This whole ReBrand project was first inspired by my toying around with the iconic Celtic badge over over many years. Established in 1888, Celtic has become one of the most adorned and respected football clubs in the world. As of the end of the 2018/19 season, their honours include being crowned Scottish champions on 50 occasions, 39 Scottish Cups and 18 Scottish League Cups.
Celtic’s most successful season came in 1966/67, when the club participated in five competitions (the Scottish First Division, the Scottish Cup, the Scottish League Cup, the Glasgow Cup and the European Cup), winning each one. Their 2-1 European Cup victory over Inter Milan made Celtic the first British and only Scottish club to have achieved the honour. In addition to these highlights, for three consecutive seasons (2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19), Celtic have won every domestic trophy on offer (nine), completing the first Scottish ‘treble-treble’ (no other Scottish side has even won the domestic treble in two consecutive seasons).
Redesigning the badge of such an iconic football club (with some of the most devoted supporters in the world) was a daunting task, even if my alterations were only for fun.
The beginning of Celtic can be dated from a meeting held in the hall of St Mary’s Catholic Church in the Calton district of Glasgow. The meeting was led by Marist Brother Walfrid (born Andrew Kerins in Ballymote, Ireland), who proposed that a football club be established to raise funds for the alleviation of the rampant poverty in Glasgow’s East End, similar to the mission of Edinburgh’s Hibernian Football Club when it was established in 1875. In fact, on 28 May 1888, when Celtic played their first match (a 5-2 victory over Rangers at Glasgow Green), many of the side’s players were borrowed from Hibernian.
Celtic’s original strip featured a green Celtic cross within a red oval. In 1889 they adopted vertical green and white stripes for their home shirt, without a badge. The vertical stripes were replaced by their now-famous hoops in 1903. During the first half of the twentieth century, the club’s home strip lacked a badge, but their away tops featured a large three-leafed shamrock from time to time between 1925 and 1965. Celtic’s shirts did not feature a regular badge until 1977 (based on a badge that first appeared on the cover of their 50th [Golden] Jubilee Dinner menu in 1938), upon which most of their subsequent badges have been based. In 1988, the club celebrated their centenary with a badge derived from the Celtic cross of their very first badge. The following season they reverted back to their 1977 badge.
In 1994, the badge was updated very slightly and this design remained unaltered until the 2007/08 season, when Celtic celebrated the 40th anniversary of their European Cup victory with the addition of a star.
After the 2007/08 season, the star was retained and the badge remained the same until 2012/13 season, when Celtic celebrated their 125th anniversary by using a 1994 badge encircled by an attractive Celtic knot and an alternative badge featuring a Celtic cross.
For the 2017/18 season, Celtic utilised the badge below, commemorating 50 years since their historic European Cup victory:
I found the cross and the knot from the 2012/13 badges too attractive to disregard entirely. For my redesign, I have incorporated both (with the Celtic cross calling back to the original 1888 badge and the 1988 centenary badge). In addition to the Celtic knot and cross, I changed and centred the typeface.
For the home shirt, to depart from the classic hoops would be anathema. I am a particular fan of the narrow hoops, which saw recent use in the 2012/13 shirt. The away kit colour scheme is taken from many historical Celtic away kits dating from 1973.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.