After openly considering a name change to the Atlanta Chiefs of the original North American Soccer League, the Atlanta Silverbacks instead chose to keep the Silverbacks moniker, in use since 1998, when the team changed from the Atlanta Ruckus.
When the team announced the name retention, they did so in conjunction with a Logo Design contest. Fans were encouraged to submit their logos, and the winner would be the one with the most likes on the team’s Facebook page.
The team posted entries as they received them, which left some designers feeling like the designs that came in first had an insurmountable advantage. I reached out to Public Relations Manager Neal Malone, and this was an unfortunate side effect of deadlines.
I can tell you that time was a big consideration. We understand that the way the rules were laid out possibly could have given an advantage to the early submissions. That being said, there isn’t as much time in professional socccer offseasons as a lot of people think. We have a deadline that we have to hit to have everything containing our logo ready for the season. By doing a two or three week submission period prior to another fan voting period, we felt that we would be cutting it too close in terms of the deadlines we have with merchandise and other things involving the logo – not to mention allowing people time to adjust to and identify with the new logo prior to the season.
While early submissions obviously have more days to receive votes, some of the late submissions still came close to winning. In fact, the one that received the second most votes was submitted far later than the one that ended up winning…and it was a close race that went up until the last moment.
Atlanta designer Michael Jasiczek finished with the winning design.
This design was included in the final vote, along with three new designs, some of which took inspiration from unpicked designs. The team, during the process, had reached out to some of the designers to make sure their ideas were heard.
As for some of the finalists appearing similar to certain fan submissions, there is a reason for that. One of the fans had submitted a cool “AS” concept that Silverbacks ownership and brass really liked. In fact, they liked it so much so that the club reached out to the designer and asked if he would be willing to help mold that concept into a few different looks. Excited and completely willing to help, the designer worked with the club, providing different looks for that logo concept. He is set to receive rewards for his efforts, and at no time during the design process did he express any hesitation to work with us on developing his look. The ownership liked the circular concept and the rest of the design elements, so they decided to put one of our patented “ATL” logos in the middle as well. Many people have expressed a fondness for that “ATL” look, so we wanted to give fans the opportunity to vote on it. You’ll notice that the finalists are each different in their own way, meaning the fan voting will tell us a lot about what people are gravitating towards.
Almost immediately, similarities were noted between a previously unseen design and a Silverback Gorilla logo designed by Greg Grigoriou. The logo was in fact purchased by the Silverbacks after seeing Mr. Grigoriou’s logo and being a big fan of it.
One of the designers we were working with came across the Silverback logo design by Greg Grigoriou. We as an organization liked the look of it and thought it could possibly fit in well with our vision for the logo, so we legally purchased it from Greg at his asking price. The transaction was pretty plain and simple, and the club now owns that design. We then worked with our designers to implement that icon into one of our logo designs.
Although many lower level teams often borrow logo elements, and it’s often easy to assume the worst, Atlanta did the right thing here. I want to thank Neal for answering any questions and doing so completely straight forward.
So which design do you like? Make sure you vote at the official Atlanta Silverbacks website.