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