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
Professional football club Atlanta Falcons had three emblems – identical in content but different in style. The author of all three versions is Mark Verlander, who personally worked on each drawing, listening to the team owners’ wishes. The changes were minor, although Verlander himself considered them radical and spoke out against such interference with the original. The artist wanted to keep the design as it was before 2003.
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 current emblem, adopted in 2003, is very similar to the previous two. They have a common motive – a bird of prey with downward wings. She is depicted in an abstract style with precise geometry. The body, paw, and wing elements have a triangular shape, which is broken by small protrusions: a hook-shaped beak on the edge of the head, claws on the paw, and decorative serifs at the ends of the feathers.
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.
Font and Сolour Emblem
You can recognize the Atlanta Falcons brand by looking at the sketchy silhouette of a falcon. Artist Mark Verlander has given attention to the design, complementing the black drawing with red details. He also gave it dynamics and formed the illusion of movement with a slight forward and downward tilt. Thanks to this, the bird does not just seem to be hovering in the air – it seems as if it is purposefully flying towards its prey and is about to attack.
The logo of the football club depicts not only a falcon but also a large letter “F.” It is, in fact, two in one: the silhouette of the bird looks like the first sign in the word “Falcons.” But “F” is not written, but hand-drawn, and it has an unusual stylized look so that it cannot be attributed to ordinary printed characters. That is, the designers did not use any of the existing fonts.
In terms of the palette, the emblem is laconic: only black, red, white, and silver are represented in it. At one time, the artist Mark Verlander opposed red and silver because he considered the black and white version of the classic and wanted to keep it as an invariable part of the Atlanta Falcons identity. But 2003 made its adjustments, as a result of which the logo became much more colorful.