Q&A: Avid Timbers Army member Brent Diskin talks about his unique design for the Portland Thorns

With today's announcement of the new Portland Thorns FC team name and crest design, we reached out to the crest's designer, Brent Diskin to learn more about how he put it together. Diskin, an ardent Timbers Army member as well as artist, had a strong vision about what the crest should look like and how it would represent the team, city, and supporters.

Explain the crest and the design inspiration/process behind it. What are some of the unique aspects of the design? What is “Portland” about it?
BD: The mark had to be simple – not just for production purposes, but also to attempt to create a mark that was as “time-proof” as possible. It had to look good not only today, but years down the road. It also should convey constant motion, as shown by the simple wreath of thorns twisting around a “vortex rose." I also felt that there should be an element of the city included, in this case, with the four-point star from the City of Portland flag – so that the city is with the team, wherever they may be.

WATCH: The new team name and crest revealed

You’re known for numerous Timbers Army banners and posters. What kind of influence did the Timbers’ character have on the Thorns’ crest?
BD:  A few elements of the Timbers badge, both historical and modern, were held in mind in the design for the Thorns. The shape (a circle) and the club name arc-scrolled around the inside edge were thoughts carried over from historic Timbers badges. A modern addition, the rose, was pulled from the Timbers’ “Rose City Red” kits and it fit perfectly with the turning motion of the thorns. In all, I wanted a crest that would look good alongside the Timbers, but still have its own strong identity.

Why is a crest so important to a team’s identity and spirit? Why does the seriousness behind a team’s look matter?
BD:  A soccer crest has to do a lot of things. It is an icon that represents the team, the town, and its supporters. It’s a symbol that is flashed after a goal and rallied around in difficult times. The crest should show the spirit and determination of a team, and connect that team with its city.  Most of all, it should be worn with pride.

The Thorns crest was designed with this in mind. I tried to stay away from any imagery that would be considered too “girly” or “cartoony”. The combination of symbolism and simplicity is meant to inform all that this is a team that this is a professional team that means serious business.

What are you most looking forward to with the new women’s professional team and league?
BD:  On match days, it’ll be exciting to see some really competitive matches with world-class players from all over North America. Going forward, I think the league has set up a good model to allow for continuous and sustainable growth as well as to promote women’s soccer from coast to coast. I can’t wait to see this league grow over time and with it, the inclusion of more women, young and old, in the beautiful game.

I’m also looking forward to the crest’s first modification – a star above it.


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