Calum Harbison Design Portfolio


The New King of the Premier League Jungle

Since 2001, Barclays, has been the title sponsor of the Premier League’s seasons officially titled as Barclays Premier League but that sponsorship expires this season and Premier League will move away from having title sponsors in the 2016 - 17 season, perhaps because of the new lucrative broadcast deal the league worked out.

The Premier League is reportedly the most-watched football league in the world and in 2015 it sold its UK broadcast rights for a record £5.136 billion (£4.2 of it to Sky and £960m to BT). To complement the new financial developments, the league introduced a new logo yesterday, designed by London-based DesignStudio and Robin Brand Consultants.

The league has had a lion with a crown pawing a ball since the beginning because obviously that’s what lions do; they wear crowns and hold football balls. But we got the point: the Premier League is the king of the jungle when it comes to football and the previous logo did its best in looking regal and authoritative. 

The new logo replaces this way of thinking, but also does away with the confusing secondary Barclays logo. The full lion with a crown pawing a ball has been minimized to a ball-shaped lion head wearing a crown. Rendering animals as logos is very hard but this one manages to convey the main traits of a lion in a simple and convincing way. 

The typography, well, it is what it is. I think DesignStudio have adopted a certain typographic style that is applied to many of their projects, irrespective of the client. The typography just feels un-football-like. It’s lacking the excitement or energy to match the lion. But it works as far as clarity.

Not much in application yet as the 2016 - 17 season is a few months away from starting. There is a great branded pattern that looks amazing when animated and comes from the outline of the mane of the lion. It looks so effective when tiled together. Overall a really effective re-brand, that will look great on screens, from small to big, and can probably even accommodate a new title sponsor when the time, inevitably, comes.

Calum HarbisonComment