|The Helmet Project
An "atlas" of football helmets
Hosted by NationalChamps.Net
Welcome! This is a website about football helmet designs, "football" here meaning the sport of American football, and "design" referring to the colors and logos and so forth used on those helmets, rather than the physical structure and safety features thereof. This site was initially created on July 27, 1999, and the 2021 football season will be the twenty-third during which I have attempted to document all new helmet designs for the teams that are covered. Thanks for visiting and I hope you find it interesting! The site was created and is maintained by a person named Charles Arey whose email address you can find in the box at the top of this page; please send email regarding this site to the address given above rather than to NationalChamps.net.
While almost all of the illustrations at this site are the work of the author, the site would not be anywhere near its present stage of completion without the contributions of many hundreds of visitors. If you find this subject interesting and have information that could help me improve the site, please send it in! (Please read this page to see how you can help). I especially appreciate information from sports information directors, athletic directors, coaches, equipment managers, football players, and others who have access to accurate current and historical information about the teams covered at this site. The period covered by this site is 1960 to present.
If you do not see a frame on the left side of your screen containing a list of professional football leagues and college conferences, you have apparently not connected to the site's main page. Please try connecting to the correct url by clicking here.
|Other pages associated with this site:||Message Board at voy.com||Frequently-Asked Questions|
Please feel free to use the message board at the link above to contribute information for the development of the site, or to discuss the contents of the site and related topics.
The "Helmet Project" website is an attempt by its creator, a completely amateur graphic artist and a long-time fan of football at all levels, to create and maintain an on-line "catalog" or "atlas" of uniform-sized, accurate, and up-to-date images representing the football helmets worn by college football teams and teams from a few professional leagues in the United States and Canada. To the best of my knowledge, nothing of this sort has previously been attempted for as many different teams and helmets as are covered at this site. Initially, I started "drawing" these things just for my own amusement (I will frequently use the word "draw" here for lack of a more precise term to refer to the use of graphics software), but I eventually decided that other people might find this subject interesting, also, and might be able to fill in some of the missing information. So, I "opened" this web site in July, 1999.
Nearly all of the helmet images at this site are the creation of the current author, the exceptions being not more than two or three of those for the NCAA Division I-A teams; I intend to eventually replace the images that are not my own efforts with ones of my own creation so that everything at this site will eventually be my own work. The images here that I did not create are ones that I picked up from several different web sites during the years 1998 and 1999, and I do not know who created them in the first place. I have been told, however, that they may have originated from the "Nando Times Sports Server" web site which you can find at www.nando.net; if that is not where they came from in the first place, there was at least an apparently complete set of helmet images there for the Division I-A teams in the same "format" as I have used here at one time (I don't think they're there anymore). All of the other helmet images here have been created by using graphics programs to "erase" logos off those pictures that I found and using the resulting "blank" helmets as "templates" for the ones that I "drew" myself.
Please note that my interest lies only in the "helmet design", by which I basically mean the combination of shell and facemask colors, the logo decals (if any), and the stripes running over the top of the helmet (if any). No attempt is being made here to illustrate the physical variations of helmets produced by different manufacturers, or the many different styles of facemasks, nor do I intend to show changes in the physical structure of helmets over the decades (at least not in the near future); partially for these reasons, 1960 has been somewhat arbitrarily chosen as the cut-off date for all the historic helmets for now. I am also not attempting to display fine details like "award decals" that would not show up well in the image size I am using here, or those details that would not be visible from this perspective (such as numerals on the back of the helmet). It is not my intention to illustrate every variation worn by every individual football player on any of these teams, just whatever was "the" design for each team at a particular time.
So, all of the helmet images at this site are based on the "template" shown here (in various colors, of course). This size was selected because it strikes a reasonable balance between being large enough to show differences from one helmet to the next, and being small enough that several can be shown on a single web page at the same time. It also allows for a glimpse of the "central stripes" that would not be available from a viewpoint perpendicular to the side of the helmet. The "left side" of the helmet was chosen for no reason other than that the aforementioned I-A helmet images I picked up off the internet showed the left side. If I had it to do over again, though, I believe I would have chosen the right side for a couple of different reasons, but I have absolutely no plans to re-do everything. (By "left side", I mean the side that would be on the left side of your head if you were wearing a football helmet in the customary manner - at least two people have asked me to clarify what I mean by "left side".)
The helmet images are grouped together by each team's current conference or league affiliation. At the top of each of the conference or league pages is a section listing the team name (plus location and team nickname for the colleges) beneath the "current" helmet design for each team. However, the concept of "current helmet design" is largely obsolete for many colleges, which have elected in recent years to use multiple helmet designs each football season (Oregon, for example, used 13 different designs in its 13 games in 2015). At the present time I am generally populating this section with the "most frequently-used" design (during the previous season) for "multi-helmet" teams, but this section will probably be updated only about once per year for most conferences.
In addition to the helmet images, you will occasionally see on the various conference pages two other symbols filling in the "slot" for one of the "missing" helmets. This one with the blue "+" (usually rarely seen now) denotes a helmet for which I have received enough information to complete an image, but which I have not gotten around to either starting or finishing yet for one reason or another (technical difficulty in creating the helmet image would be the most common reason). These can usually be thought of as "coming soon".
The other symbol, the one with the red question mark, denotes a helmet for which I do not have sufficient information to construct an accurate helmet image, and these are the ones for which I would appreciate some information from visitors to this web site so I can add these teams. (Please read the "how you can help" section below). When this symbol is used, I usually either do not know what the helmet looks like, or else I know what it looks like but still need a copy of the helmet logo in order to draw the helmet. Generally I will note what information I need to draw the helmet in the comments section of the respective pages.
Below the current helmets section on each page may appear a few comments about the conference or league and its teams current helmet designs. Then, for most of the conferences and leagues, will follow a section containing older, "historical" helmets for some of the teams. Overall, very little work has been done on the historical helmets so far except for most of the NCAA Division I-A conferences and the professional leagues, but the same may eventually be done for the smaller colleges, also, provided I get sufficient information from visitors to the site. For a very small number of college teams, the set of historical helmet images shown at this site is believed to be complete for the period covered by the site (1960 to present); for these, the school name is underlined at the beginning of that school's historical helmet section (some examples of this are Air Force, New Mexico, Maryland, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, etc., plus many of the smaller colleges which have just started their football programs in the last few years).
Since about 2011 a great many college teams have begun to use multiple helmet designs each season; to more easily document the usage of multiple designs I have adopted a system of labelling these designs with sequential letters (e.g. 'A', 'B', 'C', etc.) beneath the helmet images for many teams, once a pattern of multiple-helmet usage becomes established.
At the present time, I am NOT intending to add high school helmets, or other minor professional leagues or semi-pro leagues. If a major new professional league emerges, I will add it to the site.
I would especially appreciate your help in filling in the "missing" CURRENTLY-USED helmets for any college listed at this site. There are ***TWO*** things that I MUST have in order to add a helmet image for the missing teams:
Clear photographs (preferably in COLOR) are necessary so that I can accurately depict the size, placement, and orientation of the logo or numerals (if any) relative to the helmet shell itself. I cannot draw the helmet accurately from just a description, sorry; I MUST have a photograph for reference. The only exception to this "rule" is if the side of the helmet is "blank" (with no decals); for those, a description of the helmet will suffice (i.e., "black helmet, red faceguard, no stripes"). I cannot use drawings of helmets in place of photographs; please do not send me drawings of helmets done by other people. I have no way of knowing if they're accurate or not; clear photographs are, of course, unambiguous. Other things that I cannot use in place of photographs of actual helmets include: photographs of "mini-helmets", photographs of replica helmets, photographs of toys, lamps, clothing, novelty items, etc. featuring helmet pictures.
Notice that these are not photographs! A copy larger than those shown above is also acceptable, as is a smaller one down to about half the size of these. Anything smaller than about half this size starts to become unsuitable for what I am doing. Please only send me actual copies of these logos, not approximate versions of them that you have drawn yourself!
Equally useful to me would be a scan of the actual helmet decal, such as the one below:
Such a scan will almost always work just fine for my purposes, and you need not peel off the backing material before you scan it. A photograph of the logo taken with a digital camera is also acceptable, provided it is taken before application to the helmet, and as perpendicularly (is that a word?) as possible to the decal or printed logo. The important thing is that the image not be "curved" or otherwise distorted; it needs to be "flat" and "straight". For some very simple logos, I can even use a photograph taken after the decal is placed on a football helmet.
I need these TWO things to ensure that the contents of this site are accurate, and to prevent me from having to re-draw something in the future when I find out that I got something wrong the first time - the artwork is enough trouble that I want to avoid that. Please submit photographs or images in .gif, .jpg, .bmp, or .tif formats only; I may not be able to open pictures in other formats with the graphics programs that I have. Please do not send me photographs imbedded in Word documents or other word processing formats; I do not have any way to open these. I do not have access to a scanner, so actual decals or copies of logos on paper are of only limited use to me and may not be sufficient for me to generate a helmet image, although I do appreciate the offers to send such things to me that several visitors have made. Please just e-mail your photographs or logo copies to the address given at the top of this page. If the material is available somewhere on the internet, please just send me the address of that material, so as to help prevent my mailbox from filling up.
Although I consider them to be a lower priority than the currently-used helmets, I am also gradually adding representations of historical helmets (back to 1960) for all of the teams included at this site. Information about historical helmets for ANY NCAA, NAIA, CIS, or junior college team would be welcomed at the present time. For the historical helmets, I need the same information as I need for the current helmets - clear photographs and copies of the helmet logos - in order to add those helmets to the web site.
You may feel free to copy the helmet pictures on these pages and use them (in moderation) on your own non-commercial conference, school, or personal web pages. Universities and colleges, in particular, are welcome to use the collection in any way they wish, including media guides, game programs, etc., but I regret to note that I am unable to provide versions of the helmet images that are of different sizes or higher resolutions than you see at this site (the software that I have does not allow me to save the images at higher resolutions than you see here). All I would ask in return is that you please help by contributing relevant information to the site (especially by notifying me of new helmet designs used by your team or its opponents), or by posting a link to the "Helmet Project" from your web page so that additional people will find the site and contribute towards its development. Commercial use of the images is NOT permitted, because the various colleges and professional teams own all such rights to their respective logos; so do not attempt to print these images onto some product that you intend to sell. Re-distribution of the images en masse on CD or other media is absolutely prohibited. Also, please don't be a jerk and copy the entire gallery of helmet images at this site off to another similar web site. I consider a few dozen images up to a hundred or so to be an acceptable number to use; many more than that is not.