New England Revolution 2022 and Beyond
On November 4th, the New England Revolution announced that once the 2021 MLS calendar year was complete, they would have a new look for the 2022 season and forward. Starting with moving away from their crayon flag to a new logo, the Revolution also added five smaller logos that they could use to complement the new seal and crest. As well, the design team created a new font specifically for the team. For the Revolution, it is a top-down rebrand looking to propel itself into a new era.
Ode to the Crayon Flag
Before delving into the new crest and seal, a short tribute to the crest it is replacing. The last of the original logos to disappear from MLS, the Revolution took inspiration from a logo on a pair of Reebok tennis shoes. Reaching out to the designer, they asked for slight alterations, and the designer complied. Purposefully inspired by the recent World Cup 94 logo, the Revolution’s distressed American flag with a soccer ball for the stars was born.
Becoming an integral part of the MLS fabric, the crayon flag had many a naysayer in other fan bases. Mocked as being part of MLS 1.0 and forever in the past, the Crayon Flag holds a special place for most supporters of the Revolution. It stood for staying true to who you are and not becoming one of the crowd with a more generic crest. It also stood as a testament to not taking the current trend of rebranding or coming into the league to an FC or SC. There is also the lingering connection to the 94 World Cup, which lead into the launching of MLS. Also important, that it was the last original logo from the inaugural season.
Bring in the New
As described by the Revolution in their rebrand material, they started with the background behind the R. Taking a pattern identifiable as both a wax seal and flag iconography, they then moved onto the lettering and typeface. Overlaying the navy background with lettering inspired from the East Indian Tea Company and letting used during the Revolutionary War, they created the R about the name Revolution.
Accenting the R is the red bunting and the slash through the R. The bunting or the design around the R again is more invocation of Revolutionary War-era insignias. Invoking a wax seal look, it brings the overall design together nicely. The Revolution then added a slash or strikethrough of the R as a sign of defiance. I think this is a tiny bit of overkill, but overall it keeps the theme of the Revolution throughout. Due to MLS rules, a white circle with a navy border with New England Revolution and 1996 the year of incorporating finalized the design.
Crest vs Seal
The Revolution has released two versions of the new branding. One is the crest, and one is the seal. The crest is more of the standard soccer or football club crest. MLS standards made the Revolution create the crest that will adorn the training gear and kits in the coming years and a good amount of the merchandise.
The seal is what the Revolution wanted the entire logo to be. The lack of the outer circle feels less of a traditional soccer logo and more individual. This also moves the emblem from a soccer-specific logo to a general sports team logo. Looking at the seal, it could easily be another R team with the same color scheme.
The Revolution also added smaller logos, which they can continue to use to grow the brands. Each of these has roots either in the geographical area or the club itself. These options could be used on merchandise, especially t-shirts or sweatshirts moving forward for the club. Again giving them options other than the seal and crest is part of what this rebrand was all about.
Six Stars, One New England
While I do not know if that’s what this small logo is called, simply put, it is a continuation of the theory behind the club is a representation of the entirety of New England and not just one location. The six stars in the outer circle represent the six states (including CT, even though some of you don’t) that makeup New England with the red NE representing the shorthand for the region. It is a simple logo but one that works very well.
’96 Pine Tree
Again, a simple logo but one that much of the fan base should enjoy. The pine tree comes from the flag of New England. The flag has been incorporated on the Revolution jersey since 2012 and now becomes more ingrained in the club. The 96 outside the bottom of the tree is another nod to when the Revolution began to play in MLS. The pine tree is a clean, simple logo that will be well liked.
If you’re not fully invested into the theme of the Revolution War, this logo represents the Freedom Trail in Boston. For those who do not know, there is a bricked path that takes you through parts of Boston. This path points out where famous events happened in the city leading up to the Revolution War. Using the word liberty reminds us of Patrick Henry’s famous line, “Give me liberty or give me death” made at the second Virginia Convention. While Henry was not from New England, his speech is often referenced in the build-up to signing the Declaration of Independence. The word helps for the outside edge of a brick pattern, the nod to the Freedom Trail.
Taking more references to the Revolutionary war, this small logo takes the cannons that were used to protect the forts and pulls them into an interlocking design. Flanking the design are three cannonballs, with the two middle cannonballs again having the 96 referencing the inaugural year for the club. While this is a nice logo again, part of it reminds me of the Cannons Lacrosse Club logo.
Defend the Fort
Continuing with the Defend the Fort theme started this past season with the Fort kit. They have expanded the idea to have a more traditional design for a coastal fort from the Revolutionary War, as seen throughout New England. If you look at the layouts for most of the forts, they were five-sided walled structures, with the middle being an open ground. They used that space to block off red with the defined lettering,
Finally, as seen throughout the images, the Revolution have created their lettering. There is a filled lettering and an outline version, all taking their roots from Revolutionary War. I enjoy the lettering and think this was extremely well executed. I hope they find a way to use this lettering as a name set, possibly in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Overall the rebrand has grown on me. I am excited to see how they pull everything together with the recent tease of the upcoming home kit for the 2022 season. While the crest looks on the kit may change my and many people’s opinions, I believe they correct the major points. They kept their name, the color scheme and tried to stay true to the region. They made a logo that is far more accessible to the general public. Creating their own font and the smaller logos is more of a complete branding overhaul than just a logo change, as most teams have done recently.