Steeler Logo History

By Michelle Zehr

Michelle is a contributing writer with Gold Star Games, your tailgating games company.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have not always been known as the Steelers. Founded on July 8, 1933 by Arthur Joseph Rooney, the Steelers were originally founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1940, the Pirates became the Steelers as an attempt to generate more fan interest. Fans were asked to submit name suggestions. The winning name, the Steelers, reflected the city’s primary source of employment.

Helmet logos did not become popular in the NFL until 1948. Teams around the league developed designs, logos and mascots for their helmets. However, the Steelers hardly took part in this new craze. The Steelers added player numbers and a black stripe to their distinctive gold helmets.

The famous three star Pittsburgh Steeler helmet did not become popular until much later. In 1962, the Republic of Steel of Cleveland approached the Steelers with an idea. They suggested the Steelers use the steelmark, the insignia used by the American Iron and Steel Institute. The steelmark could honor Pittsburgh’s proud steel heritage.

What is the steelmark? The steelmaker is a c0rcle enclosing three hypocycloids (diamonds that have inward-curving edges) along with the word STEEL, which was created by the USX Corp. This logo could educate consumers about the importance of steel in life.

Three colors were chosen to promote the attributes of steel. These colors include:

  • · Yellow, which lightens your work.
  • · Orange, which brightens your leisure
  • · Blue, which widens your world.
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The logo’s colors where later amended to represent the materials used to make steel:

  • · Yellow for coal.
  • · Orange for iron ore
  • · Blue for steel scrap.
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The Steelers were a big fan of the logo presented by Republic Steel, despite the fact that Republic Steel was located in Cleveland. Pittsburgh has a huge rivalry with the Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers sported their new helmet logos in 1962. This same year, the Steelers qualified for their first-ever playoff game. During the playoffs, the Steelers’ helmets were changed from gold to black – the same color helmets you see today.

One final change was made to the logo in 1963. The Steelers received permission from AISI to change the world “Steel” to Steelers” on their helmets.

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