Washington Football

Quick Links

A branding expert lays out how Washington's football team can nail its next logo

A branding expert lays out how Washington's football team can nail its next logo

Somewhat lost in all the drama regarding Washington's name — is it going to be Warriors? Does Red Wolves really have a chance? Or is there a surprise coming? — is the fact that the franchise will be rolling out a new logo as well.

Landing on a name that fans can get behind is clearly crucial, but nailing the logo is also paramount. While the former will go on scoreboards and league standings, the latter will be stitched and plastered onto every piece of clothing and advertisement when the organization ultimately begins its next era.

So, to provide insight on what the team is thinking about when it comes to the design approach and how they can overall deliver in this area, NBC Sports Washington reached out to branding expert Jeff Abelson. Abelson most notably created Colin Kaepernick's personal "CK7" logo, has collaborated with other players like quarterback Nate Sudfeld and possesses plenty of knowledge on all aspects of the field.

Here are some of the things Abelson believes are especially key for a project like this. 

"Simplexity"

That's a word Abelson likes to use, and he defines it as "something that's very complex in how it's built but it appears very simple at the end of the day."

"I think that's what makes a very good logo," he said.

Abelson, like you and almost everyone else, is taken aback by the schedule that the team is working on, noting that a process like this is typically "meticulous." But as long as they aim for a look that's "simplex," they can still pull it off.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST

Versatility

Ron Rivera loves versatile players. Abelson can relate: He loves himself some versatile logos. 

"It needs to work on different-colored backgrounds, it needs to work on vertical and horiztonal formats, it needs to work really big on a billboard and small on the corner of a ticket," he said. 

Even though Washington's timeframe is tight, Abelson explained how they need to be mocking up potential choices on jerseys and on helmets, in addition to the items above.

This is something that's going to show up everywhere after all, so those leading the way must ensure their final version works in every imaginable format.

A tie-in to the area

During the interview, Abelson was presented with the following post featuring fan-generated Red Wolves logos that have circulated on social media lately and asked for his take on them:

One stood out above the rest.

"My immediate attention is drawn to the upper left section."

The reason he preferred No. 1 is because of the inclusion of the Capitol as well as the three stars, which is a nod to D.C.'s flag. To him, some sort of "connection" to the team's home is vital — and it becomes even more desirable if the eventual name doesn't check off that box on its own.

Energy

That may sound like a vague buzzword, but to Abelson, it's far more than that. In fact, it may be the most important factor of all.

Two recent rebrands that he was particularly fond of, and exemplified this concept, belonged to the Seahawks and Oregon. Those two were once "stale," but Nike took over and turned them into something "flashy."

And that, at least in Abelson's mind, can have a legit impact on performance.

"Since then, look at results on the field," he said. "Now they're perennial championship contenders every year and I don't think that's a coincidence. Players want to wear those uniforms and play for that team. Fans are proud of those logos... That's a winning combination."

MORE TEAM NEWS

Quick Links

Jets DC Gregg Williams says Jamal Adams will "get bored" after trade to Seahawks

Jets DC Gregg Williams says Jamal Adams will "get bored" after trade to Seahawks

Once the Jets agreed to send Jamal Adams to the Seahawks in exchange for three draft picks, it ended a long saga between the disgruntled superstar and the franchise. Or so we thought. 

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, former Washington and current Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams expressed his concern with Adams' new team, saying he'll be "bored there." 

"Jamal may get bored there because they don't use safety-type things and all the different complexities of maybe not showing what they're doing as much as we do," Williams said. "We'll still do the same patterns of things, we'll still do a lot of the same exact things, but we'll highlight the people we have here."

The Seahawks have a reputation for their zone defense, which reached its peak with the "Legion of Boom" with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Adams figures to add to that legacy of success in the secondary and help put a contending Seattle team over the top in the NFC. 

RELATED: ADAMS DIDN'T WANT A TRADE TO WASHINGTON

Still, Williams' overall point was that their defensive scheme doesn't tend to highlight the skills of its players as much as his does in New York. 

"You saw what we did [in 2019] was, [Adams] had maybe his most productive year here because we highlighted the skill sets that he's had," he said. "I've had a lot of really good guys at that position, a lot of really good safeties to build things around."

It's hard to argue with that. I mean, Adams became an All-Pro last year at the age of 24 and solidified himself as one of the best defensive players in the game.

But you also can't argue with the track record Seattle's system has had over the years. No matter what players have played on that defense, they're routinely solid and difficult to move the ball on. If the Seahawks don't bring Adams to a new level, there's a good chance he'll be able to do it for them. 

Great players typically elevate good systems. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS:

Quick Links

Montez Sweat expects to have his hand in the dirt more for Washington in 2020

Montez Sweat expects to have his hand in the dirt more for Washington in 2020

During his Thursday Zoom press conference with the media, Montez Sweat gave a 16-word answer that will have Washington Football Team fans around the nation and the world rejoicing, celebrating and maybe even tearing up.

The response came to a question about how Sweat's role will change in 2020 under a new staff that includes Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, and while it was short and simple, it was also glorious. 

"We're going to have my hand in the dirt more so than I was last year," Sweat said.

That's right, everybody. It sounds like the plan is for Sweat to rush the passer as much as possible this year, instead of sometimes rush the passer and sometimes drop into coverage like he was asked to do as a rookie.

Isn't that a novel idea?

Between that attack-first approach Rivera and Del Rio are "preaching" and the switch to a 4-3 scheme, which Sweat starred in at Mississippi State, the 2019 first-round pick is feeling confident about his immediate future.

Those factors aren't what makes him most optimistic, though. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TALK PODCAST

In reflecting on his debut campaign, Sweat described how much more comfortable he got as the schedule progressed. The numbers back that up, too — 5.5 of his 7 sacks came in Washington's final eight contests.

That increase in production came as he began figuring out how to study for his opponents and how to better take on the lineman across from him. Those are things he's prepared to carry over into 2020, too.

"I feel like I developed more of a rush plan going into the games," he said. "Winning with speed and stuff like that isn't going to work most of the time. You have to get moves, you have to refine your technique."

Add all of that up, and Sweat is fully ready to do more for the defense after what he's personally labeled a slightly disappointing rookie season.

"I definitely didn't live up to my expectations and my standards," he said. "It was a learning year for me. I learned a lot, and I just want to show what I learned coming up this next year."

Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM NEWS: