Thursday, March 21, 2013

Success Has Another Father

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the designer of the Packers' iconic helmet logo has come forward.

The story behind the 'G'

John Gordon, now an adjunct assistant professor of art at St. Norbert College, spoke Sunday on his involvement in the design of the Packers iconic "G" logo.

Gordon, 72, was an assistant equipment manager under "Dad" Braisher from 1960-'68, including working the majority of his tenure with Vince Lombardi. While he couldn't recall the exact date, Gordon said just before the start of the 1961 training camp that Braisher told him he had an art project for him.

The afternoon before, Lombardi had chosen Braisher to come up with a logo design for the Packers helmet. In a letter to Tom Murphy of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame in June 2010, Gordon explained his role.

"Since Dad was not an artist, he gave me the job and told me that he wanted the logo to consist of a letter "G" on a football-shaped background," Gordon wrote. "My response to his G on an oval idea went something like this: 'That's not a very creative idea, Dad. Why don't you let me do some experimenting?' "

Braisher was not interested in swaying from his original concept.

"Dad was very conservative and not much interested in the ideas of a young art student in the 1960s," Gordon wrote. "I have a clear sense that the concept was Dad's alone. But the actual configuration of the original image was mine."

Gordon said he had doubts about the shape of the "G" and the design, but the drawing he brought into the equipment room the next day pleased Braisher, was promptly approved by Lombardi and was sent to the printer to be made into decals.

"At the time, I was very nervous for Coach Lombardi to see it," Gordon said. "I don't want to diminish Dad's contribution, but the fact remains that Dad and I were both involved, and I'm proud to have been a part of it. I look at it as a collaborative effort."
Very interesting.

Longtime Packers equipment manager "Dad" Braisher is commonly given credit for the logo, but it makes sense that he would farm out the actual design to an assistant with the appropriate background.

"Dad" Braisher

Jeff Ash of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, points out that others have made this claim in the past.
Two Green Bay advertising guys, Ray Antil and Bill Moutrie, both now deceased, also said they helped Braisher design the logo.

One of Dad Braisher’s old friends came forward in 1998 and said none of those guys helped design the G logo. He said Braisher used to teach industrial arts and certainly would have been skilled enough to sketch the G after Vince Lombardi asked him to do so.
Ash also reports that he has "two solid sources" that tell him Gordon's claim is "the most credible of any of them." And, as he says, "Curious that he never said anything about it until now."

I agree. I'm going to reach out to Mr. Gordon – as might imagine, I have many questions for him.

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