L.A. Chargers Logo and the History Behind the Team

Los Angeles Chargers and Their Logo Design

Over the past forty-eight years, the Los Angeles Chargers have enjoyed plenty of ups and downs, and twists and turns. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of the Los Angeles Chargers as well as the history of their logo design.

The History of the Los Angeles Chargers

In spite of the fact that they were founded as the Los Angeles Chargers and the fact that they currently play as the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chargers haven’t spent much of their forty-eight year history in the City of Angels.

In 1959, seven new AFL teams were established, including the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers played their first season in Los Angeles during the 1960 season. However, it would be the first and only season that the Charger played in Los Angeles for the next forty-seven years. After their first season, the Charger relocated to San Diego to play at Qualcomm Stadium and became the San Diego Chargers.

By the late 2000’s, though, Qualcomm Stadium had already begun to lag behind the other stadiums in the NFL. It was one of the last stadiums remaining in the league that was originally built as a multi-purpose stadium rather than a stadium dedicated to a specific NFL team, and its age was showing. The owner of the Chargers – Alex Spanos – felt that in order for the Chargers to compete with the rest of the league in terms of ticket sales, they would need a new stadium. So, in 2014, talk of the Chargers moving back to Los Angeles began.

It wasn’t until 2016, though, that the Chargers made their move to Los Angeles, and 2017 was the first season that the Chargers played in the new StubHub Center Stadium.

Despite the fact that they were technically returning home, the Chargers’ move back to Los Angeles was met with plenty of controversy. By the time the Chargers arrived in LA, the city had gone from having zero NFL teams to having two, with the St. Louis Rams returning to LA to become the Los Angeles Rams the year before. This meant that the Chargers were forced to share their new city’s allegiance the moment they arrived. Of course, the city of San Diego was none too happy about the Chargers leaving after forty-seven years of playing in San Diego, either. Even the media in Los Angeles was tough on the Chargers, with the Los Angeles Times publishing and article titled “We. Don’t. Want. You.” to welcome the team.

Nevertheless, none of this recent negativity dampens the success that the Chargers have enjoyed in the past. Over their history, the Chargers have made thirteen playoff appearances and have played in four AFC championship games, winning one AFC champtionship to make it to the franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance in 1994 – a game they lost to fellow California team the San Francisco 49ers. The Chargers are also able to lay claim to three Hall of Famers, including legendary running back Ladanian Tomlinson.

History of the Los Angeles Chargers Logo


When the chargers first unveiled their logo in 1961, the design was a lot busier than the simple lightning bolt that they would later adopt. The initial design featured a powder blue and gold shield with a blue bronco’s head and a white lightning bolt. This is the logo that the franchise used until 1974 when they changed their logo to a blue helmet with a gold lightning bolt across it.

In 1988, the franchise made a few updates to the logo, making the helmet look more detailed and modern while changing the lightening bolt to white with a navy blue and gold border. In 2002, the logo was revamped again, this time getting rid of the helmet and keeping only the white lightening bolt with the navy blue and gold border, and in 2007, the colors of the lightening bolt were changed so that the bolt was gold with a powder blue and navy blue border.

When the Chargers moved to Los Angeles, the logo was given its most significant makeover in recent years, with the new logo featuring the letters “LA” in white with a lightening bolt forming the bottom of the L.

After a poor reception, though, the logo was eventually changed back to its previous, pre-Los Angeles version.

Design Elements of the Los Angeles Chargers Logo


The lightening bolt has long been a symbol of speed and power, making it an ideal choice for an NFL franchise. Given that gold is one of the primary colors of the franchise, a lightening bolt is also fitting since gold is the most common color for the symbol.

When the Chargers moved back to Los Angeles, they needed a rebranding effort in order to help get the city behind them. Changing the logo to feature the name of their new city was one way to help show that the Chargers are now dedicated to Los Angeles and to help garner support from people who were fans of the city but might not yet be fans of the team.

Popularity of the Los Angeles Chargers Logo


Despite the best efforts of the Chargers marketing department, neither the logo nor the team itself has been very well received by residents of Los Angeles thus far. Once the new logo was unveiled, fans quickly pointed out several things that they didn’t like about it. For one, the logo was seen as an obvious attempt to garner support rather than a true new identity for the team. Fans also pointed out the logo’s similarity to the LA Dodgers logo, saying that it was little more than a rip-off of the Dodger’s design, which made the logo seem even less genuine.

This backlash caused the Chargers to change their logo around several times over the course of a few weeks before they eventually returned to their previous logo – the simple gold lightning bolt that the franchise has become known for.