NFL Retires Roman Numerals for Super Bowl 50 Logo Design

The NFL (National Football League) says goodbye to the Roman numeral, at least for a year.

On Wednesday, June 4, the NFL announced that Super Bowl 50 will be branded using standard Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals, breaking a tradition that has been in place since Super Bowl V in 1971.

If you are a curious person like I am, you might have just asked yourself, “Why would they do that? What shift in the universe could of caused such a random change?” As it turns out, the reason for the change is not random at all. Surprisingly, the reasoning behind this decision pleases the designer inside of me.

Super Bowl 50 Logo

To put it bluntly, the “L” isn’t as pleasing to the eye as “50” is. According to Jaime Weston, the league’s vice president of brand and creative, “we developed the Super Bowl XL logo, that was the first time we looked at the letter L. Up until that point, we had only worked with X’s, V’s and I’s. And, at that moment, that’s when we started to wonder: What will happen when we get to 50?” Weston said her design team has been working on the new logo since April 2013, having gone through over 70 versions. At some point along the way, it was decided that having the “L” stand-alone didn’t work.

What do you think of this change?


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Author: James Peacock

James Peacock is a Digital Marketing Specialist at FIDM in Los Angeles, California. He received his A.A. in Graphic Design from FIDM and was hired as Social Media Assistant in 2013 by his alma mater in order to help grow the institution’s social media marketing efforts. James now combines two of his passions, telling stories and solving problems by managing data-driven marketing campaigns across multiple channels that ultimately result in a positive return on investment.

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