Earlier this week, club officials unveiled a new FC Cincinnati logo, marking a major change to the organization’s branding at it prepares for MLS.
After competing for the past three seasons in Division II USL, FC Cincinnati will begin MLS play as an expansion franchise in 2019. The club is in the process of laying the groundwork for its first MLS season and, as part of that process, is shaking up its visual identity.
The organization’s color scheme remains orange and blue, but it will utilize a brighter and bold look going forward. In addition, the wordmark has been updated and a new crest has been unveiled. The crest is meant to be reflective of Cincinnati, as was explained in the club’s press release:
The new FC Cincinnati crest was developed as a representative of the city. Inspired by Cincinnati – itself a city on the rise – the crest highlights the region’s German heritage in a modern manner.
The winged lion has been carried over and has taken a more prominent place on the shield. It is bolder, stronger and ready for battle. It represents the club’s winning spirit, while its crown pays homage to the Queen City.
The seven points on the lion’s mane represent the seven hills of Cincinnati, while the wings’ three feathers highlight the club’s three-year journey to MLS. Curved into a “C”, the lion’s tail is another nod to Cincinnati.
Featuring the club’s two new primary colors, the crest also introduces the accent dark blue and it helps provide emphasis against the white background to further emphasize the word “Cincinnati.”
The team’s new wordmark is a familiar update on the team’s original mark. Still an orange and blue combination on FC Cincinnati, the crown remains firmly affixed atop the “C” in Cincinnati – again, a nod to the Queen City. Written straight out with no breaks or punctuation between letters, the FC moves straight into Cincinnati to show the club’s direct connection to the city.
The club’s new secondary mark is the stylized FCC from the full wordmark, while stand-alone tertiary elements will eventually include the full lion from the crest, the lion’s head and mane, and the crown. Those elements will be introduced more prominently in future years as the brand gains traction in the marketplace.
The new branding was done by Interbrand.
“We’re thrilled to introduce our MLS brand. FCC has forged a strong connection with our city over the past three years,” Carl H. Lindner III, FC Cincinnati Managing Owner and CEO said in a press statement. “As we move into the future as an MLS club, our new look maintains that strong connection and reflects our passion and ambition for world-class soccer in Cincinnati.”
“Developing our MLS identity has been an intensive, yet gratifying process, that has been so well-worth the end result we’re presenting today,” Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati President and General Manager, said in a press statement. “We’re incredibly proud of the development process and what we present today as our final product. We firmly believe these new marks and brand system are a perfect representation of our club as we enter Major League Soccer. We introduced local, organic elements to refresh our look, yet kept specific iconography from our early years to retain familiarity. We cannot wait to take the field in 2019 bearing the FC Cincinnati – Football Club Cincinnati – crest on our chests.”
FC Cincinnati will begin MLS play at the facility that has served as its USL home, the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The club is expected to open a new soccer-specific stadium on the city’s West End in 2021.
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