I can't imagine why the San Jose Earthquakes changed the old crest- perhaps they couldn't copyright a sunset, or something so clearly based on the San Jose civic logo. Or perhaps they literally put no thought into it besides "new stadium, new logo." Or, I can take Quakes President Dave Kaval at face value:
“That’s where the ‘unity, devotion, heritage’ came from, and we saw that and said, ‘You know, we don’t feel that the current mark represents that. It actually is too narrow,’” Kaval said.
“And instead of it really representing what we can be, in unifying all these disparate groups, across all these socioeconomic levels and backgrounds here in San Jose and Silicon Valley, we felt like it needed to be more all-encompassing. A bigger umbrella. And that’s what we did here today.”
So maybe fans in Santa Clara and Cupertino were horribly alienated by the old badge.
Well, I hope those fans are pleased with themselves this morning, because they have helped bring upon the world yet another offensively inoffensive MLS club logo.
In fairness, I showed the thing to some people, and it generally garnered positive reviews. In further fairness, I wasn't exactly going to burn up the phone lines ordering Earthquakes season tickets no matter what the logo was going to be. In more fairness than you can shake a stick at, the last time I went off on a new logo it ended up being one of the most successful rebrands in the history of American soccer, and currently adorns Our Glorious Champions. And, in a veritable avalanche of fairness, I cheer for a team that also underwent a tediously hyped rebrand that ended up being as imaginative as a bread sandwich.
So maybe it's me. Instead of simply wincing and complaining, let me try to meet the thing halfway.
Perhaps it looks like a Silicon Valley fly-by-night - er, startup - on purpose. Perhaps Fine, Howard and Howard (or whatever the design firm was called) (assuming there was one) were told by the Quakes or the league, "Make it corporate. And I mean, water-cooler, clip-on tie corporate that would make Catbert's tail wag. We want this thing to reek of a windowless IT call center. Put your finest minds on this, and tell them we want a suicide note with a soccer ball on it."
Okay, I'm not meeting it halfway. Let me read Your Fellow Posters and Actual Factual Earthquake Fans. They see the world so very differently from me to begin with, not suffering from Lenhart Intolerance.
"John Doyle's performance has been assessed and he sucks." We are more alike than I imagined.
Okay. Here's the thread. Post-logo drop begins on page 44. Come fly with me, fly!
I think I figured out what the white diagonal line represents: it's the border between Missouri and Kansas!
JazzyJ with the beauty - congratulations, if you're reading.
Mr. Bandwagon contributes:
Overall, I like the changes. Sure I would make a few design changes myself, but everyone's a critic. And considering the awful new Galaxy jersey that is making the rounds today, I think we dodged a bullet.
There's a new Galaxy jersey? I hadn't seen anything about OH MY DEAR GOD TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF
So, the actual target audience likes it for the most part, or at least is willing to have it grow on them. It's well within the current trends of MLS design, and the jerseys San Jose will wear will almost certainly look vastly superior to my favorite team's.
Well, I don't care. I still think the new Quakes logo looks like partial-birth clip-art.
Don't believe me? Let's look at how they tried to defend it.
PATTERN The blue and black pattern impact pattern is a representation of the shifting of the Earth's tectonic plates and the energy created within our club and off the pitch. The impact pattern also represents our community's forward thinking approach and belief in positive change through innovation.
MY REBUTTAL: We're talking movement at a rate of a centimeter a year, but when it does move, the energy is horribly destructive. So Steven Lenhart, basically. Thanks for putting my mind at ease about whether the club's forward thinking approach and belief is about positive or negative change, that was keeping me awake at nights.
That said, I was petrified that the "WE" in the logo was deliberate. Heaven has now been thanked for the smallest favor ever.
AXIS The white and blue lines holding the ball connect us to our original logo from 1974 with the ball representing a globe. The ball is spinning on its axis and pushing us forward into a limitless future.
MY REBUTTAL: Things don't push forward on an axis, they spin in place. And where they've drawn the line is nothing like an axis. If the Earth spun on the axis in the new logo, life on earth would perish in agony. So Steven Lenhart, basically.
SOCCER BALL For 40 years, the Earthquakes primary badge has featured a soccer ball and our new identity also embraces this symbol of our devotion to the game. We are a soccer club and we are proud to express that through our logo. We are Devotion.
MY REBUTTAL: "Okay, Dave, I finished my writeup of the logo."
"Did you explain the soccer ball?"
"Did I...no. No, I didn't explain the soccer ball."
"I think you should."
"It's...a soccer ball."
"Yeah. We need to tell people what it represents."
"It represents a soccer ball."
"Right, but what does the soccer ball represent?"
"You know if the Raiders are hiring?"
QUAKES The use of the name Quakes in the primary logo demonstrates the strength of our soccer community. If you are part of the Earthquakes community, you often refer to the team as the Quakes. We Are Unity.
MY REBUTTAL: "Okay, here. Revised writeup on the logo. All done."
"Did you explain the word 'Quakes'?"
"SON OF A -"
In fairness, it is nice to see that the "Earth" is still part of the official name, if not on the badge. I was not looking forward to touchy emails asking us to please refer to the team as the San Jose Quakes, not the San Jose Earthquakes. It's pretty annoying when teams do that. Looking at you, LOS ANGELES Galaxy.
It's a little thing, but it's a very stupid little thing. I applaud the team embracing the "Goonies never say die" schtick. As a Galaxy fan, I naturally want to respond with the chorus of the Geto Boys' "Still" as heard in "Office Space," but that doesn't invalidate the premise.
However, unless Twitter, a private corporation unrelated to Major League Soccer, is going to be in some way related to the team from here on in, it turns a nice little slogan into pointless, subliterate pandering. The teams change jersey designs every year, but this is something people will look back upon with amazement and confusion. Unless you think we're still going to be on Twitter in 2024. Might as well put in suede fringe.
Disagree? Send your take to @DanLoney36 - or comment below, like an actual person, whichever.