The Minnesota Vikings helmet history goes back to the team’s founding in 1961. While the helmet has remained almost the same since the team’s inception, there have been updates throughout the previous six decades, the most notable changes occurring in the mid-2000s.
Consistency has been key for the Vikings in both their helmet and uniforms alike, sticking to the good old purple, gold, and white throughout most of their existence, regardless of uniform design, might I add.
A Scandinavian Nod
First off, a little confession before I dive into the timeline, so feel free to skip this part if you just want to talk Vikings.
I’ve always been a closet Vikings fan, mainly due to my fascination with Scandinavian culture to the point I’m learning a few of the languages as I write this post.
Like, my Swedish is getting damn good, with Danish and Norwegian following as well.
Along with many of my favorite bands being native to Scandinavia, most notably Finland’s Nightwish, it’s exciting for me to finally sit down and write about one of my favorite helmets, logos, and color combos in the NFL.
While I have zero Scandinavian blood running through my veins, I’ve always felt compelled to the region’s rich history, which has always been associated with the Vikings and Viking culture. So for me, it’s awesome to watch Vikings games due to the team’s culture, be it the Viking horn or the Skol clap.
Okay, enough irrelevant culture talk; I know this is a helmet and jersey history site, I get it. Let’s talk about the team’s helmet history.
The Vikings’ debuted with a purple helmet, white Viking horn, and gray facemask, as shown in the above section.
This helmet remained until 1979, when the Vikings, like many teams during the late 1970s, swapped the gray facemask in favor of white, a look which lasted until 1984.
Finally, in 1985, Minnesota switched from a white to a purple facemask, as you can see in the image to your right.
During this time, the helmet remained essentially the same, using identical color schemes and logos in the team’s first 45 seasons, remaining so until 2005, when the team would see its first radical redesign after forty-five seasons of using basically the same color palette and designs over its first forty-five seasons of existence.
For the 2006 uniform redesign, the team updated their trademark horn, giving it definition and a more realistic look. The Vikings retained the purple facemask and incorporated a lighter, more metallic shade of purple, as was common in the era.
In 2013, the uniforms underwent another redesign, reverting to a uniform set resembling the originals yet with modern upgrades. The current helmet design was retained, with the only update coming when the team switched from purple to black facemasks.
This is the only place on the uniform where black became apparent, as neither black accents nor anywhere else on the uniform bore the color except in the logo definition.
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It’s another one of those helmets that can go either way. Unlike my uni-purist leanings, while I supported the move to a more defined logo, I wasn’t a fan of the Vikings’ overall 2006-2012 uniform redesign, feeling it had too much detail.
However, I did like the team’s helmet, feeling a more realistic and less cartoonish logo should’ve been in the works ages ago. That said, I was glad to see the helmet stick design around for the Vikings’ uniform redesign in 2013.
What I love about the Vikings’ helmet the most is the fact it is yet another design to have stood the test of time, with only slight updates throughout the decades. While I’d rather see the team switch back to purple facemasks and dump the black, which is becoming beyond outdated, I can live with this helmet’s only flaw in the facemask.
My advice to the Vikings is to never try to fix a broken product. This helmet is far from broken and rightfully so.
It’s not just the Vikings, but the entire NFC North that looks good, rocking similar logos with subtle, and I mean subtle, changes that the untrained eye probably wouldn’t catch.
However, to us uni-enthusiasts, we’ll never miss a thing in terms of helmet and jersey redesigns and if we happen to do so, as I have during my first go-around with each article here at The Helmet and Jersey Stop, we will eventually catch such changes in the act.