FC Leeds City, formed in 1904, is the progenitor of the Leeds United football club. However, after the First World War, financial problems led to the fact that the team was excluded from the Football League of England. Having lost their favorites, the fans of Leeds City founded a new club in 1919 named Leeds United.
In 1920, Leeds United joined the Football League and debuted in the Second Division in August. After spending four seasons in the Second Division, the club climbed to the First Division in 1924.
The meaning of “Whites,” one of the team’s nicknames, is quite understandable – it was created according to the uniform color. But how did Leeds get the white uniform? In the ’60s, the great Don Revie decided to change the club’s colors from the traditional yellow-blue ones to an entirely white set. It is considered that the coach was a big fan of the game of Real Madrid those years that significantly inspired him. The new color was not taken seriously for a long time, but history put everything in its place, and now we know Leeds under the nickname “White” but not “Yellow-blue.”
Another nickname, “Peacocks,” was created due to the old stadium “Old Peacock Ground.” There is a pub, “The Old Peacock,” near the Elland Road where Leeds fans traditionally gather.
Meaning and History
The “United” has changed approximately ten various emblems for almost one hundred years of existence. Fans of the Yorkshire club saw everything: owls (a tribute to the coat of arms of the city), peacocks (a reference to the club nickname), emoticons (greetings to the minimalism of the ’70s), roses (Yorkshire white, of course!) and even just an inscription L.U.F.C, made in an intricate font. So let’s consider each variant of the logo!
1908 – 1964
Since 1919, the Leeds United team has used the logo of their “ancestor” – Leeds City Football Club. It represented the official emblem of the city of Leeds with the Latin inscription “PRO REGE ET LEGE” and three owls. This graphic sign became the basis for the next emblem in 1964. The designers removed the motto, leaving a golden lamb, three white five-pointed stars, a rectangular shield with a round base, and heraldic birds. An interpretation of the city coat of arms is placed in a light blue ring with yellow borders and the inscription “LEEDS UNITED A.F.C.”
It is quite curious that in the first half of the 20th century, Leeds’ common nickname, along with Sheffield Wednesday, was “owls,” although the team from Sheffield had the emblem with this bird only in 1956.
1964 – 1971
In the mid-1960s, the club abandoned the state symbols of Leeds but continued to develop the owl theme. As a result, the new emblem is significantly different from the previous one: it depicts a purple and white silhouette of a bird, consisting of blurry spots. The abstract drawing is inside the ring.
This emblem coincided with the Leeds’ white uniform’s appearance and lasted for eight seasons. Later it was removed at the request of Don Revie, who believed that the bird brings failure to the team.
1971 – 1973
The football team often lost, so the superstitious manager Don Revie thought that the owl brought bad luck. To somehow improve the situation, in 1971, the designers developed a simple logo with the abbreviation “LUFC” (Leeds United Football Club). Yellow letters with thin black outlines look like handwritten. There are only four of them, but they take up a lot of space because they are lined up diagonally from top to bottom. It is one of the most beloved emblems among fans. Simple but brilliant inscription LUFC (Leeds United Football Club) is created diagonal style. This version of the logo existed only for two years.
1973 – 1976
This logo embodies everything you need to know about the ’70s. The search for their style ended with the club adopting a smiley face emblem. Although it’s not a smiling face, it’s a blue soccer ball with yellow letters “L” and “U,” representing the team’s shortened name. It’s just that they are arranged in such a way that the “L” resembles a smile, and the “U” resembles two eyes. It should be mentioned that this is the most favorite emblem of experienced fans.
1976 – 1977
The original Smiley designer tried to correct his mistake by unfolding the previous logo by 45 degrees and repainting it in blue, which is considered less friendly. He did not succeed because this version lasted only one season.
1977 – 1980
After the unsuccessful fifth option, it was decided to return the classic yellow Smiley, which is the club’s favorite logo. Designers more clearly designated the club’s affiliation with the emblem with blue edging and the club’s name.
1980 – 1984
After Umbro became the main equipment supplier for football players, the club’s leaders decided to redesign. This time they did without “emoticons,” although the round shape and the classic palette remained unchanged. The new logo features a peacock with a large fan-shaped tail. This image is related to the original name of the game arena Elland Road: Old Peacock Ground. The bird is placed in the center of a blue ring with “LEEDS UNITED AFC” written on it.
Curiously, there were ten versions of the logo in the history of peacocks, but only one of them had the image of this proud bird. The emblem was intended to emphasize the finally established club’s nickname. The main ideas of the logo: round shape, blue outline with the club name, and yellow smiley face in the center.
1984 – 1997
The graphic sign, adopted in 1984, contains the famous emblem of the House of York – a five-petalled flower called the White Rose of York. In the center of the heraldic element is a white and yellow soccer ball with a black outline. Along the edges is a round blue frame. The team name has been moved closer to the center. This is the first emblem of the club, in which white is the dominant color.
1997 – 1998
The fan’s favorite emblem with a rose and a ball was changed by Peter Ridsdale, who had a target to create a more modern logo to expand the club to European football markets. This version existed only for a season, and then it was finalized and renewed.
1998 – 1999
In the late 1990s, the football club adopted a logo in the form of a triangular shield with a rounded top. The space is divided into several parts, one of which contains a smaller White Rose of York flower with a ball in the middle. In the center is the vertical inscription “LUFC.” The font is handwritten, as in 1972-1973.
Nowadays, Leeds performs with this emblem, too. However, periodically there were rumors about another redesign. For example, in 2015, it was said that Massimo Cellino had such plans. The new emblem (a blue shield with the large white Yorkshire rose and a horizontal signature LUFC in a classic font) seemed to be ready. It was even merged into the Internet and appeared on the official players’ uniform, but with the change of the club’s owner, these plans were probably postponed.
2000 – 2002
Designers have removed gradient shadows from the shield. Also gone are the dark outlines that surround the geometric elements. The image became yellow-blue with white accents.
2002 – today
In 2002 another redesign took place. The creators of the logo rounded off the top of the shield, removing the angular protrusion. In addition, they slightly changed the design of White Rose of York.
January 24, 2018, Leeds United, who was taking part in the Championship, decided to please the fans with a new club emblem. White, yellow, and blue – the club colors are observed, no one is ignored. The contour has an appropriate shape. The text “LEEDS UNITED” is located at the top of the logo. And finally, designers added a headless man, who was beating himself with the right hand in the chest, showing a characteristic gesture. Who is he? It turned out that it was an infelicitous idea for the club’s 100th anniversary, and the fans expected to see something another, too.
It is not the kind of designer’s weird fantasy. This gesture has a history. The move of beating themselves in a chest is called Leeds Salute and is quite popular among the club’s fans. Like many other things that emerged from the people, the history of its appearance is unknown; there are only hypotheses. So, somewhere until the late ’80s, the gesture of beating in the chest remained an exclusive schtick of the Leeds fans. In this way, they could recognize their people in other cities in the days of away matches. In 1987, this movement became public, and football players started performing this during the celebration of the goals, emphasizing the special connection with the fans. Glyn Snodin, Winnie Jones, and Chris Kamara were the first players who tried this gesture during the game, and after this, it became the real schtick of the Leeds fans. It has never become too poppy and has always been a symbol of the fan base’s special Yorkshire unity and the team.
After the hype about the new Leeds logo, the management decided to create a new logo in honor of 100 years of the club’s existence.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Each series of Leeds United graphic signs is dedicated to a specific theme. But most of all, the fans remember the version with the so-called smiley, which was used in the 1970s. It competes with the most “football” logo with a ball and a shield. In 2018, an unsuccessful attempt was made to update the design, but the proposed emblem did not last more than a few hours.
Inside the shield, exactly in the center, is the inscription “LUFC.” The letters are arranged from top to bottom inside a vertical rectangle. An elegant handwritten font is used to make the abbreviation look more effective. The main colors of the emblem have never changed: the palette, like many years ago, includes yellow and light blue with the addition of white.
Leeds United Colors
Pantone: Pms 116 C
Hex Color: #Ffcd00;
Pantone: Pms 7685 C
Hex Color: #1d428a;
RGB: (29 66 138)
CMYK: (100 78 0 18)
100th Anniversary Gold
Pantone: Pms 465 C
Hex Color: #Ac944d;