Major League Soccer is in the midst of a rebranding process, and a big part of that is the launch of the new crest.
The spare design, called the “MLS Crest,” comes in the colors of the U.S. and Canada and features three stars that represent the ideals displayed by the Portland tifo – community, club and country. The diagonal line “captures the fast-paced nature of the game and a league that’s on the rise,” and emerges from the bottom of the shield to “create a little bit of extra energy,” Handler said.
WORDMARK: MLS stands for Major League Soccer.
SLASH: The slash refers to soccer’s speed and energy. The slash begins outside the perimeter and drives upward at a 45-degree angle to illustrate both the nonstop nature of our game and the rising trajectory of our league. It bisects the crest to create a “first half” and “second half.”
STARS: The three stars represent the pillars of our brand: For Club, For Country, For Community.
PERIMETER: The perimeter represents the lines that mark off the field of play.
FIRST HALF AND SECOND HALF: The first half contains MLS and the three stars. The second half is an open white space that brings you in and out of the MLS world.
WORDMARK: MLS stands for Major League Soccer.
According to MLS the crest will also come in many different color schemes and each color scheme will match up with each MLS club’s color scheme. Therefore, an LA Galaxy uniform will feature an MLS crest with LA Galaxy colors, a NY Red Bulls uniform will feature an MLS crest with Red Bulls colors etc.
Q & A
Q: Why did you redesign the MLS brand identity?
MLS is a very different league today than it was when it launched nearly 20 years ago. With everything that has occurred during the last 12-18 months - new teams, new stars, new media partnerships, new stadiums - we needed a brand that better reflects who we are as a league, where we are going and what we want to become.
Q: Why have you removed the ball and cleat?
The new brand’s design is intended to say “soccer” without the literal ball and cleat. In the end, we decided that the inclusion of a ball and cleat is unnecessary as it dates us very quickly (due to the fast pace of innovation in our game) while many other ways exist to signal we are a soccer league. Our new brand will build meaning over time so that our new crest signifies soccer in North America and has a unique place in global sports.
Q: Why doesn't the new crest resemble other league logos?
We are not like other leagues, whether in North American sports or other soccer. Our situation is different, our history is unique, and how we express soccer is decidedly North American. We have goals and aspirations that are distinctly MLS. As a result, our brand and crest visually reflect the type of business we are.
Q: What does MLS’s new brand identity mean for the clubs?
It means each club will get a version of the league crest, which better reflects their clubs identity and local market. This is not a replacement for the club brand; instead the new league brand complements and allows the club to be the real hero. We want to reinforce the ethos of the new brand, which encourages clubs to “own” and adapt the crest to match the colors they and their fans associate with and support.
Q: How does the new crest fit in and transcend the soccer world?
The shape of the new MLS brand takes inspiration from soccer crests, which are a traditional part of the game across the world. This enables us to point to soccer while also differentiating and redefining how a modern sports league is viewed.
As a result we have not merely evolved our current mark, but created a revolutionary expression that reflects the type of league we are today and where we want to go tomorrow.
Q: When will the new brand identity be in place?
The new MLS brand will begin to appear in 2015-related programs and products this fall, and will be fully launched at the MLS Combine and SuperDraft in January 2015.
Q: When will MLSsoccer.com and other digital products change?
We are hard at work on updates for the website, mobile apps, fantasy games, and connected devices with the new brand. We expect the updates to be available before the start of the 20th season.
Q: When can I get my club’s jersey with the new MLS crest on it?
The annual “Jersey Week” remains a key event in our calendar and the majority of the 2015 jerseys will be made available during this period ahead of the next MLS season. Fans of New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club will be able to buy their new MLS jerseys before the end of this year.
Q: Who created the new brand identity?
The development process was driven in-house while also engaging some exceptional talent from the brand strategy and design worlds. We worked with the following agencies: Gigunda, Athletics and Berliner Benson.