May 30, 2019

POSTED BY

Jesus Ortega

CATEGORY

History Sailing Away in FC Nantes New Logo

new york branding sports graphic design firm

When Juventus F.C. released their new branding, I was among the crowd that opposed such radical change. Similar to their fans, I thought the change was too much for such a historic club. One thing I do recognize and give them credit for is the intention of trying something different …

When Juventus F.C. released their new branding, I was among the crowd that opposed such radical change. Similar to their fans, I thought the change was too much for such a historic club. One thing I do recognize and give them credit for is the intention of trying something different in the football environment. They released a modern and abstract linear logo that not only targeted their loyal fans, rather a new generation of millennials. This rebranding would catalog them as trendsetters of a new football visual identity. You might ask yourself what Juventus has to to with French football club FC Nantes? Well, the French side just released their new 2019/20 kit surprising their fans with an unexpected logo change. The new identity happens to follow the same aesthetic as one of La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady), Juventus.

Founded on April 21, 1943, during WWII, FC Nantes is a football club based on Pays de la Loire, Nantes. Known as Les Canaris, (The Canaries) Nantes is one of the most successful clubs in French football, having won eight Ligue 1 titles. With a lot of history behind this club, their new rebranding has had a hostile reception from their supporters. Fans accuse the club of erasing the identity and history through this drastic crest update.

The new FC Nantes crest has a really minimalistic look that consists of the teams’ name, N shape lines, and the ermine from the flag of the city of Nantes. The ermine happens to be the only symbol that was preserved from their previous logos. The eight stars that represent the championship disappeared along with the schooner, the sailing boat which is iconic to the history of the Canaries. According to FC Nantes marketing director, Baptiste Huriez, this rebranding was made to strengthen the brand and increase the teams’ reputation through a more readable logo that could adapt on different platforms. Hurried stated the following;

“The idea has always been to rely on the past to build the future, who still leads the club’s history…We took the shape of the city’s coat of arms as the base of the new logo. The Hermine has been preserved for belonging to the Duchy of Brittany. The historical colors, yellow and green have been preserved, integrating the N of Nantes to support the territorial anchoring of the club.”

Presently we are noticing that many brands are trying to modernize their look just to fit in this new minimal aesthetic TREND! However, when brands have a historical background behind them, this approach is just affecting the brand rather than helping them. Sure, some of these logos, like the one of Juventus are beautiful, however, they are far from conveying the values and history the club represents. Nantes new branding might be nice and modern but if I saw the logo alone, I would not have associated it right away with the French football club. The identity looks generic and lacks the voice of authority.

I agree that their previous branding was not visually appealing but I keep saying that there are still other routes where you can modernize a brand without affecting their history. Juventus logo worked out for a number of reasons; 1. They bought a new star like Cristiano Ronaldo which of course makes it hard to measure the branding success since it might have been Ronaldo what boost Juves financial profit. FC Nantes doesn’t have that star player, rather a strong presence of faithful fans that want to be identified with the teams branding. Let’s also take into consideration that the best selling football clubs in the world (Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona) do not have the most modern look in their identities. This means that in football, history and identity sells more than modernism. Finally, being around football for a long period, made me notice that the new Nantes branding is very similar to two crests, the Juventus and the Nashville SC identity. What do you think of this new branding?

All images ©FC NANTES