New York City FC bring brand full circle with fan logo choice

New York City FC

On Thursday evening, New York City FC officially unveiled what would be the most visible part of their brand for the foreseeable future.

After unveiling two logo options by designer Rafael Esquer earlier in the month, New York City FC opened voting up to the public. More than 100,000 votes later, NYCFC unveiled the logo chosen by fans of not only New York's future soccer team but fans of Major League Soccer and the sport in general.

It helps that New York City FC offered up two very good options for the vote. Both options screamed New York in every one of the elements inside the badge while providing a very clean-cut look. The logos were centered around a NYC monogram that was instantly recognizable as the city's, having been made famous by the area's two baseball teams. The soccer club's is a more chiseled option, bringing the Yankees to mind more than the Mets, but given the breakdown of NYCFC's investors it was the obvious choice.

The colors were shared by both options as well, using a combination of "sky," dark blue, and orange for the club's identity. Sky and dark blue are of course the colors of Manchester City, NYCFC's parent club, while the shade of orange present on the crests is found on the New York City flag. Those who are reminded of the New York Mets by the combination of colors and monogram are not wrong but they should note that the Mets specifically identify with the colors of New York State.

The shapes in which each crest's elements are contained also iconic. The shield present in the first option gets its shape from the shield in the center of the city's flag. The second option, a circle, was inspired by the subway tokens that many millions of people used to get around the city for more than half a century. On the right and left sides of the circle crest lie a pair of small pentagons, representing the city's five boroughs and again drawing inspiration from the subway token (specifically the city's final token, which ran from 1995 to 2003, before switching to the Metrocard system).

Gathering at the Adidas store in SoHo, the club announced that the fans' choice was for the circle crest. New York City FC's crest is simple, classy, and should stand the test of time. It doesn't rely on shading or elements that will look dated like the Telstar-style soccer ball that appears on five of the league's 19 crests, an element that saw the San Jose Earthquakes get a lot of stick after they rebranded in this past offseason.

The circle itself is an underused element in Major League Soccer, only being the containing element for one other team's crest (the Philadelphia Union) while appearing as a prominent element for both the Portland Timbers and Chivas USA. However, with that said, Chivas USA will be rebranding for next season and the shape of their crest will change; what it will change to is a anyone's guess at the moment.

All in all, New York City FC's badge choice is a very good one. There are cries of derision from some fans about it, saying that it reminds them too much of Manchester City and/or the New York Yankees, but given where the team's money is coming from it should not be much of a surprise. In truth, the designer did an excellent job of bringing elements that are instantly recognizable as New York City to the fore while maintaining obvious ties to Manchester City. NYCFC have gone with a quality option that may well be the class of Major League Soccer come First Kick 2015.

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