Pittsburgh Steelers Logo - Design and History

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (six), won more AFC Championship Games (eight) and played in (fifteen) and hosted more (eleven) conference championship games than any other AFC or NFC team. The Steelers won their most recent championship, Super Bowl XLIII, on February 1, 2009. Have you ever wondered what their logo stood for?

The Pittsburgh Steelers were not always the Steelers, they were originally called the Pittsburgh Pirates by the founder Arthur (Art) Joseph Rooney. In 1933, fans were encouraged to send their suggestions to the team and several nominated the winning name Steelers, after steel, which was the main source of employment in Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh is also referred to as the Steel City.

The logo was born in 1962 when the Republic Steel of Cleveland approached the Steelers and suggested that they consider the Steelmark, the insignia used by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), as a helmet logo to honor Pittsburgh's steel heritage. The Steelmark logo, a circle enclosing three diamonds with inward-curving edges (see image on left) and the word 'Steel', was created by U.S. Steel Corp to educate consumers about the importance of steel in their daily lives.

The colors were chosen to promote the attributes for steel:

  • yellow lightens your work
  • orange brightens your leisure
  • blue widens your world

The logo's meaning was later amended to represent the three materials used to produce steel:

  • yellow for coal
  • orange for iron ore
  • and blue for steel scrap

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