By Phil Hecken
You fine readers will recall that three weeks ago, our colorizer extraordinaire and now logo-king, Gary Chanko shared with us Volume one of his outstanding project to make hi resolution logos for the NFL teams of yesteryear. If you didn’t get a chance to read that, do yourself a favor and do so now.
At the time, Gary recreated logos and “badges” for six of the NFL teams of decades ago: Colts, Bears, Packers, Eagles, Steelers and Cowboys. Gary has now finished off this momentous project, completing seven more teams, plus making a correction to one from the original set, a bonus AFL logo, and two baseball logos.
There is really nothing more for me to say that Gary won’t be saying below, so I will now turn over the rest of this article to him, as we enjoy…
Vintage NFL Logos – Volume II
By Gary Chanko
Volume II of vintage (vectorized) NFL logos is finally complete. Along with Volume I this comprises a thirteen team set representing the NFL franchises in 1960. But hold on, during the past several weeks I discovered this is not the first available set of vintage logos.
In 1966 you could have owned a set of Official NFL Team Emblems through your local Goodyear Bike Tire dealer. (You may notice some of the team logos have changed from the late 50s and early 60s versions)
Even better, you might have acquired this 1960 LP album of NFL Marching Songs with all the logos on the cover!
Some after thoughts …
• After all the research for this logo project I don’t think I ever found reproduction copies of original artwork or the artist’s name. After half a century or so it’s unlikely the original artwork still exists in team archives, still it would be interesting to see if any could be found. Were any of these vintage designs ever registered as trademarks? Perhaps this is potential source for originals.
• I often discovered multiple variations of almost each primary logo. The folks that sold football cards, and souvenirs, notably pennants, seemingly made their own logo interpretations for their products. NFL merchandizing wasn’t in full control then.
• All the logo graphics from this era were designed and created well before the availability of computer graphics. The hand drawn artwork had a different character and appeal from today’s sleek digital graphics. Sure the designs where a bit cartoonish, but maybe we lost something.
Now on to the logos.
Cleveland Browns (1959-69)
When your team nickname is a boorish color, logo design becomes more of a challenge. Even so, if you’re fond of mythical, elfish woodland creatures the task becomes less stressful.
Need to know more? The unabridged history of the Brownie Elf logo was covered in this Uni Watch article.
Detroit Lions (1952-60)
It was tough finding good quality graphics and background information for this logo. The source graphic for the vector graphic appears to have originated on Bowman football cards from the 50s. Notice the player is wearing number “31”, which was changed to “7” is subsequent years. I wasn’t able to determine the origin of either of these numbers.
Of all the logos from this era, this one was visually the most amateurish – and goofy. It had to have been difficult to reproduce and thus limiting it’s usefulness for team marketing purposes.
Los Angeles Rams (1951-69)
With few minor alterations, the Rams head served as the team’s primary logo design from 1946 to the early 80s. This logo was prominent on the cover of the 1959 Rams Media Guide.
It’s a comparatively dull creation and one of only three NFL logos from this era that failed to incorporate a football in the design. Without looking can you name the other two teams?
New York Giants (1956-60)
The Giants used two main design themes for logos throughout their history: (1) the giant quarterback rising out of a stadium or city and (2) variations of the “NY” initials and the team name “GIANTS.”
In this logo version the Giant QB is towering over the old Yankee Stadium.
St. Louis Cardinals (1958-60)
If you thought the Cardinals team name has ornithology origins, think again. Learn the history here.
This logo was used during the 60s before being replaced with the bird’s head design used on team helmets. The same basic head logo is still used a half century later, although it received the angry bird look back in 2005.
Ever notice that all the NFL birds have morphed into mean, tuff looking creatures? Aggressive bird characterizations (plus Nike miracle fabrics) can make your team play better too. Right?
San Francisco 49ers (1946-67)
The 49ers’ original logo depicted a gold miner from the 1849 California Gold Rush, jumping in midair with pistols blazing. The logo were apparently inspired from a similar graphic seen on the side of railway freight cars. Here a picture of the original 1946 version.
Perhaps the owners should bringing this one back upon the team’s 2014 arrival in Santa Clara – maybe cheerleader outfits?
Washington Redskins (1960-64)
This logo wins the longevity award. The same basic logo design has existed since the 30s when the team was still in Boston. However, the concept was absent for a brief period beginning in the mid 60s.
The spear and feather logo (think FSU) made a brief appearance in the late 60s and the autochthonous (look it up) American image profile was replaced with an “R” for the ’70 and ’71 seasons.
Chicago Bears Update (1954-73)
The Bears logo is updated to include the previously missing snout.
Oakland Raiders (1960-62)
There was a request for the original Raiders logo, so here it is. The design hasn’t changed much since its introduction over fifty years ago.
As mentioned in the previous posting for Volume I, this project was spawned by my interest in better quality (vector) graphics for the vintage baseball logos Phil posted a few months back. Before embarking on these NFL logos, I practiced with a few of the baseball logos, which are shared below (Sorry but I only practiced on two Philadelphia teams!).
Thanks Gary! Readers, how about another virtual round of applause for this tremendous effort. Great, great stuff!
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
More Wayback Machine, on the risks of using performance enhancers…
Click to enlarge
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up is Joe Mueller with some HOCKEY (yes, it’s back):
This is my idea of a new St. Louis Blues Road Jersey, and Alternate Road Jersey. Very simplistic, Cleaned Up. Would look great when they played the Capitals or Flames.
Next up is Blake Pass who has a nice retro-ish concept for the Dirty Birds:
I just kind of did a mashup of all of the Falcons’ unis over the years. This is what I came up with. The gold overruled the silver, by the way.
We close today with Benton Croop, with a slightly new look for the Orange:
Hi, my name is Benton Croop. This concept for the Syracuse Orange only consists of minor tweaks to the sleeves, socks and numbering. There is also an addition of an orange alternate and white pants. The concept pays respect to the Ernie Davis years. Thank you for your consideration!
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.
Back with the usual suspects this week (plus one who may not wear the pair you’re about to see until September — those were worn last weekend). Let’s do this:
Since the Packers have a “battle” tonight in the playoffs, I thought I’d combine my lovely ‘rups with my old combat boots. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!
I’m wearing the ’54 Orioles this week to honor the birthday of my late father-an Orioles fan from way back. He was in the Army on the West Coast in the ’54 and was able to get enough leave to get back to Baltimore for the Opening Day game. He saved the newspapers (VP Nixon threw out the first ball!) but never could find his program and ticket.
As to the props-the radio was the one that he grew up with, and listened to any number of Orioles games–both minor and major league. The photo is a panorama of the Federal League Opening Day in Baltimore in 1915 (a similar photo, from the 3rd base side, is in the companion book to Ken Burns’ Baseball). The beer glass is for Gunther’s, a long-time sponsor on the scoreboard at Memorial Stadium, and actually came from Donahue’s Tavern, which was right across the street from Terrapin/Oriole Park.
Today’s stirrups are to bring a little color to a Friday in mid-Winter.
Phil and Robert,
Go Go Sox, to support the proposed Ottawa Red Blacks.
R. Scott Rogers:
Friday before the Presidential Inauguration. Representing in Senators sox at the souvenir store just off the parade route in downtown DC.
And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.
And now a few words from the leader of the Stirrup Nation, Comrade Robert Marshall. Comrade?
Let us start with his weeks contest winner Scott Rogers for his overall commitment to the revolution. This leaves me with one last UW stirrup, so I will give that out March 23rd to the best entry from now until then.
Some time ago Phil and I had a little design a stirrup contest, and while I have tried to have a couple of them manufactured, most entries were a little too out there for TCK which got me a “fat chance” response from the company. But one I have been meaning to run that I am pretty sure TCK can make is Douglas Witmer’s cycling stirrup. So this is our new selection for the month with the usual discounts in exchange for patience in manufacturing time, I will be ordering Monday. I should also mention a small number of Little League selections will be made available in February, and I will re-stock MLB stirrups by March so everyone can have them for opening day celebrations.
from each according his stirrvp to each according their strype
And there you have it for this fine Saturday of a Holiday weekend. I expect to have the five finalists for the Super Bowl XLVIII Logo Contest tomorrow and Terry D’s final wrap for the Bowl Season. Of course, the big games aren’t until Sunday, which is just about the greatest Sunday in the entire NFL season. Everybody have a great day and I’ll catch you tomorrow.
“A memorial decal for Te’o’s girlfriend could just be an empty circle.”