Identity Sketches for the Columbus Crew

Author’s note: Given yesterday’s San Jose Earthquakes rebranding, this morning seemed like a good time to run this piece, which has been in the works for a little bit. 


Currently, you’d hear something like this:

“…Well, so - they’re yellow, I think. And Columbus - that’s like, football country, right? Ohio State 24/7, that kind of deal? Do they get into soccer over there? Oh - wait - right, it’s the team with that beefcake logo with the angry dudes on it. What’s up with that thing? Are those guys a ‘crew’? Ha ha… They still have a team, right?”

What you’d want to hear, of course, is something like this:

“I don’t even really watch a ton of soccer but that Crew game blew me away. The fans are just insane - it comes right through the TV. Yellow and black everywhere - it was wild. I was just flipping around and I couldn’t change the channel. I gotta get that jersey.”

If you ask an average American sports fan “What do you know about the Columbus Crew?”, I imagine you’d get all kind of answers. I’m not claiming to speak for anyone specific with the above composites, but I’d wager that the average response would skew a little closer to the first one than the second.

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32 Nations: Epilogue

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All thirty-two shirts are out; the ten (eleven if you count this piece) part project has been published. Now what? It’s time to take a quick look back at 32 Nations, to review some highlights, answer some questions, and reveal a few final items.

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Friday Music, Volume 1

Speaking of Friday Music: Recently I’ve been playing around with 8tracks, and I realized I could turn the Friday Music series into de-facto mix tapes. From now on, every eight songs I post, I’ll collect into an 8tracks volume. Since we have some catching up to do, here’s Friday Music, Volume 1: compiled January—April, 2012.

  1. 4Our by MRR-ADM
  2. Same Tattoos (Sabzi remix) by Fences
  3. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
  4. Brazil (Gold Panda remix) by Luke Abbot
  5. Welcome Home by Radical Face
  6. Belong by Beat Culture
  7. Roll The Bones by Shakey Graves
  8. D.I.Y. by Keep Shelley in Athens

Click here to play

More soon. (And yeah, that’s my dog.)

Friday Music

“Ocean” by Role. Atmospheric, loop-heavy, and somewhere hundreds of miles away. Just what I was looking for today.

Stuff I Like

From time to time I find stuff worth sharing and commenting on that doesn’t fit here. I also like to publish my own photography, artwork, and other media when I can, but I don’t want to overload this spot. Enter: Stuff I Like (stuff.mwillis.com), a place to throw links, creative stuff and ephemera. Expect a mix of design, web, soccer, photography, art and mascot videos, roughly in that order.

Or, in brief:

32 Nations, Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic

Well, here we are. About three weeks and 32 teams later, together we’ve explored, debated and discussed the visual identities of all 32 Nations participating in the 2014 World Cup - and we’ve created a unique design for each one. I hope you’ve enjoyed it; I know I have. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we still have one group to go. Not to be overlooked all the way at the back of the draw, Group H is an interesting mix of countries.

Belgium is trending upward, and is a consensus dark-horse World Cup finalist. With a talented, young team, a seed, a not-so-intimidating group and potentially the easiest path the the finals, they are a team to keep an eye on. Algeria didn’t qualify easily, but they have experience and, thanks to Landon Donovan, motivation. Russia are looking ahead to 2018 when they will host, but they survived a bruising European qualifying campaign, and look like potential knockout-rounders. And Korea Republic always seem to come up big in big spots - powered by their incredible fans - and there’s no reason to think they won’t again.

Group H is an exciting, and fitting, way to conclude our series. Let’s go:

Belgium

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