Montreal Impact is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Impact competes as a member of Major League Soccer. It was founded in 1992 when Saputo Company founded the team from the ashes of the former Montreal Supra of the defunct Canadian Soccer League. The franchise changed several leagues after that: in 1993, it joined United Soccer League, in November 2009, it joined North American Soccer League, in 2010, it forcedly joined USSF Division 2 Professional League, and in 2012, it joined the ranks of MLS.
The sole owner of the club was the Saputo Company until 1999 when Giuseppe Saputo sold it to the group of stockholders. The club went bankrupt during the 2001 season, and investors turned their backs on it. In autumn of the same year, Giuseppe announced the renaissance of Montreal Impact. The club rose from its ashes in 2002, set up as a non-profit organization owned by the Quebec government, Hydro-Quebec and Saputo.
In November 2009, the Impact announced their intent to leave the USL First Division to become the new North American Soccer League’s co-founders. The league has yet to be sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, so Saputo tried to get an MLS franchise for Montreal. He succeeded: on May 7, 2010, Impact owner Joey Saputo was granted a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.
Although in a legal sense, the Montreal MLS expansion team is an entirely separate legal entity, the new team carries the Impact name and maintains the team’s legacy in the MLS. They also kept the old lineup and blue and white color scheme. That’s how its full name is spelled: Impact de Montreal. This is because Quebec is a francophone province of Canada. The only thing that was changed is the logo accepted after the restart in 2002.
Meaning and History
The club had two logos. The first Montreal Impact logo was used until they joined MLS, and the second was used after partial rebranding. They’re similar in style and color scheme, but the messages are different. What they have in common is one symbol – stylized fleur-de-lis, which is a globally recognized symbol of French heritage, and features prominently on the flag of Quebec.
2005 – 2011
When the team restarted as a non-profit organization, it had a new logo designed by the Pigeon Company. A blue and silver fleur-de-lis is placed in the center of the Montreal Impact logo. It’s tilted to the right and outlined with two wide lines – black and white. The team nickname is in the foreground.
The word “Impact” is written diagonally and crossed with two thin lines. “Montreal” is on the lower horizontal stripe of the flower. “E” is French: there’s a short diacritic mark – acute, which means the short sound, above this letter. All letters are uppercase and white with a dark outline. The typeface is grotesque without squiggles.
There’s a traditional hex-stitched soccer ball in flight above the words. It’s flying up: long trace, looking like a comet tail points at the motion path. Four sharp “beams” are extending to the left from the black outline.
2012 – present
The last Montreal Impact logo was timed to the franchise’s move to MLS. The official logo for the team was revealed at the start of a match between the NASL Montreal Impact team and the NSC Minnesota Stars on August 6, 2011. The Pigeon Company worked on the concept. “The new logo is more sophisticated, modeled around renowned international clubs. We are proud of our participation in the development of this major league symbol,” – explained Olivier Chevillot, creative director for Pigeon. Designers kept the main elements (fleur-de-lis and team nickname) and upgraded the classic forms.
A key pillar of the Montreal Impact emblem is a triangular pointy Old French shield. A gradient of the shades makes it distinct, simulating the 3D effect. The heraldic element has a wide silver outline. At the top of the shield, “Tous Pour Gagner” – the team’s new motto – is inscribed, it refers to the importance of unity for victory.
The crest is blue; it refers to the color of the provincial flag and represents Quebec. It also represents the Saint-Lawrence River, surrounding the island of Montreal. The upper left corner features white and silver fleur-de-lis – The official emblem of Quebec and historically a symbol of the French monarchy. Fleur-de-lis represents the unique francophone character of the province.
There are four silver stars on the right side of the heraldic flower. The four stars represent Montreal’s four founding communities: the French, the English, the Irish, and the Scots. The lower part of the Montreal Impact logo depicts black and blue stripes. The black and blue stripes refer to the club’s first years, especially when the club won its first championship in 1994.
There is a black scarf across the shield with the white wordmark “Montreal Impact.” The scarf with the club’s name represents the supporters of the club. The upward slant symbolizes the team’s steady growth and progression over the years, and its evolution in Major League Soccer. It is also a symbol of continuity, as it hints back to the Montreal Impact’s inaugural logo in 1993, as well as the 2002 version that had a predominantly upward slant. Letters in both words are uppercase. The typeface is a rectilinear geometric Bank Gothic with small squiggles.