunch.
Crest B – If we must choose one.
The tower, which is the same on all 3 is a nice update, not as nice as the current one (what’s the trellis all about?) but nice. Some of the extraneous gumpf is removed but the motto is far to small to replicate successfully and wil be dropped I’m sue on small reproductions. The 1878 does a stirling job of filling the void generated by the unrealistically tall tower.
I suspect this will come last.
Read more about Crest B on the Everton site.
Crest C – Brave but flawed.
Crest C – Nice shield, shame about the rest.
The final choice tries to modernise the crest in a new way by altering the shield shape. In theory this should work as the overall shield is slimmer and therefore better proportioned to take the tall tower. But then the fans said they needed to slap everything in so they have and more with the little demanded wreaths. Forcing the motto into the top leaves it bottom heavy.
Then they added some extra elements to the bottom of the shield. I can’t see a reason for this, perhaps so it’s not as plain? I want to like this one but I can’t.
Read more about Crest C on the Everton site.
The accidental solution..?
Here’s the thing, if you click trough to the detail on the 3 crests you get an explanation, some mockups of the crests in action and an alternative reversed version.
And something happens with all 3 in reverse. They all start to look great. I think it’s the added simplicity that starts to balance the multiple elements out. I’d still not choose any if I was deciding but if I had was forced to, I go with the reverse of crest B.
Crest A Reversed
Crest B Reversed – my own personal winner
Crest C Reversed
The fans start to vote from midday on the 23rd. I’m completely gripped by this story I must admit, it’s a fascinating look into the passion followers of a football club are to their badge and an interesting experiment in logo design by the masses.
And remember Evertonians, when this is all finished, you’ve only yourselves the either congratulate or blame. I hope for your sakes its the former, but I fear the later.
UPDATE: Crest A Won…
Worth a follow up from my original Everton Crest Debacle post the other week. The club announced this morning the 3 logos that fans (and only fans thanks to some kind of ticket number based system) can vote on.