Florida State University has been around since 1851, but they only got a traditional logo and team nickname in 1947 when they became “The Seminoles.” Like any other college, FSU has a variety of seals, insignia, and logos associated with their school. However, the most iconic logo for FSU is the Chief Osceola head that shows up on most of their sporting attire. Our article will tell you about the proud history behind this logo and track the subtle changes to the logo over the years.
FSU Logo Design Elements
FSU’s logo uses a generally circular image that contains a human face that is intended to depict Osceola, a historical member of the Seminole tribe. The left half of the circle is formed by the back of a Seminole man’s head, and the right half is formed by a circular line of gold outlined in black. Any part of the circle interior that does not contain Osceola is the garnet color of FSU.
Osceola is depicted in profile with his head tilted back and his mouth open in a defiant yell. He is mostly drawn in black and white, but his face has stripes of the FSU garnet and gold shades. In Osceola’s hair is a feather, drawn in red and gold. It is attached to his hair with a round medallion that says “FSU” in red lettering.
Changes and Evolution
For the first few decades of their football program, the Seminoles did not use any symbol besides their initials. This was then changed to a cartoon-style drawing of an Indian chief, with spiky hair and a headband around the 1960s. By the 1970s, the FSU logo shape had evolved into one very similar to modern times. It was a profile of Osceola with a feather in his hair and a circle around his face.
The main difference was just that a softer, sketchier drawing style was used, and Osceola had a red, white, and yellow stripe of color in his hair. His facial expression was a slightly calmer scowl, and his teeth could not be seen. Osceola’s feather originally said “Florida State” and curved to fit the shape of the circle. This logo was slightly tweaked in 1990 when some of the lines in his hair were removed.
FSU’s logo has always been depicted in the garnet and gold that are the school colors. The only significant change to the logo colors occurred in 1990 when the shades were slightly tweaked. A darker red and gold hue were used while the white shade became slightly brighter.
Though the text on the logo has changed, the font has not undergone any significant alterations. It is always a customized font used by FSU that contains all capital letters written in thick, blocky strokes.
The FSU logo depicts a stylized version of a Seminole that is supposed to represent Osceola. According to FSU, the choice of Osceola as their logo was inspired by the fact that “the Seminole people have suffered many hardships and injustices, but they have remained brave, dignified, and proud. They are unconquered.” To the students of FSU, Osceola is a symbol of respect and bravery that encourages them to never give up.
The 2014 FSU logo still includes the university’s classic image, but it was slightly tweaked for modern usage. They decided to include more defined lines and crisp shapes because they wanted something that could be reproduced easily in any type of media. The circular shape and clear graphics are intended to work equally well on uniforms, football fields, television screens, and webpages.
- Many Native American themed football teams get a lot of criticism for insensitive costumes and names. However, the Florida State Seminoles use positive and accurate symbolism, so they are officially endorsed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
- The real Osceola lead the Seminoles in a brave resistance that became the longest Native American conflict in the USA.
- The new logo was leaked days ahead of schedule when Walmart accidentally put out a display of the new shirts too early.
The Seminole’s logo has a pleasingly circular shape that appeals to the eye, yet it also manages to reference the proud historical past of some of the first people in Florida. FSU may use more professional looking insignia on some of their school signs, but the Seminole logo remains the most beloved symbol of FSU. The recent update of the FSU logo manages to keep everything fans loved about the logo while making it more suitable for modern times.