New crest increases sense of pointlessness

Posted by Luke O'Farrell

Paul Ellis/Getty ImagesThe newest Everton crest is the one pictured at left above the cyclist. The underwhelming number of votes to approve it reflected the choices given to supporters.

Subsequent to a summer of contention, petitions and apologies, the fiercely debated crest has resurfaced on the Everton agenda. True to their word, the club consulted supporters before presenting the potential replacements for the current eyesore.

Overshadowing the U.S. tour reveal, with the crest change announced on the same day, the initial rebranding was an unmitigated disaster. Insufficient consultation and a crest devoid of quality angered the fanbase, as the petition against the badge gained over 24,000 signatures.

-Everton unveil new crest

Having swiftly apologised, it became apparent and imperative that the club used this second chance to their advantage. Consulting fans via an in-depth survey, this offered an excellent opportunity, which required innovative choices capable of justifying the initial transformation.

Instead, supporters found themselves greeted with three cautious safety-first sketches remarkably similar to the one cast aside in the summer. Deemed irrelevant and old-fashioned when the present crest materialised, the motto and wreaths reappeared on each of the three.

Rapidly switching from glaring omissions to all-inclusive redesigns, the procedure has lurched from one extreme to the other. While the survey outlined the obvious preference for the motto and the wreaths, the elements are back with vengeance and the cluttered badges give the impression of a peppered dartboard.

Any design requires time and precision regardless of the object and the target audience, and this may explain why the three crests failed to get pulses racing among supporters. Hampered by their urge to remedy summer failings, this was the obvious risk for a time-constrained task.

Nonetheless, this was the opportune moment to fashion inventive, creative substitutes. When newly promoted Crystal Palace altered their badge in January 2012, there were six varied, imposing options served to the fans. Given the platform to impress, Everton suffered stage fright and delivered the conservative. Supporters, given three uninspiring choices, made their pick, revealed on Twitter Thursday.

Open throughout last week, the three-crest poll accrued 13,229 votes. Released Thursday, the results showed Crest A (78.18%) emphatically beating B (12.21%) and C (9.61%). Tellingly, though, with approximately 280,000 voters eligible, a turnout of less than five percent highlights the ever-increasing pointlessness of this saga.

The club went to great lengths to explain why the previous badge must go. Misrepresentation and modernisation headed the list, but the winning selection is effectively a squashed carbon copy of the one that brought about this error-strewn charade in the first place.

There are one or two subtle differences, as the returning motto is tighter to the bottom of the shield, and the words ‘Everton’ and ‘1878’ are within the shield rather than on the outside. Yet the lack of significant alterations hangs a question over the entire process.

Many mistook the uproar surrounding the existing abomination as a failure to accept change, but the prevailing reason behind the public outcry was relatively simple. Above all else, the crest failed to match the quality that supporters expect.

Supporters appreciate the necessity for modernisation, but it should be modernisation for the better, not the mediocre or the worse. Furthermore, the low voting turnout suggests many opted out due to none of the latest offerings capturing their imagination.

There is one small mercy; the new iteration is an obvious improvement on the one now adorning club paraphernalia. The other side, however, is that it feels likes the masses are settling for the best of a fairly mediocre bunch. Somewhat ironically, the discarded option is preferable to each of those following it.

The sad reality is that this should mean something -- the crest is a worldwide symbol and supposed to represent the heritage and history of the club -- but the longer it went on, the less it mattered.

This underwhelming project seems more pointless and unnecessary than ever before, and this new crest feels like a missed opportunity. A phrase about how unbroken objects do not require fixing springs to mind. Perhaps we should have left it well alone.


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