The Everton Football Badge Debacle

If you’ve had the opportunity to keep an eye on the evolution of the Everton Football Club crest over the last couple of months, you’ll know it’s been a rough ride for the team who put the 2013/14 seasons badge together.

UPDATE: The result of the consultation is out, with 3 logos released for Everton fans to vote on: What happens when 20,000 people design a logo?

New and old side by side. 

A modernisation and simplification of the previous badge, which has been used since 2000, which itself has evolved from an original 1938 design that’s been used in various forms since ’78.

Evolution of the Everton crest.The fans didn’t like it very much (as the quickly created @NoToNewEFCBadge shows), and they let the club know. The main complaints seem to be the removal of the motto “Nil Satis Nisi Optimum” (‘Nothing but the best is good enough’) and the update and simplification of “Prince Rupert’s Tower” and 18th century lock up located upon Everton Brow.

Acutely aware of the sensitive nature of updating their football badge, Everton took plenty of steps to get it right, including focus groups and the 8 page explanation of the new logo.

None of it helped. The club has said it will use it for this season, 2013/14, then replace it with a new crest for the next designed with a wider consolation wit the clubs fans. Indeed you can head to the Everton web site and answer the survey. Or those with an artistic bent can enter their own design for consideration.

What was wrong with the old crest?

 Crest 2000-13

The 2000 – 2013 crest is quite close to the 1938’s original Tower badge. It features not just the tower but a couple of wreaths, the motto in a scroll, “Everton” and 1878, the year of the clubs formation, all in on or around a shield shape.

Throw in a yellow border and a weird glowing blue gradient on the shield and you have quite a traditional looking badge but with some of the 00’s typical “logo” treatments.

For me this badge doesn’t work as a modern sports logo for plenty of reasons. It’s very fussy, hard to reproduce and unwieldy. The wreaths add nothing to it, the tower is a disaster, it doesn’t look anything like the actual tower and has an odd trellis element atop it. You’ve text hanging of the bottom and the sides and the colouration is simply atrocious.

It needed updating for the future.

I fully expect many folks to disagree, the badge is something for fans to rally round, to tattoo on themselves, to hang on their walls. The fans want to be proud of their crest, they put passion and love into it. So change is always going to get folks back up, even if, in truth, it’s really needed.

 2013/14 crest amongst world clubs

What was wrong with the new crest?

 The 2013-2014 logo, due to be retired!

In essence, nothing. The tower is more honest to the original, if a little simple but I like it, the shield is a touch tubby, but a good shape, and they’ve knocked of the extraneous elements, especially the wreaths.

Perhaps knocking the motto off was a touch too much, but I understand why they did. The solution is a clean and modern crest that should be most usable and honours the ’30’s original.

But it’s hated. And not going to stay.


Latest rendering of the tower, and the tower itself.

 Painting including the tower.

 Evolution of the tower in various crests.

So what are you talking about it for, you don’t even follow Everton, or football for that matter?

Fair Question.

I linked to Design Weeks news on the fan consultation on Twitter. This lead to a conversation with a few Evertonions, and lead me to rustling up my own solution for fun.

Go on then big man, what you got?

First some caveats.

– I don’t support any football team beyond being pleased when I hear Derby County, my local team, have done well.
– Where as I might like this as a final solution, I’m in no doubt that it’s more of a direction to go in.

Then some thoughts and reasoning…
– The old badge (2000-13) is too fussy, too many elements and not representative of a 21st century worldwide sporting franchise.
– The tower goes. There’s a reason teams have proud and dynamic animals as badges and new teams call themselves things like “tigers” and “galaxy”. Yes the tower has history, but it’s damn ugly.
– No wreaths. What on earth does it have wreaths on. The tower maybe, but wreaths?
– Keep the motto. lets have one thing the fans like!
– A containing shape is good, not a fat shield though.
Make it modern, smart and clean, as well as a badge that fans can support, that’s the goal.

So here is the result…


My Proposal, controversial…

 Example in use.


My alternative in the mix.

I’ve created a stylish initial based crest, drawing on the earliest EFC badge with the letters overlapped within a shield. I’ve created a new shallow star for the initials to sit in and used a sans serif font. Retaining the motto but keeping it on a simple field rather than a scroll and retaining the conception date of the club.

I’m aware it’s VERY different. By avoiding the tower and going back to the 20’s lettering I’ve tried to keep the sense of hitory but bring it up to date. What I like about using the EFC initials is that in this social media world, the hashtag #efc on twitter, facebook and beyond, is a real rallying cry. EFC is at the centre of the mark.

My badge is clean and ultra modern, if I had my way, it’d be 1 colour only, but one must make allowances to the fans somewhere!

Will the eventual new crest look anything like this? I doubt it very much. I expect to see a cleaned up version of the 2000’s logo, without the gradient and perhaps bolder type treatment, I think we’ll see a taler, less accurately rendered tower, wreaths and scroll’y mottos.

But if the head of Everton’s marketing team is reading this and she’d like to get in touch, then do so, my rates are very reasonable!

And for anyone aghast with my version, do comment below, link me to your alternative and go on, tell me it says FEC. Use polite words and I’ll happily defend my position on it with a reply.

This article was originally posted on the Derby Graphic Design blog, on the 29th August 2013. We’re happy to welcome it to it’s new home on the site.

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