ITFC Crest: Time for an update? by oshilling_coyb – Ipswich Town Blog
Written by oshilling_coyb on Friday, December 3, 2021 5:00 PM
So Norwich has a new coat of arms (apologies for the provocative image, but it’s a conversation starter). Objectively this is a late refinement, and as an Ipswich fan I can see us following suit before too long, with new owners keen to make improvements across the club.
As a designer working in the field of branding, I have long believed that Ipswich was due to an improved coat of arms. The current design has been in place since the 1995/96 season, and we are now firmly in a digital age where imperfections are evident.
How could Ipswich improve his crest?
It should be emphasized up front that I think our patch is in good condition and does not require a complete overhaul. Some might see this as an opportunity to create something new and exciting, but I’m not one to throw the club’s history and legacy out the window.
The overall shape is solid and unique. The icons themselves – the turrets, the Suffolk Punch horse with a soccer ball and the sea waves – represent our club and our location well. It’s more about how these ideas are executed.
The text is quite small and narrow. He uses Gill Sans font, but has been stretched. Besides looking a bit messy, writing “Football Club” seems pointless and very few clubs do it. In terms of the typeface used, this also points to a broader branding issue, with an inconsistent approach to the typography used by the club.
The main issues here are the awkwardly sitting waves under the horse with a blue background touching red as there is no white outline like the other boxes. It sounds like a mistake, to me. Can the design have fewer “boxes”? Can we use the empty triangular space at the bottom of the ridge which is currently redundant?
The illustration of the horse is not that great, but the details are intricate and less clear in the small sizes. I think the horse should clearly be a Suffolk Punch, but can we make it stronger and more daring? For me, it should be powerful and intimidating, without becoming a caricature.
The horse is seated in a rectangular space, leaving an empty blue area in the upper right corner, can it adapt to the space better to give the ridge better balance? In addition, the waves used are more like zigzags and don’t look very natural.
Red replaced yellow in 1995/96, perhaps to differentiate itself further from its neighbors. But red hasn’t always been used in kits and yellow is fondly associated with our club’s greatest accomplishments.
This aspect probably needs to be revisited with the club’s overall brand in mind going forward, but overall my instinct would be to stay in the red, in reduced quantity.
Overall, development is needed but overhaul is not. I would like a new patch that addresses these issues as part of a larger look at the club’s brand.
The above is a relatively quick exploration of the appearance of this ridge. It is by no means finished and would need a lot of development with typographers to create a font for the brand and an illustrator to refine the horse.
But as a starting point, I think it fixes a lot of key issues while still keeping the same basic design. Some color variations shown below (a single color version would definitely be needed).
I would like to know what fans think about the patch update in general and what they would like to see.
Oliver Shilling is the founder of Middle Name (https://middlename.co.uk/), a branding and design studio.
|fife blue added 18:58 – dec. 3
I’m not at all convinced that the current ridge has any problems, but if it does, I’m not convinced your ideas solve any of them.
The waves: 1) I think it represents the river, not the sea but it is incidental. 2) Your revised design makes the club feel like it is sinking into the waves – of course, this could be interpreted in a number of ways.
The Horse: Your Suffolk Punch isn’t much different given your criticism of the current ridge.
The Turrets: 1) This link would be lost for the vast majority of people these days, but I think it is better than the previous flat top badge.
I applaud all thoughts and ideas to improve any aspect of the club and you have written an interesting and stimulating column.
One last thought for me:
The general shape of the ridge: 1) why bother with the separate sections inside? 2) In fact, why bother with ANY outline? Try to get rid of ALL straight lines and borders and avoid the need for yellow, red or any other secondary color?
Pleasant to read anyway.
not a word
|fife blue added 19:04 – dec. 3
One last thing!
Suffolk Punch would be improved if it faced RIGHT, not LEFT and maybe even kicked the ball, didn’t trap it and maybe had its head pointed up or at least more forward. This would indicate a forward-thinking club.
Don’t be limited by the past. Think pitifully about the future!
not a word
|fife blue added 19:05 – dec. 3
Uh … POSITIVE!
|oshilling_coyb added 19:46 – 3 Dec.
fife blue. Lots of interesting views.
I can respond to many of them by making it clear that this exploration was focused on developing our existing ridge, rather than creating a new ridge. And so in terms of the things you suggested could be taken further or removed altogether, I asked myself, “do we need this?” When most fans are very opposed to any change. So my approach was to solve the described problems with minimal intervention on the overall design.
Plus, it was a short and fun experience. If this was my professional project, he would rightly consider many more variables and explore them in depth. But for now, it’s only a few evenings of work.
The original designer said the waves were inspired by the sea: https://thebeautifulhistory.wordpress.com/clubs/ipswich-town/
My comments on the horse (to make it work at smaller sizes / stronger and bolder / adjust to fill the space) are certainly rectified, in my opinion.
The idea that the horse facing to the right is more “forward” is interesting. Spurs, Liverpool and Villa may disagree.
|fife blue added 19:55 – dec. 3
Thanks for your thoughtful response.
As for Spurs, Liverpool, Villa … whatever! We are IPSWICH CITY! Forward and up!