The Montreal Impact first played soccer in 1993 in the American Professional Soccer League. Despite finishing last in their inaugural season, they went on to win the championship the following one. They have been a staple of Canadian soccer ever since, most recently playing the in the North American Soccer League, and next year they will bump up to the big league as the latest expansion team of Major League Soccer. This, of course, warrants a new logo, designed by Montreal-based Pigeon*, who also designed the previous logo.
“Today, we are writing a new page in our history,” said Montreal Impact team president Joey Saputo. “This logo is more than just a logo, it’s a symbol of our engagement towards every soccer fan in Quebec. This new logo is primarily our supporters’ logo. I truly believe that Montreal can become the biggest soccer market in North America.”
— Press Release
“The new Impact identity conveys the club’s evolution towards another major level of soccer,” explained Olivier Chevillot, creative director for Pigeon* branding + design. “The new logo is more sophisticated, modeled around renowned international clubs. We are proud of our participation in the development of this major league symbol.”
— Press Release
The previous logo was a clunker, especially that flaming-entering-into-Earth’s-orbit soccer ball. I know some readers are getting really upset about me bashing sports logos constantly but this is a solid example of what’s wrong with sports identities. Nonetheless we are focusing on the new logo which represents the Soccer Nouveau Crest style, a much more pleasant category of logos that aims to rejuvenate and modernize the classic (read “flat”) crests of the mythic European teams. This one succeeds quite well in that regard. There is good tension between all the elements: the cropped Fleur de lys, the stars hugging it, the subtle black and blue stripes, and even the black ribbon (or “scarf” as they are calling it) works well with the shield shape. The typography on the team’s name is simple yet also manages to meet its pointy-end quota. Not sure about Bank Gothic on the team’s motto, but I do think it’s one of the typefaces that takes best to a curve. Even the use of gradients is restrained. Overall, the logo is pretty solid.