December 5, 2019

POSTED BY

Jesus Ortega

CATEGORY

Extinguishing the Heritage of Chicago Fire

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Throughout the past weeks, there has been vast criticism one what the Chicago football franchise has done with their identity. Chicago Fire released its new badge which has generated a backlash among its supporters and the football community. As a football fan, I tend to take logo changes very serious …

new york branding sports graphic design studio

Throughout the past weeks, there has been vast criticism one what the Chicago football franchise has done with their identity. Chicago Fire released its new badge which has generated a backlash among its supporters and the football community. As a football fan, I tend to take logo changes very serious and most of the time I’m disappointed. But hey! I might just be one of the old heads that thinks historic football identities should not be touched…Especially drastically changed.

Someone of you may ask yourself why I’m categorizing Chicago Fire as a historic club, so let me give you a brief history of this MLS club. Not many teams have the fortune to say they were champions of their country’s two major tournaments in their first season. Chicago Fire entered the league in 1998 blazing with the intention of leaving a mark in MLS history and they sure did by winning the MLS and the US Open Cup. Precisely on October 8, 1998, the 127th anniversary of the Chicago Fire catastrophe, the football franchise released its new emblem. It was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that inspired the new branding that has lasted over two decades.

new york branding sports graphic design studio

The story of the Chicago Fire badge starts with the Fire officials rejecting Nike’s proposal to name the team Chicago Rhythm and then privately developing their own brand, “Chicago Fire”. The name not only reflects the city’s history but also the rebuilding process the city went through which became a great source of pride among Chicagoans. The former logo was a facsimile of the Chicago fire department badge. Following the steps of other Chicago sports franchises like the Bears and Cubs, their logo also had a predominant letter “C.” The inside center of the badge hinted a six-point star that alludes to the stars in the Municipal Flag of Chicago

Now that you have a brief history of the badge you may be inclined towards agreeing with me as to why I dislike the new Chicago Fire Crest. The main change comes in the shape of the logo; the firefighter cross changed to an oval shape with two thin rings going around the inside. Centered in the logo is an abstract flame mirroring into a crown. The change did not stop here; Chicago Fire also added an FC into their name and adopted the color palette that is almost identical to rival franchise Real Salt Lake.

I understand that the previous logo was not great but it sure had the potential to become a great logo. The thinking behind this new Chicago Fire crest is interesting however they failed to execute it correctly. Even some of their introductory GIFs seem to have been rendered incorrectly. I don’t mean to bash this franchise but when you are among the top teams in the MLS, your image should reflect it. Whoever was foreseeing this project might not have ignored some of the histories of this city. The new crest, unfortunately, show a certain connotation that shouldn’t be linked with. Besides the color palette associated with Real Salt Lake, the yellow crown has generated comparison to the Chicago gang Latin Kings by football fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if this logo changes again in the near future. Stay strong my dear Chicago Fans.

new york branding sports graphic design studio

new york branding sports graphic design studio

new york branding sports graphic design studio

new york branding sports graphic design studio

new york branding sports graphic design studio
Badge comparison with MLS competition