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.
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.
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.
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."
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