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 fierce 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. When they did this, they chose a design featuring intertwined club initials. The earliest use 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.) In 2003, following their fiftieth top tier championship, Rangers added five stars (one for each ten championships) to their badge.
Due to the fact that Rangers were not competing in the top tier when I first began my Scottish football badge redesigns five years ago, they did not feature in my original run. 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). But my Rangers omission was not for lack of trying.
I attempted a redesign of the Rangers badge on several occasions, but I found this especially difficult as I consider the ‘RFC’ monogram badge to be an outstanding design. But this personal project of rebranding Scottish football clubs has never been about abandoning the old. Instead, it’s an exploration of history and a personal challenge to try new things. With that in mind, in 2017, I decided to share one of my attempts at redesigning the Rangers badge.
For the rebrand, I designed a typeface inspired by late-nineteenth century aesthetics. 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. This year, I did make a minor change to the lion rampant, but below is more-or-less my redesign which was published on 3 August 2017:
It is difficult to envisage this badge in white on a blue (or red) shirt, so below are two ideas. The home strip is inspired by the Scottish National Team 1986 World Cup home strip. The away strip is inspired by several Admiral strips from the 1980s.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.