Italian football club Juventus has this week announced the latest incarnation of its club badge, receiving a mixed reception to say the least. It seems it’s going to take more than a contrasty black-and-white video with croaky deep Hollywood-esque voiceover spouting every buzzword under the moon to win over the fanbase (see: brand video).
Produced by Interbrand’s Milan office, the new identity was launched formally in (strangely) Milan this week, with the new crest being used from the 17/18 season. Juventus isn’t the first club in recent times to refresh their club crest, with Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton all progressing their visual identity in the past decade without too much backlash.
In my (humble) opinion, starting fresh on a brand that’s been running so successfully for over a century in an industry where heritage and history is held in such high regard is a mistake. Although the mark itself has grown on me since first seeing it, and yes, I can appreciate the theory behind it, combining the shield profile with the J letterform and the black and white stripes that are synonymous with the club, I still just don’t feel this was the right move.
It's inevitable that such a fundamental change in direction is not going to go down well with the vast majority of grassroots fans – regardless of the quality of the design – so it seems reasonable to suppose that any decision to go ahead will be based on putting commercial interests above the concerns of regular supporters. Sure, the new logo will most likely be superior in terms of merchandising (check out the vast array of merch, including snazzy necklace). It will certainly be interesting a few years down the line when the dust has settled.