The NFL (National Football League) is a professional American football league with 32 teams from the NFC (National Football Conference) and AFC (American Football Conference). It represents the highest level of football globally and organizes the Super Bowl elimination matches (held on the first Sunday in February). The competition takes place between representatives of two main groups – NFC and AFC. The league was founded in 1920. The headquarters are located in New York City.
Meaning and History
In the early years, this sports organization was called APFA (American Professional Football Association). But in the 1922 season, it was renamed the National Football League. In 1933, the NFL introduced a playoff system, at the end of which the remaining teams competed for the championship. This was until 1966 – before the merger with the AFL (American Football League).
In 1967, the Super Bowl took place for the first time, defining the winner among the best players in two competing leagues. It proceeded according to this scheme until 1970, until the complete merger was completed. Today, the Super Bowl is the largest and most visited event in big-time sports with many individual events. And the National Football League has become the most profitable event and organization with the most valuable teams. Over the entire period of its existence, she has repeatedly changed the emblems she had eight.
1920 – 1929
The debut version of the logo is a heraldic shield decorated in the colors of the American flag. The figure with teeth at the top and a point at the bottom is horizontally divided into two parts. One of them is blue with a yellow inscription “NFL.” Printed letters, classic, with miniature serifs. They are widely spaced apart. The second half contains alternating stripes – four white, three full red, and two more trimmed side pieces.
1930 – 1939
During this period, a different type of emblem was used. The designers retained the original shape of the shield but changed its configuration, which remained for all subsequent years. The fact is that the logo has lost its barrel-shaped appearance and received straight sides, tapering at the bottom into a sharp spike. On the badge of those years, the blue stripe became narrow. A diagonal American football ball appeared on it, surrounded by 13 white stars – 6 on the right and left and another at the top in the center. The developers painted the lower zone white and added a large red inscription “NFL.” At “F,” they extended the leg to make it look exactly like a strip. The rest of the letters also resemble wide lines but do not go beyond their height.
1940 – 1953
The design of the emblem has become much more expressive. The authors have extended the upper projections, making them long and sharp (especially the lateral ones). They also increased the number of stars and placed a pink ball with red lacing on their background. The developers have narrowed the lines on the bottom margin and recolored them: now there are six white stripes and seven pink ones on the logo. They are the abbreviation of the sports league, made in the old English style – with large serifs, curly “L,” which has a bold dot at the end.
1953 – 1958
First of all, the authors updated the font: they sharpened and extended the serifs and cut off the lower part of the right leg “N,” making it a triangle with an acute angle. They also tweaked other details:
- Repainted the ball a golden beige.
- Replaced the red lacing with white.
- Removed the pink.
- Arranged the stars in a row.
- Made the letters maroon.
In addition, the designers corrected the upper part of the shield, increasing the central protrusion and reducing the side ones.
1959 – 1961
In 1959, the league approved a terse version of the logo. It had far fewer color spots than before. The ball and stripes have turned white, and the top points on the backboard are equal in height. A thick red border appeared at the bottom.
1962 – 1983
The authors of the emblem enlarged the stars and letters and replaced the red lacing with blue, making it in the background color with the stars, like the edging line. They finally removed the inner stripes at the bottom.
1984 – 2008
The developers have trimmed the shape of the side spikes at the top, widened the line along the edge, and changed the colors. As a result, scarlet instead of deep red and light blue instead of dark appeared in the logo.
2008 – present
The most important transformation took place in the upper block: the designers removed 22 small stars and drew eight large ones. They represent eight divisions and are divided into two parts – 4 on each side. As conceived by the developers, this is a symbol of two conferences. The authors also redesigned the font, replacing the rounded font with a geometric one with wide serifs. In addition, the ball in the upper part received a three-dimensional effect for the first time. Now, it is three-dimensional due to the reduced angle of inclination and repositioned lacing.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The evolution of the NFL’s visual identity has come in parallel with internal changes in the league. But the design moved from a complex design to a simple one, with a minimum of elements. As a result, a blue-red-white version appeared in the color of the American flag. But the number of stars on them does not match because the National Football League has its gradation of stardom. She chose the designation for the number of divisions, not states.
The typeface used in the modern logo is reminiscent of William Boyd’s Freshman typeface. Letters in a strict design, geometric, with straight lines and large serifs. Earlier, the emblem used a typeface in the Old English style – with curly symbols and curved elements.
The corporate palette of the NFL logo was originally associated with the color of the US national flag. It consists of several white, red and blue shades, as they changed several times during the redesign.