Just as I started writing my series of posts on Premier League crest designs, Juventus decided to bring a boatload of attention to that subject by launching a new logo that is radically different from any of their past designs. Juve is not in the Premier League, by virtue of that whole “located in Italy not England” technicality, but I had to write about it anyways.
I should note Juventus did not show how their new logo will actually look on their kits, though they did give a preview of it in this rather limited photo:
One can see that the logo will be rendered in black on one of the white stripes of Juve’s kits, as opposed to being white on black, as it appeared in the logo reveal. Both black and white versions of the design appear on Juventus’s website and Twitter page. Graphic designer Franco Carabajal has provided a mock-up of what the kit may look like:
All that being said: what do I think of this new design? Well, I don’t like it. Juventus’ current crest, which was introduced in 2004, is certainly not a good one. It looks outdated both on kits and when displayed alone. The text is intentionally warped in such a way to give the impression that the oval shield is bulging outwards, and I am not a fan of the resulting convex look – it makes it seem like the shield is some sort of weird button coming out of a shirt or whatever else it is placed on. Juventus logos have long used a combination of black, white, and yellow, but the fact that the only yellow left on the 2004 crest is the line underneath JUVENTUS makes that colour seem completely out-of-place and unnecessary.
The new one discards the use of yellow (save for on the stars displayed above the crest on their kit – each star represents 10 Serie A victories). It also gets rid of the bull (included in previous crests to reflect Juventus’s home city, Turin) the stripes, and the oval shield that contained them all. It replaces them with JUVENTUS and a large J that creates the shape of a more conventional heater shield. As a side note, many people have noticed that the J somewhat resembles the katakana character フ – “fu”.
I do think that the decision to get rid of any yellow in the crest itself is a good one. Black and white are the colours most associated with Juve, after all. The new typeface created for the logo isn’t bad either. However, that’s about all that I like when it comes to this redesign. The oval shield of most Juventus crests is a classic feature, and sets them apart from the heater shield crests that are far more common outside of Italy. The partially-outlined “J” would be a fine logo for a great many products, but nothing about it says “football club” to me.
Of course, it is possible to make a good football crest based on a single letter – just look at the crest of a different Juventus, Clube Atlético Juventus from São Paulo, Brazil. That crest is simple and elegant. The new Juventus one isn’t. My first thought when looking at it was that it was attempting to depict two J’s – JJ – which makes little sense given that there is no second J in Juventus. I get that the J is designed to also serve as a replacement for the stripes of the old crests, but the gimmick just doesn’t look that appealing. São Paulo Juve’s crest is timeless; the new Turin Juve crest is faddish.
Juventus has actually produced plenty of perfectly good crests in the past, as seen in a video that they tweeted as a part of the launch of the new logo. There have certainly been multiple designs that are superior to both the 2004 logo and the new 2017 one. I’m quite partial to the all-black 1940 crest, though the 1971 one that features blue as well is rather nice. The 1990 crest – which lasted all the way until 1941 – isn’t bad either apart from the poor typesetting.¹
Juventus fans on Reddit and Twitter seem to be mostly upset at this dramatic departure from tradition. Now, some sort of fan backlash can always be expected whenever an old club changes their crest – just ask Atlético Madrid – but in this case I agree with the fans. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2017 crest falls out of use in a few years and ends up being replaced by a more traditional design. Juventus has been through this before: in 1979 they introduced a rather Ferrari-esque zebra badge. That crest lasted a decade, being replaced in 1990. I’d wager that the new one won’t last nearly as long.
1 – images taken from The Juventus Logo – History and Evolution by Museo del Marchio Italiano.