Folllowing our previous work with the Premier League, we were asked by Wolves to rebrand the club and its many sub-brands. The initial brief from the team was to create a more positive and vibrant space for fans at Molineux, the club’s stadium, through the creation of large-scale graphics and a new look signage system.
Following our initial research, a brand review highlighted that inconsistent marketing material and a lack of high quality brand guidelines had led to the club’s brand becoming diluted over time. The project then grew in scale and depth, starting with a rebranding exercise to create a strong, overarching brand and set of guidelines that would influence all of the club's visual output in the years to come.
The process we went through was all about engaging the club's fans and staff to get to the heart of Wolves and understand exactly what it means to be a fan. A series of interviews and focus groups with staff – from the tea lady to the Chairman – and supporters were carried out. These exercises were then followed by a series of social media activities using Facebook and Twitter to engage directly with thousands of fans . Asking questions such as ‘”What does Wolves mean to your family?” got a huge response, which in turn had a real impact on the rebrand and stadium graphics.
The fans were clear and vocal that the iconic club crest should be treated as sacrosanct and remain untouched. Taking the lead from this feedback, we then used the geometric nature of the crest as the inspiration for the sub-brands and stadium signage. A strong core message was also created that encapsulated the Wolves mission, along with a new typeface and colour palette that reflect the club’s personality and give new marketing materials a consistent look and feel.
Creating a library of inspiring yet honest photography was another key part of the rebrand. Local photographers SM2 were commissioned to create a new bank of imagery that refleced the openness of the core message, moving away from the contrived, staged shots that had previously been used.
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Taking its lead from the newly refreshed brand, a signage system for Molineux was created that moves away from the negative, confrontational signs prevalent in many football stadia towards a more friendly and respectful tone. Large scale artwork, both inside and outside the stadium, was also created celebrating Wolves' history, tradition and fans, creating a more vibrant and inviting match day experience.
The signage follows a simple grid system so that moving forward signs can be added and slotted into a bank like Lego bricks to keep signage looking clean and consistent over a long period of time.
The stadium supergraphics were the perfect way to bring the vast expanses of breezeblock and otherwise 'dead' spaces to life. All of the graphics celebrate Wolves' rich history and family of fans, helping to give the stadium a real sense of identity and pride both inside and out. A number of the large-scale graphics are direct quotes from current fans which were curated from the thousands of responses we received in the initial research phase.
“Beautiful. Best signage in football.”@ryanmurrant Twitter
Each of the graphics inside the concourse areas are printed on a specially selected vinyl that hugs every dimple in the brickwork. This gives the impression that each piece is actually an extremely well painted mural.