The Shield Shirkers Project

The brief:

  1. Redesign selected Scottish football club badges so they’re not inside any kind of shield.
  2. Keep as much of the original badge as possible but change style/detail as required (raise standard of design).
  3. Only add objects that come from the heritage of the club or their local area.

The Shield Shirkers project is driven by different motives. I’m giving clubs an option in case they face legal action but I’m also holding up my own work at the same time. I don’t know how likely it is that a club would be interested in my designs. I hope they could at least feed into the debate amongst fans. Most people find things hard to visualise so putting a design in front of them should help. Even if the reaction is “not like that”!

Although I’m making up my own rules I could have given myself more leeway than I have. I’m genuinely trying to be creative and help to raise the standard of design in Scottish football a wee bit. There’s a bit of self interest there too, as I think some club badges really need redesigned. Mind you, I’ve found that some other fans agree with me on that. I think fans on the internet are more aware of these things now (or maybe fans always were but can express that more easily on the web).

Where there’s an obvious fans forum I’ll probably ask what fans think during the design process. However, it’s a personal project so I’m not going to spend ages on consultation, especially where I’m not doing a full design (like Albion Rovers/Arbroath). However, I am sticking quite closely to clubs’ visual traditions and trying to do a decent amount of research. I do want the designs to reflect my experience of Scottish/British football culture and of working as a graphic designer.

There are far more knowledgeable fans than me, and better designers, but not many people have a balance of the two. I put off doing badge redesigns for ages as I thought it was a vanity project (which it still is). However, once the Lord Lyon situation gave me a nudge, I realised that my attention to detail and following a club up and down the leagues was good preparation for it.

Shield Shirkers redesigns:

  1. Ayr United
    1. Albion Rovers (previous badge)
    2. Arbroath (E Wade’s design)

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