First founded as the American Professional Football Association in 1920, the National Football League has undergone many changes. This association has both added and lost football teams over the years, and they currently schedule games for many of the top football teams in the United States. Due to its placement in high profile games like the Super Bowl, the NFL logo is an extremely recognizable logo. Keep reading to find out who designed the NFL logo, and learn how it has changed through the decades.
NFL Logo Design Elements
The NFL logo has a classic shield shape. At the top, it curves up into three points, with the middle point being highest. The shield curves into a single point at the bottom. In the upper portion of the shield, there is a blue field that contains a white football. This football is centered, and it has four stars on either side.
The lower portion of the shield has a white field that says “NFL” in red letters. All of the letters are capitalized, and their tops line up perfectly, while their bottoms are skewed to fit into the shield point. For the font, NFL uses a serif font that features thick slab serifs. Due to the shape of the logo, the lower right portion of the N is missing its serif.
Changes and Evolution
Back when it was the APFA, the football league had a circular logo that featured an eagle flying while holding a football. Since it became the NFL, the league has always used shields with a football and stars at the top, and “NFL” at the bottom for its logo. However, these shields have changed shapes quite a few times.
The first shield was much shorter and wider. It had 24 stars, and there were thin pinstripes in the background behind the “NFL.” This was updated slightly in the 1960s when NFL removed the stripes. The logo was changed once again in the 1980s when NFL thickened the border of the shield and added an extra star at the top.
To make the logo look patriotic, NFL has always used a red, white, and blue logo coloring scheme. Originally, the colors were dark and muted. In the 1960s, the blue became a bright purple-blue, while the red became a light red-orange. The next redesign made the colors lighter and more cool toned. In its current coloring, the logo is a little darker.
For a long time, the NFL font was a more Roman font, with a curled tip on the L. This did not change until the most recent logo update in 2008.
When it was first created, NFL simply wanted a logo that looked like a patriotic, football-themed crest. This was a very common design for sports teams, so you can find similar logos in the NHL and other leagues. Since the first logo was so popular, the company has been careful to avoid any large changes.
The most recent update was lead by Lisa Baird, the senior vice president of marketing at NFL. She explains that the NFL wants their logo to evolve gradually with the times. The decision to darken the colors and reduce the number of stars is supposed to make the logo look better on phone screens. It will also allow vendors to more easily print small versions of the logo for hats and accessories. They also chose to change the angle of the football slightly, so it would match the ball on the Vince Lombardi trophy.
- No one knows why the 1980s NFL shield had 25 stars. This number had nothing to do with the amount of teams or states represented by the league.
- NFL’s logo is printed on each player’s helmet, shirt collar, and waistline. This means that every team has to get new uniforms when NFL changes the logo.
- Each of the stars on the logo represents one of the AFC and NFC divisions.
The classic NFL logo does an excellent job of appealing to patriotic fans, while reminding them of their favorite sport. Except for a few minor changes, the logo has remained consistent over the years. Its simple yet bold design allows the NFL logo to remain recognizable to generations of football enthusiasts.
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