The sharp-edged letter J logo was launched with an ambitious plan that goes ‘beyond football’. And if you think that’s a little pompous you should see the black and white movie-trailer-style video that launches the campaign.
Not Juventus. Or Juve. Just ‘J’.
Rebranded & Reinvented Juventus Logo. Get ready. (Edited January 2021)
While I aim to remain subjective in this blog post I couldn’t get away from the negativity surrounding Juventus FC’s current emblem, badge, logo or whatever you wish to call it, which was launched early 2017. One Turin based reporter, Rima Dabina Aouf began a news article by remarking ‘Italian football club Juventus unveiled its new crest, but the team’s fans think the minimalist rebrand is an own goal.’ Could you get anymore scathing? Angry fans on Twitter even went as far to say they hate the new Juventus logo.
The reaction on other social media platforms was equally negative I’ve read complaints that the new Juventus logo is too corporate; too anonymous; too bland. But they’ve a valid point when you compare this stark, glossy new insignia to the traditional and evocative graphical elements that the club has used in the past. Elements such as a charging bull, star/stars, the bold black and whites stripes and the badge-style shape. Elements that pay homage to the club’s prominent legacy; a club that’s won 35 league titles; and easily one of the most revered football clubs in the world.
But is it really that bad or offensive? Does this sleek, albeit very different, new visual identity really deserve all of the negative hype it continues to get?
The rationale that Interbrand, the Design Agency behind the rebrand, was candid, if not a tad pretentious – ‘to become recognised for more than their performance on the field, but as a universal symbol for perseverance, ambition, and premium Italian style.’ The sharp-edged letter J logo was launched with an ambitious plan that goes ‘beyond football’. And if you think that’s a little pompous you should see the black and white movie-trailer-style video that launches the campaign.
But then, the video is, admittedly, beautifully shot. It’s stylish, sophisticated and certainly backs up Interbrand’s rationale – it’s reminiscent of a Guinness ad. It’s appeal is clearly not just aimed at football fans – it goes ‘beyond football’. Having just a single letter as your club badge is bold, ballsy and pretty cool. And the lone letter is so stylised that the presence of additional graphical elements would make it look too awkward and busy.
The more research I did on this the more I came round to liking this ‘J’ and even the confident reasoning behind it. I did say I wouldn’t voice my own opinion, it’s subjective but having loved and followed Italian football all my life I can quite honestly say I’ve never seen such a dramatic rebrand. I actually googled ‘most controversial football logo rebrands’ and guess which popped up first. Yup, you guessed it.
In an era where footballers are on stupid salaries, clubs are throwing around astronomical amounts of cash and nothing really comes as a surprise anymore in the beautiful game – the Juventus rebranding almost seems to mirror this. In that respect, it is very on brand with today’s game. It may have divided the supporters’ opinions, but there’s no denying it has the ‘wow factor’ I’d imagine more and more clubs will want/have to emulate.
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Some logos make their instant debut, take hold, spreads in recognition, and goes on to outlive and immortalize even itself. Take Edward Johnston’s 1919 rendering of the logo for the London Underground which has been adapted or appropriated across the world and has even been dubbed as a symbol of London itself.
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