Cleveland Indians Logo

Cleveland Indians LogoCleveland Indians Logo PNG

The emblem of these baseball players reflects a candid smirk towards their opponents. The Cleveland Indians’ emblem consists of the letter “C,” reminiscent of a wide Indian smile. A single letter simultaneously expresses joy and defiance. It is painted red as it has replaced the representation of America’s indigenous population.

Cleveland Indians: Brand overview

Founder:Larry Dolan, Paul Dolan
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

The “Cleveland Indians” are a professional baseball team from Cleveland, Ohio. The club is part of the Central Division of the American League of Major League Baseball. The franchise was founded in 1901.

Although the team is considered to have been founded in 1901, it de facto originated in 1984 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. After moving to Cleveland in 1900, the club was forced to change its name to the “Cleveland Lake Shores.” In 1901, the franchise was renamed the Cleveland Bluebirds, Cleveland Broncos (1902), and Cleveland Naps (1903). The latter name was used quite long until 1914. The club received its current name in 1915 and has not changed it since.

Frequent changes in ownership led to confusion with names. Charles Somers owned the club from 1901 to 1916, but financial problems forced him to sell the club to railway contractor Jim Dunn, who managed the franchise until 1927. After that, owners quickly succeeded one another: Alva Bradley (1927-1946), Bill Veeck (1946-1949), Ellis Ryan (1949-1952), Myron Wilson (1952-1956), William Daley (1956-1962), and Gabe Paul (1962-1966). They owned the team for 2-6 years. The constant changes in ownership continued into the second half of the 20th century: Vernon Stouffer (1966-1972), Nick Mileti (1972-1975), Ted Bonda (1972-1978), and Steve O’Neill (1978-1983).

In 1986, the franchise was sold to real estate magnates Richard and David Jacobs for $35 million. In 2000, Larry Dolan bought the “Cleveland Indians” for $320 million from the Jacobs brothers. He remains the primary owner of the club to this date.

The only thing that has remained unchanged in the team’s name is the city of Cleveland. It was an essential part of how the franchise was named. The club received its current name in 1915 following a contest. According to legend, the name is associated with Louis Sockalexis, a Native American who played for the Cleveland baseball team from 1897 to 1899.

In its 120-year history, the “Cleveland Indians” have used more than 15 logos. However, almost all were built either around the capital letter “C,” representing Cleveland, or around the theme of Native Americans (the so-called Chief Wahoo). He disappeared from the logo due to strong opposition from Native American organizations to the use of this image since the 1970s. The Indians tried to explain that Chief Wahoo was created to honor Native Americans, not harm them, so currently, only their native city’s name is present on their logo.

The Cleveland Indians logo is a raspberry-red letter “C.” Of course, the letter “C” is not as prominent as the previous logo, but it is more than enough to understand who is playing. The font of the letter is not handwritten but drawn, so it does not resemble any known styles. The number of points in the letter is nine. The current logo is incredibly similar to the 1904 logo.

Meaning and History

Cleveland Indians Logo History

In nearly 120 years, the “Cleveland Indians” have changed 20 emblems. This fact is related to external circumstances – for example, private moves at the beginning of their career and the redesign of symbolism. The reasons also include:

  • The modernization of the logo.
  • The renaming of the team.
  • Even political disputes.

Chief Wahoo has been the main mascot of the franchise and the logo, respectively, since 1940. Millions of fans are crazy about him, but some consider this symbol extremely racist. However, in 2014, uniform design expert Paul Lukas announced that Chief Wahoo would be removed from the main logo and replaced with the letter “C.” Nevertheless, Chief Wahoo remained on the home jersey, cap, and sleeves.

What is Cleveland Indians?

The “Cleveland Indians” is the former name of the professional baseball team “Cleveland Guardians” from the USA. The franchise was renamed in 2021 and entered the 2022 season under a new name. It represents the AL Central Division in the MLB and is the oldest participant in the major league. The club was formed in 1894. Its home stadium is “Progressive Field.”


Cleveland Blues Logo 1901

It was in 1902 that the printed letter “C” appeared on the logo. The letter served as a symbol of Cleveland. Originally, the letter “C” was blue.

1902 – 1903

Cleveland Blues Logo 1902-1903

In the next season, the letter “C” on the “Cleveland Blues” logo turned red.


Cleveland Blues Logo 1904

In 1905, the team was renamed the “Cleveland Naps.” Simultaneously, the red block “C” was replaced with a blue version of the same letter.


Cleveland Indians Logo 1915-1920

In 1905, the team’s name was changed to the Cleveland Naps. Simultaneously, the red block “C” was replaced by a blue script version of the same letter.

1906 – 1908

Cleveland Naps logo 1906-1908

In 1906, the club introduced another variation of the font “C.” This time, the letter was more ornate and detailed.


Cleveland Naps logo 1909

The last logo of the “Cleveland Naps” depicted the same letter “C” in blue but more voluminous and less ornate.

1910 – 1914

Cleveland Naps logo 1910-1914


1915 – 1920

Cleveland Indians Logo 1915-1920

In 1915, the team began to be called the “Cleveland Indians.” The franchise returned to the logo in the form of a block “C,” which this time was executed in dark blue. The letter “C” symbolizes the city of Cleveland. Unlike the logo from 1902-1904, its overall shape was closer to a square.

1921 – 1927

Cleveland Indians Logo 1921-1927

The dark blue letter “C” in the Cleveland Indians logo was quite elaborate, resembling the Bruce Double Pica font. It was a bit unusual compared to the strict design of the previous logo.


Cleveland Indians Logo 1928

In the late 1920s, the “Cleveland Indians” logo underwent another radical update: the era of Chief Wahoo began. The Indians introduced an image of a Native American. The first Chief Wahoo logo was a roughly drawn red Indian head with three black feathers.

1929 – 1932

Cleveland Indians Logo 1929-1932

Frankly, the previous image of the Indian did not resemble the image of a real Native American, so in 1929, a modified logo of the Indians appeared. The logo depicted a chief in a white headdress with a red face and black outlines.

1933 – 1938

Cleveland Indians Logo 1933-1938

In 1933, the “Cleveland Indians” used a slightly more colorful and caricatured version of the logo. The logo depicted an Indian chief with a yellow face and black hair. He was dressed in a green shirt and headdress with white, beige, and red feathers.

1939 – 1945

Cleveland Indians Logo 1939-1945

The twelfth logo of the Cleveland Indians depicted a life-like Native American with a red face and a black-and-white headdress against a background of a red-and-white striped circle.

1946 – 1947

Cleveland Indians Logo 1946-1947

The cartoon image of Chief Wahoo officially appeared in 1946. Designers added a baseball player’s body to the unnaturally large head of an Indian with a red face and black hair. Americans called Native Americans “redskins,” so his face was red. Chief Wahoo held a white baseball bat in his hands.


Cleveland Indians Logo 1948

The large head and small body did not match each other, making the Cleveland Indians emblem comical, unserious, and absurd. On the 1948 emblem, Chief Wahoo looked straight ahead. The head of the red-faced Indian was decorated with a red feather sticking out of his black hair.

1949 – 1972

Cleveland Indians Logo 1949-1972

In 1949, some changes were made to the symbol. In particular, the nose became less prominent. The head turned to the left, triangular eyes, and a toothy smirk made the logo more characteristic. Additionally, the logo was outlined in black. As a result, the “Cleveland Indians” got the most iconic logo, which lasted until 2014.

1973 – 1978

Cleveland Indians Logo 1973-1978

In 1973, designers introduced a red-white-blue full-color version of the logo. They placed the Native American inside a large white-red baseball. Chief Wahoo held a white bat in his hand. He is depicted in motion as if winding up for a hit. For the first time in history, the full name of the team appeared on the emblem, written in a semicircle above and below the emblem.

1979 – 1985

Cleveland Indians Logo 1979-1985

1986 – 2013

Cleveland Indians Logo 1986-2013

The version of the 1949-1972 “Chief Wahoo” logo appeared in 1979 and remained unchanged until 2013. This image served as both a logo and a mascot.

2014 – today

Cleveland Indians Logo 2014-present

The current version is the result of interethnic intrigues. Most of the population considered the “Cleveland Indians” logo racist because it previously depicted a smiling Indian with a feather. This version was natural, as it conveyed the club’s name. However, in 2014, the administration decided to update the team’s emblem and approved another version, the so-called block “C.”

The current emblem is virtually indistinguishable from the one used in 1904. It was used briefly, and now the developers have decided to revive it. Thus ended the era of “Native American Chief Wahoo” and began the era of “C,” which continues to this day.

Cleveland Indians : Interesting Facts

The team, now known as the Cleveland Guardians, has a long baseball history, starting in 1901.

  1. Starting Out: They were one of the first teams in the American League. They were called the Bluebirds at first, then the Naps, and became the Indians in 1915.
  2. Why “Indians”?: They were named to honor Louis Sockalexis, a Native American who played in the late 1800s and was one of the first Native Americans in Major League Baseball.
  3. Winning Big in 1948: They won the World Series in 1948, their last win for over 70 years, making it a long time between championships.
  4. Bob Feller was a super-fast pitcher who played his whole career with the Indians from 1936 to 1956. He threw three no-hitters and 12 one-hitters.
  5. Larry Doby: In 1947, he was the first African American player in the American League, breaking the color barrier just after Jackie Robinson did in the National League.
  6. Their Home Field: Since 1994, they’ve played at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland, known for being great for fans and having a spot called “The Corner” for watching the game.
  7. Chief Wahoo: Their old logo, Chief Wahoo, was controversial and seen as offensive. They stopped using it after 2018.
  8. Winning Streak: In 2017, they won 22 games in a row, the second-longest streak in MLB history.
  9. Top Pitchers: Several pitchers like Gaylord Perry and Corey Kluber have won the Cy Young Award.
  10. Rally Together: This slogan was used to bring fans and the team together, especially during the playoffs.

These highlights show how the Cleveland Indians have been a big part of baseball, with many memorable players and moments.

Font and Colors

Cleveland Indians Emblem

The logo features a graphic letter. It represents the capital letter of the first word in the franchise’s name – “Cleveland.” This sign reflects two key factors: the team’s origin and its roots. Additionally, it is considered the main and only element of the emblem.

The capital letter “C” consists of nine fragments – strict geometric figures. Those located vertically and horizontally are rectangles, and the corners are trapezoids. Unlike its predecessor (the 1904 version), it has a wider inner clearance and shorter front segments. Neutrality is the key task of the letter logo.

Cleveland Indians symbol

Although there is no expanded text in the emblem, one can talk about the font since the block “C” is part of a word. The graphic design of the symbol resonates with the classic Bruce Double Pica. But, most likely, it is not a printed element but a custom symbol, an adapted glyph taken from an existing font.

The palette of the current logo is not diverse and consists of only one color – red #E31937 on a white background #FFFFFF. In previous versions, dark blue #0F223E was also present, which is still part of the official range and is used on team merchandise. In addition to them, early emblems used gold, black, and brown colors.

Cleveland Indians color codes

RedHex color:#e31937
RGB:226 29 56
CMYK:0 100 65 0
Pantone:PMS 199 C
Navy BlueHex color:#1a2e5a
RGB:26 46 90
CMYK:100 60 0 56
Pantone:PMS 289 C


What is the symbol of the “Cleveland Guardians”?

The symbol of the “Cleveland Guardians” (which appeared in 2021) is the so-called winged letter G, also officially called Guardians Fastball. The logo consists of a flying baseball and replicates the shape of the helmets of the Guardian statues.

What happened to the “Indians” logo?

The “Indians” logo was replaced with another due to the inconsistency of the team’s name and its logo. The designation with this inscription has disappeared forever from the “Progressive Field” scoreboard. From now on, the baseball club will use the name Guardians, as it considers its past name discriminatory towards Native Americans. Naturally, its sign of visual identification has also changed.