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Logo Review: Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants

July 7, 2013
Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants Logos

Today’s review combines the two newest AFL teams – the Gold Coast Suns and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Due to the lack of history I didn’t think it necessary to create separate posts for the two teams, rather I’ll review the logos on their own merit after a brief comparison to begin.

Opposite ends of the spectrum

It’s hard to imagine that two teams created within such a short amount of time could look so different. Where other teams have historical logos that can trace historical logo trends, these two logos show how branding should transcend visual trends, and how in the current day and age they do. The other way these two logos contrast is in the quality of the design work.

The Suns

Lets start with the bad. The GC Suns logo has as many frilly effects as substance. There’s no doubting that this is a sunny logo, with bright colour, gradients, strokes aplenty and glow effects all pointing towards the fact that this is the Gold Coast SUNS.

My two biggest gripes with the logo are the GC letters in the football which look incredibly amateur (and what’s the blue shadow behind the football??), and the completely awkward serifs on the U and N, which have been executed so badly that I cannot say anything good about them.

The only positives I have about the logo are that it is unique and the opposite of bland.

Unfortunately I was unable to find any press releases about the logo, or
even to see a credit to who designed the thing! My guess is AFL Media,
but if anybody knows who it is, I’d appreciate knowing about it.

The Giants

On the other end of the branding spectrum is the GWS Giants logo, created by Principals. The strategy here is to get the community and the team to think big, to be ambitious. In this instance, the execution is what makes this logo stand worlds apart from the Suns logo. Where the Suns rely on effects, this logo communicates the strategy effectively by having a large G as the brandmark across the uniform, and by using a bright orange to stand out from the pack. It is an audacious logo, but at the same time it feels a little too corporate and not enough like a football club. It also feels like a designer’s club logo, one which is a little self-indulgent and not one that will relate well to younger fans – especially with the added competition of A-League football in the area.

The club may struggle to connect with the area around it if the cold yet vibrant, ultra modern logo isn’t teamed up with an incredible level of growth on the field. My worry for the GWS is that now with the Western Sydney Wanderers having such an amazing growth in such a short period of time, they will remain a distant second in popularity in an area that seems much less interested in Aussie Rules, and much more interested in the world game.

To sum up the Giants logo: it sells the corporate strategy, but does little to sell the essence, the vibe and the truth of Australian Rules football. The AFL has an amazing product and they’ll have to do a very good job in selling it to the target audience.

To sum up the Gold Coast logo: it will probably connect with its audience a little better but from an aesthetic point of view it doesn’t win any awards, and I hope in the coming few years as the club discovers its brand that it can communicate itself a little more professionally.