Authenticity

CREW_DLThe Columbus Crew—sorry, Columbus Crew SC, that’s going to take a while to get used to—unveiled a new logo and name last night. Over on Empire of Soccer, I wrote about how that’s part of a much larger turnaround in Ohio’s capital, but now for some deeper thoughts on the logo itself.

On the whole, I really like it. If I were re-ranking the MLS Crests, it’d fall easily into the top 10, possibly the top five. It’s symbolic in the right ways and, most importantly, it looks nice.

But there is that SC. That wasn’t there before (neither was “Columbus,” a significant problem with the old crest). In the buildup, the Crew talked about how people seeing the original crest were often unable to discern that it referred to a soccer team. So rather than throw a soccer ball into the design, we now have Columbus Crew SC. If there’s a controversial element to the redesign, it is this.

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The New MLS Crest

MLS2I knew I had seen it somewhere before. Not literally; in this era of leaks, Major League Soccer’s new logo was kept a secret until its official release early yesterday morning. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was familiar with this logo from somewhere else. Then it dawned on me. The new MLS crest felt like a Football as Football design. The designers behind that site took the time to redesign each NFL team’s logos as though they were European. And while designs are borrowed from four different countries, all of them have the sense of a sleek, modern minimalism. In a way, they’re too clean, well-designed but without the charm and detail of the authentic product.

MLS crests all have this feel to them, to varying extents. While they ape much older clubs, each crest is very clearly the product of a modern era. The same can be said of the lower leagues in American soccer, too. None of the computer-designed, modern crests have anywhere near the intricacies of Manchester City’s crest, to use one example. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing. For the league’s new crest, MLS has taken minimalism to something of an extreme.

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Ranking the MLS Crests: the Top 10

Yesterday, with the recent release of Orlando City’s new crest, I decided to take a stab at ranking Major League Soccer’s 21 logos. I ranked the bottom half yesterday, culminating in the not-very-shocking decision to crown the New England Revolution’s crest worst in the league. Today, a more positive note, as I look at the league’s 10 best crests. Note that I am nitpicking here; none of these are bad crests, but some are better than others. MLS has come quite some way from the graphic design fads of the late 1990s (see right), but who has the best crest of them all?

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Ranking the MLS Crests: 11-21

Orlando City's new crest

Orlando City’s new crest

Yesterday, Orlando City unveiled the crest (pictured at right) they’ll be wearing when they make the jump to Major League Soccer next season. It’s a fine addition to league’s modern logos, in my opinion. Given the news, I figured now would be as good a time as any to look at MLS crests and determine the best and worst. Today, I take a look at the bottom half of the league’s crest, most of which are still pretty good, in the search for MLS’s worst. You can probably guess what’s at the bottom of this list.

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