The Evolution of the Buffalo Bills Logo

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The Buffalo Bills were the seventh team to be admitted to the American Football League. Franchise owner Ralph C. Wilson obtained the team in 1959, but the Bills didn’t start their first season until 1960 in Buffalo, New York. They began to gain success during their fourth season in 1963 after tying for the AFL Eastern Division crown. However, that was just the start. They lost to the Boston Patriots in a playoff game that year. The 1964 and 1965 seasons would prove better for the Bills when they won not only their division but also the AFL Championship against the San Diego Chargers.

After their initial success, the Bills would go through a major drought up until the 1988 season, in which they proceeded to make the playoffs six years in a row. During that time, the team became the only franchise ever to play in four consecutive Super Bowls.

The Buffalo Bills, originally named the Bisons, changed their namesake after running a contest with a $500 prize. The winning name – the Buffalo Bills – came from James F. Dyson’s submission, which compared the team to a band of Buffalo Bills. Buffalo Bill was a Pony Express rider and American scout who fought for the Union in the Civil War and served the U.S. Army in the American Indian Wars.  

Historic Players

The all-time passing leader for the Bills is none other than quarterback Jim Kelly. Kelly completed 2,874 passes for 35,467 yards and 237 touchdowns in 11 seasons with the Bills. Kelly was selected to the Pro Bowl five times and became First Team All-Pro in 1991.

Thurman Thomas is the Bill’s all-time leading rusher with 2,849 rushes for 11,938 yards and 65 touchdowns. Thomas was selected to the Pro Bowl five times. He was also a two-time First Team All-Pro and was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2007.

Andre Reed is the all-time leading receiver for the Bills. Reed completed his career with 941 catches for 13,095 yards and 86 touchdowns. He is a seven-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2014.

Logo Evolution

Buffalo Bills logo evolution

The current logo for the Buffalo Bills is a blue leaping buffalo with a red beam running through the middle. This has been the team logo since 1974. The logo came to life when Stevens Wright submitted several different styles to the Bills in the summer of 1973. Shortly after, a letter from then Vice President and General Manager Robert Lustig to David Boss (the director of NFL Properties’ creative services division) asked for a slight alteration. In the letter, Lustig stated he wanted the logo to portray a buffalo accelerating in a forward motion. The modification of a red stripe was put in place to convey that.

1960–1961: The Bills’ original logo depicts two football players in Bills uniforms running alongside several buffalo. This is all contained in a blue football-shaped background with “Buffalo Bills” arching over the running buffalo and players.

1962–1969: The logo depicts a brown football encompassing a Bills player running beside a buffalo.

1970–1973: The Bills adopt an all-red silhouette of a standing buffalo facing right.

1974–2016: This logo depicts a blue buffalo with a red stripe across it.

Now that you know the history behind the Bills’ logo, it’s time to wear it! Head over to Fanatics.com for all the Bills gear you need to cheer on the boys in blue.

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