NFL = New, Fancy Logo

As Brand New noted recently, the NFL is updating its logo. After more than 60 years, it’s probably about time.

According to USA Today, the NFL has developed a “leaner, meaner” version to launch next April. Why the change? The darker blue will increase contrast; fewer stars will make the logo easier to reproduce (apparently vendors had been altering the logo on their own to cut down on the inexplicably numerous stars); the football will look less like a “hamburger” and more like the ball on top of the Vince Lombardi Championship Trophy.

While the existing logo had been in use since about 1940, and so has some historic significance, the new design does a good job of trying to infuse the icon with meaning (the eight stars represent the AFC and NFC divisions) while allowing the image to “pop” better (in the words of NFL Marketing Director Lisa Baird) especially on the increasingly small viewing space (computer screens and cell phones) through which more and more fans are interacting with the brand.

How does Milwaukee feel about the proposed revamp? OnMilwaukee.com has some constructive criticism for the logo’s designers: “My review: it sucks.” Apparently, the commentator felt that the old logo said “Don't f--- with us! We're the NFL! Now, enjoy the game.”

As designers, this is the challenge we face when asked to update any corporate identity—even those for an organization with supporters less fanatical than football enthusiasts.

That blind loyalty doesn’t bode well for any NFL teams looking to update their own logos