There are two ways new team logo releases go down.
Usually fans take one look at the new logo, and immediately have a mental breakdown. Without giving it much chance, they start a campaign to try to force the team to change it back (see: Chicago Fire, Louisville City).
The other reaction is seen as a perfect execution, fans get on board… and then it is used to shame the other new logo that didn’t go over quite as well.
Fortunately, USL League Two club Reading United received the latter when they released their fresh new look on January 31. After taking one look at the logo, it’s easy to see why. It is a great balance between keeping fundamental elements that the team is associated with, and creating a new, modern look.
There are obvious connections from the old to new logo. The staple element that is carried from the old logo to the new is the train that is heading straight at you. A reference to the city’s history, this train is given a bolder look than the previous logo that had just too much detail that doesn’t translate well in a logo.
The train sits on top of a simple circle base while the keystone symbol of the previous logo is missing. The keystone shape comes back in a secondary logo, one of many thoughtful touches that are noticed throughout this refresh. I’m also a big fan of the simple diamond secondary logo; very clean.
This thoughtfulness is what makes the execution of this new look so successful. Credit goes to Lancaster, Pa.-based Wandel Design, whose designer, Eryin Wandel, was a former intern with Reading United (and contributor to Brotherly Game). This is no surprise as the designer clearly knew what this club stands for and used his knowledge to make a cohesive mark that celebrates the club that touts the origins of many professional soccer players.
The new Reading United logo is prime example that hiring local creates meaningful results that others may not. This is also an example that a simple logo refresh is a smarter way to go than a full-on, erase the past, redesign.
Other organizations looking to possibly redesign their logo and branding should take notes from Reading and Wandel Design. Well done to all involved.