Even as a recent St Kilda supporter, I do feel for Fremantle supporters. In the 17 seasons since their birth, their highest end-of-season ladder position is 3rd, they’ve only reached 4 finals series, their longest losing streak doubles that of their longest winning streak, and only once have they reached a preliminary final. No matter which way you cut it they are some very uninspiring results, so it probably wasn’t surprising that so early on into the Dockers history they decided to rebrand.
The previous logo and brand was very unique, but the colour combination was never attractive. The logo fell on the side of traditional but not functional, though not to the extent of the Collingwood mark.
Thankfully with the rebrand being more recent, there’s more information about the process out there and the press release from FremantleFC.com.au gives us fantastic insight into the process. More than 2900 members took part in a brand audit survey which informed the studio (Block – a Perth based studio) and the club in their decision making.
From looking at the two logos side by side you’d be hard pressed to say the old mark was better. Where the previous logo was traditional but not functional, the new one is both traditional (a la Carlton), functional (incredibly easy to notice at any size), but it’s also very modern. This feels like a grown up rebrand that appeals to adults while not alienating the kids. The ‘Dockers’ text has some interesting Museo-like serifs (see ‘K’ and ‘R’ but overall it works well.
My only complaints about the rebrand regard the uniform application and the top part of the crest. Using the D-Anchor icon front and centre may have come across as derivative of Carlton, but surely that would have meant more than the seemingly meaningless chevrons which draw similarities to Melbourne Victory. Either that or a nod to the past could have been achieved by using the anchor shape from the previous uniform. For my other minor complaint: the Est.1994 curved crest top which tries to add a bit more heritage to the brand up just ends up looking a bit awkward.
While Freo’s on-field results have never really been that exciting, this is a rebrand that is both radical and successful and with a doubling of merchandise sales you’d have to say the majority of Dockers fans agree.