The Evolution of the Detroit Tigers Logo


The Detroit Tigers took the field in 1901, facing off against Milwaukee for their American League opener in front of 10,000 fans. The team has come a long way since, and has drawn in over 120 million fans to home games throughout its history. Fans flock to Comerica Park from all over the country to witness the Tigers play.

Tigers’ Origins

The team name officially comes from the Detroit Light Guard – a military group that “fought with the ferocity of the jungle beast” during the Civil War. Members of this group were referred to as “Tigers,” and residents praised them as one the most highly regarded groups to come out of Detroit. The city’s baseball team honored the military unit by naming their squad “The Detroit Tigers.” The unofficial story derives from the black-and-orange stockings worn by players in the 1890s.

An Old English “D” will go down in history as one of the most iconic logos in baseball history. The D – which stands for Detroit – was first adopted by The Detroit Free Press in the 1830s and later donned the team’s uniforms. Over the next 100 years, the Detroit Tigers would experience a branding nightmare: various versions of the “D” due to different manufacturers producing their uniforms and hats.

Creating a culture of their own, the Tigers are currently the only team in the league to utilize a color on their road uniforms that does not appear on their home attire – orange.

Domination in Detroit

The Detroit Tigers have had quite the history in the MLB. They have won a total of four World Series (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984) in 11 eye-opening appearances. Detroit’s roster has also had its fair share of superstars, including Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer, and fan favorite Miguel Cabrera.

Read on to see how the #DetroitTigers have maintained their navy blue, white, and orange color schemes over the years, while still dealing with the ever-changing “D” emblem crested on their uniforms.

Notable Logo Changes


19011902: The inaugural logo for the Tigers features a smoked burgundy outline of a cartoon-styled tiger.

1903: Before the Old English “D” is adopted, the team utilizes a brown block-lettered “D” as their logo.

1904: Imitating the font used by The Detroit Free Press, the Tigers approve the use of the Old English “D” – perhaps one of the most iconic logos in baseball history.

19051907: Maintaining the same font from the previous year, the logo is recolored navy blue.

19081913: The outline becomes slightly thicker in spots, and minor modifications are made to the “D.”

19141915: Over the course of the next two years, the “D” is redesigned – now wider than ever.

1916: Parting ways with the Old English “D” for a bit, the team reverts back to the block-lettered “D” but keeps the navy blue.

1917: The Old English “D” swiftly makes its way back as the logo in a newly trimmed manner.

19181920: The Tigers introduce a new logo – a mix of both the block-lettered and Old English “D.”

19211924: After experimenting with their hybrid logo, the Tigers switch back to the Old English “D” – this time a tad thinner than previous years.

1925: The “D” loses one of the lines that runs down the center.

1926: Maintaining a similar appearance, the second line reappears.

19271928: Going for a new look, Detroit introduces an orange tiger head with white eyes as their new logo.

1929: Back to the basics, the Old English “D” returns, this time with an orange outline.

1930: The team ditches the orange border around the “D.”

19311933: Straying from the Old English “D,” the block-lettered “D” makes a comeback with sharpened edges.

19341956: Similar to the 1930 logo, the Old English “D” is greeted back with a warm welcome.

19571960: Echoing their logo from the ‘27–’28 season, Detroit brings back a more realistic tiger head as the team logo. The head is front-facing with its mouth wide open.

19611963: The tiger head is shrunk and placed inside a circular border featuring the team’s city and name.

19641993: This logo is quite similar to the previous year’s logo with a few exceptions: most notably that all shades of brown or black are replaced with a shade of blue.

19942005: The team brings back the Old English “D” with a tiger skulking through the letter.

20062015: The classic Old English “D” makes its return.

2016Present: The present day logo features a modified Old English “D” with horizontal accents taking the place of the second vertical line.

Heading over to Comerica Park to support the #TigersNation? Embrace the Old English “D” by picking up the latest gear from Fanatics – the one-stop shop for all your Tigers essentials!




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