02: 96 FOREVER.

I kind of expected there wouldn't be much time for everyone to read a long explanation for a proposed rebranding of the Columbus Crew today. You know, with it being Groundhog Day, and all. Oh, and the Super Bowl (which, if you didn't already know, was named "Super Bowl" by Lamar Hunt, the founder of the Columbus Crew) is happening. Almost forgot about that. So, I'll try to keep this relatively brief, today.

I had a blast reading and hearing everyone's response to yesterday's first installment of this series. Lots of positive response, and even a couple questions by prospective contributors to this project who were seeking clarification (thanks!). Remember, probably the most important part of this project is getting graphic designers, artists, and the public at large engaged with this topic and, hopefully, interested in joining us in the many creative opportunities that #TIFOSWEAT and the rest of the contributors to Crew supporters' culture will have this season. Be sure to read the article by Jesse Tigges in last week's Columbus Alive about this project, check out my introductory post from Friday if you haven't already, and submit your questions and proposals to us at massivecityffc@gmail.com.

Like yesterday, today's design is something I've been thinking about for a long time. Around 2009, there was some talk amongst the fan base that, perhaps, it was time to update the crest of the Columbus Crew. A long-time fan of the team went so far as to attempt to update the crest, and obviously put a great deal of time, work, and thought into his presentation. It was interesting to me how the subsequent discussion went. Many people were, well, outraged wouldn't be an overstatement.

It discouraged me that the response by the vocal majority of Crew fans to another fan's thoughtful and creative effort was to reflexively crush it. It was informative, however, about whether or not a rebrand—or even an update—of the Columbus Crew crest would be received with interest or repudiation. I thought at the time that a possible alternative would be to introduce a secondary mark to accompany the traditional crest. Something that wasn't entirely out of line with the established colors and styling, and would not encroach upon the original's dominance, but would lead to an eventual, and needed, change.

That was from where the seeds of this particular design came:

The idea was to combine elements inspired by German and Argentine style crests, in a way that was similar to the German (namely, the Nordecke) and Argentine (the great Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Gino Padula) elements that came together in the Crew's championship season of 2008. A secondary, or alternative mark could combine those references into something unique in MLS that Columbus deserved to own. I was taken with the idea of interlocking a 9 and a 6 into a symbol that was evocative of an infinity symbol—hence the title "96 Forever." The symbol could then be used in conjunction with the traditional crest—say, placed on the back below the neck on future uniforms, or even as a crest on a potential alternative 3rd kit—but not to replace the familiar 3 workmen.

(I used the same basic idea as a border around a poster that I did in late 2010. I've wanted to develop it into something else since then, but didn't have a clear idea for what until this project.)