New Aston Villa Crest Insights
As you’ll know by now, Aston Villa currently have a design agency working on a new club crest and branding. You’d have probably also filled out a fan survey on the matter. In the past few weeks there’s been two Villa Fan Consultation Group meetings on the matter.
The first FCG meeting lasted three hours, and was by and large, a very constructive meeting on all the potential design facets. The kind of considerations that the fan survey unfortunately had missed giving supporters a voice on.
The FCG group had received a copy of the survey the day before the meeting, expecting to discuss it before it was released, as there were several issues with it, beyond channeling supporter input into meaningless marketing buzz words. It was actually released the morning before the meeting.
Regardless, the meeting was very detailed and the design agency representative seemed to be clued up to what we were all talking about.
Fast-forward to the second FCG meeting this week and we were intrigued to see the first samples. The design rep had been encouraged by the FCG group to go off the beaten path and actually ‘design’ something new, also experiment with the A & V, on top of exploring more traditional themes. They had been told to avoid being hamstrung by the notion of trying to please as many people as possible (which can lead to conservative and lacklustre design).
It’s a designer’s dream to be given clarity on all the elements that could potentially make up a design and then be told nothing was off the table, and to be asked to provide an initial slate of designs that included their own interpretations. Sometimes when an outsider looks in, you might get an element that wasn’t realised before, that could perhaps be integrated.
You can read in more detail about some of the themes we spoke about during the three-hour meeting, in the latest astonvilla.wtf newsletter.
8th edition of the AVWTF newsletter covering the crest design
What we eventually saw this week was astonishingly underwhelming. Believe me, this wasn’t a case where the defence of “well, you can’t please everybody” can be used. The Villa FCG was very much open-minded to the possibilities, yet we didn’t see anything beyond a couple of expected approaches and 80% template lion rubbish. Like them or not, you could have taken the best 10 badge efforts from hobbyists off Twitter and have a better collection of possibilities and direction.
Yes, it’s early days, but it was a concerning starting point.
I remember thinking when viewing the first examples of the Villa badge, “Oh, now I see how Leeds United ended up with that stock design badge.”
The supposed “Leeds salute” symbol is a stock design file that can be bought for a small fee. This was a scary example of a design company earning thousands by phoning it in. Corporate ‘creatives’ designing without soul.
Leeds United had proudly announced that the above design was realised after a ‘six-month consultation period with club staff and fans’, which can be translated as an attempt to pass the buck, if supporters didn’t like it. This is why it’s important to raise concerns about the Villa badge design process now, rather than after the event, when we’ve been labelled as being part of the consultation process.
If you going to consult us, then listen. I was genuinely surprised how good the input was in that first FCG meeting and how badly it was subsequently squandered in the second.
I’ll talk more about what we saw next week in the next WTF newsletter, but hopefully this design agency will consider earning its fee and provide the club with real alternatives and possibilities to help ultimately clarify a vision of what the new crest and club branding should be.
Also, in the latest WTF edition, we look at the economic situation and changes at Cazoo and how that might impact on their sponsorship deal with Villa.
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