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Why do so few NFL teams have alternate logos?


TShaw528

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The only team I can think of that heavily uses an alternate logo (Excluding wordmarks as alternate logos) is Cincinnati, they have the B with tiger stripes and a Bengal head. A few other teams (Bears, Titans, etc) have alternates but they're rarely used. Excluding a few of the more traditional teams (Canadiens, Rangers, etc), it seems like almost all teams in the other big 4 leagues have alternate logos.

Any ideas as to why this is?

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The NFL definitely has the least amount of teams using alternate logos. I think NBA teams uses more alternate logos than any other league. I mean, every NBA team has an alternate logo and they usually have more than one.

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I think part of it is the uniforms. In hockey, at least, there's the primary front and center, and sort of the expectation that you'll do something different on the shoulders. As much as they're some of my all-time favorites, the Sabres' original uniforms got a little repetitive with the same logo on the shoulders and the chest. With the numbers taking up the front spot on a football jersey, you can use your primary the same way a hockey team would use a secondary logo.

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A lot of, for want of a better term, the 'legwork' of an identity in the NFL is done by the wordmarks and especially by the helmets, also the fact that as crlachepinochet points out, there's not really a front and center place for logos on the jerseys. Basically there's less of a presence of alternate logos in the NFL because there's simply less scope and opportunity to use them than in other sports

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I gushes it depends what you mean by "alternate logo", because NFL teams do have several different logos, by virtue of the league's aesthetic.

First of all, as noted above, every team has a wordmark, subordinate to the primary mark, not used in merchandise (with the rare exception) and featuring prominently on merchandise.

Then you have the helmet-graphic logos that every team uses. Those are alternates, if in a league-wide format.

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Not to mention the throwback logos that seem to get more prominent every year. There's not a single NFL team that doesn't use multiple logos in its branding. The Packers are a fairly tradition-minded team, but even they have two additional logos used not only in merchandising but for team equipment.

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That's five logos in regular rotation for the Packers, though we think of them as only having one.

When you have this many logos built-in, maybe it's not surprising that some teams don't feel the need for yet another.

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i was only slightly kidding when i said the NFL has the best logos.

really, what do you need a logo, or an alternate logo, to do? most NFL primaries are designed well enough to do it all. 1. works great in primary application (helmet) 2. is readable at any size. 3. caries all the primary colors 4. embroiders well. 5. is unique enough to be recognized without team name. there's just no real need for another logo with most NFL teams.

still, you are seeing teams like the Packers and Colts using some vintage logos, primarily on vintage apparel. even with logos/teams that have been around a long time, there is always a desire for vintage (representing a teams history) and to have something a bit unique from everyone else, say like the yearly template design team shirts that fly off the shelves like "*team name* ARE FASTER".

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Actually, more teams than you would think have 2ndary logos:

Browns: Either the B-in-Ball or the Helmet logo is the 2ndary

Bengals: The B.

Ravens: The Shield

Titans: The sword

Jaguars: Full body jag or jag in shield

Chargers: Shield

Broncos: full horse logo

Eagles: The head of the eagle or the wings on the helmet

Buccs: The ship

Panthers: Full body panther

Saints; Map of Louisiana

Bears: Bear head

Packers: Map w/ runner

Vikings: Viking head or helmet w. horns

Rams: Ram head

In some cases where the primary logo is not used on the helmet (Rams, Eagles, etc.) you could consider the helmet the secondary and the logo the primary or vice versa.

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Most teams make heavy use of a secondary logo. Look at the gear the players wear on the sidelines, all over the stadiums, and on the NFL merchandise that is sold almost everywhere.

Some teams use a non-helmet logo almost as a primary logo. I believe this has to do with merchandising.

The primary logos of a lot of the teams that rely heavily on their secondary logos don't translate well directly to hats and shirts etc.

Bengals: Tiger Stripes

Browns: Plain Orange Helmet

Vikings: Viking Horn

Eagles: Eagle Wing

Rams: Ram Horn

In most cases the ones above can't be used as stand alone logos on hats, shirts, and other merchandise etc.

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The primary logos of a lot of the teams that rely heavily on their secondary logos don't translate well directly to hats and shirts etc.

Bengals: Tiger Stripes

Browns: Plain Orange Helmet

Vikings: Viking Horn

Eagles: Eagle Wing

Rams: Ram Horn

In most cases the ones above can't be used as stand alone logos on hats, shirts, and other merchandise etc.

Those aren't the primary logos of any of those teams.

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because NFL logos are better; more flexible across multiple mediums. and its probably a conscious branding decision by the NFL. the fewer logos the stronger, more meaningful the identity.

This plus the NFL has always used the teams helmet as a secondary logo which is why their branding is so strong at least until the Jags helmet came about.

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The primary logos of a lot of the teams that rely heavily on their secondary logos don't translate well directly to hats and shirts etc.

Bengals: Tiger Stripes

Browns: Plain Orange Helmet

Vikings: Viking Horn

Eagles: Eagle Wing

Rams: Ram Horn

In most cases the ones above can't be used as stand alone logos on hats, shirts, and other merchandise etc.

Those aren't the primary logos of any of those teams.

Bad word choice. I should've said helmet logo instead of primary.

Just my opinion but if a logo is front and center on a team's helmet it should be considered their primary by default.

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Because where would they use them?

There's the helmet logo, which is where the primary logo goes. If the primary logo doesn't go there, the helmet itself becomes the logo.

Most teams use their wordmark on the jersey because it takes an otherwise bland jersey (as compared to hockey or baseball) and makes it unable to be mistaken for another team. That takes the place of the need for a secondary logo.

The "helmet logo", the illustration of the helmet worn by the teams, takes the place of any tertiary or secondary logo that displays the sport played. The NHL's Florida Panthers have nothing that says "hockey" in their primary logo, but the palm-tree/hockey-stick/sun logo shows the sport. Many teams have that sport tucked in another logo, whereas the NFL has no need, it's helmets are easily identifiable on their own.

Teams either have iconic sleeve stripes or a secondary logo. Rarely is it both. The Steelers' striping is well-known, as are the Browns, Bills, or the Rams. You can't put a logo overtop those stripes. Teams that do not have recognizable sleeve stripes use secondary logos, like the Ravens, Eagles, or Saints. Teams that have sleeve stripes and a secondary logo put only one of them on the jersey, and I suspect that their secondary logo is meant to make up for the helmet's lack of a primary logo (Vikings, Bengals), or it's a throwback (Packers, Colts).

With few exceptions, I think that covers it.

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The only team I can think of that heavily uses an alternate logo (Excluding wordmarks as alternate logos) is Cincinnati, they have the B with tiger stripes and a Bengal head. A few other teams (Bears, Titans, etc) have alternates but they're rarely used. Excluding a few of the more traditional teams (Canadiens, Rangers, etc), it seems like almost all teams in the other big 4 leagues have alternate logos.

Any ideas as to why this is?

The Bears use two alternate logos quite frequently (the bear head and the script B). Between the Wishbone C, the Bear head, and the script B, they use three logos fairly frequently.

Heck, almost all of the coaches' gear has the script B (esp. hats).

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It was mentioned above but yeah ... every team (excluding the Browns) have a primary/helmet logo, the helmet itself AS a logo, and a wordmark. Then you also have a few teams that don't have their primary logo on their helmet -- like the Eagles, Rams, Vikings, Bengals. So right off the bat even without any ACTUAL alternate logo thats 3-4 branding options for each team.

Then -- there are plenty of alternate logos -

Ravens - B and Shield

Bears - Bear head

Bengals - Tiger Head

Browns - Dawg

Broncos - Jumping horse (althought granted thats a very rare one)

Texans - HT

Jaguars - JAGS shield

Vikings- Do they still use the MV?

Patriots - Do they use the NE?

Jets - NY oval

Eagles - E

Rams - R

Buccaneers - Ship, BUCS

While your definitly right in that these arent used as often as say the NBA or NHL's alternate logos, they are there. But the main reason is there are 3-4 solid branding elements for each team before you get to alt logos - Helmet logo, Helmet itself, Wordmark, and Primary logo if different from helmet.

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