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Why our Aston Villa crest redesign is great for all football fans
We have been working with English Premier League football club Aston Villa on the evolution of its crest for the end of the current football season, its latest move in looking to deliver against an ambitious growth strategy.
A new crest was successfully chosen following the completion of a public vote amongst Aston Villa fans, an event that marks a significant milestone in the role fans have in influencing decisions and proposed changes made by football clubs governed by The Football Association.
The FA guidelines now recommend steps and processes clubs are encouraged to follow when considering changes to a heritage asset such as a club crest. The guidance was introduced in-part as a response to the Tracey Crouch Fan-Led Review of Football Governance, which makes a number of recommendations targeted at giving fans a greater voice in key discussions made by a club.
The newly introduced guidance means that if a club wishes to make a material change to traditional elements such as its club crest or its recognised home shirt colours, it must undertake a thorough and extensive consultation process with supporters.
The guidance represents a big moment for football fans everywhere, as it ensures that no club is able to make a significant change to the identity of a club without the consent of its fan base.
Aston Villa became the first club to successfully rebrand since the guidance was introduced, and worked with Dragon Rouge to lead on the creation of the design options and the fan engagement process, an aspect the club had already signalled as being critical to the re-brand process prior even to The FA’s recommendations.
With Aston Villa being one of the oldest football clubs in the England, as well as one of the founding clubs of the original Football League, the crest designs had to be respectful of their deep history, whilst also taking into account the voice of the fans and the club’s strategic requirements; to have a more relevant, contemporary and flexible brand identity befitting of a top tier football club.
After an expansive consultation process with Aston Villa fans and staff, two crest concepts were proposed to season ticket holders and members, who were then asked to vote for their preferred option. After receiving a club record 21,500 votes, a preferred crest was chosen, along with a strong mandate from fans that they were in support of the change away from their current crest.
The new crest will officially launch for the 2023/2024 season and features a newly crafted lion rotated to now face forward, with the circular shape of the badge paying homage to the shape worn during the club’s 1982 European Cup triumph.
The winning crest has been met with great excitement by fans, in addition to the club receiving praise for the level of fan engagement exhibited throughout the process, something that will become a mandatory requirement for other clubs considering making changes to their crest and other heritage assets.
Adam Lowe Head of Marketing at Aston Villa Football Club, said:
“The crest is such an important part of the club for our fans and our future growth, being the fundamental representation of who we are as a club and brand. Thorough consultation with our fans was vital, alongside it being rightly protected as a heritage asset by the FA and Premier League.
The consultation and creative work, led by Dragon Rouge, guided us to the core principles of what our fans wanted and what was essential to represent Aston Villa – which was key in leading to such clear support for the change from our fanbase. That input, balanced with a design which works in a modern world, has led to a crest .”
Becky King, Creative Director, Dragon Rouge
“It was a privilege to work on such an iconic asset for Aston Villa. It was a very specific design challenge, where many voices need to be considered, and one which had to balance craft and heritage with the desire to represent the modern club and its momentum. We are very proud of the chosen crest and know that it’s just the start of a refreshed, flexible look for the club.”
Key supporting statistics
Results of the fan vote
● Over 21,500 fans took part in the vote.
● 77% of fans voted for the round design
● 23% of fans voted for the gas lamp design
● 8% voted to keep the current crest
When asked through the initial club survey, the majority of fans (76%) do not feel that the current crest represents Aston Villa well
93.5% of fan comments across social media in response to the initial announcement of changing the crest were positive.
Further information and articles available to view here
Further information on the process and options presented to fans available here
For more information please contact Dragon Rouge’s James Byrne on firstname.lastname@example.org/ +44 207 262 4488.