Purple People Eaters: History of the Minnesota Vikings Jersey

The Minnesota Vikings jersey history dates back to the team’s founding in 1961. While the team’s base look has remained essentially the same (featuring purple, gold, and white), there are some radical changes in the jersey designs. Over the years the Vikings have seen two complete jersey and uniform overhauls, with both occurring in the 21st century.

 

1961-2005

Minnesota Vikings original jersey

From 1961 to 2005, the Vikings’ look remained virtually unchanged, except for a few minor changes here and there. When the team debuted, their look consisted of a base purple home jersey with white numbering, squarish block numbering, with white Northwestern stripes. Both the numbers and stripes were outlined in gold. TV numbers also appeared on the shoulders.

As for the white road jerseys, purple Northwestern stripes and numbering appeared along with gold outlines and TV numbers were slapped on the shoulders.

In 1967, the team wore plain white jerseys in the preseason, with purple numbers and no outlines.

In 1968, they adopted a home version of the previous season’s jerseys, which depicted purple as the base color along with white numbering. Also in 1968, the numbering font was updated into a more traditional block format.

Vikings 1996-2005 road jersey

In 1969, the Vikings tweaked their road jersey, placing their sleeve stripes vertically on the shoulders. They also did away with the Northwestern stripes on this jersey, opting for a purple-gold-purple combo. They also dropped the gold outlines on the numbering.

In 1970, they dropped the gold numbering outlines on the home jersey.

Over the next two decades, the uniforms saw very little change until 1993, when they Northwestern stripes were moved to the base of the sleeves for good. Some photos show some Vikings players with stripes located at the sleeve base earlier, so when the team actually started this move is inconclusive at this time.

In 1996, the TV numbers at the sleeves were moved to the shoulder and the Norseman logo replaced the former location of the sleeve numbers. The gold numbering outlines returned to both the home and road jerseys the same year.

 

2006-2012

Vikings 2006-2012 Road Jersey

In 2006 the Vikings’ look underwent a radical redesign. As the norm for the early 2000s, the plainer look of before was replaced with side panels which extended to sleeve stripes. The home purple jersey contained white panels with gold outlines while the white purple jersey contained purple sleeves and panels with gold outlines.

The numbering font remained the same, in traditional block format. On the back nameplate, the Norseman logo appeared.

In 2007, the Vikings revived their 1970s jerseys against the Green Bay Packers. They continued to wear the alternate look through 2011.

 

2013-Present

Vikings current home jersey

In 2013, the Vikings unveiled a new jersey design for both the home and road look, which took elements from their 1961-1968 design, but in a modernized form. The home purple jerseys consisted of white numbering, and two sleeve stripes, with a wide, swooshing white stripe over a thin gold stripe. TV numbers appeared on the shoulders.

The road look was merely an inverse of the home. The numbers were purple, as well as the larger swoosh stripe above the thin gold one.

The numbering font is basically block with the same swoosh effect as the upper sleeve stripes. The swoosh is said to resemble that of a viking flag. Some have critiqued this font as inconsistent, as one can see by clicking this link.

In 2016, the Vikings unveiled their Color Rush jersey. This jersey contained a purple base with gold, block numbering, and two gold horizontal stripes at the sleeves, with the swoosh occurring at the top stripe.

 

Shop for Official Minnesota Vikings Team Gear at FansEdge.com

 

My Take

I’m a big fan of this look, as it was able to fuse both classic and modern into one jersey. Both the home and away look are clean, and my only gripe would be a plea for a more consistent numbering font, either add the swoosh to both numbers or simply discard it. Either way, it’s a clean look.

Related Article: Minnesota Vikings Helmet History

Gallery

1996-2005

Minnesota Vikings 1996-2005 Home Jersey

 

2006-2012 (2012 version)

2006-2012 Home Jersey

 

Color Rush

Minnesota Vikings Color Rush

 

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4 comments

  1. I am glad that I fond this post.   A close friend of mine is a huge Viking fan.  It was fun to see how the jerseys have changed over time.  I liked the design that came out in 2006 the best.  The white with the dark stripe on the side looks great in a sporty way. 

    1. Hi, Sondra. What I enjoyed about the Vikings’ jersey is that their evolution is somewhat different from the NFC teams I’ve covered in the past. Much of their changing has taken place within the last fifteen seasons rather than before the league’s modern era. 

  2. Not a fan, I am a straight up Dallas Cowboys fan through and through. So took it upon myself to check that out, and I love the throwback jersey, although it’s hard just to choose one favorite because the modern designs are nice as well. Do like the new look of the helmet. And to back peddle on the Vikings jersey, I must say that the strip on white is not bad, if I was a fan lol.

    1. Hi, Shamane, I love the Cowboys’ Double Star jerseys and wish they would’ve kept them rolling. And yeah, the Vikings’ modern look is one of those rare ones that actually turned out right. If not for the differing numbering font, they’d be among the league’s best. 

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