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Carolina Panthers Hidden History

Tim McCarthy

Matt Stevens is a super talented designer and illustrator that I know about from his AirMax1-a-day project. I loved this concept so much that I ended up funding his Kickstarter project which got me one of his printed books

Over this past weekend, he gave himself another fun project by retro rebranding the Carolina Panthers. This isn't new for Matt. He actually did something like this before with Dunkin Donuts

The Panthers were founded in 1995. What if it had been 1955? How did the brand start? How would it evolve? It is a graphic game of connect the dots. I’ve tried to imagine this evolution, all the way from the 50’s up through the 70’s and early 80’s.

The mock up of the retro helmet is a great execution, but honestly that combination of a black helmet with a grey face mask and bold white 'C' is badass. 


I'm going to go ahead and say that's the best football shaped branding I have ever seen. It's clear, clever and subtle. There are no gradients, metallics or bright colors, just great simple design.


NFL should really take note with these retro designs. Especially if they do plan on expanding the league to be more teams. Nike has done a great job with uniforms, but the league branding of teams as a whole is over designed. 

UPDATE: You can read more about the process of the project here on his blog.