This 2018 round was my first attempt at redesigning the Dunfermline Athletic Football Club badge, though the challenge of redesigning such a unique and iconic badge has been floating around in my mind for a while now.
The history of association football in Scotland is inextricably tied to cricket. Along with clubs such as Kilmarnock, St Johnstone, St Mirren and potentially Heart of Midlothian, Dunfermline Athletic was established as a winter sporting pursuit in the cricket off-season. The original club was called Dunfermline Football Club and was established in 1874. In 1885, Dunfermline FC broke away from the cricket club and became Dunfermline Athletic FC so that non-cricket club members could join.
The Dunfermline Athletic kit did not include a badge until the 1958/59 season, when the club employed the skills of Dunfermline High School art teacher Colin Dymock. Dymock’s badge was thoroughly modern in shape, colour and design. It was composed of a downward-pointing triangle and featured Malcolm’s Tower, a local landmark, as a centrepiece. This original badge was dropped from the kit in 1962.
The Dunfermline Athletic shirt featured an encircled ‘DUFC’ monogram for the 1971/72 season and then from 1977 until 1986, home shirts featured the club’s initials alone. For the 1986/87 season, the club began to use a slight viariation on Dymock’s 1958 badge design, and similar badges have adorned the breast of the Dunfermline Athletic shirt ever since.
As mentioned before, the current Dunfermline Athletic badge is a cracker. When the first version was introduced in 1958, it would have been groundbreaking (and perhaps polarising). But it has become a cherished staple of the Dunfermline Athletic identity. That being stated, I find the badge very unrelatable. Malcolm’s Tower, named after Malcolm III of Scotland (Gaelic: Máel Coluim mac Donnchada, who reigned from 1058 to 1093), is a very historically significant site as it marks the move of the seat of royal power from Forteviot in Strathearn (modern-day Perth and Kinross) to Dunfermline. A crude depiction of the tower has featured in the Dunfermline coat of arms for centuries. But all that remains of the tower today is a foundational ruin, and its precise design is unknown. As a result, Dymock’s design is simply an interpretation of what the tower might have looked like, and in a fragmented, modern style.
For my redesign, I struggled while considering what I might employ. Given my perception of the unrelatable nature of the 1958 badge, I wanted to offer something either more familiar or entirely different. I opted to go with the iconic triangular shape of the badge, but instead of Malcolm’s Tower, I decided to utilise one of Dunfermline’s most physically prominent and handsome landmarks: the clock tower of the City Chambers. With its striking green roof of oxidised copper and its skillful combination of French, Gothic and Scots baronial architectural styles, I believe that the clock tower proves to be a very fitting centrepiece for the redesigned badge. I also incorporated the zig-zagged white cloud stripes from the 1958 badge and lightened the blue background to sky blue.
For the home shirt, I decided to continue with Dunfermline Athletic’s long tradition of black and white vertical stripes (in near-constant use since 1909), but with a pattern that echoes the triangular badge. For the away strip, I decided to make use of red (the predominant away strip colour over the last two decades) with a black gingham pattern (inspired by the 1996/97 home strip).
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.