New England Revolution Puts the Crayons Away with Unveiling of New Crest

The last of the original Major League Soccer logos from the 1990s will be officially shelved in 2022, as the New England Revolution unveiled their long-rumoured new crest on Thursday morning.

The unveiling confirms leaks that first popped up on Twitter this past June. It will take over as the team’s primary logo in the 2022 MLS season, replacing the “crayon flag” crest that had been used since the team was first founded in 1996.

The new crest depicts a large white R inside a blue-and-red holding shape that is “a reference to traditional flag drapery” and bunting used in the Revolutionary War era. A red strikethrough interlacing with the R “represents defiance in the face of our oppressors, our enemies, our rivals.” The form of the R itself is “a reference to the Boston Tea Party mark and Revolutionary era lettering.”

Graphic courtesy @NERevolution / Twitter

New merchandise for sale on MLSStore.com shows the crest both with and without a white roundel with a blue border. The roundel also contains the club’s name and year of foundation.

Photos courtesy MLSStore.com

The roundel also comes in handy for one-colour applications on both dark and light backgrounds.

Full-colour and one-colour applications of the new Revolution crest, both with and without the roundel. (Graphics courtesy MLSsoccer.com)

On their website, the Revolution said that the “new logo and identity are the culmination of several years’ work that began with hearing directly from fans. The club enlisted an independent third party to conduct focus groups consisting of New Englanders, ranging from loyal Revolution supporters to Boston sports fans, to elicit feedback about what professional soccer in New England should represent. The resounding feedback informed the process that resulted in the evolution of the club’s identity unveiled today.”

“We are proud of our history as a founding member club of Major League Soccer, and after more than 25 years, we felt an evolution of our brand identity was an important step to continue our club’s upward trajectory and better reflect our growth and ambitions as an organization,” added team president Brian Bilello. “We began this process several years ago with an open mind as we sought out the voices of our fans and supporters to guide us in this process.”

“The consensus rang loud and clear – our fans deeply connected to the New England Revolution name and did not want to see that changed,” said Cathal Conlon, Revolution vice president of marketing and community engagement. “We took that sentiment to heart and every decision that followed throughout the design process was rooted in that feedback, as we sought out elements and inspiration invoking the spirit of revolution, positive defiance and New England’s rich history.”

Conlon also told Boston.com that the redesign process started about four years ago, but really gained momentum in 2019 after Bruce Arena became head coach and sporting director. He also said he was surprised at how attached supporters were to the club’s name, despite it being part of the first wave of MLS identities from the mid-1990s:

“The initial response was ‘Don’t change the name, we don’t want to be an FC, or an SC, or a Real, Sporting, we don’t need that. We like our name, and the name resonates. We’re named after what happened in the American Revolution a couple of hundred years ago, and the birth of a country.’ And that’s really important to the people in this region, and they were adamant that we should not change that.”

The Revolution used some elements of the new branding — most notably the supporting typography — throughout the 2021 MLS regular season, in which they currently have a league-high 73 points with one match left to play.

A header image used on the Revolution’s Twitter page this season, featuring the supporting typography from the club’s new brand. (Courtesy @NERevolution / Twitter)

With the full switchover to the new primary logo taking place in the offseason, the “crayon flag” will continue to be used throughout the 2021 MLS playoffs.

New England joins Columbus Crew SC and Chicago Fire FC as MLS clubs that will have new crests starting in 2022.

Feature photo courtesy @NERevolution / Twitter