The Denver Broncos logo history began with the team’s founding in 1960 and was rather turbulent over the franchise’s first decade, as well as the color scheme. However, the Broncos got it right prior to the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 with a primary logo that lasted nearly three decades. Here in 2020, their latest logo hasn’t seen any change so one can state the Broncos are somewhat consistent.
From the old days of brown and yellow to today’s look of navy and orange, this article will cover every primary, alternate, and anniversary logo from the Denver Broncos from the team’s founding in 1960 to 2020.
In 1960, the Broncos debuted in what has become one of the more ridiculed looks in AFL-NFL history that featured mustard yellow and barnyard brown – or at least that’s what the colors resembled. Denver’s logo was no different, featuring a smiling rider on a bucking bronco.
The rider wore a yellow helmet and brown jersey, the opposite of Denver’s helmet and jersey, which were brown and yellow, respectively. The horse was also yellow and its mane, brown. This logo lasted until the 1961 season.
Related: Denver Broncos Helmet History
In 1962, the team switched to orange and royal blue as its primary color scheme and the look would stick until the team’s rebrand in 1997. With the new color scheme, a logo of a football player wearing an accurate version of the team’s 1962 uniforms rode an orange bucking bronco.
The bronco loosely resembled the team’s helmet logo at the time.
In 1970, the most iconic of the logos was unveiled as the primary, the ‘D’ logo. While this logo started gracing the team’s helmets in 1968, it was not promoted to the primary logo until two seasons later in 1970.
In 1993, this logo received extremely minor upgrades in detail.
Finally, in 1997, the primary logo switched to a fiercer-looking bronco featuring blue outlines, blue detail, and an orange mane that was divided into three segments. The new colors were navy and orange. This logo has been the primary since 1997.
The team has had three alternate logos, with the first appearing in 1965. It depicted the primary logo at the time above a blue shield that read ‘Go Broncos, Go.’ This alternate logo lasted until 1969.
The next alternate didn’t arrive until 1997 when the team unveiled its new uniforms. This logo depicted a full-bodied version of the primary logo – identical to what the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers were doing at the time, as well as the Baltimore Ravens – a trend in the late-1990s.
Related: Denver Broncos Uniform History
The next alternate is the team’s primary logo with the wordmark under it. This logo also arrived in 1997 and as with the full-bodied logo, continues to serve as the team’s alternate to this day.
The Broncos have also had several anniversary logos, with the first coming in 1984 to celebrate the team’s 25th-anniversary. Another appeared in 2009 to celebrate the team’s (and the AFL’s) 50th anniversary.
I may harp on the team’s uniforms, but I will say the bronco logo really isn’t horrendous. It’s not good, but there are a few logos – about five of them, that I can say are worse in the NFL.
I’m not in love with it. However, I’d love it if it were an alternate logo and the ‘D’ logo returned. I do give Denver credit, as they use the ‘D’ logo at least once a year to wear with their Color Rush, so the team has it going for them.
Nothing beats the ‘D’ logo. It’s iconic and it would truly link players like John Elway to Drew Lock – even if the former did wear the latest uniform over the final two seasons of his career and if you look back, Elway actually was one of the players modeling the uniform.
Related: Denver Broncos Jersey History
The problem with Denver’s logo, however, is that the ‘D’ logo trumps it, which really devalues the current logo. The ‘D’ logo does look great even when paired with the navy helmets, so reviving it on a full-time basis is much easier, even with the NFL’s one-helmet rule in place.
So, tell me your thoughts on the logo and this article in general. Is there anything you’d like me to add? Did I skip a logo that Denver wore, or is there something in need of correction?
If so, feel free to comment and I’ll be happy to get back to you.
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