As old stadiums around the world fall apart and new, shiny complexes with plenty of box suites and corporate naming rights rise, it’s the building as much as the memories within it that are demolished. And perhaps there isn’t an international venue as well known and famed as London’s Wembley Stadium, built in 1923 and host to world cup wins by the England national football team, the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, the Live Aid concert, and, um, WWF’s SummerSlam. All these happened before 2003, when Wembley was demolished giving way to a new version of Wembley that opened in 2007 with a design by Foster + Partners and Populous. Back in June Wembley introduced a new identity that spearheads their “four-year sponsorship programme,” an effort to look for a lead partner to pony up some money. The new identity has been designed by London-based Bulletproof.
With increasing opportunities in digital and social media, the new identity has been designed for optimum use across these platforms. It also more accurately reflects the iconic status of the stadium. […] A strapline — inspiring • memories — has been introduced to further propel Wembley towards its vision of being the pre-eminent sports and entertainment venue in the UK. Each word has its own weight and together reflects the stadium’s inspirational power over those lucky enough to play or spectate there. […] “We are moving into a new stage in our lifecycle and the new identity is more reflective of the dynamic and multi-purpose nature of the stadium” says Wembley Managing Director Roger Maslin.
— Press Release
The new logo highlights, literally and metaphorically, the signature arch of the new stadium that spans more than 1,000 feet and serves as support for the retractable roof. Illuminated at night, the arch is hard to miss. From within the stadium, the logo emanates rays of memories and happiness. I don’t particularly like the logo, as it’s not my cup of tea, but it is appropriate for an entertainment venue that seeks to convey the drama and excitement that happens within it. The typograaphy is fine, in that rounded sans serif British way. Where things really get ugly and where I am much less forgiving is in the sub-brands below. It looks like five different designers were given the icon, the font, and told to put something together. There is no consistency or apparent reasoning behind them. These are far from inspiring • memories.