The NFL has seen an increase in team helmet and logo designs these past few seasons. Alternate looks and uniforms have become a new revenue stream as fans rush to get new team gear. But nothing beats the original look for teams’ fans grew up with. Logos are the first thing fans identify with when they find their favorite team. The colors, the design, and how your favorite player looks in it. It is the single greatest identifier fans associate with.
The Greatest Logos in NFL History
5 – Oakland/Los Angeles/Las Vegas Raiders
“The Autumn Wind is a Raider”. For fans of the Silver and Black, that singular phrase is the Battle Hymn of Raider Nation. The helmet and those colors are easily one of the most iconic in the NFL.
In 1960, as a charter member of the AFL, the Oakland Raiders originally wore a black helmet with a gold stripe. The gold logo still featured the pirate and swords. From there, the more recognizable silver helmet with a black pirate logo on both sides has been worn to this day. Great players to wear the Raiders helmet include Jim Otto, Marcus Allen, Ken Stabler, Charles Woodson, and Tom Flores.
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) December 23, 2022
4 – Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL helmet logos first started to take off back in the 1950s. In Pittsburgh, the Steelers were originally wearing a gold helmet with player numbers on the side. In 1962, the organization decided to establish a logo that fans continue to know today. Owner Dan Rooney asked the Steelers’ equipment manager Jack Hart to put a logo on the right side of the helmet. Accordingly, Mr. Rooney did not specify if he wanted the logo on just one side. Pittsburgh would go on to a 9-5 season in 1962, the best in franchise history at the time. The logo would become a permanent part of the Steelers uniforms.
The organization is one of the most revered in professional football. The legends to wear the black and gold include Terry Bradshaw, Joe Green, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, and Ben Roethlisberger.
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) March 13, 2023
3 – Los Angeles Rams
The Rams did not use a logo until 1941 when they introduced a right-facing ram head with realistic features and blue horns for accent. With play suspended until 1944 due to World War II, the Rams would return to the field with a new stylized rams’ logo. It included blue on the face and white horns. In 1951, the team introduced yellow horns, a look that would last until 1970. That logo then had white horns on the blue helmet. The horns became such a recognizable feature that they became the organization’s primary logo.
The St. Louis edition had adopted a navy blue and champagne gold color scheme. It wasn’t until the move back to Los Angeles that the team would go back to its roots, sort of. From 2016 until their most recent change, LA wore three different helmets. They began their return to the West Coast with the navy blue and champagne gold helmets. They would also wear the navy helmets with white horns, and the navy helmet with yellow horns, a fan favorite.
Their latest look is close to that favorite color scheme. Though the yellow horns have been “modernized”, it is still familiar to Rams fans in LA. Prominent names to wear the horns are Eric Dickerson, Tory Holt, Merlin Olson, Aaron Donald, and Kurt Warner.
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) August 31, 2022
2 – Dallas Cowboys
“America’s Team” has not been to a Super Bowl since January 28, 1996. The Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX. The 27-year drought has seen the rise of other teams while Dallas has languished in the NFC East. That said, the Cowboys are one of the most iconic brands not just in football, but all sports across the globe. As for revenue, in the last five years, the brand has jumped from a value of $864 million in 2018, to $1.1 billion this past year. The blue star on the side of the Cowboys helmet is a valuable commodity bigger than any in all of sports.
The organization’s NFL logo dazzles in a navy blue and white color palette. The iconic emblem pays homage to Texas’ nickname: The Lone Star State. The logo, like the team, is either loved or hated. Their lofty perch from a revenue and recognizable standpoint is revered. And while winning championships have been nonexistent these last many years, the Dallas Cowboys are the single biggest draw in the NFL.
Famous players to wear the star are Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Bob Lilly, Drew Pearson, and Michael Irvin.
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) March 7, 2021
1 – New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints began play in the NFL in 1967, playing their home games at Tulane Stadium. Black, along with gold and white, have always been the team colors since inception. The Saints’ logo and uniforms have remained the same since the club debuted in 1967, with the team’s fleur-de-lis logo. The fleur-de-lis is a French word that means lily flower in English. The simple, striking logo represents the city of New Orleans. It also has an illustrious history with France and other European countries.
The NFL logo has undergone changes since the team began play. The first update came in 2000. Then, three others would follow in 2002, 2012, and 2017. The logo itself represents many things, royalty, nobility, and high social status. Also, the Saints emblem represents honesty, justice, life, and wealth. While that may be subjective, the look the New Orleans Saints have worn throughout their existence is unmistakably recognizable. It remains strikingly simple while also attractive in its subtle design. Great players to wear the fleur-de-lis include Drew Brees, Archie Manning, Willie Roaf, Deuce McCallister, Jonathan Vilma, and Tyrann Mathieu.
Happy Birthday to Louisiana legend Tyrann Mathieu ⚜️
📺: Sept 10 vs. Titans (Noon CT on FOX) pic.twitter.com/221tN1fP0w
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 13, 2023
These five best logos representing the NFL also represent their city and fanbases. From the gritty East Bay of Oakland to the glitz and glam of Las Vegas. The hard-working middle class of the steel city in Pittsburgh to the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. Cowboys who helped settle the dusty landscape of Dallas with their blood sweat and tears. And finally, to the Bayou of Louisiana where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, and here jazz fills the air with “When The Saints Go Marching In“. These franchises got it right, and the league is more recognizable for it.
Main Photo: Stephen Lew – USA Today Sports