Using a poll of 1,488 fans, Heath Gregory of FanJuicer.com determined the most and least-liked NFL team logos. Of the participants, 9 out of 10 claimed to follow the league closely, so they are familiar with the logos and have seen them in all kinds of situations.
On top of the results, Gregory asked a graphic designer named Eugenie Mclellan to weigh on why the participants voted the way they did. Scroll through to see how your team stacks up.
From worst to best:
The Graphic Designer: My first thought is that it is just not working. It’s boring. There’s nothing representing the Cleveland Browns here. You have this brilliant color here, but it is just a helmet. There’s nothing special about it, especially to someone who doesn’t know anything about football.
New York Jets
The Graphic Designer: There’s too much text layered on top. It’s hard to read and clunky. It doesn’t make visual sense and isn’t clear what is going on.
The Graphic Designer: I almost like this logo. They have this nice white border around it, but it is hard to see against a lot of backgrounds. The white border adds a finishing touch that makes this work against darker backgrounds. It adds a layer of depth that I think brings it together, but you can’t make it out against a lighter background. Overall, the color scheme works for me, but particularly when this logo is up against darker backgrounds. I can see how some may say that this doesn’t immediately scream that it is a football logo because there isn’t a lot of excitement. The shape of the “B” is a little short and fat – it just doesn’t feel football. There isn’t a lot of strength. Something taller and less squat would be a better approach.
The Graphic Designer: Purely from a design standpoint, I wish it was a little more centralized. What I mean by that is that I wish the feathers worked a little more with the circle. The feathers outside the circle are too large, and they could have wrapped with the circle. This is actually a good illustration [OF THE CHARACTER], it is simple, but defined, and it looks good.
The Graphic Designer: I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.
The Graphic Designer: Overall, I like it. I think the only negative is that it kind of clashes somewhat when you look at the “T.” It doesn’t fully go with everything else. Everywhere else in the logo you have great smooth lines and curves to make this great effect, and the “T” is very sharp and angular like a dagger. I’m not saying it doesn’t look modern, because there are a lot of great angular designs now. It is still a good logo, I think they might could have gone with a different script for the “T.”
The Graphic Designer: I really love the colors. The dark navies, purples, and gold create an intense effect. Mixing it with the red eye is a really great effect. I think that makes a lot of sense and adds a lot. While I love the use of colors, I don’t really like the full shape of the logo. There’s almost too many curves and hooks. It is a little too narrow to the point to where it is almost rectangular. That could make this logo difficult to work with. From a design standpoint, I think you usually want a shape that is conducive to a lot of different formats and situations. You want something that is going to go well on a hat, a shirt, but also look nice in print or on TV. I could see them having trouble with this one because of how long and narrow it is. I think you could make this one a little more round and it would still work. I still think this is a good one.
The Graphic Designer: I can tell this is one of the older ones. I like the simplicity overall, but I could also see how this one might be too simple for a lot of today’s tastes. There’s no depth, there’s no shading, which makes this one feel very flat.
San Francisco 49ers
The Graphic Designer: It just feels clunky. The two letters have been squished together really tightly, and I almost feel like it would have worked a little better in a circle. I’m also not sure how I feel about all of the outer ovals being all different sizes. The original designer may have done this to create a little excitement. The classic typeface is okay, it’s just a little clunky and maybe a little old fashioned. To modernize it, I’d really like to unsquash them so you can see the shape of both letters. I’d like to be able to at least see some of the full shape of the “S” and the “F.” They are almost so condensed that I feel they are fighting for space. I am tempted to say that they wanted to force an “SF” into a football shape.
New York Giants
The Graphic Designer: I like the fact that this fits into a good shape. There is this asymmetric thing here [POINTS TO THE UPPER LEFT PART OF THE “N” IN THE LOGO”]. This tail sticks out from the rest of the logo’s overall shape, but I think that was necessary because it would have been too much of a square without it. This is a good combination of roundness and sharp points that creates an interesting overall effect. I don’t hate this. It isn’t my favorite of these logos, but it works. I like how the bottom of the tail has a nice rounded effect that works with how the rest of the logo has more angular edges. When it comes to graphic design, there aren’t rigid rules about what is and is not going to work. Everyone can have an opinion and there is no right or wrong answer. Sometimes you have to just try a few things and see what works. It is very subjective. This just happens to work in my opinion.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Graphic Designer: My first thought is that this “KC” works a lot better than the “SF” on the 49ers logo. The letters are not overly invasive towards one another. They work really well together. This looks much better to me.
The Graphic Designer: I think this looks super dated. This is one that might could use a redesign to modernize it. These are really flat graphics.
Green Bay Packers
The Graphic Designer: I like this logo. It does the contained shape better than most of the other ones we’ve looked at. Earlier, when we looked at the Chicago Bears logo earlier, I mentioned that the bottom curl of the “C” didn’t line up perfectly with the top curl. This logo, lines up perfectly, creating a very good sense of balance. The green and white with the yellow outline works great. Overall, this is a great logo. I feel like I have seen this before, but it isn’t boring.
The Graphic Designer: My first thought is that it is unusual to see the lightning bolt in a rounded format. The shape does serve the purpose of keeping it from looking generic or a like copy of the Gatorade logo. I’m not saying I dislike the shape, but there’s something about it that is causing hang-ups for me.
New England Patriots
The Graphic Designer: There’s great implied motion. These lines give it great flow that create the impression of movement to the eye. There’s great angles on the face, but also great simplicity in how the face is constructed that pairs well with the implied motion of the back of the hat. There’s also good familiar colors like you’d see on the American flag that ties into a lot of great symbolism that is easy to understand. It communicates “patriotism” well. I don’t think the star in the middle of the hat is 100% necessary, but it still works. This is one of the better ones.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Graphic Designer: It definitely has a modern NFL feel to it. There’s good depth and shading, and great implied motion. But there’s still a lot going on here. The skull, the football, and three swords is a lot.
The Graphic Designer: My immediate thought is that there is too much going on. You have this detailed drawing of the figure, the swords, and the font pushed up very high in the shield almost against the boundary of the logo. It is just a little too much in my opinion. I almost want to move the figure of the man outside of the shield in some way because everything feels really squashed.
The Graphic Designer: I like the color scheme overall. I’m not sure if this color scheme is my favorite overall in the context of an NFL team, but I do like them overall. I’m just not sure if there are enough contrasts here. There’s a lot of white that isn’t fully working. There’s a lot of white in the middle of the circle, but there’s also this big white line within the dolphin itself. I think they could have gone with a different shade of green here and it would stand out more. I actually think this white line makes it look dated even. I really do like the shape of the dolphin a lot against the circle. That works. It’s a natural shape.
The Graphic Designer: It’s maybe a touch more dull than say, the Panthers logo, but overall I like this logo. It feels classic. It has a classic shape, easily recognizable symbolism with Texas, and I don’t think there is a situation where this wouldn’t work. I might could see how some could say this is boring, but I personally don’t think so. I really like the white outline followed by another navy outline. I could see how this logo would stand the test of time.
The Graphic Designer: I like this logo a lot. It is a bit scary, it has that great cartoon look that I mentioned earlier that works in sports logo, but it still looks aggressive. I like the color contrasts with the dark red, black, and yellow. There is this great swoop from the top of the head, but it still maintains a great shape that would look good if you were to view this on a hat or t-shirt. Overall, it’s just well done.
The Graphic Designer: This is another good one. It’s fierce, a bit scary. I like this one for a lot of the reasons I like the Arizona Cardinals logo. It has those cartoon elements I’ve mentioned but it still manages to look aggressive and fierce. There’s great color contrast with the orange and black jaguar pattern, but it merges will with the green accents. It also has a great swooping shape, but manages to overall maintain a shape that’s going to look good on their helmets as well as on apparel.
The Graphic Designer: The colors are the first thing that sticks out. The black and the blue look great. You have this excellent bright blue to contrast this deep dark black that gives the shadowy effect of the panther. The white teeth and the eyes contrast very well with the darkness of the figure. They stand out well against the dark shadowy figure. It communicates toughness and aggression in a visually pleasing way. It’s an ominous effect that the designers achieved without looking like they were trying too hard. That’s tough to pull off. I love how this looks.
The Graphic Designer: I don’t like this as much as the Panthers, but I do like the navy with the lime green. I like that the beak hooks under, and for symmetry purposes they create a similar peak at the top left of the logo. In fact, those two details really help this logo to not look too boring and rectangular. There are great angles [ON THE BIRD] that keep it out of that purely rectangular form. It is a little narrow, so I wonder how challenging it might be to work with in some formats. The green eye works here in a very effective way similar to how the red eye works in the Ravens logo. On the other hand, I think they overuse the grays to an extent, and there isn’t a whole lot of depth. It would surprise me if this was in the top ten, but it’s a good logo overall.
The Graphic Designer: Yeah, this is one that stood out to me as one of the best logos. It has this great roundness to it to keep it from feeling flat. They aren’t using color here to create depth, they are purely using shape, and that is very interesting and difficult to do this well. It takes some technique to create depth with shape alone. For instance, this star on the head isn’t a correctly shaped star, it is very asymmetrical, but the way it is shaped flows with overall figure to give the illusion that the bull’s head is leaning forward. That’s what I mean by the shape giving the illusion of depth. In addition, this whole thing is clean, it’s classic, and also modern at the same time. The colors are also very Texas. I really like it. I’ve talked a lot about implied motion, and how much I like that in sports logos, and it is done well here.
The Graphic Designer: Again, the implied motion is strong here, but what stands out on this logo are the great angles. The eye is also a great detail. The little speck of orange against the blue works very well. There’s a lot of white here, but it isn’t bothering me that much. I think it is due to this great blue border. The thick outline clearly separates it from the environment around it, which is important.
The Graphic Designer: I actually like the Broncos better than this one. However, again, there is a lot of great implied motion with the stripe. There’s a great organic form of the bison paired with the somewhat unnatural stripe to create the effect of movement. Somehow, it still works. It is definitely one that I can see working in the past as well as now.
The Graphic Designer: I like this one overall. What sticks out about this one is that it has great depth. The subtle gray contrasts make it feel like there are multiple layers. The much darker outline that contains everything well while working with the interior colors. Like a lot of the other great good NFL logos, there’s great implied motion. I like how the shape of the beak implies that there is an attacking action going happening.The whole thing has an organic shape, but has a more modern NFL look.
The Graphic Designer: It is very manly, which is great for football. It’s not my personal style, but from a design standpoint it is well done, and I can understand why it may be one of the higher ranked ones. The outline of the figurine is great and sends a distinct message. He has a strong jaw and facial features, and I really like the implied shape of his shoulder – that creates a nice effect. I imagine it might be difficult to fit typography under the logo with this braid sticking out. There’s quite a few shapes sticking out from the central figure, but again, my hangup with that is personal preference. Regardless of any of my hangups, it still feels classic, and I mean that in a good way.
The Graphic Designer: I like the gold and the blue. I love the subtle, white details. There is a good amount of depth they’ve created with this interesting shape here. Kind of like a corkscrew. There’s definitely a good amount of implied motion here. You feel like he is about to headbut someone really hard, and he is growling and fierce. There’s a little bit less detail here than some of the other logos but it is made up for with this great corkscrew shape. With a great shape like this, if you add too much detail, it might become overwhelming. Overall, this one works and I like it.
The Graphic Designer: Despite being a Saints fan, I do like this logo. I like the simplicity, and also there’s no lack of detail here [REFERRING TO THE LOOK ON FALCON’S FACE]. There’s a great shape in his wing and his claws. The shape of the bird is a little unnatural, but it is very sharp, with a lot of great implied motion, and I like it as a football logo. You can still tell that it is a bird.
The Graphic Designer: I’m not sure about the blue. It is a little tame, but there is a great organic shape here with some great subtle details that give it a bit of depth and interest. It isn’t just a silhouette. Still, I’m not sure if I would put this one in my top ten. I don’t think it is that exciting. I like the ones with a little more depth. It’s a great logo overall, but it doesn’t excite me quite as much as some of the others. This is still a really good shape, which is important. The shape itself is what makes this logo work. I just feel there might be something missing.
The Graphic Designer: I am a Saints fan, so I’m going to have a biased opinion. But to start, this one has a great color combination with the black and gold. The triple black-white-black outline works very nicely here to create depth around the gold interior. As far as the actual symbol goes, the fleur-de-lis is just a classic symbol representing New Orleans. You see the symbol all around the city in non-sports contexts; it is even on the city flag. However, the designers made some effective adaptations to the fleur-de-lis symbol to make it work here as a sports logo. The symbol itself has a great symmetrical shape. Particularly, there’s a great combination of sharp points and smooth roundness, which creates a pleasing effect on the eye. I think that’s what gives it a bit of a formal, austere feel. Maybe even a bit intimidating.