Now, I don’t normally write here about stuff that I’m genuinely into but this time I’m going to make an exception. This isn’t the Author speaking, it’s just me, the author.
So, deep breath and off we go.
Everton’s crest for the last 13 years vs. the newly unveiled abomination
First of all, what is a crest or a badge? Well, it’s easy, the badge represents what we are, like a uniform: you wear it, so that your comrades know you’re on their side, right? No not right, because if the purpose of the badge was simply to identify each other as Evertonians, we could’ve just written “Everton” on our shirts, or we could’ve gone with a simple drawing of St Rupert’s Tower. It doesn’t have to look good, it just needs to be unique. You could also easily argue that, considering what we put up with every day, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum would be highly ironic a message to choose.
But what the badge actually represents is how we want others, outsiders, non-Evertonians to see us. And once you realise that, you’ll also realise that there’s almost never a good reason to radically change your crest, special circumstances aside, like if your current badge is embarrassingly hideous (as this new one is) or if you win a tenth champion’s medal and you want to incorporate a star into it (an unlikely scenario for us).
Obviously you do tinker with it slightly, as clubs often do and there’s nothing wrong with that. What’s suddenly changed though that prompts us to project a different image? (And let’s ignore the fact that the image we’re projecting with this crest is that of a newly formed Albanian non-league club.)
Of course people at Everton must know this too, after all, it’s not rocket science and they can’t have all gone mad simultaneously. And indeed if we look at the press release, there’s the answer to the why.
“As well as the Everton fan-base, key commercial partners such as Kitbag and Nike were also consulted and their input and ideas were fed into the design process. Of course, Nike’s brand pedigree is unrivalled and their contribution was invaluable. “
So there you have it, not much reading between the lines is required to realise that our new crest was designed and forced onto us by Nike, presumably to drive down production costs.
This is again understandable from their point of view and it would even be acceptable but this is where someone at Everton should’ve stepped up and said: “Hang on, this is our identity, our public image we’re playing around with and we can’t let that happen. We also realise that we lack the finances to tell Nike what to put on our shirts and we must accept your changes. We’re trapped and we must find a way out.”
And it wouldn’t have taken much thinking to find that way, even though it seems to be alien to the Everton hierarchy: the way of a sensible compromise and truth-telling. This is what my press release would’ve looked like:
My fellow Evertonians!
As you probably already know from the leaked photos, we’re planning to put a new crest on our shirts from next season. The purpose of this is to make embroidering it easier, cheaper and the result more uniform.
It wasn’t a decision we took lightly but our commercial partners convinced us that this is the best way forward.
Needless to say that this change doesn’t affect the official crest, which remains the same as it has been for over a decade, and will continue to be used on our website, letterheads and any other non-merchandise material.
Thank you for your understanding.
There, it wasn’t that painful, or was it? After all, it’s not even the new design itself that is so irritating, it’s the happy-clappy campaign that has gone with it and the insinuation that it’s for our own good.