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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 16:21 GMT
Arsenal go for a makeover
Before and after: Arsenal's old and new club crests
Arsenal's new crest (r) has the cannon pointing the other way
Arsenal have revamped their famous cannon crest as part of a major shake-up of the club's corporate image.

The rebranding will give the Gunners a tighter grip on merchandising as they had been unable to copyright their old badge.

And it is also designed to present a more modern look as they try to establish themselves as one of Europe's leading clubs.


The new crest was chosen as it delivers the values of Arsenal in a clear and unique way
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood
The new crest will be unveiled to supporters at Saturday's Premiership game against Southampton at Highbury.

But it will not appear on team shirts until the start of next season, when the club will also have a new sponsor.

The crest, which has not changed since 1949, is the result of nine months' work by 20/20, a London-based design consultancy.

And the new image is a key part of the north London club's future plans as it prepares to start work on a new 60,000-seater stadium at Ashburton Grove.

It is likely to provoke a lively reaction from fans, who see the old crest as the symbol of their club.

Values

The new design retains the famous Arsenal cannon but it now points east instead of west.

Out go the traditional gothic script, latin motto and heraldic badge in favour of a simpler, more modern image.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood insisted the move was an attempt to combine the club's tradition with a forward-looking approach.

"The new crest has been selected as it delivers the values of Arsenal in a clear and unique way.

Arsenal's Patrick Vieira celebrates a goal
Arsenal shirts will display the new crest next season
"But more importantly, it retains the traditional features such as the cannon and the shield which are synonymous with Arsenal Football Club.

"I would also like to stress that this change is an evolution not a revolution.

"We are not a football club that changes for change's sake.

"We are extremely mindful of the special bond our supporters have with the present crest but are also confident that our supporters will be proud of the new design," Hill-Wood told the Arsenal website.

Arsenal are not the first Premiership side to go for a change of image.

Leeds switched their club design from a round badge to a shield in 1998.

And Fulham introduced a new crest last May after it was revealed only 14 per cent of fans recognised the previous one.

Jim Thompson, brand director at 20/20, told BBC Sport Online: "Anything like this will be hard to accept at first because fans are always so passionate about their team.

"But I believe that, given time, it will be seen as a much more exciting and dynamic badge than the current one.

"This is about telling people that Arsenal are better and about being appropriate for the new stadium.

"The old badge was state of the 1950s.

"The new one needs to carry the tradition but also the values of Arsenal in the future as they will be competing at the very top of the game."

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Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein
"We've cleaned it up"
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