‘Strength through Loyalty’ – it’s not often a small sentence can say so much. For a club that has only ever won one premiership, it’s a surprise they’ve survived. The strength of club loyalty really doesn’t have any equal to the Saints, who since winning the competition in 1966 have had only 2 Brownlow medallists, have managed to be minor premiers only twice. They’ve also only managed to make 16 finals series out of a possible 47 and hold the proud record of the most wooden spoons in the competition. Like the Fremantle Dockers or the Western Bulldogs, the Saints are generally seen as underdogs. More recently the club has recovered from financial pressures to become a regular feature in finals series before falling towards the bottom of the ladder in the past two seasons.
With the way many teams have operated in the past with regard to rebranding, you would almost assume that St Kilda would have changed the logo to distance themselves from the past. It’s not much of a past to be proud of, but like most St Kilda supporters I’m glad that rather than forgetting the past, there’s an element of learning from it.
The Saints first official logo was their first AFL logo with the stick figure, however it was always the crest that most accurately depicted the St Kilda brand. It’s with this in mind that the club reverted to the crest in 1995 as the official logo. It has been used on all guernseys from the 1930s and is the logo that practically all supporters would say is the most important emblem of the club.
Technically the logo doesn’t work well at small sizes which many designers would call a failure. However a wider perspective or definition of branding would tell you that such minor details don’t matter. The club’s colours, location and mascot matter. The club’s story and history matter. Whether the logo works at small sizes is a much less important issue and should be treated as such.
A crest with tradition will demand more loyalty than a fancy logo with gradients, shadows and a jargon-filled branding campaign. St Kilda have been loyal to their history, it’s through shared history that we all develop loyalty. Strength through Loyalty. Fortius Quo Fidelius.
Disclaimer: I am a St Kilda Supporter