Theprecise origin of the Heart of Midlothian Football Club is unclear. A report in The Scotsman from 1864 first mentions ‘Heart of Midlothian’ as a cricket club, though it is not known for certain whether—alongside the likes of Kilmarnock, St Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic and St Mirren—this cricket club would eventually form the football club of the same name. What is more certain is that Heart of Midlothian adopted association football rules in 1874 and that this is considered the official year of the club’s formation.
When I first published my redesign of the Heart of Midlothian badge in August 2013, this illustrious club, bearing such domestic honours as four Scottish League Championships (tied for third most), eight Scottish Cups (fourth most) and four Scottish League Cups (fourth most), had only recently begun the process of entering into administration. As a result, Hearts were forced to begin the 2013/14 season with a fifteen point deduction.
By the end of the season, Hearts found themselves at the bottom of the league table and were relegated to the Scottish Championship (all other things being equal, had they not been deducted the 15 points, they still would have ended the season in a relegation playoff position). But demonstrating profound resilience, Hearts were able to secure promotion to the Scottish Premiership with seven games remaining in the 2014/15 season.
As far as badges go, the current Hearts badge is very strong. The image is based on a mosaic that can be found on the pavement outside of St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The mosaic sits on the site of the Old Tolbooth (which stood between c.1400 and 1817), the former administrative centre of Edinburgh as well as the site of a prison and public executions.
In my initial redesign I wanted to call back to an earlier age without doing away with the current badge completely, borrowing some features from the club’s previous badges, namely, the vertical bars supporting a central heart. Below is my redesign published on 10 August 2013:
For my initial redesign, I incorporated the more obtuse heart and gold lettering found in the current badge. I also incorporated a subtle Saltire in the inner and outer rings.
For my 2018 update, I changed relatively little. I removed some of the background vertical bars, while thickening those that remained, ditched the gold lettering, increased the presence of the Saltire and employed a lighter shade of blue.
For both the home and away kits, I went with a pared-down, 1970s look.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.