The most famous cricket club and ground in the world have undergone an innovative rebrand. The 200-year-old Lord’s Cricket Ground and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are steeped in centuries of tradition, meaning a modernisation of the brand was no easy task for the London-based brand agency, The Clearing.
“It was vital to everyone that the heritage was retained, but equally the brand had to be fit for future challenges – both in digital and physical environments,” says creative director and founder of The Clearing, Jonathan Hubbard. “The previous worlds of MCC and Lord’s had focused on their heritage, and increasingly struggled to communicate the excitement, energy and brightness of a thrilling test match, world cup or any of the new game formats.”
The MCC has been at the forefront of the laws and etiquette of cricket since the sport began, and its home is Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, often referred to as ‘the home of cricket.’ The visual rebrand, which includes new logos for each organisation as well as updated assets, had to take into account the history and tradition of the sport’s legacy.
“It was vital to everyone that the heritage was retained, but equally the brand had to be fit for future challenges – both in digital and physical environments,” says Jonathan. “We spent time going through the archives and looking at historical versions of the monogram throughout the ground. With a history going back to 1787, there’s plenty to look at.”
The MCC logo has been converted to “a more horizontal format” to work better within the confines of a screen, and “the letterforms take inspiration from historic versions of the monogram we found embedded in the fabric of the famous pavilion,” explains Jonathan. On the other hand, The Lord’s logo is more contemporary, reflecting the modernity of the venue.
The MCC is known for its famous ‘egg and bacon’ colourway that adorns its memorabilia and member’s clothing; an unchangeable element of the brand identity due to its recognisability. As a result, the rebrand had to incorporate new ideas around the colourway, in one example, extending it to the Lord’s branding too, in order to make the link even more apparent.
Typefaces were one aspect that has changed considerably, with the display font changing to Italian Plate No.2, which according to Jonathan, “brings to life the sharp point of view, facts, details and colourful vignettes of our tone of voice.” For the body copy, the team of designers chose Darby Sans, which perfectly fit the task at hand: “It takes the letter characteristics from more traditional typefaces, but presents them in a more contemporary way,” adds Jonathan. “Finding ways of balancing heritage and modernity was at the heart of our brief.”
Having worked closely with the club and its members, the team has received positive feedback from a number of sources, “we’ve found fans to be positive and excited about the change, and they’ve welcomed this more dynamic and exciting identity for the Club which has, in its past, been seen as a bit stuffy and elitist,” says Jonathan.
The rebrand launched this week across social media channels and will continue to be added to the stadium over the coming months.