The Chicago Fire Football Club unveiled a new primary crest Friday following a more than six-month long project that sought input from fans and Chicagoans as a whole to create a new "visual identity."
The crest features a six-pointed star contained within the letter “C,” surrounded by a modernized Florian cross incorporating the colors of Chicago's city flag. The “C” at the center was built on a grid system, like much of the city after the Great Chicago Fire, and was constructed using 45-degree and 90-degree angles, the club explained in a news release.
In November 2019, the Chicago Fire faced a slew of criticism from supporters and soccer fans alike when the team altered its color scheme and launched the current logo.
The current crest, which added gold to blue and red, represented the Great Chicago Fire while also symbolizing the “crown for the triumph over adversity of a people undefeated.”
Critics jumped on the color scheme as being too close to Real Salt Lake's. There were also concerns that the yellow crown could be associated with the Latin Kings, a violent Chicago gang.
In an open letter shared in January, Chicago Fire Owner Joe Mansueto asked for supporters' input to guide the rebranding process, explaining he previously told fans, "If the existing badge wasn’t working for them that we’d fix it - and that's what we are going to do."
The designer who crafted the new crest, Matthew Wolff, has created branding for teams such as the Green Bay Voyageurs Football Club, the Charleston Battery and Louisville City Football Club.
Wolff explained the Chicago Fire design overhaul was the most unique branding project he has been a part of.
"“Hearing from fans - both new and old - while I was designing was so inspiring," he said. "I hope we’ve created something that can represent this historic Club and city for generations to come.”
Mansueto, the club's owner, said the project was about "renewing a spirit of cooperation and collaboration with our fans."
"We made a commitment in January to welcome anyone who wanted to lend their voice to this project and the result is a crest that was fully and completely inspired by what we heard from our fans and supporters," he said. "We’re hopeful all will wear the new crest with pride and feel it represents not only this storied Club, but also the great city of Chicago.”
The current Fire Crown badge will remain in use until the end of the season. The new crest will be in full use at the start of the 2022 preseason - ahead of the club's 25th season in MLS.