Ranking all the club logos in the Premier League

Lists

Football aside… what team has the best logo in the Premier League?

I am a football-fan and also the Co-founder of NewGlue – an innovative logo-service that allows small businesses to get high-quality branding at affordable prices. I have worked with branding design for 10+ years, so listing the best logos in the Premier League comes natural to the team at NewGlue. Yes, there are a few other lists online that rank club crests of teams in the Premier League. But none of them have been made by football-loving logo designers. Yes, we know what we are talking about. Therefore, NewGlue has reviewed each PL-team’s official club crest in terms of design rules and other principles that are essential in branding.

Three core components of a good logo:

  1. Meaning = what is the story behind the logo? Is that message communicated?
  2. Visual elements = is the logo well designed? Does it have a good logo icon, colors and fonts?
  3. Uniqueness = does the logo and branding stand out from the competition?

We have given every team a score between 1-10 (10 being the best) for each component. The total score will decide the team’s ranking. So here we go. If the Premier League was played in logo design instead of football, the table at the end of the season would look like this.

 

20. Fulham: 5p
 

  • Meaning = 1p
    As someone born in western London, this one hurts. Fulham takes last place and is relegated to the 2nd division, also known as League of Bad Crests. There is no story told here except that there are bad logo designers living in Fulham. No clues are given that this is a football club. On the contrary, the logo makes the club look more like an ice-hockey team from Kazakstan.
  • Visual elements = 1p
    Once upon a time the club featured Craven Cottage in their logo, which has a lot of historic value to the club and is also the name of the club’s stadium. Today, the club uses a badly designed monogram made out of an ugly sans serif font, topping it off with a disastrous black outline, making the type look like a pre-set style that you’ll find in Windows 95. Bring back the cottage lads! Maybe something like this logo which is available at NewGlue.
  • Uniqueness = 3p
    Yes, quite unique. No other team in the league has a crest that says so little.

 

19. Cardiff: 7p

  • Meaning = 2p
    A quite nice logo, but also very confusing. Ever since Cardiff’s Malaysian owner Vincent Tan made an unprecedented rebranding in 2016, the club has been battling to find their identity. On one hand, the fans identify with the bluebird which has been part of their branding since 1959. On the other hand, the owners wanted to appeal to fans in Asia by switching the colors to red (which means luck in many Asian cultures) and replacing the poor little bird with a red badass dragon. Outrage among the fans forced the owners to return to the world of blue a few years later, but the red color and dragon is still part of the logo, which feels like a compromise. Everything feels half-done, and this is the biggest no-no in branding. Find your tone and your voice, and be clear with who you are and what you represent. From a branding perspective, Cardiff has a lot of work to do. 
  • Visual elements = 3p
    Are you red or blue? Make up your minds. The battle between the bluebird and the dragon has been going on for years. Nowadays the bluebird is in focus… for now.
  • Uniqueness = 2p
    A shield, a banner and a bird. It does not get much more generic than this unfortunately.

 

18. Huddersfield: 8p

  • Meaning = 4p
    The logo is based on the town Huddersfield’s coat of arms. There is a football in the top of the logo. Without it, it looks like… just another coat of arms. And what’s up with the shih tzy? For most people this is a logo for a very high-end dog shelter. PS. It’s actually a terrier.
  • Visual elements = 2p
    We can’t even see what’s in the logo from 10 centimetres away. There is way too much stuff going on. Placing a shield inside a shield doesn’t feel very thought through (unless you are actually a producer of shields). 
  • Uniqueness = 2p
    One of many cluttered shield logos among British football clubs. Not very unique.

 

17. Everton: 9p

  • Meaning = 3p
    A classic shield logo. What we can get from this logo is when the club was founded (bonus point) and something something something in Latin which basically no one knows what it means (ironically it means ‘nothing but the best is good enough’). In their defense, the Everton Tower known as the ‘Beacon’ is a nice touch to incorporate something from the city.
  • Visual elements = 4p
    If it wasn’t for Chelsea, Cardiff and Leicester, Everton would be easy to distinguish on a football pitch. Their full-body blue kit and branding is something they rock quite well, but unfortunately 30% of the league’s teams are blue. And the logo looks almost a little too old. It looks like something that would be found in Game of Thrones. All hail House Toffies.
  • Uniqueness = 2p
    A bit like Cardiff, it feels like Everton took a quick crash course in logo creation. A shield, a banner and a castle. Very generic unfortunately.

 

16. Leicester City: 10p

  • Meaning = 3p
    The fox is pretty obvious. But in the famous words of Ylvis: What does the fox say? Not more than that there are a lot of foxes around the area of Leicester.
  • Visual elements = 4p
    Yellow/orange and blue are complimentary colors. This shows a good understanding of color theory and design. However, the flower placed behind the fox makes it a bit cluttered. The logo could be a bit improved and climb a few steps in this list.
  • Uniqueness = 3p
    One of several round crests in the league. And of those all are blue (Leicester, Brighton, Chelsea, City). Not very unique.

 

15. Burnley: 11p

  • Meaning = 3p
    We are sure there is a background story in there somewhere, but the badge looks more like the logo for a museum about Egyptian mythology, or a very trendy insect repellent-spray.
  • Visual elements = 5p
    We really like that this logo has a quite cool style compared to other detailed football crests in the league. A lot of geometric shapes mixed with weird iconography. But there is a duck, a bee, a high-five – AND a dragon. What are you Burnley? Make up your mind – are you a duck or a bee?
  • Uniqueness = 3p
    Being the smaller club, it’s never good to risk being confused with a bigger competitor (West Ham). If Aston Villa ever find their way back to the Premier League, things can get really confusing for the fans.

 

14. Brighton: 12p

  • Meaning = 4p
    A quite odd logo. The seagull makes it looks more like a shipping company than a football club, which is not great from a branding perspective. But on the other hand, Brighton is a classic harbor town in southern England and with that in mind, the logo and the team colors are quite fitting.
  • Visual elements = 3p
    The simplicity and quite strange character of the logo makes it stand out when compared to most other club crests in the league.
  • Uniqueness = 5p
    One of many blue, round seals in the league – but Brighton & Hove uses a style and design unlike any other.

 

13. Newcastle United: 13p 

  • Meaning = 2p
    Where are the magpies? The black and white bird, from which the team has gotten its famous nickname, have been part of the club’s logos for many years. But in this most recent crest the magpie have been replaced with something that looks like a seahorse.
  • Visual elements = 3p
    The seahorses have arms. That’s enough to creep anyone out. What are those things? The strong, saturated blue looks out of place with the black and more desaturated yellow and grey colors.
  • Uniqueness = 8p
    The best part of Newcastle’s logo are the black and white stripes in the shield which are a very obvious part of the team jerseys and the club’s overall brand. For most football fans, these black and white stripes are identified with Newcastle on a global level, unless you are Italian of course. Or a convict.

 

12. Southampton: 14p

  • Meaning = 4p
    There are almost too many stories being told here. The soap-opera of logos. As other teams are referred to as the magpies, the lilywhites, or the wolves, the most appropriate nickname for Southampton is probably the scarf-wearing tree-angels. Nope, sorry Southampton – strip it down. Less is more as they say.
  • Visual elements = 5p
    A quite fun logo. Composition is good and well-balanced. But besides looking like a collage of stock footage icons, there are way too many things going on here. There are 5-6 logo marks in the logo (a gloria, a footballs scarf, a tree, some waves and a flower) which makes it difficult to identity Southampton with any graphic shape or object.
  • Uniqueness = 5p
    Overall the logo is quite unique, but the red stripes shared with Stoke City and Sunderland could make things a bit confusing for non-football fans. Lucky for Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland are no longer in the top division.

 

11. Watford: 15p

  • Meaning = 2p
    Supposedly that is a deer in the logo, which is a popular animal in the area of Hertfordshire, but if you ask us – that is a moose. The club used to have a hornet in the logo (hence the color scheme), which is also the club nickname, but for understandable reasons a deer was more popular among fans than an annoying insect. In an alternate universe where Watford stayed true to the hornet, here are a few logos we think would have worked for Watford: this one, this one and this one!
  • Visual elements = 3p
    Even if the logo looks like a warning sign you would find on the roads in northern Sweden, the strong yellow does stand out. No one can miss that they are watching Watford play. This is the same reason McDonald’s and most other fast food restaurants are using a bright red and yellow. Ugly, but effective – which saves Watford from being dead last on this list. I mean, it is almost so ugly it becomes cult. It’s the ”Snakes on a plane” of football crests.
  • Uniqueness = 10p
    Hands down the most unique logo in the league. Nothing compares to Watford’s iconic logo.

 

10. Chelsea: 16p

  • Meaning = 5p
    The blue lion holding a staff pays tribute to the coat of arms of the Chelsea borough, and we have to admit it looks much better than their first logo from 1905 featuring a famous Chelsea Pensioner. 
  • Visual elements = 7p
    A perfectly balanced round seal. Simple and clean design. The logo uses some nice yellow and red details, but more importantly Chelsea’s blue is ON point. Few teams in the league “own” a color as well as Chelsea. The logo icon is the shape of a lion. While the lion is well-designed, it is a bit too generic for British teams. It’s far from a unique symbol. Plus, it feels off for numerous reasons; 1) lions are not blue, 2) lions don’t walk up-straight on two feet and 3) lions licking their own tail is just weird.
  • Uniqueness = 4p
    Although it looks great, another circular blue logo doesn’t lend itself to garnering points in the uniqueness category. Chelsea’s success on the field has helped them build a strong brand but from a strictly visual standpoint, they don’t separate themselves too far from the competition. 

 

9. West Ham United: 17p

  • Meaning = 5p
    West Ham find themselves in the top half of the league with their simple crossed hammers logo design. Nothing too fancy here, just the implication of their workman like mentality and a throwback to their origins when the team was founded by iron and shipyard workers. 
  • Visual elements = 8p
    Another recently redesigned logo, but it remains a brilliantly crafted logo mark. Simple and clean. Stating their city in the logo is a class act. The color combination is great. Using mostly their iconic burgundy color, but bringing in the light blue from the shield’s outline in the logo makes the overall branding look great.
  • Uniqueness = 4p
    As mentioned before, shield crests are all too common among English clubs, as well as the burgundy and light blue color combination (Aston Villa, Burnley).

 

8. Crystal Palace: 18p

  • Meaning = 6p
    An American bald eagle swooping into crystal palace while holding a football…. Not bad at all! And to think their mascot Kayla, a real badass bald eagle, actually swoops in before matches at Selhurst Park makes the messaging of their logo even cooler. 
  • Visual elements = 7p
    A beautiful logo and well-designed crest. The eagle is detailed and well-drawn and the composition is balanced. The desaturated blue and red works very well together. But unlike Huddersfield, Southampton and Newcastle, the stripes are not reflected at all in the logo which brings down the overall branding score.
  • Uniqueness = 5p
    For the untrained eye, Crystal Palace could be mistaken for Barcelona. Not a bad mixup though…

 

7. Tottenham: 19p

  • Meaning = 4p
    Full disclosure: the author of this article is a Spurs-fan. But we promise that all feelings have been put aside while making this list. The name ‘Hotspur’ and cockerel icon originated with Sir Harry ‘Hotspur’ Percy who was known for the spurs on his boots, valor in battle, and fighting cocks. And for more than a hundred years, a bronze cast cockerel overlocked the West Stand at White Heart Lane, as well as the new Tottenham stadium, becoming a chief part of their identity. 
  • Visual elements = 7p
    A very well-designed logo. Simple, elegant and with a cool retro vibe. But white is a difficult color to use when it comes to building a strong visual profile. Just look at big known companies – how many of them can you come up with that uses white as its primary color? Apple? Anyone else? I bet you can’t…
  • Uniqueness = 8p
    Tottenham’s nickname “Spurs” is probably the most known in the league (for both good and bad reasons), and the link between the nickname and the elegant logo is very strong. 

 

6. Manchester United: 20p

  • Meaning = 6p
    The only aspect of the logo that remains as tribute to Manchester’s coat of arms is the ship placed in the top of the shield. However, the logo is best known for the red devil placed in the center to strike fear into the hearts of the opponents. It’s a rather fitting symbol with United being a club that football fans love to hate (likely due to their massive success). 
  • Visual elements = 5p
    Putting Manchester United in 6th place is probably going to stir up some emotions. United is England’s biggest club and their red branding is known around the world amongst football fans. But in all fairness, the logo is not very aesthetically  pleasing. Yes, a red devil as the symbol is cool and bold and adds a lot of attitude, but it looks like it was drawn by a 10-year old. The style of the devil is not matching the quality of the team.
  • Uniqueness = 9p
    There’s no question that United’s logo is truly unique and iconic which is the main reason they’ve made it this high on the list. 

 

5. Arsenal: 21p

  • Meaning = 5p
    Arsenal are nicknamed ‘The Gunners’, due to the fact that their club was established by workers of a munitions factory back in 1886. With this in mind, Arsenal’s logo seems rather fitting. 
  • Visual elements = 8p
    This logo is a classic as it eloquently balances history and modern design. In our eyes, the blue areas are not necessarily needed, but none the less this London club has a stunning overall visual identity. Clean, simple and balanced.
  • Uniqueness = 8p
    Like Manchester United, Arsenal are another team that have built an iconic brand, and the prominently featured cannon in the center of their logo really makes their crest stand out from other clubs. 

 

4. Manchester City: 22p

  • Meaning = 6p
    The club redesigned the logo a few years ago, returning to their round crest. But the fact is that the new logo is a very well designed logo mark. The messaging is more clear than their previous logo which included an eagle that had nothing to do with the club’s history or culture.
  • Visual elements = 9p
    Manchester City’s logo includes a ship which associates the team with the shipping docks of Manchester, as well as a red rose, a symbol of Lancashire county. Overall everything ties together nicely for a clean and well balanced logo.
  • Uniqueness = 7p
    While many teams are using different shades of navy blue, City have found a color they can fully own, even on a more global scale. The light blue is strongly associated with the Manchester club. The only downside of their logo is that the 3-masted sailing ship is also a prominent part of their worst rival’s logo.

 

3. Wolverhampton: 23p

  • Meaning = 3p
    The gold and black colors chosen due to their town’s coat of arms is fitting for the club motto ‘Out of Darkness Cometh Light’. Besides being nicknamed “The Wolves”, there is not much story hidden in this crest.
  • Visual elements = 10p
    One word. Lovvit. The most “iconic” logo in the league. It looks like the sign of a James Bond villain. Not necessarily the prettiest of wolf marks, but the simplicity sticks out a lot in a world of detailed and over-designed club crests. This feels bold and modern, and since branding is about being seen among competitors Wolverhampton has really succeeded. Visually, this is the best logo in the league.
  • Uniqueness = 10p
    No other club in the league has a logo anywhere close to this style. The strong orange/yellow also stands out, almost screams, when other clubs go traditional and boring.

 

2. Bournemoth: 24p

  • Meaning = 5p
    It does not get much more clear that this is the logo for a football club. The silhouette supposedly belongs to Bournemouth legend Dicky Dowsett who played for the club during 1957-1962.
  • Visual elements = 9p
    We love it. Everything from the subtle detail of the team’s black/red stripes to the stylish blend of shapes (mixing stripes in different angles with circles and sharp edges) is a stroke of genius. The only downside on the visual side is the annoying fact that the circle (the football) is just slightly off-center.
  • Uniqueness = 10p
    A fantastic logo daring to find its own style. Among detailed and cluttered badges, Bournemoth goes full-on art deco. A bold move that pays off. Pure beauty.

 

1. Liverpool: 26p

  • Meaning = 10p
    There is so much story in this logo that even Steven Spielberg would be envious. Prominently featured in the center of the crest you’ll find the Liver Bird (it’s an imaginary cross between an eagle and a cormorant) which has been a symbol for the city of Liverpool for over 800 years. Directly below lies the year of formation and above you can see the Shankly Gates which bears their famous anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. On each side of the crest rests an eternal flame to serve as remembrance for the disaster at Hillsborough which saw 96 Liverpool supporters lose their lives. What a story. A masterpiece.
  • Visual elements = 7p
    There is no doubt that this is a good-looking logo. But as with many club crests it is a bit cluttered with details. An important factor of logo-design is that the logo needs to be recognizable in a small size. This is why simplicity is often a key factor for logo designers. While the Liver Bird and the Shankly Gates are visually appealing, they do complicate the logo. This is the reason why Liverpool chose to make a simpler version of their logo, featuring only the Liver Bird, on the chest of the players’ jerseys.
  • Uniqueness = 9p
    This is one of the most classic and iconic logos of all teams, in any sport, in the world.

 

——

Summary

So there you have it. From a pure branding perspective, Liverpool is the best branded team in the Premier League. While other teams score higher for individual components, like uniqueness or visual design, Liverpool has the overall best logo when analyzing all the factors of what makes a good logo. If you, or anyone you know, are looking for a logo for your business or maybe your football team, visit us at NewGlue and we will help you find a professional brand at affordable prices. 


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