European football giants AC Milan have launched a new club visual identity system, developed and designed by London-based brand agency DixonBaxi.
The rebrand, which ties in with the start of the Serie A 2019/20 season marks the beginning of a brave new era for the club and its global fanbase.
AC Milan has a rich history of over 100 years and DixonBaxi was challenged to create a bold new chapter for the club. This means evolving and transforming one of the world’s most iconic football clubs into a lifestyle brand - without losing the raw authenticity of the club or what sport means to people.
Inspired by the illustrious heritage but focused on future glory, DixonBaxi have designed an AC Milan for a new, diverse generation of proud Rossoneri, building a new identity based upon Milan’s core values of teamwork, excellence, passion and elegance. Ensuring they remained as authentic as possible to the club ethos, the team developed the creative around the iconic crest symbolising the beating heart of the club’s 450m global supporters, from Milan to the rest of the world.
Fans of football clubs are incredibly passionate and proud of what their club stands for. Respecting the love and passion the club crest evokes was critical, so AC Milan chose not to change the crest. Instead, DixonBaxi developed a new brand language and a manifesto looking at the club values to really encapsulate the spirit of the club. This is rationalised into one line: Sempre Milan, evoking the values and reinforcing the Italian heritage. It is the unifying rallying cry for proud Rossoneri to get behind - no matter where they are in the world.
The brand’s new design language takes cues from fashion, lifestyle and Italian culture. A rich, attitude driven typographic system gives voice to the spirit of AC Milan, and art direction creates a more immediate and accessible feel. Anchored around the iconic crest, the design system is a consistent graphic language filled with expression.
This dynamic approach dials up elements depending on the audience, subject and location. From conversations to content, the brand comes alive in digital form and creates a voice to talk to the fans: ‘We the proud’ ‘We the fire’ ‘We the many’ and ‘We the future’ to really convey how the club and its fans are inspired by the legends in its history and united in creating the heroes of the future.
The entire brand is created to tell the story of AC Milan, from a distinct voice featuring bold, confident statements to a premium, elegant look balanced with dramatic moments that speak to the passion and fire inherent in the club. DixonBaxi refreshed the AC Milan colours, opting for a more vibrant red that is consistent across different touch-points.
The distinct oval shape of the crest inspires a unified visual language and the form becomes a consistent graphic language filled with expression and focusing on the passion of the club and its fans- filled and surrounded by statements which is a way to talk to fans that no other club can.
DixonBaxi also chose to breathe new life into the AC Milan bespoke typeface that will live alongside the AC Milan font. DixonBaxi have also revitalised the club photography with a modern approach - capturing and immersing audiences in the passion of the clubs players and fans.
The rebrand will be visible across the club communications. From the digital presence, ticketing and ecommerce, through to the club area, first team branding, commercial sponsors and venues - San Siro stadium, Casa Milan and Milanello and Vismara Sport Centre. It will also be reflected through the club merchandise and stadium graphics.
“This project is an important and tangible sign of the Club new path. The work has focused centrally on the club’s crest and badge, celebrating its history but reinterpreting it in a very modern way," said Casper Stylsvig, Chief Revenue Officer for AC Milan.
"We have taken the energy and heritage that we are very proud of, and develop a concept that engages our 450m supporters worldwide. The fans, as always, are central to our strategy. They are the heart of the club and we feel this is represented through the new visual language. The central focus on the badge allows us to celebrate the red and black spirit and love for the club from fans in Milan and around the world.”
“AC Milan is one of the most iconic football clubs in the world - but more than the size and history we were inspired by the bravery of the project. Taking one of the world’s most iconic sports brands and reinterpreting it for a modern, international audience," said Aporva Baxi, co-founder and ECD at DixonBaxi.
"This brand is applied on a massive scale - just in the San Siro alone there are over 1000 different brand elements to consider. We knew we wanted to tell a narrative that encompassed the legendary players in history who have worn the red and black shirt, to the trophies and titles the team has won through to the future talent and successes of tomorrow.
The rebrand allows this club that is over 100 years old to get behind a new focus and look at what the next century will mean to them. The process was hugely collaborative with the team at AC Milan and we can’t wait to see the new look brought to life.”