Why Steelers’ logo is only on one side of the helmet: History and meaning of Pittsburgh’s logo



The Steelers’ iconic logo has been around for almost 60 years. It also happens to be the only logo featured on just one side of the helmet.

Back in 1962 when the Steelers logo became associated with the team, the organization chose to only put it on one side of the helmet, and they haven’t changed it since. Why is that?

Here’s a history breakdown of the Steelers logo, including how it came about and why it’s only on one side of the helmet.

Why is there only one logo on the Steelers’ helmet?

In 1962, the Steelers organization decided to establish the logo that fans continue to know today. The previous helmets were gold, and the new ones were decided to be black since the new logo had gold in it and it needed to stand out. 

Dan Rooney, who’s father Art founded the franchise, asked Steelers’ equipment manager Jack Hart to put the logo on the right side of the helmet. He apparently didn’t specify if he wanted it on both sides or just the right side.

“It’s a very simple story: It was an arbitrary decision by the equipment manager,” said Joe Gordon, the team’s former communications director, via Los Angeles Times. “Dan Rooney told him to put the decal on the helmet, and he just went ahead and did it and put it on the right side only. Dan was not specific as to whether he wanted it on both sides of the helmet or just the one side. So once it was done, he never changed it.”

Gordon also added that in his 29 years of working with the Steelers, the organization never talked about whether or not to add the logo to the left side of the helmet, too.

With the new logo and helmets, the 1962 Steelers finished their season 9-5, at the time the best record in franchise history. Because of their success with the new helmets, they decided to keep them permanently.

What do the diamonds on the Steelers’ logo stand for?

In 1962, the Steelers petitioned the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) to use their logo. The three diamonds in the logo represent the three materials used to make steel: yellow for coal, red for iron and blue for steel scrap. 

In the Steelers’ petition to the AISI, they also asked if they could change the word “Steel” in the circle to “Steelers.” Additionally, the AISI used an orange diamond instead of red.

Pittsburgh Steelers logo history 

The Steelers originally had the players’ numbers on both sides of the helmet in the 1950s, which is when helmet logos became popular. The helmets at the time were gold. Here’s what the original helmets looked like.

(Getty Images)

The logo that the Steelers established in 1962 is known as the “Steelmark.” The Steelmark was created by the USX Corp, and it showed three hypocycloids, the official name for the three diamonds, along with the word “Steel.” The colors of the hypocycloids had meaning, and those were yellow (lightens your work), orange (brightens your leisure) and blue (widens your world). The Steelmark logo was on various steel products, along with being advertised in print, radio and television ads.

When U.S. Steel turned over Steelmark to AISI in the 1960s, they changed the color meaning to add the three products used to make steel. This is when the Steelers organization took on the logo. The word “Steelers” didn’t get added until their 1963 season. This is what they look like today.

(Getty Images)


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