NFL 49ers Commemorate 75 Years With Logo and Patch
Founded in 1946, the San Francisco 49ers are the oldest professional sports team in the Bay Area. To celebrate their 75th Anniversary, the 49ers have announced a year-long marketing campaign to honor and celebrate the past 75 years while laying the foundation for the next 75 years. The Anniversary campaign is being marked by a commemorative logo and patch designed by the 49ers in-house creative team, that will be on the 49ers 2021 NFL Draft jerseys, in-season jerseys, and game balls and coins for all home games.
Inspired by the history of the organization, the logo features elements pulled directly from design elements of 49ers past. These include:
- A diamond jubilee is the symbolism used for a 75th anniversary celebration and was also the shape of the NFL’s 75th anniversary patch during the 49ers iconic 1994 season.
- The custom number font is inspired by the 49ers classic Saloon font blended with the historic block numbering on uniforms.
- Block lettering with a drop shadow inspired by the various uniforms throughout 49ers history.
A Patch Doesn’t Just Live As Pixels
Regarding the importance of the patch to the overall program, 49ers art director Aaron Llavore comments:
“We loved the idea of making the centerpiece a patch because it’s a very tangible item. It doesn’t just live as pixels on your phone, you can actually touch and feel it on a jersey or piece of apparel. We think there’s a ton of value to that. From our experience designing the ‘Faithful to The Bay’ satin jackets last year, we know texture and stitching brings a level of timelessness. It makes you feel as if you are holding a piece of history.”
To launch the 49ers 75th Anniversary celebration, the 49ers Studios team also produced a video featuring classic imagery and sounds from 49ers teams of the past and present. This abstract tour through the decades of the 49ers storied franchise mirrors the look and feel of the 75th Anniversary and ends with the anniversary logo.
In addition, to showcase the level of detail that went into designing the 49ers 75th Anniversary logo, a few members of the 49ers in house design team sat down to discuss their inspirations and creative process. This behind-the-scenes video appropriately titled “Behind the Logo” includes insights from Llavore as well as Christine Zambetti, Manager, Graphic Design and Brandon Tam, Graphic Designer.
Sports Fans Are Keen To Good Branding
The 49ers 75th Anniversary celebration will be an integral part of the 49ers NFL Draft countdown show titled “Countdown to Draft presented by Mountain Mike’s Pizza.” The show is set to stream Thursday, April 29 on 49ers.com, the 49ers App, and YouTube Live. Hosted by Senior Team Reporter Keiana Martin and featuring special guests to be announced soon, fans can expect to see a detailed breakdown of the NFL Draft process and potential 49ers prospects.
Putting the anniversary project and, more broadly, the challenge of being an inhouse creative team for a popular sports franchise, Aaron Llavore observes: “I find that with designing for a team/franchise means a lot more eyes on your work. In our case, it’s our die-hard fan base in addition to casual sports fans. If we create one off-brand look, our fans will immediately let us hear it. I find that sports fans have become very keen to good branding in this social media age. To navigate this, we always ask ourselves ‘does this feel 49ers enough?’ It’s a simple question but it always sets us straight when designing. One advantage my team has is the fact that we all grew up in the Bay Area as 49ers fans. We have the benefit of looking at design options the same way a diehard fan would, because we are diehard fans.”