Over the weekend, I saw a tweet that said “Check out Juventus’ new logo.” When I saw the weird minimalist J on my screen, I assumed that this was some sort of joke or maybe that there was some other Juventus that I didn’t know about. Surely, the storied Italian footballing giant that is Juventus wouldn’t abandon their world-recognized emblem for this weird looking letter.
Sadly, for Juventus and football fans around the globe, this was in fact the new logo for the club. Some said that it looked like the symbol you would put on a highway sign to alert drivers of an upcoming turnoff. Others just asked, “Why?” Why did the club decide to turn away from such a well-known logo? Why would they abandon nearly all club symbolism for this “artsy” looking J?
The only certainty that really came out of this unveiling was that the new logo was almost universally disliked. It was extremely hard, and nearly impossible, to find a fan that was excited about this rebranding. The situation was reminiscent of another major logo reveal earlier in the week stateside. When the San Diego Chargers of the NFL decided to join the team that shall not be named in Los Angeles, they unveiled an extremely original logo design.
In case you haven’t seen the Chargers’ new logo, the word original in that last sentence is sarcastic. It looked as if the team’s graphic designer looked at the LA Dodgers and then copy and pasted a lightning bolt on the end of it.
This logo fueled an onslaught of memes and jokes, and essentially showed the rest of the sports world how not to handle a redesign. Apparently, Juventus didn’t learn anything from the Chargers’ mistakes. Granted, the Italian club took a more original route, but that didn’t mean the response was any more positive.
In my opinion, this rebranding is a massive mistake from Juventus. I can understand what they’re trying to do, but I don’t agree with it. It looks like they’re trying to make the club look hip, modern and young. A sleeker, simpler design may make the logo more appealing on apparel and merchandise, but if it doesn’t sit well with the fans, then it doesn’t really matter what it looks like on merchandise.
Juventus is a club that is grounded in an amazing history with legendary players, trophies and traditions. This isn’t the first time that they’ve changed their logos, their current emblem has only been around since 2004, but in the past, their redesigns have maintained a consistent theme. The oval shape is typically used, and a horse, or bull, and on one occasion a zebra, has always been present.
This time around, they’ve completely thrown out the book and tradition, a strategy that was never going to sit well with the fans. The backlash was apparently so bad that the club didn’t even keep the new logo as their social media avatar for more than a week.
Unfortunately for Juve fans, I don’t think that this changing of Twitter icons means that the club is abandoning the redesign. I’m sure that they spent a good chunk of change to design the new logo and that they’ve already plastered it on a mountain of promotional material, so they’re going to get at least one season out of it. Hopefully, after that season, we see the end of it.
Everton found themselves in a similar situation a couple of years ago. They unveiled a logo that didn’t sit well with the Goodison Park faithful. They quickly realized that it was widely despised by the fans. The front office quickly made an apology to the fans and promised that they would play a large part in the club’s next logo. In the end, the despised logo lasted all of one season, but the public vitriol was quickly ousted as well.
Will Juve be able to follow this example and save some face?