We were recently asked for our support with a unique challenge: rebranding one of Teesside’s biggest junior community football clubs - Kader FC.
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We love building brands and those that deliver real life impact can often mean even more.
17th June 2019
17th June 2019
Estimated Reading Time 7 Minutes
Rebranding a football club is always a contentious issue. But when it’s a local institution that’s developed footballers as people as well as players for over 40 years, it’s an exciting opportunity to respect the past while laying strong foundations for the future.
Since 1976, Kader FC has been more than a football club.
It’s been a community hub where generations of budding footballers from various backgrounds have grew up and developed. For the club and its players, it’s not just a journey through football; it’s a journey through childhood and young adult life.
Now home to more than 300 players in 30 teams, Kader is ran by a team of volunteers and staff covering boys, girls and mixed teams from under 7 to under 19. There’s also sessions for children aged 4 to 6, with an adult mens team for those looking to continue football beyond their teenage years.
Although many players who started at Kader have become professional footballers with clubs including Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Leeds, it’s not only about making it to the big time, competitions and trophies. Kader has fun, empowerment and inclusivity at its heart. The club is committed to providing an opportunity for all to develop their skills in a positive and enjoyable learning environment regardless of their ability. This has been recognised with FA Community Club status and the award of development club of the year on two occasions, as well as community club of the year by the North Riding County FA.
Setting the benchmark
Following extensive investment in its community facilities and recent growth in numbers, Kader are now setting the benchmark for other development clubs nationwide to follow. A new identity was required to reflect this position, as well as the club’s status as a growing modern day football club where inclusivity and equality is key—both on and off the pitch.
As we started the creative journey consideration was made to recent rebrands of professional football clubs, with many choosing more simple and minimal design that evolved previously complex crests into clean and simple logos.
Perhaps the biggest contributing factor to these refreshed identities is the changing global audiences associated with football in 2019.
While this may not necessarily be the case for Kader, there’s undoubtedly a need for development and grassroots football clubs to stay in line with their professional counterparts building strong, authentic and relevant brands. A brand that not only reflects the clubs values but also inspires pride and passion as young players pull the shirt over their heads.
Another important reason behind the refreshed looks is today’s use of identities, with many football clubs looking to keep up with the digital age and online world.
A club’s identity now needs to be as strong and striking on screen as it is on kits and water bottles. That means clean, simple and bold design is key.
Building the brand world
Since the late 1990s, Kader’s logo has incorporated the oak tree—representing the Anglo Saxon meaning behind their home, Acklam, as “place of oaks”. It was agreed that this existing concept would be retained and evolved, giving a nod to their roots while developing a much deeper and meaningful symbol that aligned with their values and stature.
The Creative phase began with the redrawing of the oak tree symbol. This was recrafted to integrate traditional football shapes, while reflecting the club’s growth, strength and sustainability. Complementing this are the honeycomb shapes which add strength and structure to the heart of the tree and bring their Community Club status to life.
Lead designer on the project, Matt Goodyear, developed the identity: “The tree grows from a number of dynamic and upwards moving roots, designed to represent Kader’s inclusivity and the diverse community it serves.
“These deep roots also show the depth and reach of the club’s background and current status, providing an intrinsic link between the past as well as the present.”
From the roots, a strong trunk is formed that feeds into the core branch shape. This is made from the traditional patch features of a football, with the hexagons highlighting Kader’s structure and range of teams within the club. Matt added: “Growing from the core branches are leaves and buds, representing the ever developing relationships between the club, its players, parents and partners.
“Bringing all of this together is the tree’s strong, balanced and grounded position, underpinning the values Kader instil as players grow within the club.”
A new stronger and more modern typeface has also been introduced, integrated with the club’s founding year to reinforce their heritage and longevity.
As part of the brand creation we considered the Kader brand story including the development of a new strapline, or maybe more of a motto, for the club. Creative director, John Taylor, commented: “’Play your game’ reflects the enjoyment and fun which sits at the heart of the club while empowering each player to make the ‘beautiful game’ theirs, whatever that means to them.”
The club’s existing orange colour palette—which was showcased in their home kit but not their identity—was used as a foundation to develop a modern, brighter and more vibrant tone that runs through the roots of the badge to heart of the club.
We’re super proud of the part we’ve played in a community club that’s so intrinsic to the development of young people in our area. Not only is Kader’s new identity more reflective of their history and current status, it’s also the perfect springboard for one of the North East’s leading junior football clubs continue to develop itself as well as its players.
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