Over the past year we have, sometimes quietly and sometimes with more noise, been working on updating our Club Crest.
We’ve heard a range of opinions about updating it and which direction we should go in and, although you have already seen and voted on the options, we are now ready to announce our new look for the 2017/18 season and beyond.
Why Are We Changing?
The current crest – in place for a little over 20 years - means a lot to many Pools fans. However, it also causes the Club some challenges.
Our Ship’s Wheel crest’s intricate design makes it impractical to use, particularly at small sizes. It was designed in 1995 before digital and social media became the norm and does not replicate well in many online media and printed items. It’s difficult and expensive to produce and the original design is misaligned.
There has also always been confusion and disagreement over the prominence of the Ship’s Wheel in representing Hartlepool United. The wheel was a new addition to the badge in 1995 and many feel that it does not represent the heritage of the Club.
Our Club Crest has changed fairly regularly over the course of our history and we felt that, as we attempt to put a solid foundation down for this Club and build for the future, now is the time to embed a lasting and meaningful identity that we can use to represent us well into the future.
By introducing a new and iconic design, we believe that we can strengthen our identity, raise our profile and demonstrate our status as an ambitious and forward-thinking Club.
The crest redesign sits in the middle of a wider project of refreshing the Club’s identity and developing better facilities and match day experiences for fans. All of this is vital as we begin to build a successful and sustainable future for Hartlepool United.
Research & Consultation
Over the course of the past year we have researched the Club and town’s history, talked with fans in person, engaged the wider fan base online and engaged with commercial partners to take all views into account.
Changing the Club’s badge is a big decision and, although some are very connected to our current badge, there were those who were not attached to it and therefore welcomed a change.
Taking all of the varying opinions into account produced two clear themes that were integral to the new design: a return to the stag or ‘hart’ traditionally linked with Hartlepool and, 1908, the year of formation.
A smaller but significant number wanted the town’s maritime history and also – somewhat divisively – the monkey legend represented (our beloved monkey mascot is scheduled to feature across new merchandise in our Club Shop).
The Club has changed the crest frequently and dramatically throughout its history and this change is no different.
The decision to go with a design unique to Hartlepool United, something simple for the modern age with subtle reminders of Pools’ history and geography is designed to give us a fresh identity to lead us on our new journey back into the EFL.
Our new design was, on balance, favoured by the widest range of stakeholders in the Club.
Our New Crest: The Shield
This design solves all of the technical issues that we face with the current badge and encompasses the widest range of opinions offered by fans and partners without compromising its aesthetic.
The design is flexible - meaning we can change the colour, reverse the design or remove elements to suit different purposes – but is anchored in our new Hartlepool Limestone Gold colour.
The Shield has no trim which means it can be positioned as its own circular shape – like a single fragment of limestone – or blended with its background, as if that one piece of stone is now part of a larger and more solid structure. Part of the wall.
The classic ‘hart’ and ‘pool’ motif is designed to reflect our heritage with the stag’s position reversed to reference our crest from the 1970s.
The water is simplified and, especially when the badge is coloured blue, now includes a subtle nod to the monkey legend, as the water becomes ‘Breton Stripes’ - the historic and official uniform of the French Navy.
The typeface we now use has been designed to contain some of the same elements as the type on the HMS Trincomalee as a reference to the town’s marina and maritime heritage.
We hope that once fans see our new crest in action – and our plans to continue incorporating our history into what we do - then they’ll grow to love it like our favourites from yesteryear.
We firmly believe that our refreshed identity will help Hartlepool United develop and assist us in delivering a stable and successful Club on and off the pitch.