(Est. 1998; naming rights to Telstra, 2001) “The National Rugby League (NRL) is a league of professional men’s rugby league teams in Australia. Run by the Australian Rugby League Commission, the NRL’s main competition is known as the Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation and is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand. It is the most viewed and attended rugby league club competition in the world.” (Wikipedia)
WK Studio (Neutral Bay, Sydney, Australia)
"It was important that we keep the shield and the chevron, which have such historical significance for the code. But the aim was to modernise those very important symbols.
"The new design is more youthful and contemporary, to help the game connect to a younger fan base. But it also allows us to be integrated seamlessly with the 16 club brands, where the true point of connection lies for fans."
Images (opinion after)
The old logo, to put it mildly, was too much: gradients, chevrons, shadows, bevels, and a depiction of the championship’s Provan-Summons trophy. The new logo goes to the opposite end of the spectrum with a minimalist approach that drops all the stuff and retains only the most recognizable elements of the chevrons and the shield along with the obligatory Telstra logo. It’s a good update relative to what they had but, in a way, the logo looks like it could be for any team for any sport, championship or not. It’s definitely fine and that’s what the wordmark is there for but it’s almost as if they stripped away everything. The applications try to add some visual interest with the use of a bright fluorescent green only reproducible on screen. The logo can open up to the sides to accommodate and house different things, from photos to text to other logos but it makes the logo look kind of dopey. The one interesting aspect about this may be the typography that has funky joints when the horizontal strokes meet vertical ones but that little detail gets lost in the applications. Overall, it’s an improvement in terms of economy of graphics for the logo but overall it feels flat and interchangeable with any sport or athletic apparel company.
Thanks to Kieran Bramich for the tip.