the Design Office of Matt Stevens - Direction + Design + Illustration


Daydream Rebrand: Carolina Panthers Hidden History

I have gotten to know Panthers Center, Ryan Kalil over the last few years and besides being pretty darn good at football, he's a really creative guy. He knows my love for personal design projects and we were chatting one day and he had an idea that I thought was pretty intriguing. 

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 City of Charlotte is buzzing about the great season the Panthers are having, so as a fan, I thought what better time than to take this on. This is a "just for fun" exercise, done as a fan. This is not affiliated, endorsed or commissioned by the NFL or the Carolina Panthers. I had a blast doing all the research and trying to capture the essence of the NFL through the years and how the Panthers brand would have fit into that universe. I hope you enjoy. Go Panthers!

UPDATE: Bad Cats shirts up for sale at the Cotton Bureau 

The original mascot design

First game memorabilia

First Helmet

Mascot / North Carolina + South Carolina lock-up

1955-1965 10 Year Logo

First helmet redesign utilizing mascot

As the NFL evolved, teams developed more cohesive brand systems. First official team type treatment.

The head from the original mascot was refined and streamlined and became the primary logo

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