The Kansas City Royals are a professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The club competes in the American League Central Division of Major Baseball League. The franchise was founded in 1969.
The history of the franchise began when the previous team – Kansas City Athletics abandoned the city after the 1967 season. As a result, the city was left without the Major League Baseball team for the first time since 1883. Infuriated Senator Stuart Symington threatened MLB officials with sanctions unless Kansas City was granted a franchise in the next expansion. He was promised to get a team in 1971, but the city authorities were not satisfied with this decision, so they insisted on founding the franchise as soon as possible. Their wish came true in 1969.
Pharmaceutical tycoon Ewing Kauffman won the bidding for the new Kansas City franchise. Besides, it was he who approved the name for the team. He conducted the name-the-team contest, inviting Kansas City citizens to submit ideas. Ewing Kauffman selected the name out of 17,000 submissions.
After Kauffman’s death, on September 23, 1993, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the official governing body, appointed David Glass as the interim CEO and chairman of the Kansas City Royals. Seventeen years later, on April 18, 2000, David Glass became the sole owner of the franchise, purchasing it for $96 million.
The name-the-team contest received more than 17,000 entries. The “Royals” were the winning choice, yet it had nothing to do with royalty. The team’s name originated from the world-famous American Royal Livestock & Horse Show, held annually in Kansas City since 1899.
When it was time to make a logo, Ewing Kauffman addressed to design company Hallmark Cards. The team owner set the task to combine the city, local peculiarities, and the franchise name. Unfortunately, the original logos did not suit him, since most of them included cattle as Kansas City was a leading livestock stocker and host for rodeo competitions. At the same time, Ewing Kauffman wanted to distance the club from the city’s “cowtown” reputation.
Then Hallmark Cards announced the contest among fifteen artists assigned to the project. At the first step, the works of three artists – Shannon Manning, Carl Woods, and Peter Smokoroski – were chosen, after which each of them was asked to develop several more versions of their original designs. The winning artist was Shannon Manning, awarded at $100. The winning design of the Kansas City Royals logo had no resemblance to the classic emblems of that time. It was modernistic and minimalistic. The Kansas City Royals original logo turned out to be so well-matched and balanced, that it has evolved over the years, with “KC” taking over as the focal point. Only slight alterations were made, yet they did not significantly affect the debut logo.
The modern Kansas City Royals logo is extremely simple, clear, and understandable. The crown makes major emphasis on the concept of royalty, American Royal Livestock, and traditional activities of Kansas City residents. The shield with two letters looks like a heraldic coat of arms of a noble family. The geometrically balanced emblem includes a golden crown over a light blue shield with white-scripted “KC” inside.
Meaning and History
Kansas City Royals is a baseball franchise that has been completely happy with its logo since the beginning of its sports career. For half a century of existence, she almost did not change it – she only made minor adjustments that did not affect either the form of the elements. The developer of such a successful variation is the Hallmark Cards studio and, in particular, the artist Shannon Manning. His concept turned out to be a winning one, albeit unusual for the late 60s of the last century.
1969 – 1978
The initial logo is credited to Hallmark Cards Company, established in Kansas City in 1910. Versions of the emblem were submitted by 15 artists who developed the own unique concept of the logo, which would appear on uniforms, jackets, promotional items, etc. The winning emblem was proposed by Shannon Manning, the Chicago White Sox fan. The imagery was simple and clear, and much resembled the style popular in the 1960s. It featured a blue shield topped by a minimalistic golden crown. A big and ultra-white capital letter “R” and the initials “KC,” which appeared in gold, were placed inside a blue shield. The full name “Royals” was below the primary logo. Manning’s modern and minimalistic work became an excellent prototype for the subsequent emblems of the franchise.
1979 – 1985
In 1979, the Kansas City Royals made minor changes to the logo. The word “Royals” on the bottom was scripted, underlined, and written in small letters. Its color was changed from gold to blue.
1986 – 1992
In the 1986 version, the word “Royals” became bigger in comparison with the shield that, on the contrary, became smaller. These alterations gave the Kansas City Royals emblem a more expressive and memorable look.
1993 – 2001
The Kansas City Royals made yet another minor change to their logo. This time they changed the bright yellow color to a lustier golden tone.
2002 – 2018
In 2002, the capital “R” on the shield was edited out, and the white-scripted initials “KC” became the focal point. The “Royals” wordmark on the bottom of the logo remained the same.
2019 – present
The modern version is the same as at the dawn of the team’s history – in 1969. The only transformation was the replacement of “R” with “KS.” Also, a couple of small details have been corrected, but the scheme remains unchanged. Now the emblem looks like a knightly flag or shield, on which the abbreviation of the name of the franchise is written: white symbols are visible on a blue background. At the top is the main monarchical attribute, as an indication of a noble beginning.
The figure has strict geometric lines and consists of five straight sides, forming an acute angle at the bottom. The golden crown is a little distant and includes four peaks with curvatures at the end, reminiscent of baseballs.
Font and Color of the Emblem
In the debut version, the knightly flag had all the letters conveying the name of the club: in the center, there was a large “R” with a curved end of the leg protruding forward, and above it on the right – “KS.” They stood for the words “Royals” and “Kansas City.” The royal symbol was bright yellow, and below it was the second part of the team’s name, executed in a strict style. Then the priorities shifted, and the inscription became handwritten with rounded letters. Its position has also changed: if earlier, the word was placed strictly horizontally, then later – vertically with a shift upward.
The earliest version of the logo uses a geometric typeface, classic, with minimal inter-letter space and distinct serifs at the ends. Then it was transformed into handwritten text with a tight bunch of characters, except the “R”: the capital letter is supplemented with a round hat and separated from the lowercase ones, so it stands apart from them. “S” has no upper lumen.
The team’s official palette consists of royal blue # 004687, powder blue # 7AB2DD, gold # C09A5B, and white #FFFFFF. Of these, only blue is missing on the emblem.