Feb 26, 2012

Buffalo Bills Football Programs, 1960s

[Originally published February 1, 2011]

Super Bowl XLV (that’s 45) is coming up on Sunday, February 6, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. And while the game’s packaging features plenty of slick graphics, logos, and other “branding,” we here at the Society of Publication Designers prefer a more old-school approach to sports graphics. Today’s football game programs feature high-tech visuals without style or character. In the old, pre-AFL-NFL merger days, each team had bespoke programs, oftentimes illustrated by a local cartoonist or artist, and filled with hometown flavor. Thanks to the Buffalo Sports Museum, a great online collection of sports graphics and memorabilia, we’ve got a collection of Buffalo Bills football programs from 1961-64, all illustrated by hometown art hero Kevin Weil. You don’t have to be a sports fan (or from Western New York) to appreciate the brilliant design and illustration of these collected covers.

(Above): Buffalo Bills vs. N.Y. Titans, September 17, 1961.