NFL football team logos function like any other logo: they represent the product, in this case, the football team. With this in mind, there are some football team logos that puzzle me: they appear to have no relation whatsoever to the team’s nickname, and I can’t help but wonder how and why this was chosen.
The logo for the Dallas Cowboys is a star. Why? What does a star have to do with cowboys? I’m no expert, but I don’t know of any connection between cowboys and a star. A better, or more appropriate, logo for the Cowboys would be, well, a cowboy. Rowdy, dressed in chaps and a western hat, is at every Cowboys home game; why isn’t he the logo for the Cowboys?
A buffalo is on the helmet of the Buffalo Bills, and I get why: they’re from Buffalo. But Buffalo is their location, not their nickname. What does the Bills part mean? Is it dollar bills? Unpaid bills? Two men named Bill?
A giant would be an appropriate logo for the New York Giants, but instead their helmets feature the letters NY. Why? It might be a little difficult to convey the stature of a giant in an image, but it could be done.
The San Diego Chargers use a lightning bolt as their football team logo. Okay, it might be tough to come up with an image that would make people who saw it think “charger” (what is a charger?), but a lightning bolt? Lightning is electricity, maybe that’s the connection.
You’d think the Chicago Bears logo would be a bear. Brown bears, black bears, and grizzly bears are all intimidating creatures, and you’d think this would be a no-brainer football team logo. Yet, the Bears logo is a C.
A fleur-de-lis adorns the helmets of New Orleans Saints players, and serves as their logo. Using the image of a person in a long, flowing robe or something similar wouldn’t bring the intimidation factor an NFL football team might want, but neither does a fleur-de-lis.
That’s French, in case you didn’t know. Fleur means flower, and lis is a lily. When you’re the Super Bowl champs you might be able to carry off a logo that represents a flower, but the rest of the time?
Without doubt, the plain Cleveland Browns helmet is the most boring in the NFL. And since the football team logo is their helmet, their logo is boring, too. I know the team is named for Paul Brown, so there’s not a lot you can do, but there must be something. Even writing the name of the team, like the Jets do (why no jet?) would be an improvement.
A few NFL football team logos are right on. Someone with no knowledge of football could look at these teams’ logos and correctly get the team name: Dolphins, Cardinals, Lions. If you’re really good, you might know the bird on Atlanta’s helmet is a falcon, Philadelphia’s is an eagle, and that Denver’s horse is a bronco. The same with Baltimore, Carolina, Seattle, and Jacksonville.
I don’t know who designs football team logos-or how-but some of them just don’t make sense to me. That being said, however, I recognize them all and would be lost if any of them changed.
Visit the NFL website to see logos for all 32 NFL teams.