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Northumberland FA rebrand for future generations

Northumberland FA rebrand for future generations

Northumberland Football Association (NFA) is a not for profit organisation which invests in the development of opportunities through football to inspire young people to take part in the game and create opportunities for all.

As a foundation, it is committed to developing a culture in grassroots football that is positive, inclusive and supportive, and helps everyone reach their full potential through having equal opportunities and access to football. Northumberland FA is the governing body in Northumberland and Tyne & Wear.

We were delighted to be approached by NFA last year to support them with the development of their new brand identity. Under review was the brand in its entirety. From potential new name and logo, to a refresh of their sub brands, the brief was to create something contemporary, different, and stand out from the crowd whilst retaining the heritage of what the foundation stands for.

We began by arranging a series of brand positioning and discovery workshops with the foundation team to gather real raw insight and deep dive into the direction for the rebrand, including their vision as well as objectives and future aspirations.

In workshop one, we met internal staff to gain an understanding of where they see their brand from an in house perspective, whilst in workshop two, we met their customers to understand brand perceptions and set out any potential for improvement. These workshops proved valuable to our understanding of the foundation and the direction they are headed.

Following the workshops we compiled their brand and competitor analysis to establish their market position. A written report was compiled and presented back to the team for consideration. Once complete, it was over to our creative team to generate names and initial identity concepts for the overarching brand. Several names were floated, from the simple shortening and abbreviation of the word, to more ambitious routes with the name having new meaning and direction. The client had given us clear direction in their workshops as to the routes they wanted to follow.

Our research showed us that a traditional crest or shield had always been successful in its longevity when establishing a trusted identity and brand, but the foundation wanted to move forward from a shield without losing their heritage, so the traditional shield shape was also in doubt – was it time to move away from the recognised crest?

The traditional Red and yellow colour scheme which is consistent throughout all foundations across the region was also to be explored and developed. After evaluating all these elements, several concepts were presented. Throughout several stages of development and amendment, one logo identity appeared to remain consistent throughout. Testing its appeal we sat it alongside many other concepts, with many variations and adjustments but throughout the whole process it was felt that one of the logos created right at the very start of the process did indeed stand out in the crowd and it was ultimately agreed.

“We’re delighted to unveil our new branding which modernises our image while retaining some of our traditional colours as a nod to our history.”
Northumberland FA

Following approval of the identity and subsequent sub brand logos, we created a brand guidelines document to ensure the consistent use of the new identity and its sub logos. There are two versions of the logo for ease of use, with and without the containing shape. The sub brand logos use the simplified version of this identity.

We also established a brand look for their communication tools and digital outputs including reporting, powerpoint templates and social media styling.

We hope this brand will take NFA into a new era as they prepare to open the St Peter’s Sports Hub this year. If you’re considering updating or refreshing your current brand, we can help. Contact us.