Rebranding One of Central Kentucky's Oldest Soccer Clubs
Commonwealth Soccer Club Inc., better known as Commonwealth SC or CSC, is a competitive soccer club based in Lexington, KY that serves the Central Kentucky region. The club focuses on educating, developing and promoting all levels of soccer from youth to adulthood, developing players in both body and character for the highest levels of play, and promoting good sportsmanship and community within the club and beyond. In fact, these are the three bullet points of the CSC mission statement in their by-laws.
Since the founding of Commonwealth SC in 2004, the club struggled to maintain consistency with visual design and branding. Originally, the club was known for a yellow dominant kit; however, over the years and throughout changes of leadership, the club had lost its visual identity defaulting to blue colors (a common color used in sports in Lexington, KY due to the University of Kentucky Wildcats) and numerous variations of grey.
In early 2017, the CSC board of directors approached us to re-envision the branding for the club. Having recently overcome financial troubles from poorly managed funds and losing players (and in some cases coaches) to other clubs in the region, CSC wanted to re-invent themselves and look to the future.
We made the decision to scrap elements prominent in the previous version of the CSC logo such as a horse icon, reminiscent of clip-art, and stripes used in the crest. With CSC being a Nike club and stripes being associated with Adidas, we decided to rid the logo stripes and focus on using visual elements that represent the future of American soccer, stars. Although in Europe and historically, stars have represented championships in global football, in the U.S., stars have been a key visual element used in many clubs. Eight of twenty-three Major League Soccer clubs use stars in their branding and the most recent rebrand of the league itself used 3 starts to represent the pillars of their brand. Therefore, CSC being Commonwealth SOCCER Club and not Commonwealth FOOTBALL Club, we wanted to align the club with the future of American soccer and not global football.
Three stars cap off the top of the new shield to represent the three key elements of the mission statement outlined above. In addition, the typeface Knockout, by Hoefler & Co. was adopted as the new typeface of the club to bring consistency to club materails, yet all for flexiblity with 32 fonts within the family. Knockout, a typeface inspired by sports ephemera and the boxing industry, was also designed in 1994—the same year the U.S. hosted the World Cup and also the first time the words "Commonwealth Soccer Club" were uttered in the Commonwealth of Kentucky (initially there was a club called Commonwealth Soccer Club that disbanded not long after it began).
Additional visual elements, such as class badges, were also created to expand the spiritwear of CSC and to encourage loyalty to the club. Lastly, we created the tagline "the Commonwealth's Soccer Club" to allow for future expansion of the club to other areas of Kentucky and cleaned up social media handles to "CommonwealthSC" rather than the numerous handles created by parent volunteers to bring consistency to the brand.