Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club. ICTFC. If the name is a mouthful, the current crest is an eyeful. Caledonian Thistle FC was the result of a 1994 union between two historic Invernessian football clubs – Inverness Thistle and Caledonian, both established in 1885.
In 1996, Inverness District Council requested that ‘Inverness’ be added to the club’s name. Instead of going the easy route with Inverness United FC or something of that ilk, we have the monstrosity that is ICTFC. And like the name, the current badge is quite busy and disjointed. It features a thistle (the symbol of Inverness Thistle), a golden eagle (the symbol of Caledonian) and a football. It’s not so much the presence of these symbols that make this badge challenging, but that there are at least two very distinctive illustrative styles employed in their depictions. Further insult is added to injury with a very poorly designed banner bearing the club’s name.
When first trying my hand at a redesign in 2013, I found this badge to be one of the most difficult. Ultimately, in my initial redesign, I decided to incorporate the historical ICT symbols, with the stylised golden eagle’s wings enveloping the thistle. I made use of the club’s colours and added a date in clunky Roman numerals. In truth, I was never satisfied with this initial redesign, but at the very least, I thought that it provided some unity to the ICT badge.
In 2018, I attempted yet another redesign. This time around, I still found this redesign to be one of the most difficult, but I was more satisfied with the result than my previous effort. In terms of design elements, I started entirely from scratch as I deemed my previous attempt unusable. I chose a round badge over the current asymmetrical badge shape (though, admittedly, this asymmetry is one of the stronger features of the current badge). I also decided to make use of each of the symbols from the current badge in what I hope is a more unified execution. I reworked the golden eagle’s wings to make them ever-so-slightly more identifiable, and to have them raising upward, better framing a redesigned thistle. This goes hand-in-hand with my inclusion of ‘1885’, as I think the fact that ICT’s direct ancestors were in existence for more than a century ought to be acknowledged.
And now, in 2019, I am finding this 2018 redesign difficult to stomach. In my desire to capture so much in a badge, I failed in Mies‘ insistance that ‘less is more’. Therefore, I have attempted yet another redesign of this behemoth of a badge. In this redesign, minimalism has been my aim. No words. No dates. Only simple lines depicting the head of a golden eagle and a thistle.
For the home shirt, I decided to go with ICT’s blue and red stripes, which have featured on most of the club’s kits since the union in 1994. The away shirt is inspired by Caledonian Thistle’s home strips from the early 1970s, with the black and red in near constant use in from 1894 until the union.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.