Last night (26th March) Bristol City released images of their new crest and it marks the permanent return of a fan favourite – The Robin. Not only has this been released online and in the press, it has also been projected across Bristol, even on our most famous landmark – the Clifton Suspension Bridge (which has controversially been omitted from the design).
There has been a “Bring back the robin” campaign for the past few years. Fans felt that the City of Bristol crest lacked personality and was too corporate. You can see below that the robin has been a part of the City identity for well over 60 years. Interestingly, this is one of those rare occasions that design by committee has succeeded. Late last year 3000+ surveyed fans, as well as a focus group containing a cross-section of supporters, were asked for their opinions on the potential redesign. This inclusive process will surely mean the new design will have resonance within the club and be a true reflection of their image for years to come.
The design of the crest itself is minimal yet striking. The freshness of this redesign reflects the forward-thinking city of Bristol and its far-reaching creative influence. The typography is well considered; the thickness of the letterforms balance the illustrative lines used to create the robin and even the black stroke surrounding the crest. The letterforms have a rounded, geometric quality which suits the shape of the crest and style of illustration. An example is the almost perfect circle of the ‘o’ in Bristol, and how that mirrors the outline and the ball the robin is stood upon.
The palette is incredibly simple, but I believe this is the right decision. The combination of the red, white and black is eye-catching and integral to the identity of Bristol City.
Key to the success of this identity is the potential for animation, as demonstrated in the below tweet. This adds depth and a wide range of capabilities to the logo across video and online platforms. This is a trend I believe will continue, as brands re-approach their image in an increasingly digital world. However this is not a new approach for Bristol City, as they are well known for their focus on social media – famously they tweet light-hearted video clips whenever a player scores. (You can read more about this here). I imagine that City will be able to use this animated version in video credits and introductions, on digital screens around the stadium, and extensively on their website and social platforms.
Stephen Lansdown also owns the Bristol Bears rugby team and the Bristol Flyers basketball team. Both teams have fresh logos, and all are under the Bristol Sports banner which may have been a consideration when redesigning the logo. Maybe it’s time that rivals Bristol Rovers did the same.
With their push for entry into the premier league, this no-nonsense, striking logo won’t look out of place when placed next to potential rivals such as Man City and Wolves, who also sport impactful minimal crests.
You can find out more about the crest and its development below: