What is the meaning of the Pittsburgh Steelers symbol? Believe it or not, their logo—called the Steelmark—is steeped in Steelers team history. After reading this article, the next time you watch Troy Polamalu make a spectacular interception, you'll turn to your friends and say, "Do you guys know where the Steelers symbol came from?"

The Inventor

The Steelmark logo (the original name for the Steelers symbol) was invented by the Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel as a promotional logo. (Now, the American Iron and Steel Institute [AISI] owns the symbol.) They even created a jingle to go along with it: "Yellow lightens your work, orange brightens your leisure, blue widens your world." Yellow, orange, and blue being, of course, the colors of the three diamonds in the logo.

(I know what you're thinking: that jingle suck. I agree. Maybe we just need to hear it with the music.)

The Hypocycloid

The three diamonds in the Steelers symbol / Steelmark are actually called hypocycloids. If you look closely, it looks like they each are fsteelers old symbolCredit: grandstanderormed by subtracting the edges of four circles. By the 1970s, the AISI changed the meaning of the hypocycloids to represent the ingredients used to make steel. Yellow represents coal, red represents iron ore, and blue represents scrap steel.

History of Steelers Logo

The Steelmark became the Steelers symbol in 1962. Before that, their logo consisted of a punter on a steel balance beam. I know—who uses a punter as their logo? You want the image of your team to be punting the ball away, perhaps after a three-and-out? Well, in 1962, a company called Republic Steel must have realized this, and they suggested that the Steelers change their logo to the Steelmark.

Supposedly, Republic Steel did this as a way of marketing the steel industry. The funny thing is, Republic Steel is based in Cleveland! I guess the Browns have no excuse if they don't like the Steelers symbol. Now, they just need an excuse to explain steelers symbolCredit: marketpowerhow they keep losing to the Steelers.


That reminds me of a joke. What do you call fifty-three millionaires sitting around a TV, watching the Superbowl? The Cleveland Browns!

Changing the Logo

When they first used the Steelmark as the official Steelers symbol, it had the word "Steel" on it. But in 1963, the team petitioned the AISI to add "-ers" to the end of it. And that's how the logo came to look the way it does today.

Steelers Differences

The Steelers are the only team whose logo only appears on one side of their helmet—the Steelers symbol appears only on the right side. The reason for this is because in 1962, the team went 9-5 and made the playoffs for the first time. In celebration, they changed the color of their helmets from gold to black (which makes the logo stand out that much more). After this, they must have gotten superstitious, because they kept the helmets the way they were in order to maintain the good karma.I don't know whether it worked or not, but whether it's because of the Steelers symbol or not, since they the Steelers have been one of the best teams in the NFL with a league-best seven Super Bowl titles!