The iconic Newcastle Knights brand has undergone a number of changes since its inception back in 1988.
These changes have been subtle in nature, with the core identity of the Knights’ head, symbolising strength, resilience, and bravery, being retained in each change.
IN 2020, THE BRAND WILL TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN THIS ONGOING EVOLUTION.
The update was required following changes to National Rugby League Branding Guidelines made ahead of the 2019 season.
These changes were implemented to give the NRL a cleaner, more streamlined design across all competitions, and saw the addition of new visual elements within which club brands would sit going forward.
These design elements were supported by the game’s broadcasters and media partners, and are now commonplace across Rugby League.
New direction as Knights face forward
We understand the history and deep significance that sits behind our club brand and logo, and we have worked hard to ensure this is respected in the new design.
Core elements – the Knights head, name, and club colours – have all been retained.
But symbolic changes have also been made.
From 2020 onwards, the Knights head will face in the opposite direction, looking forward into a bright future.
The club’s origin story is also now front and centre, with the addition of Est. 1988 into the design for the first time.
These changes, along with the retention of the elements that make the brand iconic, allow the brand and logo to be modernised while ensuring our proud history remains undiminished.
Here we reveal our 2020 logo:
The incumbent logo suite will play a part in the overall Knights branding moving forward, such as the release of heritage merchandise lines or specific communications related to the era in which that particular version of the logo is synonymous to.
Q: Is this the first time the Knights logo has been updated?
A: No. The current logo has been in place since 2008.
This is the fourth time that the Knights logo has evolved since the club entered the competition in 1988.
On average, it has been updated every 10 years and eight months – and that’s not counting the anniversary logos that were in place in 1997, 2007, 2012 and 2017.
Q: Didn't the Knights win premierships under the current logo?
A: No. The two Knights Premierships were won under previous versions of the logo.
The 1997 Premiership was won with the 10th anniversary logo on the jersey, which was the first time in club history that the logo was changed.
The logo on the 2001 premiership jersey was last used in 2007.
Q: Why was the word ‘Newcastle’ removed?
A: We are and will always be the Newcastle Knights. We exist for our passionate supporters. The city will always be home.
Changes to the National Rugby League branding guidelines made ahead of the 2019 season promoted a review of our logo to modernise and simplify the brand in the same way many other clubs have.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs, North Queensland Cowboys, New Zealand Warriors, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Penrith Panthers – have logos that do not feature a geographic location, and are synonymous with their respective areas. The logos of the Rabbitohs and Panthers are represented with a visual device only.
We proudly won the 1997 Premiership under an anniversary logo that did not include the word Newcastle.
Our digital communications will always proudly refer to our great club as the Newcastle Knights. Our brand evolution retains the essence of the Knights whilst looking forward to future success.
Our establishment story is now a part of our brand mark with the addition of Est. 1988 into the design for the first time, an important nod to our heritage.
Q: Have any other clubs rebranded in recent years?
A: Yes, the Melbourne Storm and Penrith Panthers both revised their logos ahead of the 2019 NRL season. Others, including the Parramatta Eels and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, have made significant changes in the past 10 years.
Q: Who made the decision to update the logo?
A: Given the change to the NRL branding guidelines and the successful changes made by other NRL clubs, we consulted current players, Knights Old Boys as well as conducted focus groups with Knights supporters who endorsed the change. The two heritage logos that the club won premierships under will be retained and made available to supporters to use in heritage rounds.