Today we’re talking about the Baltimore Ravens‘ logo and this one is a dandy – with a rare situation occurring that forced the team to abandon a primary logo following the 1998 season and opting for what we see today. However, the Ravens have also had some really cool secondary logos, including one of my personal favorites – the raven in flight.
So, without further ado, let’s get cracking on the logo of this rather young (founded in 1996) but already historic franchise.
As you all know, the Ravens are a product of a breach of contract from then-owner Art Modell, who wished to move his Browns to Baltimore and continue the franchise as the Baltimore Browns – which would’ve been really weird. Luckily, this didn’t happen stemming from a civil suit between the City of Cleveland and the NFL, forcing Modell to leave the Cleveland Browns‘ name, colors, and history behind while the Browns legally suspended operations for three seasons while a new stadium would be built and the team would resume play in 1999.
Related: Baltimore Ravens Uniform History
This, of course, forced Modell to consider other options in regard to his franchise and settled on the name Ravens, one that was thrown around in the past when the NFL briefly considered expanding into Baltimore prior to the 1995 NFL Season before ultimately settling on Charlotte (Carolina Panthers) and Jacksonville (Jaguars) for the league’s 29th and 30th franchises.
This technically made the Ravens the league’s 31st franchise, even if thirty teams were active between 1996 and 1998.
Now that we have a background on how the Ravens were founded, let’s talk about logos.
The Ravens have had two primary logos – the first being a gold shield bearing the black letter ‘B,’ with raven wings stemming from the top ends. This logo lasted until 1998.
The team was forced to switch logos following a lawsuit where the original designer of the logo, Frederick Bouchat, claimed the was not credited with the logo design. Given the similarities to Bouchat’s design, which he submitted to the team, and the logo ultimately used, the Ravens lost the case.
The new and current logo is the familiar purple raven head, with a gold, capital ‘B’ in the center along with a red eye and a white beak. This logo debuted in 1999 and has since saw two Super Bowl championships.
The team has also had several alternate logos throughout its existence, with the first being a front-facing raven cawing.
The first design was black and white, with the raven bearing gold eyes while the second was purple and black, along with red eyes. The first of the two designs lasted from 1996-98, and the second is a current alternate logo, beginning in 1999.
Related: The Baltimore Ravens Helmet History
The ravens had three more logos from 1996-1998 – one depicted a raven cawing from the side view. Another involved the secondary logo discussed above, but a full-body image of the raven in flight, while the third was perhaps the most famous of the secondary logo – the shield logo.
I loved the 1996-98 logo, but of course, legal purposes prohibit the team from using it – hey, I get it. I also liked the original secondary logos, especially the one with the raven in flight.
Related: Baltimore Ravens Team Profile
The newer ones, I’m not so hot on, as it gives the team more of a cartoonish look when the name and colors of the Ravens can easily make for an intimidating look. But the current logo just doesn’t do it for me. But hey, that’s me, though. You’re free to make your own decisions.