As Juventus radically change their logo, let's look at the early badges of Europe's biggest clubs

The modern badges of today often bear few similarities to the logos of the distant past

BY Raf Diallo 17:08 Tuesday 17 January 2017, 17:08 17 Jan 2017

Manchester United badge at Old Trafford. Picture by Richard Sellers EMPICS Sport

Logo designs are a basic part of marketing and given how lucrative an industry football is, badges can be prone to an overhaul.

The one thing about them is that when you set your eyes on them, they should be instantly recognisable - and even for those with a limited interest in football, the badges of clubs like Manchester United or FC Barcelona are iconic symbols. 

Italian giants Juventus have decided to make a radical change to their club badge, unveiling the new design today which is now a stylised "J". 

Of course, technology means there are more options for clubs when putting together their crests in comparison to the 1800s or early 20th century when Europe's most recognisable football clubs were founded.

For instance this is the logo Juventus will wear on their jerseys from next season:  

In contrast, the first known badge of the club bears a strong resemblance to the one Juventus are replacing, except it had an unfurled banner inscribed with latin script at the top.

The oval shield with black and white stripes with the words Juventus printed horizontally have survived across a span of 110 years, with only minor modifications made to the overall design.

The heraldic image of a raging bull below "Juventus" have also been a constant from 1905 to 2017.

Juventus aren't the only club that have made a radical change. Arsenal's was also a marked shift when they modified their crest in 2002 to this:

Current Arsenal badge ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

This is how their first badge appeared:

Wikimedia Commons

It bears a striking resemblance to the coat of arms of the Borough of Woolwich, where the club originated from.

However, motifs like the single cannon (as you can see above three cannons that look like chimneys were originally used), which is an Arsenal symbol had been introduced from the 1920s and incorporated into interim designs like their second to last logo:


Arsene Wenger in 1997 with the pre-2002 badge on his jacket. The cannon is embroidered in the centre below the words Arsenal ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Similarly to how Arsenal originally took inspiration from their Woolwich surroundings, Manchester United initially based their badge on the coat of arms of Manchester City Council, particularly the image of the sailing ship which survives to this day.


The Manchester United emblem and the DHL logo on the training jacket of Manchester United's Michael Carrick. Picture by Dave Thompson PA Archive/PA Images

The red devil below the ship only came in back in 1970 off the back of the club's nickname. 

But as this image of a 1957 badge shows, the crest has a close resemblance to the City Council coat of Arms, with the blurred white part in the middle being the ship: 


The Manchester United badge on the club's FA Cup final kit. Picture by PA PA Archive/PA Images

Pride of place on Liverpool's badge is the liver bird and it's been a fixture on club logos since 1901.

Following the general theme of representing one's local area, in the way that Arsenal and Man United's badges do, the liver bird is the symbol of the city of Liverpool and features on its coat of arms. 

Robbie Keane in front of the Liverpool badge in 2008 ©INPHO/Getty Images

Liverpool, like many other clubs, didn't incorporate their badges into their kit designs at an early juncture. 

In Spain, FC Barcelona's badge is instantly recognisable with blue and red stripes and colours of the Catalan flag on the top right beside cross of St George:

Picture by Mike Egerton EMPICS Sport

The very first Barcelona badge design is visible here. It's a departure from the logo we know today - one which has been in place since 1910.

Real Madrid's too is globally known with its crown representing its royal patronage. The crown was only added in 1941, on top of the circular foundation that survives today.

Cristiano Ronaldo with the crest on the right. Picture by Francisco Seco AP/Press Association Images

When Real Madrid were still Madrid Club de Futbol, this is what the badge looked like, with the letters M, C and F:


Wikimedia Commons

AC Milan's badge now incorporates the cross of St George beside the red and black club colours, almost like Barcelona. That red cross on a white background is the design of the flag of Milan and used to be the symbol the club used initially.

While Juventus and AC Milan use oval badges, Inter Milan's is circular and includes the club colours and blue and black.

The circle is formed by the letters F, C, I and M, which remains pretty much the design of today.


General view of a giant Inter Milan badge in the stands. The colours are different to the official one. Picture by Stephen Pond EMPICS Sport

And finally, Bayern Munich, the five time European Cup/Champions League winners. 

Currently their badge is made up of a thinner blue outer circle, followed by a white one, with a thicker red one just inside it. The words FC Bayern Munchen are printed in white on the red background.

Symbolically in the centre of the circle is a blue and white patterned section which are the colours of the state of Bavaria where Munich is located. 

That is central to the earliest coat of arms of the club which was a blue and white striped flag with a circle featuring the letters FCB. 

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