Matthew Henderson Design


Rebranding the CFL

You may have caught it this week. The new rebranding of the CFL was greeted with audible moans and groans, as the previously acceptable branding of the Canadian Football League was replaced with an abysmal rendering of a logo. The new branding is ten steps back from the predecessor, and looks cheap, lazy and uninspired. A silver football-like symbol is the backdrop for not much more. Described by Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge, it has the maple leaf to promote how it's truly Canadian (sorry Baltimore Stallions) and a three laced symbol at the top, for the three-down game. Other than that, there's nothing. It's accompanied by the new slogan "What We're Made Of", which is fine but doesn't truly represent the Canadian game. But that's far from the biggest problem of this brand. The problem is, they are trying to be more "Now" as opposed to "Historic" as described by the Commissioner, but it just comes across as placeholder and low-budget.

With that in mind, I embarked on my latest of rebrand projects, trying to modernize the old CFL brand, without completely screwing it up. Firstly, don't take the red out of the CFL. If you want to make your brand signify Canada, make the base colour the one that symbolizes the true north strong and free. The key is to not go too overboard, however. Trying to incorporate the red and the maple leaf into the logo, without killing people with the over-patriotism of maple syrup and free health care.

I decided to focus on turning the football into a partial maple leaf, using the leaf as a trail for the ball. Using a bold typeface, the logo isn't too far of a stray from the previous logo, but modernizes it and the football symbol creates something that could be seen on t-shirts or hats, to name a few items. (photos below)