Following the launch of West Ham United's online crest poll, whufc.com is keen to respond to the many questions being posed by supporters.
The Club is pleased to see fans taking such a keen interest in the matter and thankful for your continued input on what is a hugely important decision. We hope that the following proves helpful and allays any concerns that supporters may have.
Why are there two shades of claret in the crest?
The two shades are a graphical representation of the HMS Warrior's bow, the inspiration behind the new crest shape. However, they will only ever be visible in a 3D form and this is not how the crest will appear in the majority of its applications. The 3D presentation of the crest will primarily be used across digital platforms.
As the following variations show, the two shades do not apply to single colour versions of the crest, nor to the more traditional flat crest, as would appear on the playing shirt.
The proposed crest has been carefully designed to be adaptable with a variety of colour applications and will follow a colour palette that has represented the Club's historic colours since 1900.
That said, the Club is still fully absorbing feedback and, should there be overall support for the direction of the crest, these factors can be considered and potentially incorporated ahead of producing final brand guidelines.
Why is West Ham United on two lines, rather than one?
It was initially the Club's preference to have West Ham United on one line. However, as we have stated throughout, this has been a very exhaustive process and all options have been subject to a comprehensive range of tests applying the potential crests across a wide range of platforms. While it looks aesthetically pleasing, it was felt it does not work when applied practically as the typeface appears too small and loses clarity when applied to large format crests, similar to those which could be displayed at the Olympic Stadium.
In addition, the consultation showed supporters felt West Ham United should be bigger and bolder with many favouring a greater focus on the West Ham typography, but this cannot be achieved across one line.
Why were supporters not presented with a series of options?
With no obvious second option arising from supporter consultation, the Club felt the most transparent way to proceed was with the one, clear direction.
The Club was always determined to present a final design that had widespread support, rather than a series of alternatives, some of which would clearly neither have been the preferred option of supporters or the Club.
The only viable alternative would have seen 'London' replaced by the Olympic Stadium. Again, this was neither the preferred option of the Club, nor the fans and so was ultimately overlooked.
Other proposed changes were relatively minor ones. Suggestions of 1895, the acronym WHUFC or a change to a circular shield, were, in the grand scheme of things, supported by a very small proportion of respondents.
We appreciate that design is highly subjective and while the final proposal may not be to everyone's taste, it is an honest reflection of the key elements that the majority of supporters chose to highlight.
Why was I unable to leave a comment?
Supporters' comments were submitted in the first stage of consultation and have since been carefully studied and integrated. The nature of the poll's two questions means that supporters are still able to offer a variety of views, albeit within in a framework in which we can clearly and scientifically quantify responses.
The process has been long and exhaustive one, with no decision taken without the most careful considerations. Ultimately though, once consultation on the key design elements had ended, it was for the Club to find the most appropriate means of reflecting the majority view in a final proposal.
Are you changing the Club's name or is this the first step towards changing the Club's name in the future?
No, absolutely not. We are not changing the Club's name. We are, and will always be, West Ham United.
Is this the right time to be considering changing the crest? With the move to the Olympic Stadium, is it too much too soon?
The one consistent message that has been fed back by supporter groups is that the success of the move and the Stadium will rest on its acceptance among fans as the home of West Ham United. The Board are 100 per cent committed to this and this principle is guiding everything we do at the Club.
As a result there will be a huge, multi million pound investment into the application of branding at the Olympic Stadium. The move offers an opportunity to work meticulously to get every detail right and that is what the team at the Club are working around the clock striving to do. So is it a case could be a case of never?
The Club first suggested the idea to the Supporter Advisory Board and have since conducted extensive consultation with the fans on the possibility of evolving the Club's crest as we look to the future in our new state of the art Stadium in the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
This is part of broader work the Club is carrying out, working with supporters to establish how to better communicate West Ham's values and how to best recognise, pay respect to and celebrate almost 120 years of history. The Club feels this is the right time to have this discussion as we look forward to a defining moment. We want to do something that really reflects our history, heritage and values while also setting out our ambitions for a bright future.
How long has the current crest been in use?
The Club's existing crest is now 15 years old. It is worth noting that, historically, the Club's crest has been updated roughly every ten years. By comparison, every Premier League club has updated their crest at least once since 1997, some on multiple occasions.
It was the Club's view, one that has now been endorsed by supporters, that the time may be right to mark a defining new era for the Club.
Are you looking to remove the Castle?
This is something we've considered from the outset and has the backing of the vast majority of supporters. Our view is that retiring the castle from our Club crest would be a fitting way to respectfully signal a departure from the Boleyn Ground. Fans are overwhelmingly in agreement that it does not make sense to have the Boleyn Castle in our Club crest when we no longer play at the Boleyn Ground.
Will the crossed hammers be in the new crest?
We believe that the hammers are the fundamental symbol/icon of our Club and should be the most prominent feature of any evolution of the Club's crest. This is the Club's proposal and, based on feedback, is wholeheartedly supported by the fanbase.
Can you assure fans the new crest will be claret and blue?
West Ham United has been synonymous with Claret and Blue since 1900. We have no intention of changing this in any evolution of the Club's crest and are confident the fans agree with us on this.
Can the new crest be displayed in different colours?
Absolutely. As with the existing crest, any evolution of the crest can be presented in different colour waves in line with the brand guidelines. For example, mono colours, such as white, coming off claret. However, to reiterate, as above, any new crest will be claret and blue.
Why are you considering adding London to the crest?
This appears to be the issue that has created most debate. Consultation shows that many supporters understand and back the Club's direction in this regard, while others question London's relevance, claiming that the Club has a stronger claim to Essex.
There is, however, no denying that the Club is located in London at present and the Club feels this should be celebrated as we move to a London icon.
West Ham United is our name and should be placed in prime position - it is the Club's view that any inclusion of London would be secondary in position and prominence to a bolder typographic representation of our name - West Ham United - on the crest. It will never be instead of, or on a par with, the Club name.
London, of course, is fundamentally rooted in our history. From our origins at the Thames Ironworks, who proudly displayed their London location on all their vessels, through to the golden era of West Ham teams sporting "West Ham United London" on pennants and rosettes when competing in European competition.
Our absolute goal is to return to those days of competing at the highest level on a European and global stage and therefore believe it is appropriate to sport our city on the crest.
The Club believe recognition of our London location would be a signal of our vision to compete at the highest level and enhance the Club's global standing. What's more, with increased international recognition, the Club will become a more attractive prospect to high-profile players.
This is all part of the virtuous cycle we are aiming to nurture with our move to the Olympic Stadium. The more fans we can attract, the more investment will go into the playing staff, the better our team will perform and this, in turn, feeds further revenues for investment… and so on.
Have you considered including 1895?
Yes, this is something that continues to be discussed, but interestingly the research has shown that supporters, on the whole, are not keen on its addition.
Feedback thus far has argued that many clubs were established in this era and West Ham was not the first hence the year itself need not have particular prominence on the crest? Additionally, many fans have made reference to the change of name to West Ham United in 1900.
Do the Club want to put the Olympic Stadium on the crest?
The Club has been clear throughout the process that this is not our preferred option. It is however an option we have discussed with supporter groups and has been a feature of consultation.
Though there is seemingly widespread support for a return to the confident simplicity of the crossed hammers, fans also recognise the need to include something forward-thinking, pointing to a new dawn in the West Ham story. Interestingly, some fans who objected to the inclusion of London were instead keen to see a representation of the Olympic Stadium.
The Club are seeking a crest that boldly displays all the best bits of the last 119 years, but one that also celebrates a move to such an iconic venue and what that can mean for our future prosperity.
The Olympic Stadium has witnessed huge success, which has been seen and admired the world over. No other Club is moving to London's iconic venue and to ignore that entirely, would, at the very least, be a missed opportunity.
The Club, however, think that incorporating London into the crest may be a favourable option to signify our future at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It remains the Club belief that West Ham United has too strong an identity to be wholly defined by any one Stadium past or present
If agreed, when and where will the new crest be used?
If agreed, a new crest won't become the official Club crest, nor appear on the playing shirt, until the 2016/17 season, our first in the Olympic Stadium. There is no suggestion, nor has there ever been, that the castle would be removed while still playing at the Boleyn Ground.
In the event that a new crest was agreeable to fans, the castle would be respectfully retired when the Club leave the Boleyn Ground.
Is this decision just about increasing sales and revenue overseas?
Absolutely not. At its core, this process has evolved through exploratory work with supporters to ensure that the Club do not miss this unique opportunity to best reflect our history in the new era and in a way that is acceptable to supporters.
The project had advanced with a core team, all of whom understand and feel great passion for West Ham, with the assistance and guidance of West Ham supporters willing to give their time to contribute and help to ensure the Club gets it right on behalf of the West Ham faithful.
The team have been meticulous in terms of staying true to the guiding principle that any evolution must suitably honour West Ham's rich heritage and be acceptable to supporters.
The process had been extensive in this regard while also seeking to embrace a new and thoroughly exciting era at the Olympic Stadium.
We do believe also that there is a strong case for evolving the Club's crest in a way that will also support our strategy to attract international star targets and help to engage new supporters all over the world, who we hope will develop the same love of West Ham that we possess.
So while this has never been the guiding principle, there is an opportunity that we believe merits serious consideration.
Will fans be given a say/vote in the design of the new crest?
Yes, supporters will absolutely be given a say. Online consultation in respect of the elements that matter most to supporters concluded on Friday 26 June 2014 and the outcomes of said consultation will naturally inform the Club's design choices.
That said, design is a subjective matter and the Club has entrusted a team of world-class designers and experts to work on this crucial piece of work and it will be they who produce the final crest, albeit taking into account all of the feedback received thus far for the fans' consideration.
The final design will reflect the feelings of all of the stakeholders and the fans alike.
If fans don't want the new crest, will you stick with the old one?
Yes. The Board have made it clear that any decision on the evolution of the crest will only be made with the fans' support so the fans will absolutely make the ultimate decision.