To mark the 40th anniversary of the club’s most famous victory, English Premier League side Aston Villa FC are embarking on a review of the club’s crest and overall visual identity.
The Birmingham-based club announced the move on Friday, June 24. They said they want to “examine elements including the crest’s shape, the way we showcase our unique name and how we use our colours as powerfully as possible to represent our modern-day club with such a rich heritage.”
It was in May 1982 that Aston Villa defeated Bayern Munich 1-0 at Feijenoord Stadion in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to capture the European Cup. That victory is marked with a star in the current club crest.
Aston Villa is inviting supporters to be part of the process. It is establishing a Fans Consultation Group to provide input as they review the crest. “At this moment which has seen so much positive change and progress, it’s the right time for us to evolve how we look and feel as a whole club — pulling together all the great parts of what we do on and off the pitch,” the club said.
The club also committed to “bringing together a representative sample of Villa fans at the right moments in the process, to have some discussion around the possibilities for change and what it could look like.
“We’re not going to run public or fan polls to show development, but we will ensure that fan voices are present at important decision-making steps. We want you to be proud to wear it.”
The club notes that, because they want to get this right, any changes to the crest will not take effect until at least the 2023-24 season.
Aston Villa FC was founded in 1874, but a crest first appeared on their shirts in 1880. That crest was a Scottish Lion Rampant, lifted from the Royal Banner of Scotland, thanks to the influence of William McGregor and George Ramsay, two Scotsmen who played prominent roles in the club’s early days.
After wearing several different uniforms in their first 12 years of existence, club officials moved in 1886 to adopt chocolate and sky blue as Aston Villa’s colors. Somehow, the chocolate morphed into claret; the details of the change are lost to history. But the club continues to wear claret and blue today.
The club’s motto, “Prepared,” has gone in and out of the crest over the years. At times, it has appeared inside the shield, while at others, it has been written on a ribbon below the shield.
In 2007, the Lerner family bought Aston Villa, and the crest was subsequently modernized. In 2008, the colors were tweaked. The current version of the crest made its debut in 2016, with the motto taken out and claws added to the lion silhouette.
“The current crest isn’t weak; it’s served us perfectly well until now. However, we know that it doesn’t always stand out as it should in some of the places it is used, and when we look at it versus other Premier League clubs, the most powerful elements of our crest aren’t as powerful as they could be,” the club’s website reads. “It needs to look as strong as it can across both physical and digital uses, and from small format to large format uses; so this has to be factored into the design. Overall, this process means we have the opportunity to look the way we should: a competitive, unique modern club with a rich heritage.”
Fans who want to be part of the crest review process can register their interest here.