One Year Ago: The story of the Inter Miami CF brand

One year ago the Inter Miami CF brand came to life.

This is the behind the scenes story of how that happened.

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: They’re herons, not flamingos.

We’re referring here to the crest for David Beckham’s new MLS franchise, Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami, which is set to begin play in 2020. The crest, which was released earlier this month, features the color pink and a pair of aquatic birds. But they’re not pink flamingos.

“They’re great white herons,” says Pete Macia, a creative director at the branding firm Doubleday & Cartwright, which created the crest design. “They’re common in Miami, and if you watch video of them hunting, they’re psychotic! They fight snakes, they fight bigger birds — really insane hunters. That’s what we wanted to capture.”

The choice of herons as the mascots for Beckham’s new club, and pink as one of the colors, are among several surprising elements of the team’s newly revealed identity. Perhaps the most unlikely aspect is the choice of Doubleday & Cartwright as the agency behind the design. The Brooklyn-based firm has no Miami connections and had previously done only one top-level pro team branding project — a 2015 redesign of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.

But Beckham, of all people, has become Doubleday & Cartwright’s greatest champion. Responding through an intermediary, he said, “As soon as we met the Doubleday & Cartwright creative team, we knew they were the right people to help us to create something different, something that would really stand out but also have real meaning.”

How did a small Brooklyn design shop end up partnering with arguably the world’s most famous athlete to create the visual identity for a new MLS team? Here’s the behind-the-scenes story of how it happened.

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