Thereís no doubt about it - thereís an appetite for more Soccer Out of Context work. I am thrilled to keep designing. Last time we tackled baseballís A.L. East; today, weíll change leagues and locales to see what National League Central division teams would look like if they played soccer for a day. The N.L. Central is a very tradition-heavy division; its youngest team is nearing the half-century mark, and its elder statesmen arenít that far from their sesquicentennials. When you have a group of clubs that were officially created in 1969 (the Pilots/Brewers), 1883 (the Pirates) 1882 (the Cardinals), 1881 (the Reds) and 1870 (the Cubs), you have a lot of identity heritage to sort through. But despite (or possibly because of) their long histories, the clubs of the N.L. Central have shown remarkable visual consistency. Only the Brewers have had a few wholesale identity revamps in the post-war era (Motre Bame, anyone?), and even they seem to be trending back towards the blues and golden yellows that defined their original identity.
The challenge, then, is to create an interesting soccer-style look for each club while respecting both tradition and the playfulness that soccer jerseys often exhibit. In exploring the Yankees and Red Sox, two clubs with roughly the same amount of history and brand equity as the older N.L. Central teams, I hewed close to tradition. Today Iím going to expand the boundaries of the experiment just a bit - if only because itís not that difficult to imagine, say, a Cubs baseball jersey that already translates pretty well into a soccer-style top. Here were my rules from last time; all of that stays the same, but Iíll add one more:
Grant some traditional identities permission to have fun with soccerís visual style.
I tried to find just the right balance between fun and respect for tradition with these designs - and I hope you enjoy. Letís get started.