Saturday, 27 October 2012

Rebadge the badge

You might be surprised to hear this from us, but the world of football nostalgia isn’t as perfect as it might seem. Oh sure, we’ve allowed entire months to pass us by while thumbing through our pile of old Panini albums, but that’s not to say everything in this Elysian netherworld is as cracked up as it ought to be.

Take football badges, for instance. At first sight, nothing could be finer than a vast array of club insignias displayed in collective formality, each using colours and motifs to represent a team you probably don’t support and could care much less for. Yet each one has been crafted and honed by skilled artists and designers to symbolise the hopes, ambitions and dreams of an ever-changing army of players and fans alike.

At least that’s what you’d think. Unfortunately some club badges, historic and long-standing though they might be, are far from perfect and... well there’s no easy way to say this... are in need of an update.

Normally such talk of modernisation is an afront to our very nature, but here at The Football Attic we believe perfection is achievable if you wish hard enough for it. So let’s see if we can identify those club badges that are long overdue a refresh and work out how to make them better.

Southampton

On the plus side, there aren’t many English football club badges that have a football scarf on them. Come to think of it, there aren’t many that have a halo on them either, but the inclusion of both here somehow add too much quirkyness and informality to the Saints motif. At least there’s some sort of Southampton coat of arms on display, but even then it’s possible to argue that it’s not the most evocative example of local heraldry.

So what can we replace it with?  Well perhaps a saint of some sort... the patron saint of sailors, given that Southampton is one of England’s major sea ports. A picture of St. Brendan, then, framed in a circular ribbon featuring the words ‘Southampton Football Club’ with small anchor motifs dotted in the sky behind our newly-chosen saint. What more could you ask for - it’s got history, reverence, local history and not a single scarf in sight.

Birmingham City
You’ve got to hand it to the St Andrews club - they had international ambitions, but they came to nought. Their current badge, implemented in 1976, features a ribbon and a globe atop an old-fashioned football the like of which one associates with Bobby Charlton and 6-3 defeats to the Hungarians. Original, distinctive, but starting to look a bit tired now. Let’s see what we can change it for...

How about a football featuring a stylised swirly-whirly pattern in blue designed to look vaguely like Spaghetti Junction, the famous motorway interchange resident in England’s second city since the mid-1960’s? Below it in a suitably serifed font could be the name of the club and either side of the ball could be ‘18’ and ‘75’ to show the year in which the club was formed. A modern logo-style badge, admittedly, but one that would see it through another decade or two before the inevitable next redesign.

Norwich City
English club badges featuring birds of one sort or another come ten-a-penny, but not many feature a sweet domestic caged bird constantly fearing its inevitable destiny in the jaws of the humble family cat. Yet that very creature, bright yellow upon a green shield and perched on a ball, has survived well since its inception as part of Norwich’s club badge in 1972. The canary. that is - not the cat.

The problem is, it’s a bit boring, frankly. Canaries by their very nature have little to offer beyond tweeting incessantly until someone tells them to shut up. (Any comparison with Stephen Fry, incidentally, is entirely inappropriate.) Far better, perhaps to have the magnificent spire of Norwich Cathedral on display within a similar shield, flanked on either side by lions (given that there’s one on the Norwich coat of arms). The finishing touch?  The name of the club written in full below it in a modern, bold, sans-serif font. Piece of cake.

Blackburn Rovers
Ah, that trusty old red rose. How very redolent of natural beauty, how very English, how very... badly drawn. Time to get rid of it, methinks. I mean how you can you have a team known far and wide for wearing white and blue halved shirts and not have that incorporated into the badge, for heaven’s sake?

Here’s how you do it. First, you take a circle, slightly stretched top to bottom to make it an oval of sorts. Across the bottom, you have some black wavy lines to depict the ‘burn’ bit of ‘Blackburn’ (it means ‘river’, you know). Above it, the oval is split in two vertically so that the left half is white, the other is blue. In the white half, you have a picture of a mill to reflect Blackburn’s heritage as a wool-weaving town, and on the other you have a sheep - the provide of the wool. As ever, the name can go below somewhere, preferably in a font such as Times New Roman. Heritage, colours and relative imagery, all present and correct.

So there you have it - my own masterclass in how to freshen up those tired old club badges. Nothing could be simpler, and if you wish to prove that by suggesting redesigns of other club badges, drop us a line to admin [at] thefootballattic [dot] com or leave us a comment on this post. We look forward to hearing from you.

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