Established in 1997, the National Rugby League (NRL) is the premier league of professional rugby football clubs in Australasia with sixteen teams competing across Australia and New Zealand through a 26-week season culminating in the Grand Final. This week, the NRL introduced a new logo for itself and a broad system that seeps down into all the different leagues, competitions, and initiatives. No design credit given.
From the shield and chevrons that are synonymous with league, to the Southern Cross and the green and gold, the new logo represents the past while celebrating the future.From grassroots Rugby League clubs all the way to the highest level, the new design will recognise all those who play the game and unite them under one banner.
— Press Release
The old logo would have been perfect for a club called the Rugby Bombers or something. That thing was mean and threatening. Not a bad pair of characteristics for the sport. It wasn’t a bad logo. Perhaps plenty of usage issues with the black on green color combo but nothing too offensive. The new logo feels much more sophisticated and upscale, like more of a European soccer club or league. It takes a couple of elements from the old logo — the chevrons, the yellow and green colors, and the odd “NR” ligature — and makes them work better together. If not completely better, at least in a more contemporary manner. The addition of the Southern Cross constellation ties the league with the flag of Australia, making it more nationalistic. The main logo doesn’t feature a rugby ball, but once you go down the logo ladder it starts appearing and it’s a somewhat decent execution of it although its curves clash oddly against the angled chevrons. Overall, it’s an effective and very corporate-like system, which gathering from what I’ve read online — management issues, money issues, trust issues — the NRL could use any bit of help it can get.