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NFL number fonts


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#1 Slater

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 07:12

Looking at the various NFL team jerseys, it seems to me that no two teams have an identical font. Accurate?

#2 Buc

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 10:24

Outside of your run-of-the-mill basic block (Saints, Panthers, Raiders, et al), yes that's a pretty accurate assessment.

Whether it was a push by the NFL or by the respective teams I'm not sure, but pretty much since about 1996 or so, just about every team that's rebranded has done so with some type of new "proprietary" font, whether forced or not. Some pulled it off very nicely (Eagles, current-day Ravens, Jaguars before they messed it all up); some you can tell were forced (chiefly the Chargers).

All that having been said, a while ago I went through and studied the various styles of block numbers, and went and recreated them. I don't have the file right in front of me, but I believe there's at least five or six different styles of block floating around in the NFL. The Colts and Jets (and now 49ers) have the most basic style; the most popular basic block is that being used by the Chiefs, Saints, Raiders, Browns, Panthers, Packers, Giants (though I think there's subtle differences), and Redskins. The style of block the 49ers used previously is now being used by the Buccaneers, the only team to currently do so. The Cowboys have an interesting, much bolder block. And then there's the Seahawks, who have their own style--though it might not be that easy to tell at first glance. (As best as I can tell, the current Bills' home jersey block numbers appear to be the same as those of the Cowboys' dark jerseys, while their road jersey numbers appear to be the same as the Chiefs, Saints, Raiders, and others in that group.)

Those with "modified" block numbers...you have the Cardinals, Patriots, and Vikings (and now Jaguars). Then there's the ITC Machine block numbers of the Dolphins--modified slightly from the actual Machine typeface. All told, that's 20 current NFL teams using some style or other of block.

Then there's the "proprietary" numbers...the Bears, who've had theirs almost forever, the aforementioned Chargers, Broncos (the first to really do it in the modern era), Eagles, Ravens, Steelers (much to the chagrin of some), Bengals, Titans, Texans, Falcons, Rams, and Lions--which total out to 12.

By division, it looks something like this (star denoting block):

AFC WEST

Chiefs*
Chargers
Raiders*
Broncos

AFC NORTH

Steelers
Ravens
Browns*
Bengals

AFC SOUTH

Colts*
Jaguars* (!)
Texans
Titans

AFC EAST

Patriots*
Jers*
Dolphins*
Bills*

NFC WEST

Seahawks*
Rams
49ers*
Cardinals*

NFC NORTH

Bears*
Packers*
Vikings*
Lions

NFC SOUTH

Falcons
Saints*
Buccaneers*
Panthers*

NFC EAST

Eagles
Giants*
Cowboys*
Redskins*



(Yeah I actually took time to go through all that once before... :wacko: )
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#3 Wally1912

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 11:05

The Colts and Jets (and now 49ers) have the most basic style;


The Colts and Jets utilize different fonts. The Colts use the same Wilson Sporting Goods block as the Yankees, the Braves, and the Tigers in MLB.

Look at the little tails on the 6's and 9's to see a key difference.

Posted Image Posted Image

The 49ers also use the Wilson block.
Posted Image Posted Image

#4 epper

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 11:22

The Packers block is also slightly different: look at the "dip" in the middle stroke of the 5:
Posted Image

#5 WSU151

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 11:26

Then there's the "proprietary" numbers...the Bears, who've had theirs almost forever, the aforementioned Chargers, Broncos (the first to really do it in the modern era), Eagles, Ravens, Steelers (much to the chagrin of some), Bengals, Titans, Texans, Falcons, Rams, and Lions--which total out to 12.


The Ravens and Eagles had "proprietary" numbers before the Broncos did. Eagles and Ravens introduced their number fonts in 1996; Broncos in 1997.

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#6 ColorWerx

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 11:34

I understand claiming that Cardinals use a "modified block"...but I would argue that theirs is pretty unique:

Posted Image

#7 mmejia

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 11:45

I've always thought that a customized number font helps teams protect their identities from counterfeits, much the same way that small team wormarks under the front collar do.

For instance, wouldn't a manufacturer be allowed to produce a plain black jersey, with large block white numbers, with some simple yellow striping on the sleeve, without having to pay the Steelers and/or NFL royalties?
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#8 rcb05

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 12:56

By division, it looks something like this (star denoting block):

AFC WEST

Chiefs*
Chargers
Raiders*
Broncos

AFC NORTH

Steelers
Ravens
Browns*
Bengals

AFC SOUTH

Colts*
Jaguars* (!)
Texans
Titans

AFC EAST

Patriots*
Jers*
Dolphins*
Bills*

NFC WEST

Seahawks*
Rams
49ers*
Cardinals*

NFC NORTH

Bears*
Packers*
Vikings*
Lions

NFC SOUTH

Falcons
Saints*
Buccaneers*
Panthers*

NFC EAST

Eagles
Giants*
Cowboys*
Redskins*


The Jags, Patriots, Cardinals and Bears do not have traditional block numbers.

#9 Buc

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 13:13


The Colts and Jets (and now 49ers) have the most basic style;


The Colts and Jets utilize different fonts. The Colts use the same Wilson Sporting Goods block as the Yankees, the Braves, and the Tigers in MLB.

Look at the little tails on the 6's and 9's to see a key difference.

Posted Image Posted Image

The 49ers also use the Wilson block.
Posted Image Posted Image


Good catch...I coulda swore the Jets also used that (i believe it's called) Wilson block style, as well. Ah well..thanks for the visual. And, yeah I completely forgot about the Packers' unique "5".

And after going back and looking, I was wrong about the Broncos--all this time I kept thinking the Broncos, Ravens, and Eagles all first debuted at the same time. My mistake. *headslap*
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#10 Eye

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 14:14



The Colts and Jets (and now 49ers) have the most basic style;


The Colts and Jets utilize different fonts. The Colts use the same Wilson Sporting Goods block as the Yankees, the Braves, and the Tigers in MLB.

Look at the little tails on the 6's and 9's to see a key difference.

[picture of Colts] [picture of Jets]

The 49ers also use the Wilson block.
[picture of 49ers]


Good catch...I coulda swore the Jets also used that (i believe it's called) Wilson block style, as well. Ah well..thanks for the visual. And, yeah I completely forgot about the Packers' unique "5".

And after going back and looking, I was wrong about the Broncos--all this time I kept thinking the Broncos, Ravens, and Eagles all first debuted at the same time. My mistake. *headslap*

The Colts, 49ers, Yankees, Braves and Tigers font isn't good because of the 6 and the 9. It makes the font look inconsistent since there is out of nowhere a 59 degree angle on those two digits.

#11 tvko

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 20:04

Is it my eyes, or do the Jags and the Patriots have a slightly modified version of the same font?

Posted Image


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#12 TxRangersFan

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 20:19

Are there any teams besides the Cowboys that use two different number fonts on the home and road jerseys? (Not including differences in outlines.)

Posted Image

As we all know, the Cowboys identity is a mess.
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#13 TopCat

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 20:29

The Vikings use a block font with rounded off edges.

#14 BringBackTheVet

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 21:14

The Vikings and Cardinals are the worst. The Vikings are so close to block that it actually makes their own numbers look like poorly-made rip-offs. The Cardinals are so close to (for lack of the official term) the "default athletic number" font (slanted 2, etc.) but the little slants in the squares inside the 8s (among other numbers) also make it look bad. They would look really well if all squared or all slanted.

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#15 RyanB06

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Posted January 10, 2011 - 21:31

Is it my eyes, or do the Jags and the Patriots have a slightly modified version of the same font?


It's your eyes. They're nothing alike.

Pats:
Posted Image
Jags:
Posted Image

Posted Image

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#16 Luigi

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Posted January 11, 2011 - 02:25

The Packers block is also slightly different: look at the "dip" in the middle stroke of the 5:
Posted Image


you beat me to saying that!
Posted Image Posted Image

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#17 Drakonius26

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Posted January 11, 2011 - 04:01

I still don't understand the hate for the Arizona Cardinals number font. I think it's perfectly fine when compared to what some of the other teams have... Broncos, Falcons, Jaguars, and Vikings just to name a few.

#18 Gothamite

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Posted January 11, 2011 - 09:29

The Packers block is also slightly different: look at the "dip" in the middle stroke of the 5:
Posted Image

Ah, one of the things I love about that number font is the little inconsistencies with the TV numbers - the shoulder 5 doesn't have the dip.

#19 Buc

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Posted January 11, 2011 - 10:05

Whenever I get a chance, I'm going to post up the sheet I did with all the various block numbers I've been able to find thus far. Be looking for that sometime in the future. (It may also be a good resource for concepters out there.)
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#20 ColorWerx

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Posted January 11, 2011 - 11:51

Whenever I get a chance, I'm going to post up the sheet I did with all the various block numbers I've been able to find thus far. Be looking for that sometime in the future. (It may also be a good resource for concepters out there.)


I've got all of the official numerals artwork for all teams - chest, back and TV numerals - but I'm a little nervous to post too many of them...counterfeiters could use them.

I'm open to ideas. (Realistic ones, anyway.)