Belonging to the oldest franchise in the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers logo is the topic of this particular discussion. In this article, we are going to talk about how the Steelers logo came to be. We are also going to take a quick look at the team’s previous logos and see how they evolved.
Other items at which we are going to look are the design elements of the emblem. These are the logo’s color, shape, and font. Afterwards, we are going to catch you up on some less known facts about the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Steelers Logo Design Elements
Over the course of the team’s 83-year-old existence, the Steelers logo has gone through a number of changes. However, compared to other teams with an even shorter history, their logo was very much stable. In fact, you’ll find that the Pittsburgh Steelers logo history is very humble and grounded.
Originally, starting with 1933, the team wasn’t even known as the Steelers. They were known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, and occasionally, the Rooneymen. The team’s current name and first official logo wouldn’t come until 1945. And that’s when the team started adopting the values by which we all know them today.
The first Pittsburgh Pirates logo was designed in 1945, and focused on the city’s main industry – steel. It consisted of a football-shaped outer rim surrounding an image of a steel factory. The image depicted the primary elements involved in making steel, as well as a furnace and a factory roof. Meanwhile, the outer rim read Pittsburgh Steelers Football Club. This version of the logo would last until 1962.
Next, in 1961, the steel factory imagery was replaced by a different logo. It consisted of a worker wearing a helmet kicking a football off of a steel beam. The design was simple, elegant, dynamic, and far more compelling than the previous one. However, this version didn’t last long. While the team still used it occasionally, they started using the Steelmark more and more over the next few years.
Usually, if a provisionary version of the final logo comes into play, we also analyze that one. However, the differences between the two are too minor to warrant talking about them twice. So, we’ll do that in our next segment, where we’ll analyze the current Steelers logo.
Changes and Evolution
In this section, we are going to analyze the meta-design elements of the Steelers logo. These are the elements which are meant to stir emotions in viewers. They were designed by creative teams for this particular purpose, and they are what makes the team what it is.
Of course, the three meta-design elements of the Steelers logo are its shape, is color, and its font. Next, we are going to see how each of these fits in with the public perception of the sports emblem.
Often used to generate feelings of energy, harmony, connectivity, and power, circles are some of a graphic designer’s favorite tools. Aside from looking very good on the team’s helmets, the circle is the perfect choice for the fan base. It is one of the reasons why the Steelers’ fans are so closely knit together.
Meanwhile, the three four-pointed stars present in the Steelers logo are called astroids. They are a hypocycloid figure with four cusps, basically resembling a rhombus with its edges curved inwards. It is perhaps the best-known element of the football team’s logo.
In the 1960s, when the logo first came to be, courtesy of the AISI, an official announcement followed the logo’s launch. It was said to stand for the lightness, modernity, and stylishness of American products made with American steel. The disposition of the three astroids perfectly fits the placement of the team’s name.
The three main colors used in the Steelers logo are yellow, blue, and orange. While the third color looks more like red than orange, the consensus is that it’s actually orange. This is because of the associations made with the three colors.
Back when the American Steel and Iron Institute promoted the logo, they had a saying for each of the colors. Yellow was said to lighten your work, orange was said brighten your leisure, and blue was said to widen your world. These meanings were later amended to stand for something else.
Ultimately, the three colors were supposed to represent the three materials needed to produce steel. Yellow stood for coal, orange stood for iron ore, and blue stood for steel scrap. However, when it comes to the Steelers logo, the three also stand for something else.
Yellow and orange are both warm colors. They are frequently associated with happiness, energy, cheerfulness, success, determination, and success. Meanwhile, blue is the color of trust, loyalty, depth, and stability. Together, they generate the perfect combination of feelings for the fans of a sports team to have.
As for the Steelers logo font, it’s a pretty compelling and modern typeface. The font is non-serif, and made to look like stencils. This is meant to highlight the highly industrial aspect of the team, and to give them an even more unique look.
Inspiration and Trivia
Initially, the team known as the Steelers used to be known as the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, they decided to rebrand the team and honor their town’s traditional trade. So, they became the Pittsburgh Steelers, and started focusing their image around the city’s legacy.
Interestingly, the team is the only one in the NFL to use the Steelmark on a single side of their helmets. This started when they were still wearing the golden helmets, as they decided not to waste material before trying out the new logos. The helmets looked good, and the team finished with a 9-5 mark, so they decided to keep the logo just as it was.
Even after the team changed their helmets to black, they still kept the logo on only the right side. This was both as a superstition, and as a way of keeping the team looking different than the other teams.
The Pittsburgh Steelers logo belongs to one of the most beloved teams in the NFL. Their long history is one of pride and excellence, and their logo is a tribute to the hard-working men and women of their hometown. For other similar articles, check out the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Blackhawks logos.