Seahawks Logo: What is the story behind the Seahawks logo?

Seahawks logo
Credit: Colegiogamarra

On June 17, 1975, then-general manager John Thompson described the Seahawks’ moniker as a nod to “a tough, fish-eating bird.” This was the day the team revealed its name and original logo to the world. The team picked the name “Seahawks” from a list of 1741 fan suggestions; 150 people contributed to the list. The indigenous people of the Seattle area inspired their logo.

The Seahawks have used a logo that is essentially unchanged from the original throughout their entire existence, updating it only slightly when necessary. Let’s go over these changes and the history of the Seahawks logo.

Seahawks Logo: Overview

The Seattle Seahawks, the only National Football League team based in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, debuted in 1976 as part of the NFC West but switched conferences with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year later and moved to the AFC West. The team debuted following the NFL’s expansion and merger with the American Football League.

Seattle Professional Football Inc., managed by Ned Skinner and Herman Sarkowsky, announced their intention to acquire a franchise for Seattle on June 15, 1972. To expedite the process, executives began construction on the Kingdome Stadium. Only two years later, on June 3, 1974, did the NFL make concessions. On December 5, 1974, a formal agreement to join the professional league was signed.

Lloyd W. Nordstrom led the owners representing the Nordstrom family as controlling shareholders. Their NFL membership cost them $ 16 million. Lloyd died from a heart attack on January 20, 1976, just days before the Seattle Seahawks debuted.

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Seattle Professional Football organized a fan contest to name the club in 1975. Over 20,000 options were submitted by fans, with approximately 1,700 being unique. The Seahawks (“Seahawk”) have been suggested 151 times. It is associated with the osprey bird, a fast and agile bird of prey that defends its territory violently. According to CEO John Thompson, this word expresses aggression and is not associated with any other Major League team.

Ken Hofmann and Ken Behring paid $ 178 million for a franchise in 1988. Behring decided to transfer her to Los Angeles in January 1996, ostensibly due to Seattle’s high risk of earthquakes. When it was discovered that the Seattle Seahawks would be playing at Kingdome Stadium before 2005, he had already relocated the office. The relocation was hampered, and the co-owners decided to sell the team. It was purchased in 1997 by Paul Allen, one of Microsoft’s founders. Following his death in October 2018, the club passed to the Estate of Paul Allen.

All Seattle Seahawks logos feature the sea hawk. A ceremonial Native American bird-head transformer mask is depicted here. Initially, the style resembled the aesthetics of Northwest Coast Native American tribes such as Tlingit, Chinook, Coast Salish, Haida, and Kwakwaka’wakw. Designers later modernized the graphic sign, giving it aggression and dynamics.

What exactly are the Seattle Seahawks?

The Seattle Seahawks are the only NFL franchise to have switched conferences twice since the two leagues merged. It was founded in 1964 by a group of Seattle Professional Football Inc. activists who decided that the city needed a professional football team.

1976 – 2001

When the team first appeared in the NFL, its logo featured a Kwakwaka’wakw mask. Symbolic abstraction characterizes both the drawing and the ritual object. The osprey’s head is to the right. It is made up of white, green (“forest green”), and blue (“royal blue”) elements. The bird’s eye is a filled circle; the eyelids are open semicircular stripes, and the beak is an arc pointing downward.

2002 – 2011

NFL Properties artists modernized a primitive logo on March 1, 2002. They simplified the design, removed the lines from the eyelids, and gave the sea hawk an aggressive appearance. The pupil has been moved forward, the brow has been arched, and the beak’s shape is smoother than in the original version. To create the illusion of movement, the left side of the head is cut at an angle. The color palette also changed: blue became lighter (“seahawks blue”), and forest green was replaced by dark blue (“seahawks navy”) and lime green.

2012 – Today

The team updated the logo again ten years after the original redesign. The lower-left corner has darkened (“wolf gray”). This color was used instead of “seahawks navy,” completely obscured in the image. The emblem, as before, depicts an osprey’s head in profile. It represents a football club’s desire for fame and success. The stern expression is inspired by Egyptian mythology, where hieroglyphs depicting a falcon are common.

What Happened to the Mask?

The mask was discovered shortly after the origin of the Seahawks emblem was rediscovered. It was found to be a piece from the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine. The mask had previously been owned by the German artist Max Ernst, and after he died in 1976, it was purchased by a private collector, William P. Palmer III. In 1982, his collection was given to the Hudson Museum.

The mask was brought from Maine to Seattle to be closer to Seahawks fans. The mask arrived at the Burke Museum after a 3,200-mile journey, where it has been displayed several times.

Colors and Font

All Seattle Seahawks team emblems feature a sea hawk – not just any sea hawk, but a Northwest Indian ceremonial mask. According to historical records, it once belonged to the Kwakwaka’wakw people, who used similar items in their rituals. The logo reflects the region’s cultural heritage as well as the aesthetics of Native American tribes.

The 1976 version served as the prototype for the current emblem. It was then copied from a real object. Artists at NFL Properties have redesigned to move away from the mask look in the new millennium. The modern depiction of the osprey’s head appears cartoonish. At the same time, the redesign took away the logo’s dynamism and aggression.

The bird’s eye alludes to Egyptian mythology. The creators of the emblem chose to focus their attention on hieroglyphs in the shape of a falcon found in Egyptian writing. The image of the sea hawk represents the desire for success.

The Seattle Seahawks brand is unlabeled. Because the graphic part is unique, the lack of original fonts is not noticeable. The first logo version used two colors: royal blue and forest green. New colors were introduced on March 1, 2002: lime green, seahawks navy, and blue. Wolf gray was added to the palette in 2012, replacing the Seahawk’s navy.

Helmet of the Seattle Seahawks

Many people believe the Seattle Seahawks have the most fashionable helmets in the league. This is mostly true, as the combination of colors and the style of the logo, which is placed on the sides of the club’s helmets, look very sharp and exquisite. The dark blue helmets feature darker masks and a light gray Seahawks logo. The bird’s eye is drawn in lime green, which creates an incredibly modern and stylish image.

Uniform of the Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks’ official color palette consists of three elegant shades: college navy, action green, and wolf grey. The club has four uniform design options: one in color, with navy-blue jerseys and pants decorated with gray and green elements; one in white, with blue pants; one in gray, with blue and green design elements; and one in green, with green jersey and pants and blue accents.

Seattle Seahawks Stadium

Since 2002, the Seattle Seahawks have played at Lumen Field, a stadium with a seating capacity of 68,740 and a football field measuring 109,7 meters by 48,8 meters. Before that, the club played in Kingdome Arena, with two breaks when the Seahawks moved to Husky Stadium in 1994 and 2000.

Recent Achievements

For much of the team’s history, Seattle fans have endured mediocrity. It wasn’t until 2005 that the city won its first NFC championship and made its first trip to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks went 13-3 under coach Mike Holmgren, winning the NFC West division. As the No. 1 seed in the NFC, Seattle defeated the Carolina Panthers in the NFC championship game before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

The Seahawks’ best season would come in 2013 when they went 13-3 for the second time. The Seahawks defeated their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers, in the NFC championship game and advanced to face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Seattle defeated the Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl, capping off an incredible season.

The Seahawks would return to the Super Bowl the following season, this time facing the New England Patriots. However, the game would end in tragedy for Seattle. With the game down by four points in the final minutes, quarterback Russell Wilson drove the offense down to the one-yard line. Wilson threw a game-ending interception with 26 seconds remaining. The play call sparked debate, with many believing the Seahawks should have run the ball with Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch.

The Best of Seattle

Regarding all-time great Seahawks players, running back Shaun Alexander must be mentioned. Alexander leads the team in rushing with 2,176 carries for 9,429 yards and 100 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl thrice and was named First Team All-Pro in 2005 after leading the NFL with 27 rushing touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch is another great running back in Seattle’s history. Lynch was a first-team All-Pro in 2012 and made the Pro Bowl from 2011 to 2014, rushing for over 1,200 yards each season. Lynch was also the NFL’s leading rusher in 2013 and 2014. Russell Wilson is a current Seahawks star who has been the team’s starting quarterback since his rookie season in 2012. He led the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl victory in 2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012, 2013, and 2015.

Two men come to mind regarding coaching greats in Seattle: Mike Holmgren and Pete Carroll. With an 86-74 record, Holmgren is the franchise’s winningest coach. He coached the Seahawks for ten years, leading them to their first NFC championship in 2005. Pete Carroll, the Seahawks’ current coach, was hired in 2010 after having great success at the University of Southern California. Carroll’s Seahawks did not have a winning record in his first season, finishing 7-9, but they made the playoffs and won a game against the New Orleans Saints. Three seasons later, the Seahawks would win their first-ever Super Bowl with Carroll at the helm.

The Seattle Seahawks logo is based on an illustration of an Indian ceremonial mask. This cultural artifact was used in rituals. However, the bird’s stern expression is a tribute to Egyptian hieroglyphs, as there were pictograms in the shape of an eagle in Egyptian writing.

Did the Seahawks’ logo change?

The Seattle Seahawks logo was changed in 2012, but it was not revolutionary. The designers made minor changes to the details, most notably the color scheme.

What Does the Seattle Seahawks Logo Look Like?

The football team’s logo depicts a sea hawk’s head. Furthermore, the artists stylized it with the mask of America’s indigenous population – the tribes of the northwest coast. The drawing comprises long, flowing lines separated by white voids.

What Is the Origin of the Seattle Seahawks’ Name?

Seattle Professional Football Inc., which won the NFL franchise, decided to leave the name to the fans. Thousands of people participated in the naming contest, providing over 20,000 options. The term “Seahawks” was used 151 times, and the team owners liked it because it was unique among league members.


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