Jan
18

The History of the Packers’ “G”

The History of the Packers’ “G”

It’s amazing to me that the same logo in two different colors can conjure up such vastly different sets of emotions. One of my favorite teams, The Green Bay Packers, shares a logo with my least favorite team, the Georgia Bulldogs. And as much as I see the oval “G” in red and black on the backs of cars in my home state of Georgia and have a brief moment of hatred toward that person, the same mark in green and yellow makes me happy. I don’t know what I’d do if I became colorblind.

I had hoped to get this post up before the Packers’ first (and now last…) playoff game, but I’ve been without Internet for days. Alas, here it is after their defeat.

In 1961, head coach Vince Lombardi asked Packers equipment manager George “Dad” Braisher to design the team a logo. He came up with the original Packers football-shaped “G” logo. The “G” stood for Green Bay, although multiple sources have incorrectly reported that it stood for “Greatness.” It did not have the gold stroke around it that it does today. That was added in 1980.

In 1964, then-Georgia football coach Vince Dooley liked the way the Packers’ helmets looked and thought it would work well for his team. Prior to 1964, Georgia had worn plain silver helmets. Georgia tweaked the logo slightly, making it shorter vertically and adding a colored stroke on the outside. The Packers granted Georgia permission to use the logo since they were so similar. (Add to that the most common spot color among college sports teams, the 3rd most common mascot, and a non-original fight song and you’ve got the most unoriginal school in the country. Rant over.)

In 1965, Grambling State began using the logo, also with the Packers’ permission. Their mark is closer to the Packers’ original mark, but still tweaked slightly.

So while all 3 teams have continued to use the logo, and all 3 are slightly different, it all started in 1961 with the Packers’ equipment manager.

I’ve outlined all three logos below, both all together and then with each highlighted individually so you can see the slight differences.

Sources: packers.com, sportslogos.net, Wikipedia, espn.com

21 Responses to “The History of the Packers’ “G””

  1. Steve L
    January 18th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I hate Georgia….and I knew they stole it. I’m surprised they didn’t take it first then beg for forgiveness…..

  2. John
    October 21st, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Looks much better in red and black. It may have originated with the Packers, but it was improved by UGA.

  3. jack
    December 1st, 2012 at 11:28 am

    John UGAs is a total copy off and it J’s almost the same so they didn’t really improve it

    Sogo packe

  4. Harry
    June 29th, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Gentlemen, from an artists perception, there are two things that are evident and two that are consistent. 1. Packers equipment mgr and St. Norbert artist designed logo by hand 2. Georgia coach liked Packer logo and asked permission after “tweaking”. What is inconsistent is that the Packers then adapted the logo to Georgia’s. First of all the addition of the color band was a high light as the Packer G is white surrounded by green. The Georgia log was black and therefore needed to separate it on white or light colors. The original Packer logo has remained the fatter football since it’s inception. Non of the stories agree on the last two points, however if you look at the original Packer G and the current you find only the addition of the gold. Funny how Vince Lombardi OK’d the college to use their design without copyright infringement and now the college loves to believe Green Bay, the most historic franchise in pro football , somehow stole ideas from them in a world where intellectual property protection is a multi billion dollar business. signed a Packer Shareholder and season ticket holder who happens to be a graphic artist. (in those days it was commercial artist)

  5. Harry
  6. Towns
    September 30th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    the real story is only known to a few people who are still living (including Vince Dooley, who verifies this story only when asked PRECISELY about it…otherwise, he just goes along with the claim that he called Lombardi…it sounds better). I know because I’ve asked him.

    it basically goes like this: there was a halfback/db that played at Georgia from 1957-1959. in the NFL, he played briefly for the Boston Patriots and the St. Louis Cardinals from 1960-1963. after his final cut, he had a tryout with Green Bay. they gave him a bag of Packer paraphernalia. in the bag was a single G helmet sticker. having played at Georgia, he liked it. he put it on the back window of his t-bird.

    his father was the head track coach at Georgia, and had also been an assistant football coach years before. his father’s father-in-law (so his maternal grandfather) was the equipment manager. they asked where that sticker came from. he told them. they decided to call that very Green Bay equipment manager. he sent them a G in black and let him know where he had the stickers produced. they put one on the plain silver helmet and showed it to Dooley. he liked it and said they should move forward. for one year, the G was on a silver helmet. they had many concept uniforms the next year. one had a white helmet with the G. ultimately, they decided on the red one. that’s it. there were no copyrights or trademarks for single letters back then. so there are no legal ramifications.

    *that halfback…Bobby Towns 1957-59, football. 1957-59, track.
    *that track coach…Forrest “Spec” Towns 1935-37, football. 1935-37, track. 1936 Olympic Gold Medalist in 110m High Hurdles. Berlin. Head Track Coach from 1937-1975.
    *that equipment manager…”Pap” Eberhardt

    **those three guys…my father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

    thanks,
    -Kirby Towns 2000-02, football. 3rd Generation Letterman.

  7. l.james
    December 13th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    georgia is not a copy cat

  8. BDEAST
    March 28th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Sounds like this article was written by a sour puss GT fan LOL..

  9. hbo
    July 2nd, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Well, not contradicting the story, nor calling anyone a liar, but the original logo shown above is incorrect and the correct one is shown in the link in the post above…

    UGA’s rounded logo was “similar” to Green Bay’s original “pointy” football shaped G and Dooley called for permission to use it. Through the years, Green Bay adapted their logo to what is currently used.

    The logo’s shown above in this article are not correct.

    ~http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/213606481.html
    ~http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/local-icon-helped-create-teams-g-logo-r9964g5-199268221.html
    ~http://archive.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20131005/GPG0101/310050478/Today-s-take-St-Norbert-art-prof-lays-claim-famed-Packers-G-

    ~~and paricularly this pic showing the helmet/logo worn from 61-67 (the logo shown above wasn’t enacted until later):
    ~http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52072939415692039/
    ~http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52072939415691888/
    ~http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52072939415694959/

  10. hbo
  11. hbo
  12. Rick Eisenberg
    September 13th, 2014 at 4:06 am

    The original Packers helmet logo was football shaped, not the oval in use today.

    The original logo, which in my view is far more beautiful than the bland oval we see today, can be seen here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Autographed-Packers-Replica-Throwback-Inscribed/dp/B003YB6WT0

  13. Matt George
    November 10th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    The fact that both Georgia AND Green Bay had then and still have an amicable relationship about it, lends me to believe it really doesn’t matter who had it first. They both liked it. They both never minded the other using it.

    I like them both and as far as I’m concerned they both deserve their respective historical sentiments to it.

    Go Dawgs and Go Packers!!!

    COMMIT … TO THE G! :)

  14. Jay Mathewson
    November 25th, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Funny, I heard a completely different story from a lawyer (mine). There had been a prolonged court battle between the Packers and UGA over the rights to the logo. One Saturday morning a phone call from a Coca Cola executive was made to the home of Pete Rozelle (who had to work on Sundays but considered his Saturday as “his” time). The party on the other end of the call reminded Pete that Coke was the largest commercial supporter of the NFL, then proceeded to ask him if he was aware of the lawsuit. When Pete acknowledged that did the caller told him that Coke wanted the lawsuit “settled..,.,.Monday”
    And it was.

  15. Anthony Grubb
    November 29th, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for the background info.–hopefully, it answers the questions I’ve had. However, the childish responses both in the article and in the comments about what schools or teams people hate is tiresome. Note that professional sports analysts don’t do this. This is the lot of the grunts and low-brows, so keep it up–it makes you easier to identify!

  16. Brian
    August 31st, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    There are many similarities and “copying” in every single walk of life. Only recently did “borrowing” an idea become taboo. In the 60′s, folks were much less interested in childish games like “first!” If you want another example, look into the 12th man. A&M originated, and the Seahawks stole it. They even had to pay.

  17. Steve Benton
    September 28th, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    The official Green Bay Packers web site says the “G” stands for greatness. Not sure you have an argument… or that your sources are correct.

  18. Kenton Norman
    October 16th, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Did you know that a high school in Greenwood SC have had that same logo since 1933

  19. james
    October 30th, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Hope the Packers go back to the original logo and drop the Oval, and get rid of player numerals on shoulder pads: too busy, obsessive

  20. Daniel
    January 9th, 2016 at 12:23 am

    In 1963 after becoming the Bulldogs’ Head Football Coach, Vince Dooley redesigned the football uniform choosing a red helmet with a black “G” on a white background as the dominant feature of the new uniform for the 1964 season.

    He discussed with his staff that a forward-looking “G” would be an appropriate emblem for the helmet of the Georgia team. Dooley had just hired John Donaldson, former Georgia player from 1945 to 1948, as backfield coach. John was keen on the idea of a new image and volunteered his wife, Anne, who had a BFA in commercial art from UGA to design a logo for the new Georgia helmet with the general specifications Dooley had outlined. Dooley accepted Anne’s original “G” which fit his vision for a forward look to Georgia’s new emblem.

    Since the Georgia “G”- though different in design and color- was similar to Green Bay’s “G”, Coach Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia’s new emblem with the NFL team. Athletic Director Joel Eaves called for permission which was granted. However, since its inception in 1961, the Green Bay “G” has been redesigned several times and now looks like Georgia’s original 1964 “G.” Georgia is proud that the Packers apparently liked the special nuances of the Bulldogs’ forward-looking “G.”

    “Glory, Glory”
    Among the University’s oldest and most lasting traditions is the school fight song, “Glory, Glory” which is sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was sung at games as early as the 1890′s, but arranged in its present form by Georgia’s immortal musician-composer Hugh Hodgson in 1915. There have been many Bulldog songs through the years and at least two collections dating back to 1909 have been published, but none have enjoyed more acceptance than “Glory, Glory.”

  21. Michael
    March 8th, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Daniels version of the story is the one I have always heard as well. Plus I also remember hearing tale that Georgia trademarked the logo before Green Bay did and now any changes that occur to the g by Green Bay have to be cleared by Georgia first. But in reality, who cares. My favorite thing to do is asking a packers fan where in the world they found a green and yellow UGA hat! Try it you’ll like it lol

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