The acronym MLS is used for Major League Soccer, an organization founded in 1993. All teams belong to the league. Their position does not depend on the results of seasonal competitions: they are not transferred between divisions, like, for example, members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Meaning and History
MLS comprises 27 teams, which can include no more than 30 athletes. They are divided into two Conferences: Western and Eastern. The league had its debut season in 1996. The most successful franchise is the Los Angeles Galaxy. Its players have won the MLS Cup five times and received the Supporters’ Shield award the same number of times.
The organization’s logos deserve special attention. They have been changed several times to keep up with current trends. The last redesign took place in 2014, shortly after Major League Soccer’s 20th anniversary.
1990 – 2007
MLS was formed in 1993 and officially launched in 1996. Before its first season, it adopted a logo depicting a single black and white boot (probably on the right foot) kicking a ball in a white circle with black pentagons of different shapes. Both elements are inside a rectangle with rounded corners, with one side painted turquoise and the other painted blue.
The black abbreviation “MLS” is written on the bottom, and the blue phrase “MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER” is written even lower. By experimenting with the size of the letters, the developers ensured that both names (both abbreviated and full) matched the width of the line.
2007 – 2014
Designers made the logo three-dimensional, adding additional colored elements. The ball had black outlines and highlights in three shades: gray, blue, and turquoise. The white part of the boot became gray, and a blue stripe was added at the edge. Meanwhile, the pattern and lettering are located inside an additional white rectangle with rounded sides, encircled by a wide black line.
2014 – today
In late 2014, a new version of the logo with a triangular shield was unveiled at the MLS Next event. The modern and simple design was meant to showcase all the marketing changes to unite the league’s fans in the stadium and the virtual space.
Gone were all the images associated with soccer. But there was a heraldic shield, which looked like a classic sports coat of arms. It was an attempt to abandon an outdated design without betraying soccer traditions. The interior space is divided into two parts by a diagonal line of blue with a gradient. It extends beyond the shield on the left side. The same band serves as the outer frame. The upper half of the logo is red, with a smooth transition from darker to lighter shades. There are three five-pointed stars and the abbreviation “MLS.” The bottom is white. The designers made it empty so that the fans could use the space as they wanted: for example, to put there the hometown’s name or the symbol of their favorite team.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The diagonal line drawn across the shield at an angle of 45 degrees symbolizes the unchanging trajectory of the league and, at the same time, represents the increasing energy and speed of players. The blue frame is the boundary of the playing field. The three stars represent the interconnectedness of MLS, its fan base, and the United States as a whole.
The font used for the lettering falls into the category of bold grotesques. All letters are capitalized and have slightly rounded corners. In the basic version, the league’s name, the three stars, and the lower half of the shield are white, the upper part is red, and the outlines and the diagonal stripe are blue. And the red and blue elements have a gradient.
At the same time, the development team has created an individual color scheme for each team’s MLS logo. This is the main feature of the identity, which makes the design adaptive and versatile.