Denver Broncos Logo

Denver Broncos LogoDenver Broncos Logo PNG

The Denver Broncos logo symbolizes endurance, irresistibility, and commitment to the club’s history. The modern, concise emblem effectively supports the name, reflecting the wild energy and primal fury of the mystical mascot that personifies the club.

Denver Broncos: Brand overview

Founded:August 14, 1959
Founder:Pat Bowlen Trust
Denver, Colorado, U.S.

The Denver Broncos are a professional football team competing in the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League. The team was founded in 1960 as a member of the American Football League and joined the NFL ten years later. In 1959, Bob Howsam, the owner of the baseball club “Denver Bears,” planned to create a third major basketball league called the Continental League. Therefore, he expanded the “Bears” stadium in anticipation of crowds from the Continental League. Unfortunately, Howsam’s ambitions were not realized. To recoup the costs of expanding the “Bears” stadium, he moved the AFL franchise to Denver.

Bob Howsam became the original owner of the “Denver Broncos” team, founded on August 14, 1959, in the new league. The team debuted in 1960, the first AFL season, as the “Denver Broncos.” The name “Broncos” was the winning suggestion out of 162 entries in a fan contest submitted by Ward M. Vining. The Spanish word “broncos” (mustang, untamed horse, wandering the American prairies) is an allusion to Colorado’s history, inspired by the Wild West. However, the team is not the first to be called “Denver Broncos.” A club with the same name played in the Midwest Baseball League in 1921.

In May 1961, Gerald Phipps purchased the franchise and managed it until 1981, when it was sold to Canadian financier Edgar Kaiser. In 1984, the club was acquired by the Bowlen family (Pat, Marybeth, John, and Bill Bowlen). Pat Bowlen remained at the helm until July 3, 2014. As Alzheimer’s disease progressed, he had to cede the franchise to Joe Ellis, president and CEO of the “Broncos.” Currently, the “Denver Broncos” are owned by Pat Bowlen’s trust fund.

Meaning and History

Denver Broncos Logo History

Over the 60-year history of the franchise, the Denver Broncos logo has undergone five changes. All logos of the Denver Broncos team depict a Mustang, referenced in its name. The Spanish word “broncos” means a wild horse from the American prairies – an uncontrollable and freedom-loving animal associated with the history of the Wild West in general and Colorado in particular. As for the style of the drawing, it has changed several times. With four redesigns, the club went from a caricatured emblem design to a caricature and then to modernism. The latest version is considered the most successful, combining deep meaning and artistic value.

The modern logo is radically different from the debut one: rough simplicity has been replaced by modernist minimalism. The modern logo was designed in 1997, at the turn of the new millennium, and remains unchanged to this day.

What is Denver Broncos?

The Denver Broncos are a former member of the American Football League, competing in the American Football Conference as part of the National Football League and playing at Empower Field at Mile High. The team debuted in 1960 and, as of 2021, has won three Super Bowls.

1960 – 1961

Denver Broncos Logo 1960-1961

The Denver Broncos team, owned by Bob Howsam, began its career in the American Football League’s debut season in 1960. Their earliest emblem very much resembled a hand-drawn cartoon character. It featured a football player riding a galloping horse. The colors matched the uniform of the time – brown combined with mustard yellow. The player wore ivory-colored cowboy boots, a yellow helmet, and a dark brown shirt with the letter “B” in the center. The bold letter “B” with short vertical serifs represented the franchise’s name. The furious horse raised its front legs while the hind legs were lifted off the ground. The image seemed overloaded with many details: fluffy mane, flowing tail, spurs, and horse tack.

1962 – 1969

Denver Broncos Logo 1962-1969

In 1962, the team introduced a new logo. The overall concept of the Denver Broncos emblem remained the same: a football player taming a stubborn Bronco. The shape of the player and the horse was completely changed. Designers made the image more dynamic and slightly aggressive. They sharpened the lines of the mane, tail, and ears. Although the new player didn’t look as relaxed as the previous one, he still retained part of his predecessor’s optimistic mood.

The mustang attempted to throw the rider off, but the latter tried to stay on the horse, grabbing the reins with his left hand and clutching the ball with his right. The rider didn’t use spurs or a saddle strap. The animal had massive hooves. Bared teeth and flared nostrils were a vivid sign of aggression. The player wore striped pants and a long-sleeved ’63 Broncos shirt.

If the Mustang and player on the debut Denver Broncos logo were oriented to the left, then in the 1962 version, they were turned to the right. The external contours of the figures were dark blue and white. Short lines extended beyond their limits to create the illusion of movement. The era of 1962-1969 brought significant changes in the color scheme. The yellow-brown palette was abandoned; the official colors of the team became dark orange, royal blue, and white.

1970 – 1992

Denver Broncos Logo 1970-1992

In the 1960s, the team sought a new logo that would convey the franchise’s key idea. An amateur artist, Edwin Taylor, proposed a recognizable logo, for which he received a thank you letter, a T-shirt, a cap, and two tickets to a game against the “Kansas City Chiefs.” In 1970, the team adopted the proposed logo and abandoned the familiar concept of “player-galloping-bronco.”

The new logo featured a large orange letter “D” on a blue background, with a galloping white bronco in the center, exhaling steam. The letter “D,” which, of course, stood for “Denver,” was written in the same font as the “B” on the player’s outfit in the 1960 logo. The horse didn’t rise to full height; only the upper part of the body was visible. Artistic elements (smooth strokes emphasizing muscles, lowered eyebrows, open mouth, and steam coming from the nostrils) were aimed at highlighting its strength, power, and aggression. The white horse was outlined in black.

1993 – 1996

Denver Broncos Logo 1993-1996

In 1993, the Denver Broncos introduced a moderately modified version of the previous logo to make the image clearer and more noticeable from a distance. Changes only affected details: designers thickened the outer contour, added smooth lines in the mane, removed the stripes with steam, and made the eye entirely black. The letter “D” remained the same as in the previous version. The color palette also didn’t change.

1997 – today

Denver Broncos Logo 1997-Present

The modern logo was introduced in 1997 after franchise owner Pat Bowlen decided to conduct a complete rebranding. Aiming for an exclusive design, Bowlen sought help from the creative staff at Nike. He wanted the new logo to include the team’s mascot, Thunder. The development team included David Odusanya, Ken Black, Todd Van Horne, and other representatives of the company. They faced a responsible but feasible task: to play out the drawing of the Denver Broncos team mascot – a horse named Thunder. The designers finished working on the logo in the fall of 1996. The official presentation took place in early February of the following year. They managed to convey the fury of a primal element, using the mystical image of a ghostly mustang from the legends of Native Americans. The key ideas were resistance, willpower, and lack of control.

Therefore, the current emblem of the Denver Broncos features an image of a white horse’s head with an orange mane and eyes. Dark blue lines along the neck symbolize the flow of energy. The orange iris is the fire igniting in the animal’s soul. The mane resembles tongues of flame. The ears are pinned back to create an impression of speed, as if the Mustang is rushing forward. All elements are executed in dark blue. With the update of the team’s corporate style, royal blue was replaced with dark blue.

The emblem was completed in September 1996 and officially presented on February 4, 1997. The media noticed the famous Nike swoosh on it, but company representatives were able to refute this. Thanks to modernist simplicity and design, the Denver Broncos emblem has lasted for over 20 years.

Denver Broncos: Interesting Facts

The Denver Broncos are a football team from Denver, Colorado that started in 1960. They’ve had a lot of great moments, amazing players, and supportive fans.

  1. Starting Out: They began in the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL in 1970. At first, they had these funny socks with stripes that people disliked, so they stopped wearing them.
  2. Winning Big: The Broncos have won the Super Bowl thrice. They won two in the late ’90s with John Elway as their quarterback. Their third win was in 2015 with a strong defense and Peyton Manning as quarterback.
  3. High-Up Stadium: Their stadium is high up, at 5,280 feet above sea level. The thinner air can make it tough for other teams to play there.
  4. The Drive: A famous moment for the Broncos was in 1986 when John Elway helped the team tie a game by moving 98 yards down the field. This helped them win the game and go to the Super Bowl.
  5. Great Defense: In 1977, their defense was so good that people called them the “Orange Crush.” That year, they went to the Super Bowl for the first time.
  6. Elway’s New Role: After he stopped playing, John Elway took on a big job with the Broncos, helping them win another Super Bowl in 2015.
  7. Peyton Manning’s Big Year: In 2013, Peyton Manning broke records for throwing the most yards and touchdown passes in one season.
  8. Famous Linebackers: The Broncos have had some good linebackers, like Randy Gradishar, Karl Mecklenburg, and Von Miller, the MVP of Super Bowl 50.
  9. Dedicated Fans: The Broncos’ fans are so dedicated that they haven’t missed selling out a home game since 1970.
  10. A Real Horse Mascot: They have a live horse named Thunder that runs onto the field before games, making their games even more exciting.
  11. Big Rivalries: The Broncos have big rivalries with the Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers, which makes their games exciting to watch.

The Broncos have a rich history of making comebacks, engaging with their community, and having success on the field, which makes them one of the most well-known teams in the NFL.

Font and Colors

Denver Broncos emblem

The logo’s authors complicated their task: they didn’t make a “portrait” of Thunder Horse but decided to invest a double meaning in this image. Guided by ancient Indian legends, the designers delved into mysticism and depicted a ghostly mustang with glowing eyes. They felt that this character conveyed the main traits of Denver Broncos players: strength, speed, determination, and freedom-loving spirit.

Not without scandals. Some journalists thought that the external lines of the horse’s head very much resembled the legendary Nike swoosh and accused Nike of wanting to advertise itself. However, the emblem’s creators immediately refuted this theory.

Denver Broncos symbol

The developers focused only on the graphic part, so the logo contains an image without inscriptions. But the drawing itself is quite informative – it contains a whole story reflecting the concept of the Denver Broncos.

The white color of the horse suggests that it is a ghost, the disembodied spirit of a mustang from ancient legends. The orange mane can be interpreted as fire because the same orange eye symbolizes the flame in the animal’s soul. The dark blue lines on the neck represent invisible energy flows.

Denver Broncos color codes

OrangeHex color:#fb4f14
RGB:255 82 0
CMYK:100 72 0 64
Pantone:PMS 1655 C
Broncos Navy BlueHex color:#002244
RGB:0 35 76
CMYK:0 82 100 0
Pantone:PMS 289 C


What does the Denver Broncos logo represent?

The Denver Broncos logo is dynamic because it features the head of a white horse with a flowing mane reminiscent of flames in shape and color. The animal’s eyes are orange as if filled with blood. The dark blue color is used for the outlines.

In what year did the “Denver Broncos” change their logo?

The Denver Broncos changed their logo several times: in 1962, 1970, 1993, and 1997. Moreover, the version adopted in the late 1990s is still used today.

How did the “Denver Broncos” get their logo?

It all started when team owner Pat Bowlen approached Nike with a request to help with rebranding. Together – primarily thanks to Todd Van Horne, Ken Black, and David Odusanya – they embodied the image of Thunder Horse, the football franchise’s mascot, in the new logo.

Who created the Broncos logo?

The team of designers for the Broncos logo included Todd Van Horne, Ken Black, and David Odusanya, representing Nike.