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The Bent Musket Roundtable: Grading the confirmed new crest

The rebrand is happening so here are our thoughts

Seth: B

The new crest has floated around the internet for some time but it’s now official. This means we know the process, understand the design, and have seen the merchandise.

My updated take is that the new look is pretty good, and that’s a win when it comes to rebranding.

Remaining the New England Revolution is very important in my eyes and I like that the new crest pays tribute to the outgoing one with its unique shape and drapery. I understand having a prominently featured R, but I don’t like that it can’t be a nickname (“the R’s” doesn’t work). I’m not a big fan of the throughline, but it could grow on me. I do like that the design can be used as a crest and seal.

Finally, I’m happy that the club did their due diligence when creating this rebrand. Consulting diehard, casual, and potential fans is a positive.

In short, the new logo is pretty good. Now I want to see the Revs reveal two new jerseys as they look to establish themselves as a dominant force in MLS.

As former Revs executive Brian O’Donovan told The Bent Musket, “Brands and logos and names are what brands and logos and names do. That’s a fine logo. It looks fantastic. If they lose every year for the next five years then that logo is going to look like a loser. If they win an MLS Cup with that logo then that logo is going to look absolutely gorgeous.”

Dolan: As a Graphic Designer, I will not give it a letter grade

The more I think about it, I’m not upset they rebranded and I don’t hate the new logo. It’s okay not amazing.

My issue is that over the past decade we have seen just absolutely gorgeous and strong logos between the rebrands and new teams. You look at Portland with their logo and it evolving to just the ax, LAFC just hitting a home run with their branding, NYCFC, Atlanta, Miami, Vancouver, Orlando, SKC, DC, Cincinnati, and Chicago’s new logo. and I’m left feeling somewhat disappointed.

At the end of the day, the club and the designer did a phenomenal job, but it just doesn’t hold up against the majority of the league’s logos. Especially the one’s done by Matthew Wolff.

Jake: F

My original grade was a D- which spared New England only because it was not the Chicago Fire logo at the time. Announcing this at the end of the year of a Shield winning campaign and seemingly sun-setting the Crayon Flag almost immediately makes no sense to me.

We’ve known about this logo for months and there’s been proper time to set up an extravagant rollout and yet it still feels rushed and awkward. There’s no reason to announce this without having new jerseys ready to go to lead the merch sales. This is on top of the horrendous decision to not maintain a decent stock of jerseys and items for this season of the teams’ best season since 2014.

If this has been in the works for months and years, a full rollout should have happened with jerseys before the holidays in December. If that’s not possible for some reason then announcing this 3-4 months before the jerseys are ready stunts any impact the announcement might have but I’m not a marketing major so what do I know.

My thoughts on the Crayon Flag are well known, and the new logo is simply underwhelming to me as a branding idea. The league’s pivot to homogeneous Euro style badges is a poor one as it discourages uniqueness like the Crayon Flag and Vancouver’s mountains. Clearly the Revs are trying to capitalize on the momentum of this year’s campaign, something they failed to do in the 2014 offseason on the field for sure, and somehow they’ve still botched it.

Not raising a Shield winning banner with the Crayon Flag on it in Gillette next year will put this right in the Row Z trash bin.

Sam: C+

My original grade was a C- and that was because the logo didn’t scream New England to me and looked like a QPR knockoff. Knowing that the font for the center “R” is made to resemble typeface that would have been seen at The Boston Tea Party boosted the grade slightly.

Also the fact that fans were involved is crucial. So many fans have failed in this area before so it was good to see that the club involved the Midnight Riders and The Rebellion.

But at the end of the day this is still an average logo. It’s not great and it’s not horrible. Goldie Locks would be quite happy with the temperature of this new logo.

The new crest will look good on merch and will likely make New England a decent amount of coin with fans stocking up before the holiday season, but I’m already dreading the day that the Crayon Flag is retired.

So the Revs deserve to be applauded for not fumbling the bag but this logo is still the definition of average.

Greg: B+

I like many others enjoyed the Crayon Logo, and embraced it as one of the last few links to the early days of MLS. In a generic league full of FCs, the crayon logo stood out and I appreciated that. But let’s put aside pro- and anti-crayon flag sentiments for a moment and call this rebrand what it is: perfectly fine.

The updated crest is certainly different, but compared to some other MLS rebrands, it’s easy on the eyes and will look great on a jersey. I also appreciate the fact the team got feedback from supporter groups and fans - a fatal flaw some other clubs stumbled into when rebranding.

And most importantly, they are still the New England Revolution. Keeping the team name is a huge plus, as opposed to rebranding the entire club as “FC New England,” “Inter New England,” or “Club de Foot New England.” This rebrand feels like an update, and not an erasure.

One thing I don’t understand is why now? With the rebrand leaked over the summer, it seemed the team was holding off for an offseason announcement. But to hold off on confirming what we all knew until the final weekend of the regular season, when the team is celebrating the points record and a Supporters Shield? Holding off until the offseason would’ve made more sense to me.

Josh - C

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was my mindset when the new crest leaked on Twitter. More importantly, I was initially unimpressed. I did not hate it, but I also did not love it.

As the days, weeks, and months passed, I’ve come to accept it. We’ve had a good 26 seasons with the Crayon Flag, but as the team has slowly transformed itself from the shambles of the past, it’s time for the brand to do so as well.

While I don’t love it, I think they could have taken a worse route with the rebrand, a route that could have resulted in a similar reaction to Chicago and Columbus’ rebrands. On the other hand, I honestly expected more from the new logo. As us kids say these days, this new Revolution logo is…mid.

When you look at logos from other top sports teams or even brands, they have that certain x-factor that makes them stand out and recognizable to the market. I don’t see that in this logo.

Sure, I get they tried aiming big with the unique shape, use of color, and the colonial-style “R”, but it’s a complete miss in my book. Nothing gets me excited when I look at the new logo.