AFC Bournemouth’s current badge, introduced in 2013, is an evolution of the Dickie Dowsett design that has been in use by the club since 1971 in some form or another, apart from a brief period in the 80s when they used a rather euphemistic badge depicting a pair of Cherries (the club’s nickname). Central to Bournemouth’s crest is a stylized image of Dickie Dowsett, a footballer who scored 79 goals for the Cherries and later served as their commercial manager.¹
Bournemouth’s logo is unique and dynamic. Compared to other EPL crests, it gives off a greater sense of movement and action. That being said, I can’t say that the current crest is a favourite of mine. The gold gradient on the lettering looks rather amateurish – it is clear that the purpose is to replicate the look of the crest when it is actually sewn on a kit, but such replication is unnecessary and does the design no favours. The actual typesetting seems a bit small, though this is perhaps due to the fact that the first and last letters have trouble standing out against their black surrounding. The shape of Dowsett’s head – particularly his hairline and ear – also looks a bit weird to me. At first sight I wasn’t much of a fan of the Arsenal-style bulging heater shield, but it has grown on me. Confusingly, the crest often depicted lacking the thin golden border that runs along the edge of the shield, a minor alteration that makes the design look far worse. That border helps hold the whole thing together and prevent it from seeming like the black of the shield is bulging out uncontrollably.
The crest certainly looks far better when depicted on Bournemouth’s kits than when it is used on its own on things like websites and merchandise. That ugly gradient lettering is replaced by actual gold-coloured cloth that is more legible and appealing, and the basic Dowsett design remains recognizable at a distance. The colours compliment Bournemouth’s current home kit – which is one of the better kit designs in the league – nicely. The change from the vertical white stripes in the old crest to the black ones in the new one pays off – not only do they better reflect the colours of AFCB’s home kits of recent years, but they also blend into the background better, allowing for the white of the football and Dowsett’s head to really pop out. However, a good crest is one that looks good both on and off of a shirt – whilst that may be seen as its natural habitat, in the modern world these things also have to look good on everything from websites to promotional materials to mugs.
AFC Bournemouth’s crest is a solid affair. I wouldn’t call it great, especially not when used on its own – but it is far from being terrible and it really does pop when seen on the players’ shirts. Bournemouth was only promoted to the Premier League in 2015, but they are currently sitting in a very impressive 9th place in the table, well above larger spenders such as West Ham, Crystal Palace, and the reigning champions Leicester City. Their rise through the divisions in recent years has been remarkable. A solid crest for a very solid team, then.
Obviously scientific 0-10 rating: 5/10
Other relevant articles: