The Montreal Alouettes new look is fantastic – and long overdue

Photo courtesy: Montreal Alouettes

The Montreal Alouettes officially unveiled their new colours, logo, and uniforms on Friday night, marking the team’s first logo change since 2000 and first substantial change of team colours and uniform since the team returned to Montreal in 1996.

Before diving into the changes – don’t worry, we’ll get there – I have a quick thought: what took so long?  I understand the team keeping everything status quo while in the midst of the Calvillo era – you don’t change your brand when you’ve got the best player in the game behind centre and are competing for a championship every year.  Look no further than the current New England Patriots, currently entrenched in the Brady/Belichick era, for an example of making no changes whatsoever when the team is successful: Tom Brady has worn essentially the same uniform for every start of his career from 2001 to the present.

But why wait until 2019? Calvillo retired in 2014, and his last full season was back in 2012.  The team has been mired at the bottom of the league’s standings since Calvillo’s departure and hasn’t yet been able to find a franchise QB.  The Adidas uniform rebrand in 2016 would have been the perfect time to make this change.  Better late than never, I suppose.

I have been very vocal about my distaste for the Alouettes uniforms and logo in the past, but I’m happy to say that overall, I’m very happy with the “new” Montreal Alouettes:

The Colours

The team was in desperate need of picking two colours and sticking with them- blue and red made the most sense.  The switch to a darker blue gives the team a more modern look, and looks great with the red.

The Logo

I love logos.  A logo should be distinct, interesting, and simple – something that could be drawn easily from memory with no artistic skill.  This new logo checks all those boxes for me.  It has a retro-feel to it, which is interesting in the middle of a decidedly modern rebrand, but I think it works well enough.  It’s simultaneously an Alouette in flight, but also a stylized “M” and “A”, and it looks good on merchandise.

The Uniform

The most important thing to nail with this rebrand was the uniform – it’s what the players wear to represent the team on the field.  The previous uniform was easily the worst in the league.  This new look rockets the Alouettes much, much higher on the league’s uniform standings.  It’s clean and modern, displays the colours and logo clearly, and the numbers and name bars are easily legible.  I don’t mind the monochromatic look of the uniform, but I’d love to see the team rotate the pant and jersey combination.  I tossed the new uniforms into photoshop for a quick peek at what that would look like:

Pretty slick, if you ask me.  I’d love to see the Als use all four of these uniform combinations over the course of 2019.

Overall, this is a major success for the Alouette’s head office: a completely new identity for a football team that really needs one.  The Calvillo era is long since over so it’s time for a new look and fresh start.

With the Alouettes relaunch, my biggest uniform-related issue in the CFL has been resolved.  I will now lend my voice to the next issues that need to be rectified: getting the Riders to switch to their retro uniforms full-time, convincing the Stamps to stop wearing black and embrace silver once again, and (likewise) get the Lions to minimize black in their colour scheme and focus on their current “away” orange and white look.

Tim Hodge thinks about uniforms way too much. He’s the co-host of The BlueBomberTalk Podcast, a lifelong CFL fan, and father of twins affectionately referred to as "the Growds." Follow him at @CFLUniMonitor.