#AgainstModernFootball is a hashtag that I see more and more often these days and there is a reason behind it…

As we all know, football moves on with time. Players move on, managers move on, chairman move on, but a football clubs history and heritage will always be there. A clubs heritage can be represented in many ways, one of which is the clubs badge. It’s 2017 and most clubs have been around for well over 100 years so you can expect to see an evolution in badge designs.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for rebranding a club as its an essential part of growing the club as a business, but there is the right way and the wrong way… and trust me there is a whole lot of wrong with some of the latest rebrands coming out of the football world.

West Ham United football club logo design history

Lets start with West Ham United. With a recent move to the former Olympic Stadium (now called the London Stadium), the club thought a freshen up was in order. At first I wasn’t really a fan but I have to admit it has really grown on me, the simplicity of the two crossed hammers and the new West Ham United font is clean and refreshing compared to its predecessor. The word ‘London’ now features at the bottom, which was obviously placed for marketing purposes, but it also gives the badge some authority.

One of my favourite parts of the badge is actually one of the smallest details, engraved on the head of each hammer is the initials ‘TIW’ which stands for Thames Ironworks. Now this might not make much sense to you so let me explain… Thames Ironworks was the club that was founded by Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co, which later became West Ham United. What’s so important about the TIW in the head of the hammer is that it shows where West Ham was founded. Design is all about detail and the smallest details in this case can have a significant meaning to represent the history and culture of West Ham United.

One of the Premier League giants Manchester City have also had a rebrand before the start of this season, which saw them move back to a previous design. It’s essentially a newer version of the 1972 badge which incorporates the same elements such as the ship, rose and now includes the date Man City were founded, ‘18’ on the left side and ‘94’ on the right. I have to say I really love this design; the colours and the darker blue border around the edge and inside of the badge really compliment the inner details and makes a bold statement. It’s a clever move from the Man City owners as the new design is very consistent in their circular design with the other two teams in City Football Group (New York City FC and Melbourne City FC).

City Group Football team logos
Manchester City football club logo design history

Now, we’ve had two badge designs that tick all the boxes, but lets get on to one that has had mix reviews in the Right Angle Studio…

Reveal of the new Juventus branding design
JD Sports inspiration for fan-made Juventus logo

Juventus is the most successful club in Italy and is one of the biggest clubs in the world. Earlier this month they released their new badge design, which has had a lot of mixed reviews within the Right Angle studio. As soon as I saw it I automatically associated it with some sort of Italian fashion design company… not a football club. From what I’ve seen on different social media platforms there has been more negative reviews than there have been positive, bearing in mind that most of the backlash has been from football and Juventus fans themselves. A funny tweet I saw on Twitter suggested that the new design looks very similar to the JD logo… yes, JD the King of Trainers.

My earlier point about preserving the history and heritage of a club is very relevant in this case. They’ve removed the main features and elements of the previous badges and have really stripped it down to basics. Although Juventus are known to change their badge a lot more often than other clubs, there has been 9 badge designs since they were founded with the 1979 badge being one of the most divergent. I can understand why people love the new 2017 design and I can understand why people hate it. As a football badge it breaks the boundaries and has taken a further step towards the dreaded ‘Modern Football’, but when I take off the football goggles it really shows a stunning, minimal design featuring the famous black & white stripes and the ‘J’ of Juventus in the shape of a shield.

Design history showing the development of the Juventus football club logo

Whilst scrolling through Twitter and seeing the backlash from Juventus fans regarding the lack of history in the badge. I stumbled across a tweet from a fan who had claimed to have spent 10 minutes in Photoshop ‘improving’ the badge. He’s essentially reversed it back into a more traditional football badge by adding the key elements from the previous designs whilst adding an actual shield around the subliminal shield. I’m not saying it looks better but adding in the horse, crown, stars certainly gives it that traditional football feel!

A fan-made Juventus football club logo design

Now it’s no surprise that Juventus went for this dramatic change as they have been proven to do this in the past. A good point was made in the studio that the design will look even better on their merchandise (hats, t-shirts, tracksuits etc.), which I have to agree with. The black and white striped kit has the potential to really bring out the best of the simplistic badge. I guess we’ll just have to see when the new kit comes out in the summer.

So will the new Juventus badge join minimal design classics like Apple and Nike, or will it be changed back to one of its previous configurations like Man City – What do you think? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @90rightangle.