Arbroath Football Cub was established in 1878 and as early as 1885, their shirts featured a badge consisting of a golden portcullis sewn into a large shield, representing the entrance to the ruined Arbroath Abbey (famous, in part, for its association with the Declaration of Arbroath), derived from the Arbroath coat of arms. That same year, Arbroath boasted a victory of 36-0 against the now-defunct Aberdonian side Bon Accord FC (who competed from 1884 until 1892), the largest margin of victory in world football until 2002.
For several periods from 1953 until 1992, the Arbroath kit featured some variation of the club initials, sometimes in a shield. In 1980, a single colour version of the current badge saw regular use. The current badge was updated with light blue and yellow in 1992. In recent years, the colours have been more in line with the 1980 version.
I have always been impressed with Arbroath’s 1992 badge. I would commend its timelessness, if not for the dated typeface and colours. For my redesign, which was first published on 5 November 2014, I stripped the shield away and retooled the portcullis so that it forms something similar to a traditional Iberian shield found in some historical depictions of the Arbroath coat of arms. I also swapped the typeface for something more Romanesque, recalling the historical significance of the town.
In my first round of redesigns, this badge was one of the few that I found very satisfying. So content am I with the design, that I have retained it for this current endeavour, focussing more on how it is incorporated into a new kit design.
The Arbroath home shirt first featured in maroon in 1882. Typically, this was accompanied with white details and shorts, not dissimilar to Hearts kits over the years. Arbroath first used a fully maroon kit in 1997 (Hearts did not use this scheme until 2002). I decided to capitalise on the attractive look of a fully maroon kit, with light blue details. My redesigned away kit is dominated by this light blue, with black shorts and details.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.