New Everton FC identity features heritage tower symbol
DixonBaxi has built a new identity and digital strategy for Everton FC with a focus on the fans.
Everton have played the most seasons of any club at the top tier of English football and are known as ‘the people’s club’. According to DixonBaxi co-founder and creative director Simon Dixon, the new system aims to “connect with the public and fans of the club and build on the strength and ethos of Everton”.
The club named DixonBaxi based on their new AC Milan branding, which Dixon said has been “very successful in reaching fans around the world”. Everton FC detailed a similar ambition in the initial brief – to reach fans outside Merseyside around the world.
“Another thing they liked about the rebranding of AC Milan is that we went beyond just sporting branding and focused on heartbeat and philosophy. of the club,” added Dixon. Using this same strategy for the Everton FC project, the studio says it spoke to fan groups and held workshops, during which the idea for the tower design emerged.
Says Dixon, “We knew Prince Rupert’s Tower as an icon was important to fans because that’s what they told us. He describes the tower as an “anchor point for the design system”, which is also a subtle but conscious nod to the club’s history.
The club crest remained the same as the design team felt it was a crucial branding element that did not need to be simplified. Dixon adds: “There can be a tendency in sports branding to get rid of everything, including the crest, but we think if you’ve built decades of history into something, you have to be very careful. how you change that.
In 2013, the club faced backlash from its own fans after being renamed without fan consultation. This resulted in a new club crest which was only used for the 2013-14 season before another crest was introduced, designed by Liverpool-based consultancy Kenyon Fraser after a period of fan consultation .
The new tower pattern is designed to reference the crest but also to release it as a graphic element that can be applied across the identity. According to Dixon, it aims to provide “a graphic language beyond the crest” and is used as a framing and bridging device on social media as well as on merchandise and kits.
In New Jersey, the tower appears as a repeating pattern that is sewn into the fabric. Prince Rupert’s tower also had a new typeface named after him, which is used on the jerseys and on the digital touchpoints.
Two typefaces are implemented in the new branding – a serif and sans serif style. The serif is meant to convey a “conversational lifestyle feel,” while the sans serif, Rupert Condensed, is the bespoke font influenced by the tower pattern, according to the studio.
Everton FC’s move to a digital-first design strategy is another way it is trying to connect with fans around the world. Dixon describes football as “a vivid, immediate narrative” – a multi-layered story that needs to include details about when the game is, who will play, fan interaction in the game, and then analyze it afterwards.
“There are around 40,000 fans in the stadium, but there are millions of other fans watching around the world who may never visit the club,” Dixon adds. The strategy aims to use social media and other digital touchpoints to make Everton FC “more contemporary and connected” so that fans feel part of the club without having to be there physically.
The club’s new mantra ‘Everton is everywhere’ also reflects their new strategy. He intends to reinforce that although the club is rooted in Merseyside and part of the Liverpool culture, its values are global in scope.
DixonBaxi was also tasked with striking a balance between making the brand premium and accessible, which Dixon describes as “a constant back and forth”. He explains that having a digital orientation can sometimes make things feel “very slick”, which doesn’t always match the “tactile and visceral” nature of the game itself.
He adds: “A lot of clubs are also seen as elite and there’s a lot of money in the game and there seems to be a big distance between that money and the fans.” In an effort to bridge this gap, the studio attempted to create a “premium with an edge” brand. Everton FC’s new identity is meant to exude “street-level confidence and be inspired by life as opposed to just sport”.
The new identity is rolling out in phases, which began with the launch of the shirt earlier this week. It was the first time the tower motif had officially appeared in the brand.
Before that, there was a soft launch on social media where the tower and other graphic elements were used as transitions in social media. According to Dixon, fans spotted the tower and cut it out to post on their Twitter feeds.
“So far the fans seem to like it, but we’re trying to be sensitive to them and roll it out slowly,” he adds. Over the next few weeks, the brand will appear on all existing touchpoints.
The new design system will also be incorporated into Everton FC’s new stadium as it is built.