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Club re-design: Graphic designer gives Columbus Crew a brand new look | SIDELINE

On Thursday night, the San Jose Earthquakes unveiled the club's brand new logo to the general public for the first time at a fan-filled event in downtown San Jose.

A member of MLS for 16 of the league's 18 years, the club felt that it was time for a new look — a fresh start — and so a new logo and visual identity is where they started.

When taking an informal poll of various MLS fans on social media, asking which club could, or perhaps should, be next to re-work its current logo and visual identity, one name that consistently comes up is that of the Columbus Crew, one of MLS's original clubs going all the way back to 1996.

Owners of the first soccer-specific stadium in league history, the Crew were certainly one of the league's leading clubs during those early days.

But since those days, MLS will have expanded to 21 teams by 2015, and 24 by 2020. And many of those newer franchises — Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, just to name a few — have since surpassed some of the league's pioneers, at least in terms of brand recognitionition among casual and rival fans.

Well, graphic designer and soccer enthusiast Mark Willis, who has done some other great projects in the past, published on Friday exactly what the Crew should be looking for in any potential rebranding of the club in the future.

Check out the full design concept — from club logo to, jerseys and all new marketing designs featuring the new look — by clicking right here.

A brand new badge:

In retaining the hard hat from the Crew's current logo, Willis leaves plenty of connection to the history of the club, all while giving it a new age look and an extremely versatile theme — the "Crew" theme invokes mental images on a construction crew, again harkening back to the club's hard-nosed mentality.

Alternate looks branching off the base design:

A brand new marketing campaign aimed towards fans:

If that doesn't have the look of one of the more slick-looking marketing designs that an MLS club has ever seen, I'm not sure what does.

Once again, to see the entire scope of Willis's Crew rebranding, including three jerseys and a whole lot more, check out his website here.