April 13, 2017
Creating A Better Brand for a Brighter Future in the MLS
At RGI, we are passionate FC Cincinnati fans. We believe that FCC is destined for great things, including eventual acceptance into the MLS. We are also a group of dedicated creatives who find inspiration from the City of Cincinnati and want our sports teams to strive for quality design as much as they do quality wins. We feel our beloved FC Cincinnati falls short of these lofty expectations, and here are our reasons why:
- The mascot is confusing. Is it a lion? A tiger? A king winged lion knight?
- FCC has too many logos that are inconsistent and ultimately redundant.
- The FC is unnecessarily emphasized over the city name.
- Orlando City has a lion for their mascot, and they just joined the MLS.
- The crown on the shield logo is awkward and negatively affects its usability.
- There are dimensional elements, such as the bevel on the shield, on the current logo that aren’t consistent, recognizable or necessary.
We decided to have a little fun by starting with some suitable logo alternatives…
The Identifiable Lion
This design features a more recognizable lion mascot for fans and eliminates the clutter and legibility issues associated with elements such as the sword, wings and standing pose. The FC remains large for heritage considerations.
This look is one many fans have discovered on their own. The layout mimics Cincinnati’s flag and includes the year FCC was established. Cincy is used as an alternative to the full city name, and the C with the ball created using negative space offers the potential for a secondary logo option.
The Modern Standard
This is the most simplistic, legible, reliable and convenient option. It’s so convenient that the Columbus Crew chose to go a similar route in-house, to mixed reviews. Their issues were the result of poor execution. This design is different and offers much more than type and pattern. It also eliminates the trouble of a mascot and boasts a hidden visual connection to Cincinnati’s sister city, Munich.
The Versatile Standout
This logo is designed specifically for multiple uses. It can be broken up into a variety of secondary logos. It offers a vintage gothic C option. It also offers a third color for third jersey options and interesting color combinations.
This logo oozes confidence. It retains the shield and offers a lion face with a unique style that is bold and stands in contrast to Orlando City’s more traditional lion with a mane. The logo and type can be used separately, and the positioning of the type mirrors that of fans when they hold their scarves and cheer at matches.
This isn’t the Premier League. This is AMERICAN SOCCER, and FCC deserves a classic American refresh. This logo can be split into 2 different marks and showcases an aggressive lion mascot and an easy-to-use crown carrier shape with hints of stylized dimensionality.
The New Empire
This look would make the Premier League blush. It pairs the most regal of lion mascots with a traditional seal lockup. The twist to this mark is the oval shape that is formed by two scarfs or perhaps the front and back of one. It also includes the current checkered pattern that is heavily utilized by ravenous fans seated in The Bailey.
A Crown Bestowed
It is important for a club to connect with its host city, and the crown presented as part of the current mascot is reminiscent of the former Cincinnati Royals. By combining a shield with a crown, this mark offers two solid secondary logo options and focuses all attention on the royal heritage of the Queen City.
The American Legend
With the current state of the mascot, aiming in a different direction might be a very positive move. This logo retains the “futbol club” description that is part of the current branding but condenses all of the elements required into one mark. The patch-inspired format is an ode to the heritage and traditions of soccer.
Embrace the Gryphon
This mark is all about redefining the mascot. Forget about a lion or tiger and focus on a forgotten mythical creature that Harry Potter fans will easily embrace. In this ideation, the gryphon is treated in a more traditional way, as it would be represented in the English Premier League. This mark also offers an obvious break between the shield and the arch and crown above for secondary logo use.
The Iconic Abstract
Perhaps the FCC brand could use a more abstract mascot and logo that pulls aspects of EPL sophistication in a more subtle way. The mascot is reasonably abstract in its current form, but hinting at a gryphon with a more elegant graphic style would eliminate some of the confusion as well as various unnecessary elements.
Dawn of the Dragon
After all is said and done, the mascot problem might be so difficult to solve that it just needs to be completely replaced. Enter the mighty dragon, a mascot that predates even the sport of fútbol and yet is scarcely embraced by the global soccer community. This is the apex predator mascot that FC Cincinnati deserves.
We realize that FC Cincinnati is an extremely young brand with a solid management group behind it and a lot of positive support. We just hope they remain open to a more dynamic look to match their promising future. Either way, we had fun working on these alternative concepts, and we will remain loyal, dedicated fans. FCC!
What do you think of our concepts? Like them? Hate them? Let us know!