Spain FA’s bland new logo latest in long line of unpopular soccer rebrands

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) unveiled a brand new logo this week but, as is so often the way these days, the change has not gone down as well in Spain as they might have hoped.

The RFEF’s former logo, which had been in use since 1988, was an explosion of chaotic colour and abstract geometry based on artwork by the legendary Catalan artist Joan Miro.

However, in an attempt to modernise their branding, the federation have scrapped their instantly recognisable Miro logo in favour of a new design which is so bland you wonder if that was part of the creative brief.

“We want a powerful image that I hope will accompany us in future successes,” RFEF president Luis Rubiales said. “Our brand had to move forward, with elegance and simplicity, but with power.

“We want it to be a benchmark. Hopefully our new brand will accompany us in more important successes.”

Consisting of four block letters surrounded by a circle, the new RFEF logo took a year-and-a-half to develop. According to Pablo Coppel, the creative director who headed up the design team responsible, the result is a “coherent and orderly architecture” with which the federation can present themselves and their brand going forward.

Given the underwhelming nature of the grand reveal, the new RFEF logo hasn’t proven to be an immediate hit with football fans, with many calling it out on social media. Some just wanted to highlight the change was a downgrade and did not compare well against some of Spain’s major European counterparts.

Others were sure they had seen the same design somewhere before.

And some were just plain mean.

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In fairness, many clubs and organisations have managed to rebrand or revitalise their image over the years without causing a calamitous meltdown among their own fanbase. Of course, there are always exceptions — glorious, glorious exceptions.

The Bianconeri upset an awful lot of people when they announced their famous old crest was being retired to make way for a new modern design in 2017, with club president Andrea Agnelli explaining at the time: “We spent a year trying to find out what the new markets want, but also to show a sense of belonging and looking to the future.” Juve fans have generally come to accept it, but you’d still be hard pressed to find one who prefers the focus group-approved “J” to the club’s classic shield of old.

Not to be outdone, Bayern raised more than a few quizzical eyebrows when they unveiled a brand new logo of their own ahead of the 2017-18 season. The Bavarians announced that they’d made five radical changes to the design of their club emblem, though it was certainly a challenge for most fans to spot them all. But, in case you are still wondering, the five changes are as follows: the blue is a little bit darker, the red is a little bit warmer, the “M” has been altered very slightly, the “C” is a little shorter, and the lozenges (the diamonds in the centre) have been rotated by 5 degrees.

French side Bordeaux debuted a new club crest for the 2020-21 campaign in a bid to “develop the FCGB brand.” While some sides tinker with the colours and heraldry on their badges, Bordeaux went and changed their actual entire club name. “Girondins de Bordeaux” was simplified and contracted down to “Bordeaux Girondins”, which was done with the specific intention of making the Ligue 1 outfit more appealing and accessible in international markets. Always a huge hit on the terraces, that kind of thing.

In 2018, Leeds unveiled plans to change their club badge — plans that proved so instantly and spectacularly unpopular that the idea was forcibly scrapped before it even had a chance to get off the ground. The proposed new badge was put forward by then-owner Andrea Radrizzani, who was keen to connect fans by putting the “Leeds Salute” in pride of place on the team’s kit.

Amid an outbreak of widespread mockery on social media, a petition was launched and soon had thousands of signatures as fans flocked to voice their opposition to Radrizzani’s dreadful design. Mercifully, the petition and riotous backlash combined to force the club into a U-turn and Leeds are still playing in kit that bears their classic “LUFC” shield.

Villa took an awful lot of stick in 2016 when it emerged they had paid a design firm £80,000 to redesign their club badge. Basically, all the money went on the word “Prepared” being removed from the crest — which is somewhat ironic given Villa were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season, having finished rock bottom of the table.

The rebrand of all rebrands saw the Bluebirds totally transformed into the “Red Dragons” at the whim of their controversial owner, Vincent Tan. The Malaysian Chinese businessman believed the colour red was lucky and therefore uprooted over 100 years of history in order to convert his team, replacing the Bluebird on the badge with a large red dragon. The red kit lasted three seasons before Tan finally relented under pressure and agreed to revert to the original club colours and crest — the compromise being a little red dragon getting added to Cardiff’s badge below the reinstated bluebird.



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