Here’s the backstory: The Vikings’ first general manager was
former Los Angeles Rams public relations director Bert Rose, and
their first coach was former Rams quarterback Norm Van Brocklin.
When it came time to create the new team’s look in 1961, they
turned to a prominent Los Angeles sports cartoonist named Karl
Hubenthal, whom they knew from their days in L.A.
It was Hubenthal — not a Vikings employee, not a Minnesota design
firm, not the NFL Properties office — who designed the Norseman
logo and the team’s original uniform set, including the
distinctive horned helmet. Per Rose’s instruction, Hubenthal
executed the designs in purple and gold. Why those colors? Because
those are the colors of the University of Washington, where Rose
had attended college. So with the L.A. and Washington connections,
the look of this quintessentially midwestern team had strong West
The Vikings have stayed true to Hubenthal’s original design to this day. Classic.