The Premier League has a new identity system, designed to better represent fans, community projects and players.
DesignStudio has led the rebrand project – which began sixth months ago – working with Robin Brand Consultants.
DesignStudio executive creative director Stuart Watson says the rebrand kicked off with a brand audit showing 90% of stakeholders were fond of the Premier League lion, a symbol of “strength and nobility” also linked with the England national team.
This is the Premier League’s third identity in its 24-year history and having established that the lion should stay, DesignStudio used eye-tracking software with focus groups, revealing that most people are drawn to the lion’s face before reading the wordmark.
It was the lion’s face which became the focus of some 600 sketches before a final design was settled on.
On the previous logo, the wordmark was set in capitals, which gave a sense of “shouting and not talking,” says Watson.
In light of this, the new wordmark uses a lower-case custom FF Mark font by Monotype. Watson says: “It’s been redrawn so that it all aligns properly. The words ‘premier’ and ‘league’ were different lengths but they all lock up nicely now.”
Monotype is also working on a bespoke version of the font which can be used across the brand.
Importance of broadcast
Watson says that it is hoped that broadcasters will use as many of the new elements as possible including the font.
“If you consider how influential mobile has been, it’s natural that the next place to look is to the likes of Apple TV for how on-screen should work, rather than the old world of sports branding,” he says.
There are different versions of the identity, which have been designed to be “digital-first and broadcast ready.”
The lion’s head is used in isolation on the app icon and on the sleeve badge, which will be worn by all players and act as a “modern, simple and functional” device says Watson.
The tone of voice is broad enough so that it can “speak to six-year-old children or politicians at Downing Street” says Watson.
Sponsors take back seat
A palette of “club-neutral” colours has been chosen to launch the brand but these colours will be changed on a three-year cycle alongside sponsorship renewals.
These sponsors will take more of a back seat now as the impetus for the rebrand is the end of the Barclay’s title sponsorship, which finishes with the 2015/16 season.
The new look identity therefore gives the Premier League a “clean brand” for the first time in its history – a move which apes the model of US sports leagues such as the NFL.