The inside story on why Norwich City have changed their crest
- Credit: Denise Bradley
It's been a week of new eras at Norwich City.
There has been a high-profile change of key personnel with Dean Smith replacing Daniel Farke in the dug-out. Now, the Canaries are set to end a 50-year association with their current iteration of the club crest.
It's been an issue many have regarded as taboo for a while. Conversations around a new crest have popped up at different points since 2009, but it has never come to fruition.
Those inside the club recognise this is a contentious and sensitive issue. After all, this is more than a brand logo, for some people it symbolises one of the great loves in their life.
Since 1972, that iconic image of the Canary standing planted on the top of the ball with the castle and the lion has represented Norwich City to the world.
A working group was set up in 2009 to explore the possibility of revamping the badge and Stephen Phillips was also asked to look into a potential change - it seems to have been always bubbling in the background but never really tackled and developed any further than that.
Many feel this is now the right time to push ahead with the modernisation of the current crest for a multitude of reasons.
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Next summer represents 50 years since the current one came into force. The club is also celebrating its 120th anniversary - both of those landmarks are viewed as the right time to launch a new badge.
Internally, this has been dubbed 'Project 50' as they have attempted to keep the project under wraps ahead of the big unveil which was launched at 6pm on Tuesday evening.
Of the 20 Premier League clubs, 16 have refreshed, modernised or made alterations to their badge since 2000. In its current form, the Canaries crest is the oldest in the top-flight behind Newcastle United.
But that isn't the only reason the decision has been made to make adaptations to their crest, in recent years, the club have encountered a host of technical issues with the current version.
For example, there is a lack of symmetry - the centrepiece of the Canary is just right of centre. The club feel the lion doesn't particularly resemble the animal and the castle on the badge has fewer turrets than the one that stands in the heart of Norwich.
In the revamped badge, the lion is designed to look more recognisable. There was also problems with the outline near the tail. When embroidered on the merchandise, often those lines would fuse together due to the thinness and proximity of the curves.
The castle now has the correct amount of turrets; nine. There have been minor tweaks to the door, which has been curved and additional windows added - many felt it resembled a block of lego.
The ball is in the centre of the shield to correct the 'off-balance' feel. The black lines that formerly outlined the badge have been removed and the poor contrast of the yellow and green rectified.
Handdrawn nearly fifty years ago, ten years prior to the invention of the internet, this is a badge that hasn't been tweaked for the digital age. That is what the club are hoping to correct with the new crest.
In many ways, it is too detailed. When scaled down it becomes difficult to make out the wing of the Canary. Many will view these as minor details, but they been eating away at those inside the club for years.
There is also an annoyance that several false versions have been adopted by other clubs, media organisations and by supporters.
This isn't the only design that was considered by the club.
Some more radical ones were played with that involved the canary being bigger than the shield, some with the wings in a flying motion and others where it looked as though the bird was on steroids.
There were versions that wouldn't have looked out of place on computer game Pro Evolution Soccer. The castle and lion were removed in some designs, the canary was taken off the ball and wording was introduced in others.
In the end, the club reached the destination of the badge that has been unveiled tonight.
The key message is clear - they want this to be seen as an evolution rather than a revolution.
In the back of everyone's minds has been the failed attempt Leeds United made to improve that badge that was subsequently withdrawn and confined to the scrap heap.
Whether that has prevented a more radical change is a question that may never be answered.
Norwich have been keen to consult with as many people as possible.
The initial phase involved conducting 50 internal interviews with current squad members, staff and academy players. Supporters were also sent a questionnaire in May that made many wonder if the current badge was subject to change.
A working group, similar to in 2009, was formed. Club legend Jeremy Goss was enlisted to sit alongside directors, supporters and staff to discuss the design.
Focus groups, a design process and a presentation to the supporters' panel completed a process the club describe as being robust and rigorous.
There is an acceptance that change isn't always viewed positively by football fans, especially surrounding something as important as a football club's badge.
After all, the current one has been to four Wembley finals, won in Munich and has been seen worldwide through highlight packages and on merchandise. To many, it is Norwich City.
It represents many memorable moments and is an image thousands of people worldwide associate with.
This is a new step. One the club have been pondering for a while. They feel the time is now.
NCFC extra: City coach helping Smith to settle in