First up, Astana. I think we can dispatch this one pretty quickly.
Is there anything good to say about it? The visual branding is weaker than last year even if the logos are less confused. That’s about as good as it gets.
There’s just no definition to the colour blocks and it all just goes nowhere. The previous iterations were stronger visually. Perhaps it’s an embodiment of a team lacking direction and identity, not to mention lacking strength and depth in the squad.
And now to Quick-Step (found these photos via Maglia Rosa blog although they’ve been doing the rounds for a while now in various places)
Ignore Tom Boonen in his Belgian Champion’s kit, that looks pretty cool and follows a well-worn formula that works: Champion jersey + predominantly black shorts.
And that’s where they’ve gone wrong. Take a look at Tom in last season’s abortive “retro look” out on a Paris-Roubaix reccy
The blue up-and-over on the 2010 kit looks like generic cookie cutter kit that any club can get made up by any number of suppliers. Black shorts with white sponsors’ names would have worked so much better.
Then there’s a concessions to television airtime. The white side panels don’t say “guaranteed return on investment while in a break”, they say “we’re hedging our bets in case our man doesn’t win and you can’t read the really big logo on his chest”.
Both kits also suffer from the poor application of red. In Astana’s case it’s Specialized; in Quick-Step’s it’s Eddy Merckx.
Corporate identity is big business, and Specialized have established that red S icon pretty well over recent years. It just doesn’t work with that strange cyan and yellow though.
The new Merckx M on the other hand is an absolute abomination. Gone is that incredible EM logo and loving heritage typeface, replaced by another generic re-branding exercise.
It’s vile and hateful, but most of all it’s typical of the unnecessary need by new owners to make their mark. It brings nothing to the brand at the same time as removing all the acquired heritage value and support.