Friday 8 October 2021

Wests Tigers have a new logo for 2022 and another missed opportunity

Published October 8, 2021 
On Wednesday October 6 2021, the Wests Tigers unveiled their new 2022 primary logo and heralded its arrival as the start of a 'New Era' for the NRL club.
To the club's credit they did own the announcement, as no media organisation got first rights to 'revealing it' but the end result is not exactly ground breaking in its design or, more importantly, its reflection of the joint venture's team histories.
Now, let's be very clear - they are the Wests Tigers. 
But this franchise/joint venture/merger/club is still very much part of the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies' heritage and when they went 'new age' in 2000 with the rebrand to the Wests Tigers (going to great lengths not to step on too many fans from the Magpie faction with the way the team is referred to as... memo to all - it's NEVER just the Tigers, always the Wests Tigers) they also moved away from arguably the greatest logo in Rugby League history in the detailed and striking Balmain Tiger on a black background.
Just look at this magnificent thing.
However, if it's a true joint venture then apparently you can't just sub in an existing logo - no matter how good it is - from one of the two sides involved in the merger... it just isn't done.
Except when exactly this was done 12 months earlier by St George and Illawarra.
So what's the alternative?
Well simply this logo mockup below, the logo that just made sense from day dot... 
If both factions within the Tigers had been able to see the sense in maintaining a brand that was engrained in pretty much all Rugby League fans... the end result should have been something like this.
You can modernise the Tiger's outline if you wish, but the Magpie perched either side of a black circle with a white outline and Wests replacing Balmain just works.
Or it doesn't... or slights the financially stronger Magpies or heralds the league's club less Tigers... or whatever.
Instead of staying with an emblem full of identity... the Tigers went for this.
Which is just a blatant copy of the Florida Panthers logo from the National Hockey League... but you know 'new look' and all... can't copy what's come before it. That would be disrespectful.
Then after 2004 and five seasons with one 'new' logo, the powers at be (ie. those at Wests who obviously didn't like that 'Wests' was smaller than 'Tigers') went for a ground-breaking change.. so wallah, another fresh new logo with equal sized font footing for the two names.
Yeah, it's a game-changer... and is it just us or does Wests stand out less than it did when it was smaller?
Anyhoo... fast forward 15 years and no second premiership from the core that won the club's first title in 2005 and the best team off the field in Rugby League (that's pretty much the club's current management's mantra these days) has decided a new era is needed and spent a lot of coin on this 'reiteration' and 'digital friendly' logo...
So now compare that with what could've been from the start and you wonder why Rugby League fans are scratching their heads at this declaration of another 'bold new era'... when the club really didn't need to go away from the good thing they were sitting on from the very start. 
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