Norwich's new badge - A word on the bird

New Norwich City badge for 2022-23

I will admit - it is growing on me.

When I first saw the new Norwich City badge around 12 hours ago, my instinctive reaction was to think it was... well, a little juvenile.

Like so many other logos of well-established entities, this one was robbed of much of its detail in the name of modernity. The real and more specific reason simply related to the need to replicate the Norfolk club’s badge with greater clarity on the internet, on TV, in print and just about anywhere else it might be seen. Hell, it’ll even be more visible on the team’s shirts, although at times like this you might be forgiven for thinking that’s the least important place you’d find it.

Greater clarity is the name of the game in the 21st century. Logos change, tastes change and, perhaps, so does our ability to embrace the designs of yesteryear. While some might mourn the loss of yet another graphical reference from our childhood, one can’t deny that football has to move with the times as much as anything does. That’s why today’s top players don’t slick their hair back with Brylcreem or wear boots that weigh more than all their team-mates put together.

Norwich City’s current badge - not yet consigned to history (it’s got at least six months left to live) - looks like the early 1970’s artefact it actually is. Half a century has gone by since anyone last tried to refine it, and in its favour, it was never became a victim of glam indulgence or modernist extravagance. The canary - some say finch - along with the castle and lion from the Norwich coat of arms remained inside their shield of green, quietly dignified, satisfyingly distinct. Traditional yet timeless, it never made a fuss but had the unspoken respect of many football fans across the UK.

Alas, half a century later, the badge has been remodelled to remind people, if nothing else, that Norwich City remains an important club in contemporary football, and from June 17th 2022, it will have a visual identity to reflect that.

Regarding the redesign itself, the removal of all black colouring is perhaps the most shocking change. Is the new badge weaker for it? Absolutely not. What you’re left with are the yellow and green that everyone associates with Norwich City.

Does the castle and lion look better on the new badge? Definitely. The lion particularly has gained more definition and has a near perfect balance of tradition and simplicity.

Does the canary look better? I think so. If anything, that’s the one aspect of the new design I’m not entirely sure about. The bird’s tail is shorter (possible too short), the horizontal top edge of the wing looks a little unnatural and the canary’s feet look unfinished, to be blunt. Even the ball appears too undetailed; to anyone with a cruel disposition, one might believe the canary was attempting a tribute to the British Telecom mascot Buzby. That said, the ball on the outgoing badge looks like a moving pinball or a cherry tomato, so perhaps nothing’s perfect.

Yet for all that, it is growing on me. It could have fallen foul of the modern trend for putting something inside a circle with a bland sans-serif font running around the outside. It might even have portrayed the bird in a slightly-too-clever-for-its-own-good way, as we’ve also seen elsewhere of late. What we have, however, is an updated club badge that looks clean and unambiguous as the modern trend demands. In that context, Norwich City fans have no reason to complain.