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This article details the logos and uniforms of the Green Bay Packers.
Over the course of the team's history, the team has maintained the same logo while wearing virtually the same uniforms over the years, with subtle changes made to give the uniforms an updated look. The team colors, uniforms, and logo are often ranked as being among the best in the National Football League (NFL) due to its simplicity and traditional significance.
The Packers were founded on August 11, 1919, by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. Lambeau's boss, Frank Peck, invested $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. Today "Green Bay Packers" is the oldest team-name still in use in the National Football League (NFL), both by its nickname and by virtue of remaining in its original city.
In 1920, the Indian Packing Company was purchased by the Acme Packing Company. Acme continued its support of Lambeau's team, and in its first season in the NFL the team wore jerseys with the words "ACME PACKERS" emblazoned on the chest.
Lambeau, who had attended the University of Notre Dame, borrowed the team's colors of navy blue and gold from the Fighting Irish, much as George Halas borrowed team colors from his alma mater Illinois for the Chicago Bears. And like the Irish in the 1930s and 1940s, the Packers sometimes used green and gold before returning to the traditional blue and gold.
In the early days, the Packers were often referred to as the "Bays" or the "Blues" (and sometimes were even nicknamed as "the Big Bay Blues"). These never were official nicknames, although Lambeau did consider replacing "Packers" with "Blues" in the 1920s.
In 1949, Lambeau was forced to resign from the team and the Packers colors would be changed. Navy blue was kept as a secondary color, seen primarily on sideline capes, but it was quietly dropped from the team colors list on all official materials shortly thereafter.
The Green and GoldEdit
"We are the Green Bay Packers": 1950-1961Edit
After Lambeau's exit, the "New Packers" introduced their first official logo, featuring a green "Packers" script with a football in between two goal posts. The logo would also be present on 1950 stock certificates. During the next four years, the colors would change as the team experimented with several uniform combinations. The offical team colors were changed to hunter green and "taxicab" gold, solidfied by new coach Gene Ronzani's statement, "We are the GREEN Bay Packers". The color scheme yields the common Packer nickname, "The Green and Gold".
In 1954, the Packers looked for a different look with new coach Lisle Blackbourn. The team unveiled new uniforms and a new logo. The mark featured a quarterback wearing No. 41 behind a yellow football with a backdrop of Wisconsin. The state also marked both Green Bay and Milwaukee on the state. The No. 41 was worn two decades earlier, both by Arnie Herber and Clarke Hinkle. The logo would be used until 1961.
Also introduced in 1959, an alternate logo was introduced that featured an interlocking yellow 'GB' on green. It was found on sidelines whereit was worn on hats, shirts, and jackets by coaches, equipment managers, and trainers during games and practice sessions. The logo is notably worn by Vince Lombardi and later head coaches, such as Phil Bengston and Dan Devine.
The Lombardi Era: 1959-1968Edit
On February 2, 1959, Vince Lombardi accepted the position of Head Coach and General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. Lombardi requested to revamp the uniforms, basic designs, and colors. All uniforms featured a three-striped design on socks. Also, all players were asked to wear the same style cleats. To this day, the current design remains.
The oval logo was created in 1959 by Packers equipment manager Gerald "Dad" Braisher for Lombardi. The logo would be added to the helmets in 1961, the team's first and only helmet logo. Although the team has used a number of different logos prior to 1961, the "G" is the only logo that has ever appeared on the helmet. The Packers have granted limited permission to other organizations to utilize a similar logo, notably the University of Georgia and Grambling State University, the Packers hold the trademark for it. Adopted in 1964, the Georgia "G", though different in design and color, was similar to the Packers' "G". Then-Georgia head coach Vince Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia's new emblem with the Packers.
The Packers also introduced a primary logo in 1961, which was used on official Packers stationery and publications. Similar to the logo that was based on Herber and Hinkle in 1954, the logo featured a yellow football in a Wisconsin silhoutte, but instead featured a numberless running back. Under this official logo, the Packers won five world championships, including Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II.
After Lombardi's exit and consequent signing with the Washington Redskins in 1969, the official team logo shifted to the helmet "G" logo. The mark would still be used as an alternate logo in the 1970's.
Minor changes: 1969-1996Edit
The Packers' uniforms underwent minimal changes 15 years after Lombardi's exit. In 1969, the Packers wore a commemorative logo on top of their left shoulder along with the rest of the NFL, honoring the league's 50th anniversary. In 1970, the Packers conformed with a league mandate to apply last names on the backs of all players.
In 1984, new head coach Forrest Gregg made the most changes to the uniform since Lombardi by adding the 'G' logo to float on each sleeve's striping, uniforms numbers to align on each hip, and gold was included in the middle striping for pants. After Gregg's tenure, the "TV numbers" were removed in 1988.
While several NFL teams choose to wear white jerseys at home early in the season due to white's ability to reflect the late summer sunrays, the Packers have only done so only twice, during the opening two games of the 1989 season.
In 1993, the Packers displayed a logo marking the team's 75th anniversary on their upper left chest. The anniversary celebrated one year's before the NFL's 75th anniversary season. In 1994, the Packers participated in the league-wide use of "throwback" jerseys, but just at select away games. The Packers would wear them again for two Thanksgiving Day games against the Detroit Lions: in 2001, throwback uniforms as worn in the 1930s; in 2003, uniforms from the 1960s (which were only slightly different from the current uniforms).
Current Uniform and Lambeau Field patches: 1997-currentEdit
In 1997, for the first time since Lombardi's 1958 team, the Packers' uniform returned to three stripes on a sleeve, shifting down from five stripes.
In 2003, "Rebirth of a Legend" patch was worn on the chest for the first game in rededicated Lambeau Field. In 2007, the Packers paid tribute to Lambeau Field again, wearing the "Lambeau Field 50th Anniversary" patch for all home games.
For the 2010 season, the Packers will pay tribute to their historical brethren with a third jersey modeled after that worn by the club in 1929, during its first world championship season. Mark Murphy, team president and CEO, confirmed the team will use a "throwback" uniform for some games this season. Unlike such throwback tributes in the past, the uniform will be worn at Lambeau during home games, and the jersey will be navy blue, again making the Packers "the Blues."