Atlanta Falcons is a professional club from the USA that competes in the National Football League. Its first owner and creator is a businessman Rankin Smith. He got a franchise from American Football League in 1965, it wanted to extend its influence to Atlanta. However, its rival, National Football League, seized the initiative, which is why Smith abandoned the previous agreement and bought the team for $8.5 million on June 30.
A team received its nickname on August 29, 1965, as a result of a competition. Julia Elliott, a school teacher from Griffin, was singled out from many people who suggested “Falcons” as the nickname for the new franchise. She wrote is an essay: “The falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey”.
In the late 90s, the club got a cultural fad – The Dirty Bird. At first, “The Dirty Bird” was the name for Jamal Anderson’s touchdown dance. In time, the nickname “The Dirty Bird” stuck to the team and became a basis for its official fan song.
Wordmark – “Atlanta Falcons”. It was depicted in italic type with stylized “A” and “F” in 1966-1998. The nickname is spelled with even symbols with squiggles after rebranding. The concept remained the same: city (Atlanta) – lowercase, the team (Falcons) – uppercase. This is a distinctive feature of Mark Verlander’s work.
Rankin Smith continued to manage day-to-day operations of the team until 1990 when he turned control of the team over to his son Taylor Smith, who sold Atlanta Falcons to the businessman Arthur Blank. The new owner bought the franchise in February 2002 for $545 million.
Meaning and History
Throughout its entire history, the team had one logo in 3 designs, which was created by Mark Verlander – head of Verlander Design studio. According to designers, he regularly visited the zoo in San Francisco and sketched a falcon with black and white wings. This contrasting image underlies the emblem Atlanta Falcons.
1966 – 1989
The first design of the Atlanta Falcons logo was created by Verlander Design studio in 1966. Falcon is facing to the right representing a capital letter “F” from the word “Falcon”. The talon and head of the bird are separated from the wing and tail with a vertical white line. The image has two outlines – white (internal) and red (external).
1990 – 2002
The second Atlanta Falcons logo is simplified. This version doesn’t feature red accents – the predator has a black and white outline. The rest is unchanged: the image resembles the letter “F”, five lines on the wing are the outline of feathers, and the falcon itself is depicted at the moment of landing.
2003 – present
The latter design features all identity colors of Atlanta Falcons: black, white, red, silver. They removed a line that separated the head from the body. The corners of the elements became sharper and the squiggles appeared on the ends. The number of lines on the wing reduced from 5 to 4. The claws and beak became bigger. The falcon now represents flight, speed, and aggression.
The developer Mark Verlander was opposed to this redesign. He wanted to keep the spirit of the initial logo and he insisted on the Atlanta Falcons color scheme. However, Atlanta Falcons strived for launching a new era with new colors.