The time had come for a change.
Yesterday, the Montreal Alouettes started a new chapter in their history by unveiling not only a new logo and uniforms, but a new identity as well.
Last year was a testing ground of sorts as the team adorned their white helmets with Alouettes logos from years gone by. This was all a calculated process to introduce the new look and capture the imagination of football fans in this city and beyond. After 20+ years in their old attire and their angry bird as a logo, the team unveiled a new look that is known simply as MontreALS.
Working with the Montreal-based VICE company, the GRDN brand design agency and new CFL equipment provider New Era, the team crafted this new look over a two-year period. The thought was that this team was no longer connecting with the city and had essentially forgotten their roots. This new look incorporates a lot of what makes Montreal a part of the Alouettes and vice versa.
Naturally, the colours were going to be red, white and blue. That colour combo is synonymous with Montreal itself and it would have been foolhardy to suggest otherwise. A darker shade of blue with a brighter shade of red does make this new look pop and it will be a sight to be seen on the football field.
The biggest change will be the football helmet. After 20+ years with silver and white helmets, the Alouettes will now sport a dark blue helmet with a bright red cage. In a remarkable twist, the new logo will be draped on top of the helmet. Traditionally, logos are worn on each side of the helmet. But this new logo lends itself to a look that is innovative and a bit shocking on first glance.
As you see in the above image, the front looks like a giant M coming towards you. The sides look like the wings of an airplane. And the back is like a bird’s tail in flight. Also note the sides have those same four logos of the past. This look of the future continues to honour the past with logos of the teams that have brought the city of Montreal its seven Grey Cup championships.
At the launch event last night, the team showed a video to explain the evolution of this new identity and the theme was clear; this team needs to belong to this city. The MontreALS look is meant to appeal to everyone who lives and breathes this city and its sports teams. It may not resonate with a lot of folks right away, but I think over time this new look will win the doubters over.
But as I have stated numerous times, new uniforms are nice but winning football games is the ultimate goal. The Grey Cup isn’t awarded to the team with the nicest look on the field. While this new identity is going to be key to forgetting the numerous missteps and bad fortune of the past few years, the endgame for this organization has to be winning.
But that’s a column for another day. This team has had many identities and personas over the years:
The Wings. The French Horn. The Delta. The Angry Bird. They are along for the ride as the newest identity rises up in 2019 and beyond.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the MontreALS era.