There are few stadiums in the world that have been as well branded—or as often branded—as ‘venue of legends’ Wembley Stadium in London. The stadium has been home to World Cup matches, the Olympics, and several iconic concerts. It has also had several different logo designs, beginning in the 1970’s. With a recognizable building design and a long history, Wembley Stadium may be the best known sporting venue on the globe.
However, the design—both that of the logo and that of the building itself—was simply not living up to the reputation. Because of this, in the mid-2000’s the stadium was redesigned and partially rebuilt. The result was completely new facilities, including a 1000 foot glowing arch that supports an ultra-modern retractable roof. This arch can be seen from just about anywhere in the vicinity of the stadium and thus is now the most recognizable aspect of the brand.
This arch was well portrayed in the old logo design, which has been in use for just a few short years, but it was a little flat. We’re all for simple logo design, but this one was simple enough to make most people yawn a little. Not only was the image a little flat, the simple blue and gray palette was as business-like as could be and the font did little to raise the blood pressure. While this would have made a great logo for another sporting venue (that is, one with a similar arch), it did not portray the excitement or rich history associated with Wembley Stadium.
The new logo design is not very different, but it is far more interesting and more reflective of Wembley’s long sense of history. The building is portrayed in a three dimensional representation of the building that glows from within to suggest the star quality and high interest of the events that occur there. A glowing horizon in the background may be a needless complication, but it adds to the generally three dimensional, photographic feeling of the image.
Underneath, large lettering is used, with rounded edges that tie into the curved shapes seen in the image. The new strapline, ‘inspiring memories’, is meant to tie into Wembley’s place in the London sports scene. So many people have fond memories of the venue that this saying may indeed deserve a place under the logo design. However, one has to wonder whether this should really replace the ‘venue of legends’ strapline that so many people are familiar with.
Wembley has good reason to improve their logo design right now. Like many stadiums, they are looking for a ‘partner’—a corporation to sponsor them and foot part of their bill for four years in exchange for naming and branding favors. This certainly would improve the company’s bottom line, but Wembley must first make sure that their own brand is a worthy partner. This logo redesign is certainly a step in that direction.