The Chicago Fire unveiled their new identity on Thursday, revealing the club’s new primary badge and brand ahead of their 2020 move to Soldier Field.
The club will now be formally known as Chicago Fire Football Club, with Chicago Fire FC serving as the moniker on first reference and on the badge itself. Inspired by "the story and spirit of Chicagoans," the new badge’s imagery reflects a key moment in the Windy City’s history, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that laid the foundations for the metropolis’ modern identity as it rose from the ashes.
“The mirrored icon – with flames inverted to become a crown, hence the Fire Crown – tells the story of a dramatic rebirth and a city’s triumph,” explained a club release, while “the change from ‘soccer’ to ‘football’ reflects a long-term vision for the club as Chicago’s global ambassador to the world’s game.”
The badge’s oval shape is the first of its kind in MLS. Fire FC have retained the red and blue primary colors that date back to their debut in 1998, while replacing the previous gray secondary color with gold and adding new secondary colors of ivory and “flag blue,” a nod to the city’s beloved flag that will feature in future brand elements and kit designs.
“As a Chicagoan, it was important to me that our new brand identity reflect the power of our city’s origin,” said the Fire’s new owner Joe Mansueto. “I’ve always loved the Chicago Fire name. I think of the people who rolled up their sleeves and committed to rebuild what would become a world-class city, one that my family and I love so much. The new badge including the Fire Crown represents that spirit.”
Chicago’s new look is the product of an 18-month process that included consultation, focus groups and surveys with fans, partners and staff and “considered the original context of the club’s name, crest and colors and the needs of a team building for future decades in a rapidly expanding league,” in the words of Fire FC’s release. The badge, secondary marks and new typeface were designed by creative agency Doubleday & Cartwright.
Merchandise featuring the new badge is available for purchase on ShopChicagoFire.com and in the Team Store located at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. Fire FC will also have the new merchandise available for purchase at Pioneer Court during the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Friday. Future kit designs will be announced at a later date.
On Saturday, the new badge will feature on a Chicago Fire FC float in The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade alongside young Chicagoans from the Fire’s award-winning P.L.A.Y.S. Program, an initiative that partners with 30 Chicago Public Schools to enhance academic and social development through sport.
The Fire also announced plans for a new mural by Chicago-based artist Max Sansing to be completed next week on the north side of the Roosevelt Collection Shops in the South Loop, overlooking the British International School’s soccer fields off South Wells Street.
On Thursday the club also launched their new “Stand for Chicago” campaign, a storytelling series “which will celebrate the extraordinary people who call Chicago home,” with the first installment featuring Fire FC defender Johan Kappelhof, Chicago Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden and her son Caiden, a member of the Chicago Fire Juniors youth program.
Chicago’s new identity will make its official on-field debut on March 21, when Fire FC host Atlanta United in their 2020 MLS home opener, the inaugural match of their return to Soldier Field, the historic downtown venue they called home from 1998–2001 and 2003–2005.
Read more about the Fire's metamorphosis in recent months here.