The History of and Story Behind the Detroit Tigers Logo

No matter how much some people want to change, sometimes they can never move past what they have been holding on to and have come to accept as part of their lives. The Detroit Tigers have recognized the old English letter “D” as part of their logo, and even when they have tried to move away from it somehow, they find their way back to the letter. For over a century, the team has had many changes in its logo, and the following is a detailed look into their logo history.

First Detroit Tigers logo

The first logo for the Detroit Tigers had nothing that depicted who they were since it neither had a letter nor city name. Instead, it was a red tiger drawing with a blue outline which they used for two years, starting in 1901.

The start of using “D.”

  • In 1903 they did away with the red tiger and opted to go a different way with a brown letter “D” in block style. The team used this logo for the entire year, and in 1904, they changed it to an old English version of the letter “D,” but retained the color brown.
  • 1905 did not bring many changes because the Detroit Tigers opted to use the same old English letter “D.” The only change was in color since this time they used blue. The logo was in use for the next three years.
  • In 1908, they used another old English version of the letter “D” but still retained the blue color. It was their logo until 1914 when they changed to another old English letter “D,” in blue.
  • In 1916, the Detroit Tigers decided to go back to using the block letter “D” and retaining the blue color. After one year of using it, they changed to the old English version again of letter “D” in 1917, with the only thing remaining constant being the blue color.
  • In 1918, through to 1920, they changed the design of the letter “D” to have one that is similar to the Bruce Double Pica font. However, that was still not what they were looking, so they changed again and in 1921, they had a newer version of the old English letter “D.” The logo was still in blue, and the team used it until 1924.
  • In 1925, Detroit Tigers opted for yet another version of the old English letter “D,” in blue. A year later in 1926, they used an old English version that was similar to what they had used from 1921 to 1926 except for the color which went a bit darker, and the letter became a little more elongated horizontally.

Getting rid of the letter “D.”

In 1928, for the first time, the team did away with the letter “D” and instead they used the head of a tiger. Also for the first time since using the color blue entirely, the tiger was orange, with only its outline bearing the color blue. They introduced white in the design through the tiger’s eyes and jagged teeth. The tiger head did not last long because, in 1929, they went back to using the old English letter “D” that was still in blue with the only change being the orange outline.

Back to “D”

  • In 1930, they removed the orange color from the letter “D” and went back to using the old English “D” in blue.A year later in 1931, the block style of “D” came back, retaining color blue. However, in 1934, the team decided to go back to the old English letter “D” they had used in 1930 but darkened the blue color this time. They stuck with this logo for quite some time until 1957 when they changed completely.
  • Reintroducing the tiger
  • In 1957, they got rid of the old English letter “D” and went back to the tiger head. However this time, the head was more detailed, and it was facing the front. Also, there was no blue in this design; instead they used colors orange, black and white in the open-mouthed tiger head.
  • In 1963, they retained the tiger head they had used in the previous year but reduced its size so that it fits inside a thick black ring. On the top part of the ring, the wordmark was “DETROIT,” and in the bottom, the wordmark was “TIGERS,” marking the team’s first use of its team name in the logo.
  • In 1964, Detroit Tigers reintroduced blue to the logo and did away with black. They also changed the tiger’s head to tilt to the right. Also, the head was this time inside a thick blue ring with the same wordmark as the previous design.
  • In 1994, they combined the use of a tiger and the letter “D.” The tiger image was full instead of the usual head, and it was coming out of the old English version of letter “D,” looking very aggressive.

No more tiger

In 2006, the team got rid of the tiger and stuck with the old English letter “D” they had used in 1934-1956 but darkened the blue color. Currently, they have the logo they changed to in 2016 that consists of an old English letter “D.”


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