San Francisco 49ers Logo

San Francisco 49ers LogoSan Francisco 49ers Logo PNG

The San Francisco 49ers logo represents an American football team, demonstrating its commitment to its history. The symbolism reflects affiliation with the respective sport, emphasizing the team name and the region it represents and defends.

San Francisco 49ers: Brand overview

Founded:June 4, 1944
Founder:49ers Enterprises
Headquarters:
Santa Clara, California, U.S.
Website:49ers.com

The San Francisco 49ers are a football club that has represented the National Football Conference since 1946 and is part of the NFC West division. It is the first professional team in San Francisco and on the West Coast of the USA. It was founded by Anthony J. (Tony) Morabito, a businessman involved in lumber transportation.

He attempted to acquire an NFL franchise in 1941, but Commissioner Elmer Layden rejected his application. After unsuccessful attempts to join the existing league, Morabito met with Arch Ward, the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune. Ward was planning to create the All-America Football Conference to compete with the NFL. On June 6, 1944, Morabito bought an AAFC franchise for $25,000.

The newly created team debuted on August 31, 1946. Legally, it was registered as the San Francisco Forty-Niners, but the shorter version, San Francisco 49ers, became more popular. Co-owner Allan Sorrell suggested the current name. It was dedicated to the forty-niners, gold prospectors who went west in 1849. This was the time of the “Gold Rush,” when people discovered precious metal in the Sierra Nevada River and rushed to Northern California.

In 1950, after the AAFC disbanded, the club was transferred to the NFL. Vic and Tony Morabito remained co-owners. In 1957, Anthony died of a heart attack during a game. His shares were passed to his widow, Josephine V. Morabito. Victor Morabito died on May 10, 1964. The owners became James Ginella, Louis G. Spadia, Frankie Albert, Franklin Mieuli, Albert J. Ruffo, William O’Grady, Lawrence J. Purcell, O.H. Heintzelman, Jane Morabito, Josephine V. Morabito Fox.

On March 31, 1977, the franchise was bought by Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. In 1998, he was suspended from work for a year due to a corruption scandal. Management was temporarily transferred to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, and her husband, John York. In 2000, legal disputes forced the owner to take full control of the share package.

Meaning and History

San Francisco 49ers Logo History

The San Francisco 49ers team used four graphical symbols. The first version was proposed by Allan Sorrell, who, along with Anthony J. Morabito, acquired the AAFC franchise. He saw a photograph of a drunk gold prospector with guns on the side of a railroad freight train and decided it was the best way to convey the concept of the “forty-niners.” All other emblems contain the acronym “SF” and duplicate each other in design.

What is San Francisco 49ers?

The “San Francisco 49ers” is an NFL team named after the California Gold Rush. It was formed in 1944, debuted in 1946 as a founding member of the AAFC, and joined the NFL in 1950. The team has set many league records and won five Super Bowls (as of 2021).

1946 – 1967

San Francisco 49ers Logo 1946-1967

The debut logo depicts lawlessness in San Francisco during the 1849 Gold Rush. The central figure is a mustached gold prospector dressed in high boots, plaid pants, and a red shirt. He stands on his left foot at an angle, and his wide-brimmed hat is flying off. In each hand is a pistol. The man holds one barrel over his head while he shoots himself in the foot with the other. Below is white smoke from the shot.

1968 – 1995

San Francisco 49ers Logo 1968-1995

The new logo represents the “49ers” as a club from San Francisco. It has the shape of an oval ellipse, associated with a football. Inside the geometric figure is the monogram “SF” – an abbreviation for “San Francisco.” The “S” overlaps the “F” in the upper left corner and is divided into three parts. Both letters are white with a black outline, with long serifs at the ends. The symbol is painted dark red and outlined by a closed black stripe.

1996 – 2008

San Francisco 49ers Logo 1996-2008

In 1996, the team slightly changed its logo. The oval acquired an elongated shape and resembled a football even more. The disjointed segments of the letter “F” were connected – now, the letter “S” was superimposed on them. The dark outer border on the sides of the ellipse widened. Inside appeared a metallic outline of gold color – a hint of the Gold Rush and a connection to the name Forty-Niners.

2009 – today

San Francisco 49ers Logo 2009-Present

In the latest version of the logo, the design remained the same. The franchise owners only changed the main shades. Dark red became scarlet, dull white – clearly bright, and black and gold – saturated.

Font and Colors

San Francisco 49ers emblem

The iconic San Francisco 49ers logo reflects the team’s connection to its hometown. At the same time, it is dedicated to the football theme, as it has the shape of a ball. In the center are the first letters of the name San Francisco – capital S and F. They are whimsically connected in the center of the emblem: “S” overlaps “F,” covering it in the upper left corner and dividing it into three fragments. The monogram is inside an oval, depicting an American football.

This symbol has been used since 1968. Before that, the club had a completely different logo, which was more suitable for the San Francisco 49ers. The image of an armed gold prospector conveyed the mood of the 1940s when the Gold Rush swept America. Against its background, the modern emblem seems too far from the historical context and conceptual meaning of the team.

San Francisco 49ers symbol

To make the monogram memorable, designers created their own font for it. Moreover, the letters are not written but hand-drawn. The font belongs to the antique group: “S” and “F” are decorated with wide, long serifs at the ends.

The monogram is white but has a black outline. The main part of the oval is bright red, almost scarlet. The frame of the improvised ball consists of two colors: gold (the only hint of the gold rush) and black.

San Francisco 49ers color codes

49ers RedHex color:#aa0000
RGB:170 0 0
CMYK:0 100 59 26
Pantone:PMS 187C
49ers GoldHex color:#b3995d
RGB:175 146 93
CMYK:5 20 50 20
Pantone:PMS 872 C Metallic

FAQ

What does the “San Francisco 49ers” logo mean?

The monogram of the letters SF signifies the city where the team is based. And the elliptical base behind the inscription has the shape of a football. Gold embodies power, wealth, and superiority. It hints at the Gold Rush. Red, in turn, is a symbol of optimism and energy.

Who created the 49ers logo?

It is unknown who developed the current team logo. It may have been done by an in-house team of designers. But the author of the very first version is considered to be Allan Sorrell, co-owner of the “San Francisco 49ers.”

What was the first “49ers” logo?

The debut emblem of the franchise contained an image of a drunk gold prospector holding two revolvers: he shot himself in the foot with one and raised the other above his head. The man was dressed in a red shirt, plaid pants, and black boots. Due to active movements, the hat flew off his head. This image embodied the lawlessness of the era of the California Gold Rush.

When did the “49ers” change their logo?

The most significant update of the “San Francisco 49ers” logo occurred in 1968 when the first version of the monogram in the form of an ellipse appeared. In 1996 and 2009, designers improved the design, changing the shapes and colors of the elements.