Anybody who has had the misfortune of sitting down and talking to me about Australian Rules Football, will know that I am an unwavering Fremantle Dockers supporter. So as you can imagine it came with much delight when I saw the purple guernseys run out on to the field on Grand Final day. Although, as you might assume, there was a great deal of work that lead the AFL’s perennial under-performers to genuine premiership challengers.
Many may think it was the inspired appointment of Ross Lyon, and subsequent regrettable sacking of Mark Harvey, in 2011 that started the change of fortunes for the club, but the ball started rolling back in 2008. Not only did they start getting their player drafting right (picking up grand finalists Stephen Hill, Hayden Ballantyne, Nick Suban, Zac Clarke and Michael Walters) but in September of that year, the club underwent a review of their brand – including their logo design, website, song, jumper and even team name.
As a result, it was Ross Lyons men of 2011 that ran out on to ground with a much cleaner design that not only fit in better with the traditional guernseys of the AFL, but surpassed them as an overall branded package. No longer did I have to wear the hideous green, purple and red mess kicking the football around the park, I could now wear the enviable purple and white arrows as I made a fool of myself taking hangers over the bushes.
The logo itself went under development from their previous bedraggled typography to a bold, clean serif font while the icon keeps its proud origins but simplifies the form to a strong monogram, while the colour is refined to a deep purple and black.
It may have been fate that Lyon’s hard edged, clear-cut gameplan matched the newly instated brand but, whatever it was, it worked as ‘Freo’ have turned the corner from football comedy to football contenders.