Chicago Fire FC has announced that the Club is set to develop an all-new visual identity, including a new primary crest. And we’re inviting our fans and supporters to participate in the process.
In 2022, as we celebrate our 25th season in Major League Soccer, our Club will take the field in kits bearing a new crest – one that reflects the spirit of both Chicago Fire FC and the city we call home. It will be one that we’ll create together.
To kick off the project, we invite Fire fans everywhere to fill out the below form. We want to hear from you, in your own words, what Chicago and the Club mean to you - and what you'd like to see in our new crest. Every word will be read, and our creative team will use these inputs to identify recurring ideas and themes to inform the design.
The Club will soon launch more ways to get involved – including a series of roundtables, interviews and surveys for fans and the city at large that will inform the work of the design team. Fire Season Ticket Holders and Supporters will receive the first invitations.
Sign up below to receive updates from the Club, including the latest news on the crest project as well as opportunities to share your opinions and feedback throughout the design process.
Q: Why design a new crest now?
A: Our owner and chairman, Joe Mansueto, told fans that if the current badge wasn’t working for them, that we’d fix it. We felt it was important to evaluate the current identity and fan response over the course of an entire season, and your feedback has been consistent. We’ve been listening and are now making this change so that you can help us write our next chapter, from the beginning, to mark our 25th season in MLS together in 2022.
Q: Will any part of the Club’s current identity remain?
A: We will continue to be the Chicago Fire Football Club. The current Fire Crown badge will be worn for the entirety of the 2021 season on-field as this project is underway – but it will be replaced completely when the new identity is revealed later this year.
Q: Is a return to the original Chicago Fire badge an option?
A: While we know there are many who love the Club’s original Florian Cross badge, this project is about coming together to create a new identity for the future of this Club – and the outcome will not be an outright return to the original identity. Everything from our Club’s history is on the table as a point of inspiration. We welcome ideas and feedback on how elements from the Club’s history and the original Florian Cross badge could be incorporated within the new identity.
Q: Why not just use a version of the lantern you created for the patch series last year?
A: We, too, love the 1871 Lantern design that was a part of our 'Stand For Chicago' patch series and is now available on a long-sleeve shirt. While feedback has been positive on that design, we felt fully engaging fans from the start of the process was appropriate.
Q: What about the Club’s colors?
A: The Club’s official colors – both for the identity and the team’s kits – are up for consideration, including a return to red. We encourage you to submit your feedback on color preferences via our online portal and in upcoming roundtables and surveys.
Q: How can we as fans trust that our voices will be heard?
A: Our commitment is that any Chicagoan who wants to share their opinion, will have the opportunity to do so - and a member of our project team will read every word submitted over the course of the project. Along with the dedicated portal for feedback included here, there will be additional opportunities to participate in the weeks and months to come.
Q: How can I get involved?
A: Right now, you can immediately share your views on what the Club means to you, what Chicago means to you and what you want to see in the new identity via our online portal. Your one-stop shop throughout the process is chicagofirefc.com/crest.
Q: I’d like to get even more involved by joining a roundtable discussion – when can I sign up?
A: Season Ticket Holders and registered supporters will have the first opportunity to express interest in participating in a roundtable discussion in the coming weeks. We’ll provide similar opportunities for additional fans at a later date. We recommend signing up for our new crest email list to stay on top of all future opportunities. We also plan to make the crest project a standing agenda item for monthly Supporters Council meetings where we’ll share progress reports and ask for feedback.
Q: I’ve designed a Chicago Fire identity of my own, can I share it with you?
A: Absolutely! We don’t anticipate using fan-made concepts or designs in the project, but you can submit your files here and we’ll gladly take a look.
Q: Who will design the Club’s new identity?
A: We’ve tapped football crest specialist Matthew Wolff and Chicago-based branding firm Studio/lab to assist with designing the crest and associated marks. Wolff brings a wealth of crest design experience to the project having done branding work with teams at every level of the American soccer pyramid including LAFC, NYCFC, Oakland Roots SC, Green Bay Voyageurs FC, Union Omaha, FC Tulsa, Charleston Battery and Racing Louisville FC. Studio/lab has deep roots in Chicago and has executed identity and branding work for the likes of Navy Pier, University of Chicago, Chicago Loop Alliance, The Wrigley Building, Gamut and Motorola, among others.
Q: Where are the designers and design firms based?
A: Studio/lab’s Chicago office was founded in 1995, and is located downtown. Though he is New York based, Matthew Wolff grew up in the midwest and has strong family ties to Chicago - and he’ll spend time in Chicago over the course of the project. Sports marketing agency rEvolution - who will support our fan engagement efforts and future campaigns - is headquartered in the West Loop, and was founded in Chicago in 2001. The teams will also be assisted by the Stand for Chicago Council – a committee made up of prominent Chicagoans who love the city and bring unique and diverse experiences and perspectives to the project.
Q: How will the members of the Stand for Chicago Council be chosen?
A: To date, the first four members of the advisory council have been identified. As we continue to add members, our primary goal is having a diverse set of voices and personalities to represent the city and further connect the Club to Chicago culture. Importantly, this group will be supplemental to existing members of the Fire community - including Season Ticket Holders and supporters - who will be provided multiple opportunities to share input throughout the project.
Q: Will there be updates after fan feedback is provided and before we unveil the new crest?
A: Yes, we plan to provide regular updates throughout the duration of the project and encourage fans to sign up for our new crest email list above as well as bookmark chicagofirefc.com/crest, which will serve as the place we collate all updates as the project continues.
Q: Will fans be able to vote on the final design?
A: While we don’t anticipate having crest “finalists,” your collective input and ideas will be used to create the new identity as we solicit ongoing feedback from supporters, fans, season ticket holders, players, partners and staff.
Q: When will the new identity be unveiled?
A: Exact dates will be determined as the project progresses, but we currently expect to unveil the full identity following the completion of the 2021 season.
Q: When will the new identity be worn on-field?
A: The new crest will be on the team’s uniforms in 2022, the Club’s 25th season in Major League Soccer. It will also be worn by all Fire Juniors and Fire Academy players at that time. Due to the length of production timelines, and because the new identity will not be finalized until the later this year, the first team - and all associated youth teams - will take the field for the 2021 season in the current Fire Crown badge.
Q: I bought a new jersey this year – will I have the option to exchange it for something with the new crest?
A: Hang on to your jersey and wear it in support of the 2021 team as they attempt to bring an MLS Cup back to Chicago. In the coming months, we’ll explore a series of options for fans who purchased jerseys bearing the Fire Crown badge in 2020 and will announce any opportunities after launching the new identity later in 2021.
Q: So, when can I grab some new gear with the new identity then?
A: We expect to launch a series of merchandise collections after the full visual identity is finalized, likely after the 2021 season is complete.