I know that this article will seem crazy, since sports logo design is my thing, but I can't get enough of the Cincinnati Bengals logo from the 1970's. I guess it has a lot to do with growing up in Cincinnati, but the simple design of the Bengals original look is one of my all-time favorites.
Next to the Cleveland Browns, there has probably never been a more basic logo set in NFL history. The early Bengals helmet featured a simple BENGALS arch. There was really no logo or special letter style that the team used, just the simple Bengals arch.
I guess it is because the years have now gone by and I am starting to love everything that brings back the old memories. These simple helmets remind me of the great days of Ken Anderson, Charlie Joyner, Ken Riley, Isaac Curtis, Dave Lapham and Ross Browner. I remember the feelings I had going to the preseason training camp in Wilmington Ohio collecting autographs from the Bengals stars. So, much of my fondness for this simple style is based in that.
The helmets were a very basic design and the uniforms were even more simple. The jersey featured a simple two color stripe pattern and the pants featured a simple three color stripe. Paired with the BENGALS arch helmets, this look was a true old school classic, even though it was so simple in design.
I remember in 1980 when word leaked out about the new uniforms that the Bengals would be switching to. The reviews of the new striped helmet look were mixed at the time, but it signaled the Bengals moving away from the simple uniform and helmet design they had used throughout their entire existence. The striped helmets and jerseys were very revolutionary for the time and a drastic departure form the Bengals uniforms of the past.
Even though the Bengals striped look has evolved over time, that look has now been around for nearly 30 years. The current jerseys are different than the originals, but the helmets have remained virtually unchanged for three decades. This could also be why I feel such a great fondness for the old look, because the current look had been around for so long. A few seasons ago the team donned the classic uniforms in a throwback game and I was practically giddy watching them play in that classic look. (Hey, as a Bengals fan, you have to look for opportunities to be happy!)
The classic Bengals look is one of my favorites, and will alway hold a special place in my sports logo memory. It harkens back to a much simpler time, and thought the design is not all that complicated, it is a true classic.