Full disclosure, I had no idea what I was going to do for this logo and had no interest in doing it. With that being said, it ended up being one of my favorites. I just love when that happens. The beginning sucks; no ideas come to mind, you start to question everything in life, should you even be a designer, blah blah blah. Your mind is blank and then BOOM-there it is. I have been preaching simplicity and minimalism and didn't think to do that myself! Follow my journey of how this recently re-branded logo got a simple treatment.
Unlike many other teams, San Jose Earthquakes has a great logo narrative and a full history about their branding on their website. Check it out here. Here were my main objectives going into this logo:
- Eliminate unnecessary elements in logo/simplify
- Keep some pieces of history
- Visually represent an "earthquake"
Ready with a strategy in place, I headed to Buddy Brew Coffee once again to do some brainstorming.
To be honest, I felt like the logo narrative put out by San Jose was a bit of codswallop (yes I did just use a word from Harry Potter). The connections just weren't there for me, they seemed a bit of a stretch.
I mean I've been there, I know how it is. Executives and non-visual people can't connect with something unless there is a definitive explanation. Which is where we get the whole "axis connects our old to new logo and the ball is the orbit....." yeah it just sounded iffy to me. A lot of times logos are designed with a loose idea in mind and then a narrative is made to just fit the logo.
I decided I wanted to eliminate all the junk; the triple border, random "axis" lines, "shifting plates", generic soccer ball, all of it. Gone. By doing so, I was able to then focus on what makes the club unique, its name Earthquakes. The tectonic plates or whatever those are, don't do it for me. I wanted to make it easily recognizable that it was an earthquake.
I was always told by my high school art teacher, less is more. In this case, she is absolutely right. By getting rid of all those messy elements we are able to solidify the purpose of our logo and brand consistency.
As soon as I got the break in the shield, everything fell into place. The three lines on the left represent the three largest communities of the Bay Area: San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. The red line on the right is an homage to their NASL heritage and use of red for their jerseys and later inclusion into the logo. The original Q is a perfect circle with a simple straight tail, I had to keep that. Finally as mentioned before, the break in the shield represents the shift of tectonic plates that cause an earthquake.
Check out the element breakdown below.
At first I was going to keep the color scheme just blue and black. Though I wanted to keep that connection to their history, so the red had to stay. I lightened the blue just slightly, as I've mentioned before far too many teams have the same shade of blue in their logos.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to look out
for my next part of #BottomFive
Are you a PDL, NPSL, USL, NASL, or amateur league soccer team in need of a logo? Contact me!
Want to know how I rate these logos? Here's a little breakdown:
Originality- What makes the logo its own? Does it stand out among the rest, or blend in?
Creativity- Is there that special thing that makes it stand out? What sets it apart from the others in a special way?
Color Scheme- I'm looking for 1-3 colors, maybe four, at the very most five, if they're used well.
Agree? Don't agree? Leave a reply!