When the Louisville City FC team was announced last week, their logo was met with anything but enthusiasm by the local design community. To me, it looked thrown together and had the feel of “hey, I’ve got a nephew that knows how to design logos on his computer.” I’m sure many of us have heard some variation of that at some point during a client meeting.
Not surprisingly, it was slammed in the social media sphere. Louisville City reacted by hosting a design competition for a new mark. Although their reasoning behind this decision may be up for debate, you have to give them credit for drawing a line in the sand. Don’t like the logo? Fine. Show us how it can be better.
I have a close friend that over the past couple of decades has worked at practically every minor league team that has called Louisville home. I understand the reality of (most of) their budgets. With pretty high operating costs, they often have to be creative with how they promote their teams—e.g. do as much as they can for as little money as possible.
I’m not talking about pro teams with revenues that eclipse some countries GDP’s and massive marketing budgets. These are small business owners who are tightening their belts to keep things up and running. Think mom and pop start-ups.
I saw this logo redesign competition as an opportunity to to have some fun in the C360 design department. If you’re a regular reader here, you know we’ve created some internal logo projects (NBA to Louisville and Kentucky Kingdom) as a way to break up the day-to-day client work and stretch our creative muscles. It gave everyone on our team an opportunity to join in. And, with a timeline of only a few days, it meant the project wasn’t going to linger, eat up a bunch of potential billable time and would get our team to work a bit on their own time.
Logo Redesign Requirements
The list of requirements—Fleur de Lis, the color purple and a bourbon barrel all wrapped up in a crest—presented an additional challenge. But, a project with no limits can be easy. Having to solve a problem within a set of constraints requires more creative thinking.
Our design team responded with more than two dozen solutions. After a group critique and further refining, these were our submissions.
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