ReBrand: Partick Thistle FC

PTFC badge new-01Partick Thistle Football Club was established in 1876, playing in the then-independent burgh of Partick (which was incorporated into Glasgow in 1912). For the first 33 years of their history, the Jags occupied various home grounds in and around what is now the West End of Glasgow.

After the Scottish Football League was established in 1890, a rival league called the Scottish Football Alliance was formed in 1891. The Jags joined the Alliance, alongside the likes of the original Airdrieonians, East Stirlingshire, Morton and Kilmarnock, among others. That same season, the club moved to Meadowside in Partick, which would be their home until 1908. Eventually, the Alliance became affiliated with the SFL and in 1897, Partick Thistle were elected to the SFL First Division. After a few seasons of relegations and promotions, the Jags returned to the top tier for the 1902/03 season and remained there for nearly 70 years.

In 1908, the Jags’ home ground of Meadowside was purchased in order to expand a shipyard at Partick. As a result, the club acquired a plot of land in the Maryhill district of Glasgow and built a new ground. They called their new home Firhill and despite the move from Partick, the club has retained their original name ever since.

Throughout their history, the Jags have experienced a number of ups and downs, never finishing any better than eighth place in the top tier. But their highlights include a Scottish Cup victory in 1920/21, defeating Rangers 1-0, and a Scottish League Cup victory in 1971/72, with a 4-1 dismantling of the Jock Stein Celtic side that had reached the European Cup final only two seasons before.

In the 2017/18 season, the Jags finished second-bottom in the Scottish Premiership, and thus faced a playoff against the second place Championship side, Livingston. Thistle were relegated from the top tier after losing 1-3 to Livingston over two legs and remain in the second tier today.

The current Thistle badge has been in use since 2008 (having replaced a distinctive modernist crest used from 1990). I think the current badge is very strong, but when attempting my redesign, I experimented with trying to tie a bit more history into it. Being that Partick Thistle has actually played in the district of Maryhill (as opposed to Partick) since 1909, I wanted to find a way to acknowledge that history. Early on, I began to incorporate elements from the Maryhill coat of arms into the badge, but felt that the design as too busy. Ultimately, I settled with a stylised thistle atop a traditional shield, something like a throwback to 1970s style.

I was never satisfied fully with this shield design, especially given its violation of the ancient Scottish heraldic law forbidding the use of lettering within coats of arms which have not be approved by the Court of the Lord Lyon. Eventually, I decided to give the Maryhill references another go. What I have ended up with is a round badge featuring various elements. The circlet surrounding the badge features the club’s name and year of foundation. Within the centre of the badge are four elements: a canal, a circular sawblade, a cogwheel and a stylised thistle. The first three elements are derived from the Maryhill coat of arms, highlighting the importance of the Forth and Clyde Canal which passes through the district as well as the various industries that played a major role in the development of the district before and after its incorporation into Glasgow in 1856. The canal bears special significance to the club’s history because it, like the ground of Firhill before it was purchased by the club, was owned by the Caledonian Railway for many years.

PTFC badge-01

The colour scheme and basic design of these two kits mirror historical Thistle kits. The home kit borrows heavily from the 1972 to 1975 strip. The away kit utilises more vibrant colours and borrows heavily from the 1958 to 1961 home strip. For the away shirt, I incorporated my redesigned thistle alone, as was used by the club from 1935 and into the 1970s.

PTFC kit-01

PTFC badge new-01

As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.

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