Queens Park Rangers or QPR as they are commonly known are a West London based football club who play their home games at Loftus Road. As the stadium is approximately 800 metres down the road from me I can’t really ignore this one. QPR were founding members of the Premier League, but following relegation fell as far as the third tier before heading back up the leagues. This season and next they will be plying their trade in the Championship, having been unable to cement a permanent position in the Premier League in their two most recent visits.
The previous badge was awful, containing all the effects! There are bevels, embossings, gradients and shadows. The lack of restraint was also shown to the symbol selection. It contains a shield, football, crown, a scroll only a postcode away from a full postal address and plumes of feathers containing so many intricacies and gradients that the badge embroider didn’t stand a chance. There was a least a monochrome version of the logo that attempted to simplify some of the more complex aspects of the design. Even so, there had been comparisons to made with it and a diagram or a womb. Not the kind of thing you want on your chest and strangely hard to unsee once mentioned.
Moving away from the old badge was a bit of a no brainer and what QPR did next was also a bit of a no brainer too. They let fans know for the outset they were planning a redesign and got their input from the very beginning. After consultations with a fan group in which they discussed the symbols, shape and style it was agreed the new club badge should be a round one and contain the classic QPR monogram that had been present on former badge designs. The task of creating the new designs was then handed over to hoops fans and designers Daniel Norris and Daniel Bowyer who provided four choices. Two of the options took their monogram influence from older badges and two were more modern interpretations. Supporters voted overwhelmingly (68.37%) for option two, the version based on the 1982 monogram. The winning option was then sent back for further refinement.
After a few months perfecting it, the new badge has been officially unveiled. It has done away with all of the superfluous iconography and gone back to basics. There’s the monogram, club name and date establishment. Simple! The letters of the clubs acronym lend themselves well to being arranged in an interlocking monogram. This has been done very nicely by the designers and is even an improvement on the 1980s version it took influence from. With the Q and the R linking through the counter of the P and the tails of both pointing at the same spot in a pleasing way. The stem of the P and R finish in slightly awkward places but considering the spacing constraints this can be forgiven.
The club’s name and year of founding sit nicely around the edge of the badge. It would have been brilliant if the typographic gods had aligned to allow the word Park to sit perfectly centred-top. Where it is feels slightly off to the left and the tracking seems to be slightly tighter than the rest of the text. Setting type along a curve is always more challenging, but with a little gentle persuasion it might have been possible to get it exactly on top while maintaining the balance on either side. This is a small point and I would wager the designers were focusing on making sure the text wrapped exactly half way around the the badge.
When mocked-up on shirts I worry that the delicate nature of the new design may lead to it getting lost on (by the nature of playing in hoops) a naturally busy shirt. Please note: the above image is the original option two before refinements. On the other hand, having one of the most recognisable kit designs in English football, it is possible the badge doesn’t need to stand-out as much as other clubs might. I do hope there is isolated or small version in the pipeline as the current one does not scale down well.
The video shows a couple of different applications including a real tattoo (Aston Villa’s array of mock-ups is nowhere close to touching that level of commitment). The whole redesign has been handled very well, with the club involving the fans from the very beginning. Admittedly it is always going to be easier when replacing what is neither a design classic, or a fond favourite with supporters. By listening and involving fans they have kept them very much on side and in return had valuable input on the new look. The result, rather predictably, is a badge that harks back to the good old days, but one that has been crafted very nicely.