I design because it’s fun and satisfying - but I also design as a form of communicating critique. This isn’t necessarily because I’ve found a perfect – or even, better – approach to an existing brand; it’s mostly because when it comes to discussions of identity, visuals communicate much more clearly than words ever could. After all, if you’re responding to something visual; why not craft a visual response? Why not express yourself on the same terms the brand does?
The best way to criticize a movie is to make another movie.
I created refreshed identities for the New England Revolution and the Columbus Crew with this principle in mind. Both of those brands continue to use old, out of favor design language that could stand some fresh thought. In one of those cases, help is on the way; in another, the potential for change is still at least, er, theoretically possible. I’ve also done some visual thinking about New York City FC, a brand which has since defined itself in a rather dignified (if heavily inspired) manner. ‘Critique by design’ is the best way I know how to get new identity concepts across - concepts that may begin with visuals, but usually extend to the way a team presents itself and carries itself. A well-conceived brand takes on a personality, and becomes a living thing – but the process invariably starts with a foundation of solid design work.
Today, I’m offering a visual critique of the San Jose Earthquakes, a soccer brand that, much like the Revs and the Crew, had good reason to re-imagine their visual identity.