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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
2006-2012 (2012 version)