While ESPN will televise its final NFL preseason game tonight – Cincinnati Bengals versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8 p.m. ET), the 46th season of Monday Night Football officially will kick off three weeks from today.
ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader on Sept. 14 – Philadelphia Eagles versus Atlanta Falcons (6:55 p.m.) and Minnesota Vikings versus San Francisco 49ers (10:15 p.m.) – will include the debut of a new logo for sports television’s signature series.
The new MNF shield is actually a sleeker, more modern version of the existing mark that debuted in 2011 (both are pictured above for comparison).
Lucas Nickerson, art director in ESPN’s Creative Services, has overseen the creation of the new logo. He’s also directed the new graphics and animation package that will debut on opening night. He describes the process that went into creating the revamped look:
“Like many things that evolve through design in the NFL – uniforms, equipment, television broadcasts – it was time for an update to the ESPN MNF branding and animation package. The branding started with an update to the logo while keeping the blueprint of the previous one intact. The MNF marquee remains the centerpiece, but now it acts as an LED screen allowing motion to activate the logo – in similar fashion to the way ‘in-stadium’ animations race through panoramic LED monitors providing eye candy to a spectator attending an NFL game. The nine-pack of stadium lights on the previous logo are now fabricated as groups of thinner, modern-looking LED panels. All of the lights, letters, and the ESPN logo received multiple layers of constructed detail in 3D.
“Emphasis was put on creating opportunities for activation of the logo in the new animation package. Those details, when viewed from a close-up perspective during an animation showcasing the activation of the logo, are quite stunning on screen. The 2015 update to the ESPN Monday Night Football logo resulted in a clean, sleek, modern mark.”