New York MetroStars

I didn’t know it at the time, but my first experience with design was when I was about 12 years old. I fell in love with the turquoise and purple of the Charlotte Hornets.

I would sit for hours and trace the logos of sporting institutions. I often walked a mile or so to the nearest supermarket to dump whatever quarters I had into a vending machine to collect (hoard, really) the little splashes of color and design that were those tiny plastic NFL team helmets. As a kid, I saved up and bought a Mark Brunell jersey (I really loved teal), found a Milwaukee Bucks shirt at a thrift shop and got a Notre Dame starter jacket on sale. In high school, I began obsessing over European football design, starting with an FC Barcelona bag that I picked up on discount from the shoe store where I was working.

It took until my second year of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing that it clicked: this weird fascination that I had with color—the obsession that made me feel like an outlier walking around the suburbs of Madison while covered in teal—this was a design obsession.

Many (many) years later, I’m an adult with an understanding of my intersecting interests in athletics and design, and I’ve spent two years in Kings County, Brooklyn. So, when NYCFC was announced, I thought it would be fun to rebrand the original New York / New Jersey MLS franchise. Whichever side you support in the #NewYorkSoccerWarz, the MetroStars existed—and American giants like Alexi Lalas, Tim Howard, Eddie Gaven, Bob Bradley and Tony Meola walked through the tunnels of the Meadowlands representing the club.

The full badge has six stars—for the five boroughs of New York plus New Jersey. The alternative logo only has two stars, one each for New York and New Jersey.

Approach

I used the stripes from the original kit, but I also wanted to upgrade the brand from the original MLS 1.0.

To give a nod to Massimo Vignelli’s classic subway branding system that still defines the city, I used a Helvetica-adjacent sans serif font and then deviated from that a bit by using a heavier weight.

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