The Balmain side of the merger currently dominates the Wests Tigers identity yet does not hint at the vast history of the Balmain club (and even less so in the case of the Magpies). When the merger was formed, it was decided to avoid division in the new club by ditching the past and forging a completely new identity. The problem has been that this identity has been a mess for the most part and is currently the worst in the NRL.
The name “Wests Tigers” is the one of the only elements where the club tried to work the existing identities together, unfortunately the name just doesn’t work; its not easy to say (Wess Tigers) and is geographically ambiguous (west of what?). Thats not to say the names are bad on their own, they make for distinctive nicknames, particularly “Wests”. A specific geographic identity also splits the fans on merger lines – Campbelltown and Balmain. “Western Suburbs” doesn’t really cut it either as its still too ambiguous. “West Sydney Tigers”, although not perfect, give the club an area to represent without excluding either area (if West Sydney is to represent a large region West of Sydney City), this name would mainly be for official use and the nicknames “Wests” and “Tigers” would be the norm to the average fan.
The logo combines a past logo from each side of the merger…
…into a cohesive single identity. Unlike the current Tigers logo, this new design has an older feel to it, more befitting of a club closing in on 200 years of combined history. Like a few other Sydney clubs, the Tigers brand is strong enough to work without a wordmark in certain contexts, such as on the jersey. I included an alternate primary logo which further reinforces the “Wests” brand and this would be used where a wordmark is needed.
With similar colours its surprising that the Wests Tigers have yet to establish long term colour schemes, that is, a home colour and an away colour. Of late, the Balmain side of the merger has dominated the name, logo and colours of the club, a shame since Magpies fans are left in the past. I decided to focus more on black, being the common colour of both the Tigers and Magpies. With orange used as a primary accent and white as a secondary colour. The current shades of orange are not continuous between the logos and uniforms and closely match a hi-vis vest on the home jersey. This set uses the gold-orange more closely associated with Balmain.
The current Tigers jerseys are a disaster. Their designs have been terrible over their entire existence aside from their 2000-02 and 2008-10 efforts which I rate as average. A common feature again arises with the double V, used heavily by both clubs over the past 50 years. The primary and secondary jerseys take the equal widths of the Balmain V’s and the narrower spacing of the Magpies V’s. Although the primary jersey resembles an inverted Balmain design, the black/white colour balance in the overall uniform more closely resembles Wests. Furthermore, the secondary switches the black and white, leaving the orange as an accent colour. The primary would be worn as much as possible with the secondary only worn for away games against dark coloured opponents (Cowboys, Eels, Knights, Panthers, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Sea-Eagles, Storm, Warriors and dark expansion teams).
The two retro alts are replications of past Wests (1930) and Balmain (1915) jerseys and would be worn once each per year.