Chicago Fire Logo

Chicago Fire LogoChicago Fire Logo PNG

The name and the Chicago Fire logo are reminiscent of the city’s tragic yet heroic history. The emblem has a symbolic form, although many fans do not even know what exactly inspired the identity of their favorite football club. And there is a hidden energy in the sign.

Chicago Fire: Brand overview

Founded: October 8, 1997
Founder: Joe Mansueto
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

The Chicago Fire is a professional soccer club based in Bridgeview, a southwestern suburb of Chicago. It is a member of Major League Soccer (since 1998) and competes in the Eastern Conference (since 2002). It was founded by Anschutz Entertainment Group, the world’s largest owner of sports teams. Besides, the company is one of MLS co-founders and the lead investor.

The franchise’s founding date (October 8, 1997) fell on the 126th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. On October 8-10, 1871, the fire destroyed 9 km2 of wooden sidewalks and tar-roofed houses. The team was named “Chicago Fire” as a tribute to the city’s past. That’s why the Chicago Fire logo is extremely symbolic, being derived from the shape of a fire department’s crest. The flamy name was chosen among other options like Blues, Rhythm, and Wild. Simultaneously, the general manager of the club Peter Wilt said that Chicagoans could be proud and delighted about the rebuilding of their native city.

On September 6, 2007, the franchise was sold to Andell Holdings, a private investment corporation from Los Angeles, for $ 35 million. Andell Holdings chairman Andrew Hauptman became the club owner.

Nike, as the Chicago Fire equipment supplier, had an intention to make total rebranding. They wanted to rename the team to “Chicago Rhythm,” to change the color palette to turquoise, black, and green and to introduce cobra as a key element of the emblem. However, the owners rejected the given idea in favor of Adrenalin’s concept.

Meaning and History

Chicago Fire Logo History

When the MLS league was launched in the 1990s, its members sought to create a unique image that would help them stand out in the sports arena. The Chicago Fire club was no exception. It became a global brand, named after the great fire that devastated the city in the 19th century. According to one version, the tragedy was caused by a cow that knocked over a burning lantern. However, there are no cows on the team logo. The original version was inspired by the coat of arms of the fire department and its main symbol, the Florian Cross.

In 2019, the iconic sign was replaced with the so-called Fire Crown. Fans did not like the new emblem, so the owners of the Chicago Fire decided not to stop there – they continued to work on the branding. The team wanted a timeless logo containing the letter “C,” Florian Cross, and a hint of the Chicago city flag. It was definitely decided not to use fire axes, lanterns, or water towers. The resulting graphic symbol reflects the club’s history and iconic identity.

What is Chicago Fire?

Chicago Fire is a professional soccer team representing the Eastern Conference in MLS since 2002. The team is based in Chicago and became an expansion franchise in 1998. The club has won three U.S. Open Cups (in 2000, 2003, and 2006) and earned the MLS Supporters’ Shield (in 2003). The team has numerous other achievements as well.

1998 – 2019

Chicago Fire Logo 1998

Anschutz Entertainment Group asked Adrenalin, a sports-specific branding agency, to take on the logo development project. The designers created the emblem, taking into account the football club’s connection with the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Peter Wilt admitted that thanks to Adrenalin, they had the most envied logo in Major League Soccer.

As well as the team’s name, the logo Chicago Fire also contains the allusion to the fire. Its central element is the cross of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. The emblem Chicago Fire Department has the same shape. St. Florian’s cross is an eight-pointed cross with rounded edges. The arms narrowed at the center are dark blue. They are trimmed with red curly lines mirroring the contour shape. The upper and lower arms include capitalized sans serif grey-scripted “Chicago” and “Fire” wordmarks.

The middle of the cross is a grey circle with a blue outline and red letter “C” inside. Six white points are representatives of four six-pointed stars in the Municipal Flag of Chicago. They commemorate the monumental events in the history of the city, including the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The red “C” obviously stands for “Chicago,” similar to the Chicago Bears and Cubs that use that character in their logos. It is written in an angular style font and is trimmed with a spike on the left.

2019 – 2021

Chicago Fire FC Logo 2019

Critics called this logo the worst in Major League Soccer history. They didn’t like the fact that it lacked meaningful Chicago Fire symbols. The base is a vertical dark blue oval with two thin burgundy-colored oval rings inside. One ring is closer to the edge, and the other is closer to the middle. Between them is the yellow lettering “Chicago Fire FC” in a rectangular font. In the middle of the emblem are two geometric compositions in the form of crowns with triangular protrusions. They look like mirror images of each other and differ only in color: red and yellow. The players wore this emblem on their uniforms for the rest of the 2021 season while a new version was being designed.

2021 – today

Chicago Fire FC Logo

When it became clear that the fans flatly refused to accept the Fire Crown, the soccer club decided to change its identity again. Matthew Wolff, a famous designer specializing in sports branding, was involved in the process. He worked on the project together with Studio/lab and rEvolution firms.

First of all, experts conducted a survey and found out what symbols soccer fans like. It turned out that most wanted to see the letter “C,” Florian Cross, and elements from the Chicago city flag, including the six-pointed star. Wolff combined them into one. However, this does not mean a return to the original logo. There has been a complete reimagining of the design, which reflects important moments from the soccer team’s history.

  • The red “C” represents the name of the city. Its austere, angular font inspires confidence, and the small triangular spike on the left side is associated with danger.
  • The blue ring with four notches is reminiscent of the Florian Cross in shape and the color of the stripes from the Chicago flag.
  • The six-pointed star at the very center of the emblem was also taken from the Chicago flag.
  • The round dark blue frame visually balances the elements and smoothes out the sharp angles.

Font and Colors

Chicago Fire emblem

The athletic club uses a custom font that was created to order. The official 2021 logo has only one letter, a bold “C,” which looks like a complex polygon because of the lack of roundings. Previous versions contained lettering in different sans serif lettering, but the minimalist design won out.

Although Chicago Fire’s official colors are gold, blue, and red, the 2021 emblem reflects only two of them. The color scheme is close to the city’s flag, featuring white (#FFFFFFFF), blue (#7CCDEF), and red (#FF0000). And dark blue (#141946) is only used for the trim ring.

Chicago Fire symbol

Chicago Fire color codes

Dark Sapphire Hex color: #00215b
RGB: 0 33 91
CMYK: 100 64 064
Pantone: PMS 2757 C
Foreign Crimson Hex color: #ce1432
RGB: 206 20 50
CMYK: 0 90 76 19
Pantone: PMS 185 C
Dark Gray Hex color: #a7a9ac
RGB: 63 194 204
CMYK: 60 0 23 0
Pantone: PMS 429 C