Four years ago, I set myself a wee challenge – to redesign Scottish football badges. I was first inspired by the logo for the now-defunct SPL. Since then, I made my way through the Scottish top tier and ventured into other Scottish leagues. With the busyness of life, I haven’t made the time to crack on with this meagre endeavour. Among the omissions from my collection of Scottish football redesigns, perhaps the most obvious is that of Rangers Football Club. Maybe folk think that the omission is the result of my being a Celtic supporter or is some statement on the financial and institutional state of the club over the last four years. But I have attempted a redesign of the Rangers badge on several occasions. Q: What’s the reason for its omission? A: The Rangers FC badge is such an outstanding design. But this project has never been about abandoning the old. Instead, it’s an exploration of club history and a personal challenge to think differently and try new things. So, with this in mind, I have decided to share one of my attempts at redesigning the Rangers badge.
Rangers Football Club was established by brothers Moses McNeil and Peter McNeil, as well as Peter Campbell and William McBeath in 1872. They played their first match later that year. In these early years, prior to the founding of the Scottish league system in 1890, Rangers showed themselves to be competent competitors. Over the next 122 seasons, Rangers secured the Scottish championship 54 times, more top tier championships than any other football club in the world.
Rangers did not incorporate a badge on their kit until 1968. They chose a design featuring the intertwined letters, ‘RFC’. The earliest use we have of this design was featured in the 1881-82 season ticket. (Another design, which has never featured on a kit, includes a lion rampant and the club motto, ‘READY’. The earliest version of this design was used in 1959.) Following their fiftieth top tier championship, in 2003, Rangers added five stars (one for each ten championships) to their badge.
For the rebrand, I decided to design a typeface, inspired by the late-nineteenth century. I opted to make all five stars the same size, to include the lion rampant as well as the year of Rangers’ founding. It’s nothing too frilly, but clean, simple and traditional. It’s good to see Rangers back up in the top tier and I wish them all the best (though I wish them only second-best whenever they play Celtic).