The Best and Worst NFL Logos (AFC North)

With the 2012 National Football League season nearly upon us, now is as good a time as any to obsess once again on one of my favorite topics — logos. So I’m going to offer up my choices for the best and worst team logos for all 32 current NFL franchises. Primary, alternate, and helmet logos listed on Chris Creamer’s outstanding logo website are all under consideration. Today I look at the four squads of the AFC’s North division.

Previous entries: AFC East, NFC East

Baltimore Ravens

Best

Baltimore Ravens Alternate Logo (1996 - 1998)
Baltimore Ravens alternate logo (1996 – 1998)

I’m not in love with any of Baltimore’s logos to be honest — and they sure have had quite a few for a team not yet 20 years old. But if you have to go with the rather unoriginal angry bird look, this is their best one.

Worst

Baltimore Ravens Logo (1996 - 1998)
Baltimore Ravens logo (1996 – 1998)

The B stands for Blech. But it also stands for burglarized, since it was basically stolen from a Baltimore security guard named Frederick E. Bouchat. Regardless, a flying B shield just looks silly and clunky.

Cincinnati Bengals

Best

Cincinnati Bengals Logo (1997 - 2003)
Cincinnati Bengals logo (1997 – 2003)

Ironic that the Bengals, while at one of the lowest points in their history, rolled out their best look yet…

Worst

Cincinnati Bengals Logo (2004 - present)
Cincinnati Bengals logo (2004 – present)

… and then ditched it for this garbage. I’m not sure how you manage to make a tiger theme look boring, but Cincy did it.

Cleveland Browns

Best

Cleveland Browns Logo (1959 - 1969)
Cleveland Browns logo (1959 – 1969)

The Brownie rules, and that’s all there is to say about that.

Worst

Cleveland Browns Alternate Logo (2003 - present)
Cleveland Browns alternate logo (2003 – present)

Visually, this is just fine. But it has nothing to do with the team or their name; it’s a tribute of sorts to the Dawg Pound. And that just doesn’t belong on an official logo — especially since the Browns seemed OK leaving the Dawg Pound and all of Cleveland behind in the ’90s.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Best

Pittsburgh Steelers Logo (1969 - 2001)
Pittsburgh Steelers logo (1969 – 2001)

I really do dislike the Steelers, but I have to give credit where credit is due — this is sweet. And if you’re wondering why it’s only dated until 2001, it’s because the bottom astroid was given a slightly different hue after that season.

Worst

Pittsburgh Steelers Logo (1960 - 1968)
Pittsburgh Steelers logo (1960 – 1968)

This actually isn’t that bad, but it suffers in comparison to Pittsburgh’s other logos. I do have two quibbles with it — it’s a little too cartoony, and it’s a bad sign when your own logo is punting the ball away.

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  • Yannick

    Hey Chris, really like your NFL best/worst logos series. Now, I’m curious to see you compare them to each other. I was thinking since the NFL and New Era just unveiled an official on-field cap for each team this year, you could rank these hats from 1 to 32. Keep up the good work !