Celtic was founded in 1887 to diversify the lives of Irish settlers in the East End, Glasgow. Some of Ireland’s inhabitants, fleeing hunger, moved to Scotland and formed a new lower class there. Immigrants were discriminated against because of their origins, language, and religion. Many were below the poverty line, so Marist Brother Walfrid established a soccer team to raise charity funds. The club was named Celtic to reflect its Irish-Scottish roots.
Meaning and History
The Celtic emblem has always featured classic Irish symbols and two colors from the Ireland flag: green and white. The team’s visual identity is primarily associated with the 4-leaf clover. But it appeared on the players’ uniforms only in 1977 – before that, the main sign was the Celtic cross, which briefly returned on the club’s 100th anniversary.
1888 – 1977
It so happened that the first logo became the cause of religious conflicts between the Protestant Rangers F.C. and Catholic Celtic F.C. After all, it depicted a Celtic cross, consisting of two intersecting stripes with a circle superimposed on them – an ancient symbol of the sun and Christianity. On the emblem of the football team, it was in the center of a red oval.
1977 – 1988
Round logo with 4-leaf clover and the words THE CELTIC FOOTBALL & ATHLETIC COY. LTD.” was developed back in the 1930s, but only started to be used on T-shirts in 1977. When that happened, the designers shortened the text to THE CELTIC FOOTBALL CLUB and changed the colors. As a result, the elements got black outlines, the clover and ring turned green, and all the inscriptions (including the year the team was founded) were repainted in white.
1988 – 1994
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the club, the Celtic cross has returned to the emblem. It took the four-leaf clover place, which was moved down to where Celtic was originally founded. The designers placed the number “1888” to the left of the cross and added the current year to the right: “1988”. In doing so, they made all the inscriptions and outlines green, using white for the background.
1994 – 2007
In the first half of 1994, Scottish entrepreneur Fergus McCann bought the sports club and modernized it. First, he changed the old name “The Celtic Football & Athletic Coy. Ltd. “to the one that was on the emblem: “The Celtic Football Club.” The businessman then brought back the old logo without the Celtic cross, updating the details a bit. It is now a circle divided into two zones: a white center with a four-leaf clover and a green ring with inscriptions.
2007 – present
In 2007, Celtic celebrated the 40th anniversary of winning the European Cup by adding a gold five-pointed star to its club crest.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
An important part of the East End (Glasgow) team’s visual identification is the Irish symbols: the four-leaf clover and the Celtic cross. The first represents luck, mercy, hope, and faith. The second personifies Christianity in Ireland and is associated with the local patron St. Patrick. These national signs replaced each other for hundreds of years until the four-leaf clover remained on the emblem.
Despite the thematic image, the club dispensed with Celtic inscriptions. Its name and year of the foundation are in simple cut-out type, which is not remarkable.
The colorful palette compensates for the lack of original letters and numbers. To make the image expressive, the designers used only two colors: green and white. They are both featured on Ireland’s flag, with green representing traditional Catholic society and white representing peace.