8/ Coventry City Unusual and distinctive. It could be argued that having an elephant, castle, phoenix and griffin is just plain greedy but it gels together better than it should.
Why the elephant? Well, there has been much debate down the years but the most likely explanation is that St George is believed – by some – to have originated from Coventry (though how an Italian monk came to be born in the West Midlands is anyone’s guess) and elephants are supposed to be the arch-enemy of the dragon. Daft? Certainly. Fantastically so.
7/ Celtic and Rangers Equal seventh (to stop any bickering) goes to both Glasgow clubs. Each favours a bold, simple circular crest with the barest of details – thereby giving the appearance of strength, confidence and a firm grasp of identity.
The Gers’ emblem boasts a blue football, a lion rearing within it, their name, and the basic motto (that is more of a declaration) of ‘ready’.
Celtic’s is much more aesthetically pleasing but no less rudimentary. A shamrock to reflect their Irish roots encased by their name and year of formation.
No-nonsense yet both are striking and attractive.
6/ QPR In 2008 the West London club introduced a new club badge. To their credit, although the usual annoying buzzwords were bandied around at the time of its launch such a ‘global marketing’ and ‘branding’ it actually looks rather traditional and classy (although with its crown and ‘coat of arms’ appearance it rather resembles the imposing heraldry on a prison entrance).
But thankfully this classy beauty is what we all think of when QPR come to mind and hopefully it shall always be so.
Sloped lettering and the outer border trailing into ribbons. Elegant simplicity.
5/ Colchester United Its eagle upon a shield design looks more like something flashed by a spook in a thriller than a club emblem which makes it all the more appealing. Colchester used the town’s official crest until 1972 when this cracker was knocked up. The stripes behind the eagle reflect the club’s traditional colours whilst the bird itself denotes the region’s Roman heritage.
4/ Nottingham Forest As literal a badge as you could ever hope to see. A tree to denote a forest. And just in case that wasn’t clear enough the word ‘forest’ is thoughtfully written beneath.
Yet all great logos are simple perfection and give the illusion that they were created in hurried panic on a scrap of paper. Similarly if this article was about the worst club badges they would all no doubt be convoluted, over-elaborate messes (see bottom of page).
As an added bonus this looked great in silver foil as a Panini sticker. But not as good as….
3/ Watford A striking contrast of colours and a highly unusual pentangle shape, chopped at the top with a bordered titling this is a modern classic. The animal staring out is, contrary to popular belief, not a moose or stag, but rather a hart, to denote the club’s base in Hertfordshire.
2/ Motherwell We love the juxtaposition of industry and nature within this badge. The fir tree alludes to Fir Park, the club’s home ground, whilst the pluming factory stacks pay homage to their nickname – the steelers. With its sallow yellow hue, washed of all vibrancy, and the themes contained within, it suggests the austere yet panoramic hometown from the Deer Hunter rather than the grimy, crime-ridden place just outside of Glasgow.
1/ Hearts Based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile but with the addition of a Scottish cross separating the club’s initials and year of formation and, naturally, a football beating within its centre, this is art and history emblazoned on a shirt.
And the worst…..
Swindon Town Vomited from the mind of a trainee graphic designer in the early 1990s this is a grotesque example of how not to do it. The diamond on its own, with the winding S, would be palatable and vaguely European if only in a gaudy way. But the whooshing football is a hideous inclusion that creates a blurry, busy mess. It threatens epilepsy for unsuspecting eyes.
Block colours are ‘in’ this year too. But not when it resembles two shell suits in a post-coital embrace.