Aston Villa, one of the oldest professional soccer clubs in the UK, was founded in 1874 and is now a proud member of the prestigious Premier League. Hailing from the city of Birmingham, the team has earned a glittering reputation by amassing an impressive collection of trophies and awards: 7 Football League First Division titles, 7 FA Cup titles, 7 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, 1 European Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cup.
Meaning and History
The club’s fascinating history began in 1874 when cricket enthusiasts from the Villa Wesleyan Cross Chapel were looking for a sport to practice in the cricketing off-season, and Aston Villa Football Club was the result.
As one of England’s oldest and most respected clubs, Aston Villa boasts an outstanding record of 7 First Division titles and 7 FA Cup victories, and is one of the top five English clubs to have won the prestigious European Cups. Due to their integral role in the creation of the Football League in 1888, Aston Villa has a rich and historic legacy.
The rivalry with Birmingham City creates a tense atmosphere for the much-anticipated Birmingham derby. Aston Villa proudly wears its iconic burgundy shirt with azure sleeves, white shorts and azure gaiters to symbolize its traditional colors. The club’s emblem, depicting a majestic golden lion standing on its hind legs against a blue background, is complemented by the powerful motto “Ready”, representing the club’s strength and readiness for battle.
Among the various nicknames, the most common is the nickname “Villana,” which comes from the club’s name and its roots in the Wesleyan chapel of Villa Cross, built in 1874. While “lions” symbolizes the lion featured on the club’s emblem, it is used less frequently than other nicknames.
In contrast, rival fans may jokingly refer to Aston Villa as “the village”, and the term “seals” is linked to the history of the club and the stadium. Back in the day, getting to Villa Park Stadium was affordable, so fans affectionately referred to themselves as ‘seals’ for their fervent support. The playful nickname “nasty game” humorously plays off the club’s name, which translates to “sucky game”.
Aston Villa Football Club is a symbol of history, passion and excellence, inspiring unwavering loyalty and pride in its loyal fans. Its remarkable legacy continues to flourish in the world of soccer, leaving an indelible mark on the rich tapestry of the sport.
What is Aston Villa?
Aston Villa, one of the veterans in professional British soccer, emerged in 1874 and now stands as a proud participant in the Premier League. Originating from Birmingham, the team has garnered a glittering reputation, characterized by an impressive collection of domestic and international victories.
1880 – 1886
The debut emblem depicts a true heraldic lion – majestic, menacing, with a long tongue and sharp claws. The crimson beast is depicted against a spotless white background.
1886 – 1956
In 1886. “Aston Villa unveiled its first and only logo without a Scottish lion. It was designed as a rectangular four-section billboard with a “FORWARD” banner. Each segment had a unique pattern: a chain of yellow lozenges on a blue background or a black zigzag line dividing the space into crimson and yellow halves.
1956 – 1970s
The artists brought back the lion, but this time it faces the opposite direction and is in a new artistic style in a blue figural crest. At the bottom on the same blue ribbon is the old motto “WELCOME” surrounded by a light brown border.
1970s – 1980s
The team adopted a rectangular-shaped emblem with a pointed base. The lion once again resembled the traditional heraldic symbol, but was now entirely yellow in color. The burgundy and blue stripes in the background echoed the team’s colors. The club name (“ASTON VILLA FC”) was placed at the top in a rectangle and the motto (“PREPARED”) at the bottom on a ribbon.
1973 – 1987
In 1973, a circular logo was introduced featuring a red lion on a blue background. The inscription “ASTON VILLA FC” remained, but was transferred to a wide purple ring serving as a border. This emblem adorned the players’ uniforms during such important championships as the League Championship (1981), the European Cup (1982) and the European Super Cup.
In 1984, copier manufacturer Mita Copiers became a sponsor of the Aston Villa team. The cooperation lasted nine years, during which the team used the “mita” logo, typed in italics. However, the Scottish lion was not abandoned, but retained, along with the circle and the club name, slightly reduced in size and in white and purple colors.
1980s – 1990s
When Mita Copiers ceased sponsorship of the club, the old logo used from 1973-1987 was retained. The lion remained brown, the circle blue, the ring maroon and the outer outline wide and bright yellow.
There was another color change, and the font of the “ASTON VILLA FC” inscription was updated.
1990s – 2000s
In 1992, the club introduced a modernized version of the 1970s emblem featuring a yellow lion on a striped shield. The ribbon became not blue, but light brown, resembling a rectangle at the top.
1990s – 2007
With the new millennium, the designers paid attention to the details of the lion, removed the ribbon and moved the slogan “PREPARED” inside the shield. In addition, the word “FC” was removed and a serif font was chosen for the club name.
2007 – 2008
In 2006, American businessman Randy Lerner acquired Aston Villa, and the soccer team presented the emblem heralding the beginning of a new era – a shield with a crimson outline filled with blue color.
The blue background depicted a lion standing up on its hind legs. At the bottom of the emblem was inscribed the motto of the club – “Ready”. The club’s management approved this emblem on May 2, 2007.
It retained continuity with the previous emblem, including traditional elements such as blue and crimson colors and a golden lion.
The image of the lion referred to the coat of arms of Scotland, the homeland of the club’s founders George Ramsay and William McGregor. The club’s full name, Aston Villa, became shortened to AVFC (Aston Villa Football Club). On the left is a white five-pointed star in honor of the 1982 European Cup victory.
2008 – 2016
The designers chose a different shade of blue and replaced the crimson with burgundy.
2016 – 2023
In 2016, Aston Villa faced setbacks, which led to the creation of a logo similar to the previous one. The word “PREPARED” was removed and the appearance of the lion was slightly altered by adding claws.
2023 – today
Aston Villa Football Club unveiled an updated emblem in November 2022, with the official debut scheduled for the 2023-2024 season. The badge retains familiar elements, but has been significantly improved.
The main symbol of the club became a lion – now it is a cunning and dangerous predator. Previously turned to the left and devoid of complex details, he was turned to the right, added additional contours on the paws and in the mane, which brought the emblem closer to the original version of 1878-1886 years.
The five-pointed star, symbolizing pride, was reduced and moved to the upper right corner, combining with it the lion’s gaze reminiscent of the 1982 European Cup victory.
A new base was introduced. The lion, previously depicted on the shield, was now placed inside a blue circle with a wide purple border. 77% of fans voted in favor of the circular emblem.
The color ratio changed, with more purple and blue, while yellow was reserved for the lettering. The inscription “ASTON VILLA” at the top was in regular bold type with short serifs. Below that was the number “1874”, indicating the year the club was founded.
The current color palette of Aston Villa features purple, bright blue, and golden colors, whereas the blue hue stands for the inner part of the badge and the contour, the external ring is purple, while the inscriptions are in golden.
Since 2023, the club has been using a highly legible typography style with small serifs and bold lines. The inscription is presented in all capitals, with small inter-letter gaps.