Logo Hail Mary: Landor Unveils the NFL’s New Brand Strategy

Super Bowl XLV

You know how every year the NFL changes the logo for the Super Bowl? No more.

Coming next year, the NFL is installing a sweeping new graphic system designed by Landor and the NFL’s in-house designers. So far, only the logo for Super Bowl XLV has been released, but the look and feel will carry across all of the individual playoff logos–from the wildcard game to the divisional finals. “The NFL realized that there’s a gathering excitement, approaching the Super Bowl,” says Nicolas Aparicio, Landor’s Executive Creative Director. “The audience grows from 4.6 million in the pre-season to 16 million by the playoffs. A logo system needs to express that, and help build on it.”

Though the other logos in the system haven’t been released yet–watch this space–Aparicio says they’ll all retain key elements, such as the shine of the Super Bowl logo above, inspired by the Vince Lombardi trophy itself. This is actually the first time the Vince Lombardi Trophy has been used in the Super Bowl logo–precisely because the NFL didn’t want its iconic piece of hardware sullied by year-to-year changes in the mark.

In the future, the Super Bowl logos will only vary slightly–the one big changing element being the stadium in the background. (For Super Bowl XLV, that’s the new Cowboys arena, which will host the event.) Meanwhile, Tiffany is also designing a successively larger series of trophies for each round of the playoffs that will also echo the Vince Lombardi.

Bang-up stuff–and a welcome change from the NFL’s willy-nilly branding of the past.

And for Landor, it’s been a bang-up year: Recently, they created the beautiful identity for Melbourne and the logo for the 9/11 Memorial.