Need a laugh? Look at these football badges drawn from memory

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Premier League football club logos are quite ubiquitous. More than just sports clubs, the biggest teams are now global brands. We see their logos at every game, but also on the streets, in the media and on countless merchandise every day. And although the shirts change every season, many of the Premier League’s biggest teams have used the same badge for years. So you think football fans might have a good chance of drawing them from memory.

But football team badges can be quite complex designs. While brand logos often aim for simplicity, football club logos should retain an element of tradition, which can include symbolism, mottos and more. And while most fans seem to remember the general shape and main feature of each badge, they seem to be a bit fuzzier when it comes to those little details.

Memory Drawn Soccer Badges

Some people have taken the opportunity to come up with their own additions to club badges (Image credit: Betsperts)

A fun project aimed to test how football fans would react when asked to draw the badges of the top six teams from the last Premier League season: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. Many of these club badges contain symbolism that tells a story about the team’s roots, from Liverpool’s mythological liver bird to Tottenham’s rooster.

But how well would fans of the “beautiful game” be able to recall them from memory? Betsperts asked 100 fans to try and then ranked the results from those who got close to the net to those who didn’t even kick the ball in the right direction. Some were pretty accurate, but others were hilarious beside the point. And some people seem to have used the exercise to come up with their own new ideas.

Arsenal

Arsenal are known as “The Gunners” because the team was founded by munitions workers. Today, the Arsenal badge is much simpler than before, but it still honors that history with a prominent cannon under the club name. Some 94 of the 100 entrants included a cannon and 86 got the badge shape right, but only 11 recalled that the Arsenal badge has three colours: red, gold and blue.

chelsea

The Chelsea logo might seem like one of the simplest Premier League badges, but there are a few small details that many people might not have noticed. As well as the blue lion wielding a staff, taken from the coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea and the Cadogan family, there are also two red roses and two red footballs.

Almost everyone got the color right, and nearly two-thirds of the submissions included what could be interpreted as a lion. However, others seemed less sure of the type of blue animal Chelsea sported as a mascot. Some attempts seem to include birds, dragons, bears, fish, and…er…a dinosaur?

liverpool

Liverpool have one of the most complex Premier League club badges, so it’s perhaps no surprise that this one proved to be a challenge. There’s a lot going on. The iconic liver bird, a mythological symbol of the city of Liverpool, takes pride of place, and most people included it with the overall shape of the shield, but people weren’t so good at recalling the two flaming torches, the green ribbon with the year 1892 and the detailed depiction of the Shankly Gates with the club’s motto “You will never walk alone”.

Manchester City

Blue is also an essential part of Manchester City’s identity – in this case, a sky blue. The majority of attempts to recall the Manchester City badge have been successful, although secondary colors have proven less memorable. There have been fewer attempts to include the badge’s darker blue and gold highlights.

The golden ship – a reference to the Manchester Ship Canal – and the red rose, were included in around 50% and 30% of attempts respectively, but there was confusion over the number of ships in some cases. Some people went wild and came up with their own ideas: A golden poodle? Why not. A guitar? Crazy for that. One person even included a banana, presumably in reference to City fans’ penchant for inflatables. We would like the club to accept this suggestion.

Manchester United

A lot of people might not have noticed it, but the Manchester United logo also features a ship. It is somewhat overshadowed by the famous red devil, and perhaps that is why less than a third of people included it in their attempts to draw the club badge. Most people got the colors right, but many missed the balloons on either side of the badge and even the shield in the center. A person has just drawn a picture of what appears to be an unfortunate half-eaten carrot.

Tottenham Hotspur

Finally, the Tottenham Hotspur badge is the simplest of the six. As a result, it was the one fans remembered most accurately. Almost all of the attempts included a bird – the rooster was apparently a reference to club founder Harry Hotspur’s love of cockfighting. Most people also have a soccer ball there. Surprisingly, many people have misunderstood the color blue. And one person seemed to be thinking Notts County or Newcastle United.

Of course, in an exercise like this that artistic ability comes into play as well as the memorization of each logo (especially with the more detailed football badges), but it’s interesting to see which parts of each design people remember the most. The main colors are generally well recalled, but the secondary colors are less so. And the little designs also tend to be a little fuzzy (we also feel like some people just weren’t really trying!) You can see all the attempts at Betsperts.com (opens in a new tab).

A fascinating phenomenon that can occur when people try to remember logos is the Mandela visual effect, which causes people to misremember things – something we’ve seen with other logos people remember wrong. If you’re considering designing a logo for your own sports team, we recommend checking out our guide to designing a logo and investing in the best graphic design software.

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