Discussion: FC Cincinnati Brand Reveal – Do You Like It?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Stephen Buckeridge 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #29947 Reply

    Michael Walker

    FC Cincinnati revealed its much-anticipated brand refresh on Monday at an invite-only event at the Woodward Theatre in Over the Rhine. The logo was, in fact, the logo that was leaked the week prior that has been the subject of a heavy dose of online debate.

    So, now that you’ve seen the logo in its full light and on some apparel, how do you feel? Is it a hit or miss and why? Reply below after all the comments.

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    Read a full description of the logo and all of its features on MLSSOCCER.COM.

    #29951 Reply

    Connor W. Paquette

    Underwhelming is how I would describe it. For a smaller city where familial identity is preferred over global brands, I think they missed the mark. The crest is cleaner than the previous logo and is frankly miles ahead of some current MLS clubs, but that shouldn’t be the benchmark for judgement. If it is, we’ve set a low bar for ourselves.

    #29953 Reply

    Mark Sutphin

    Kinda like it, doesnt wow me but oh well, theres worse out there in MLS-land. Lets not get all bent about a logon anyway, sure itll be on every single thing we wear or buy but so what, its a logo. we need to have a winning side on 2019 and thats the main topic overall. See everyone tonight!!!

    #29965 Reply

    Michael Walker

    I have to admit, when I saw the leaked images, I was not impressed. It looked a lot like what we had already and I was hoping for a simplified clean logo that parted ways with the lion and connected more to the city’s identity. I was very impressed with the work done in Miami and was optimistic that Interbrand would deliver something on that level. While I don’t think it did with the logo, it is growing on me, and it looked a LOT better at Woodward and on some apparel than the bare-bones versions I saw from the leaks. It’s a big upgrade on the current, even if it still feels like a missed opportunity to me.

    One thing I will say though is that I have no doubt that people will embrace it quickly, even if it’s doesn’t hit the mark for them. I could already see it happening as the whole place lined up to check out the apparel. It symbolizes Cincinnati’s move to MLS and even if it doesn’t impress many of the designers, it represents us and I bet people will treat it that way sooner rather than later.

    #29976 Reply


    Long live Gary!!

    #29979 Reply

    Michael N.

    Everyone keeps saying they wish the logo had more to do with the city. How would you do that, exactly. They were going for simplicity. I’m not crazy about it, but it’s a badge not a tapestry. It had to be clean and scale-able. Look at Miami on the MLS site now. You can’t make it out at all.

    #29985 Reply

    Regarding the whole logo unveiling:

    It felt like FCC had painted themselves into a corner regardless of how this would turn out. By plugging Interbrand as the designer, FCC had a gigantic hurdle to overcome. The Juventus rebrand went awkwardly due to simplicity, so I think many people wanted a grand slam to win the World Series, not a home run.

    Regarding the actual logo:

    I recognize the issues that come with it. There’s a lack of real clarity when it comes to Cincinnati identity. Some people that wanted the lion to stay feel it was hardly improved. Some people that wanted it to go weren’t happy to see it incorporated into the logo completely. And then there’s the whole “Food Lion” thing.

    I’m okay with it. I didn’t want a logo that was too complex. Frankly, I’m someone that appreciates the colors a hell of a lot more than the logo itself. Perhaps a few diamonds in the background could be incorporated over time, but I’m okay with it.

    I can’t unsee the fact that it’s our MLS crest, but again, I’m okay with it. It’s not a game ender.

    #30033 Reply


    At this point…I think it’s great. A crest can’t possibly tell the story of a city or a club, especially one only 3 years old. The lion has been there since the clubs inception so that’s fine. The crest is simple and will hold up over time. The symbolizism in the crest is manufactured but just as is in pretty much any other club. Google any other club’s crest meaning, especially the MLS and you will find obscure references to the the club and city. I believe now that we know the thought count into the symbolism and crest can bring More meaning going forward as the club creates more memories and history. FCC is following suit. Love the colors. Will look great on the kits I believe and is easily identifiable. Would have never pleasd everyone. I too really like Mimai’s crest…but they have yet to even assemble a team or any identity. Ours has a passionate and strong, albeit short, histoy behind it with the colors and the lion already established. That’s more organic then totally rebranding. Plus I’ll take the overall simplicity over Miami’s Crest. From even a little bit of distance you can’t make it out. Our is more identifiable with “Cincinnati” “heroed”, emboldened. There is no mistaken whose crest it is. I say well done. Ignite and Unite!

    #30036 Reply

    Mediocre, scratch that…disappointing.

    Besides the actual crest (I’ll get to that in a minute), the whole process, engagement with Interbrand, and event Monday evening was advertised as the club’s “MLS Brand” unveiling and reveal. It was the moment this club, this city had fought hard for and had been eagerly awaiting for 3 years…the moment we officially graduated from USL to MLS. A deserved moment in club history, an opportunity to continue to show the excellence of the organization, in all areas.

    And then the leaked crest came out a week ago, and soccer twitter was, well soccer twitter. The prevailing opinion was someone had leaked one of the four options that had reportedly been presented to the fan council, but surely it wasn’t the winning crest of choice (how could the fan council let us down). Then we learned through an MLS store link and screenshot that in fact it was in fact the new FCC crest. The balloon of anticipation was popped and the reveal of the brand and crest was headed downward before the actual unveiling party.

    Having gone through two company re-brands in the past four years, they are difficult, challenging and you will never satisfy and hit the mark with everyone. However, for a re-brand to be successful a critical component is the ability to control the message and articulate the brand vision and meaning to the organization (firm, city, club, etc.). For a front office and club that have hit high marks since the club launched 3 years ago, the impact of the leaks, the crest design and look itself, and the generic new team slogan(s) fail to meet the fan’s expectations and excellent track record of this front office and club.

    The crest itself is mediocre and uninspiring. Shown adjacent to the MLS badge makes it look cookie cutter and it appears to be a close replica to the shape, details and blandness. On its own, we can all understand the desire and need to inspire the name and image of the city boldly on the crest, especially since the original logo led to the misfortune of many casual fans and media consistently referring to the team as “FC”. The font choices, the 2nd shade of blue for Cincinnati, the disparate separation of the elements speaks to over-design and no connection to the city. As I’ve read elsewhere, you could literally slap any city name into the sash and the crest would look no different and have no closer connection to that city or ours. What’s the role of a good logo or crest? It’s the front-line and badge of the new FC Cincinnati brand. In this key area, this crest is disappointing. You can’t refill that balloon, it’s deflated.

    You’ll note I’ve stayed away from the topic of Gary, the sword-bearing lion that is ready for battle, until now as I frankly have nothing productive or measured to say about this element. Suffice to say it’s my least favorite part of the logo, distracting to the eye, and appears manufactured from several previous lion emblems (insert your favorite beer of food company logo). The now en vogue descriptors that accompany all new crests appear to be after the fact marketing spin for a poorly designed element.

    Several days before the Brand Reveal, the club started to message a new slogan, #IgniteUnite, which we now know represents Ignite the Passion, Unite the City, We are FC Cincinnati. First, it doesn’t flow well off the tongue and it as generic as the crest. Feels like a group of branding folks “googled” catchy inspirational slogans. The passion this city has demonstrated for this team (and vice-versa), the way this club has started to unite this city in a new way is proven, we don’t need a gimmicky slogan to further get behind the team. Too much marketing gloss and low on connection to the fan base and city. The success of this club has been organic, passion, excellence in all areas. Unfortunately, the re-brand misses the mark in all of these areas.

    All this said, the new brand, crest, merch, and slogan will neither make me more or less of a FC Cincinnati fan. Looking forward to moving beyond the great crest debate and onto the MLS player signings and various player drafts in front of us. MLS here we are!

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