Ti-Cat Logo History

This is something I've been wondering about for the last few years but have never gotten a straight answer. Maybe the fans on this forum can help. Did the Tiger-Cats "borrow" Princeton University's tiger logo?

This is the Princeton logo, apparently in use since 1964:

[url=http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?lo=6ozpztogehi6l095iazt]http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?lo= ... i6l095iazt[/url]

Now compare to the Ti-Cat logo, which seems to date from 1968:


The comparison is a little more clear if you look at Princeton's slightly cleaned-up version from 1979 and Hamilton's later 1991 version:

[url=http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?lo=ganu2ck9p7ihrigny8hv]http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?lo= ... ihrigny8hv[/url] http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?lo=2334

Hamilton's front office denied copying Princeton when I asked about it a couple years ago, and then changed the logo to a similar but distinct version in 2005.

As a Toronto native, Argo fan and Princeton grad, I'm naturally inclined to offer some gentle digs at Hamilton, but at least they are using one of the best logos in sports. The new version is terrific, and maybe they should offer its use to Princeton to repay an old debt.

The Tiger-Cat logo pre-dates the Princeton one (i.e. the tiger and the leaping Tiger logo). To my knowledge, it was designed either by Jake Gaudaur himself or under his auspices.

The yellow leaping tiger logo which you cite is of 1968 vintage. It is predated on the helmet by the Centennial Ticat logo, notably worn during the Grey Cup of 1967.


I have seen stationery from the mid-sixties before with the leaping tiger. Bob would have access to the official dates in which the tiger logo was filed.

The Cats used a number of helmet combinations in the 1960s -- a base gold helmet with white-black-white centre striping, the same helmet with player numbers, the same helmet with the letters "TC" on it (1965), and the retro tiger. The team did not stick with a permanent helmet design until at least 1969.

I am sure Bob, the rights holder to the logo, can further demystify the situation.
Collectors like Mightypope could also weigh in. I will do a little digging on eBay to find any evidence of the logo on playing cards.

Oski Wee Wee,

Further to this, check out this document:

[url=http://www.ticats.ca/themes/hamilton2/graphics/logos/logo_evolution1.pdf]http://www.ticats.ca/themes/hamilton2/g ... ution1.pdf[/url]

The Tiger-Cats indicate the leaping tiger logo is of 1956 vintage.

The "yellowized" one is the one the team began to distribute on its publications and souvenirs around 1968.

It's okay. Princeton's 1964 stolen version does look less cross-eyed jumping from right to left, but I digress! :wink: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Oski Wee Wee,

Okay – “stolen” is too harsh. Perhaps “lifted” in the “let’s colour it orange and blue…and maybe if we flip it to have it leap the other way, no one will notice” sense. :smiley:

Oski Wee Wee,


Thanks for the research. Very interesting. I’ll check with Princeton to see when their logo was introduced - 1964 was just the year on that sports logo site and probably not accurate (as it wasn’t with Hamilton). The Ivy League became an official sports league in 1956 so if anything it may date to then… which is the same date as the Hamilton logo.

In any case, this should be easy to verify with Princeton. I will post whatever I can find out.

Cool, ptiger -- just kidding around. It's one of my favourite Ticat stories. I am sure you will find the Princeton version came after the Ticat one. No Princeton I know of has even tried to claim that its tiger predates the Hamilton one.

I hope some of the other CFL history buffs with some info on this will chime in.

Oski Wee Wee,

I don’t care who had it first, I want it back. Could it be our recent misfortunes are related to the change in logo?

I also believe that the logo was owned by Jake Gaudaur and Bob Young wanted to use a new one instead of paying royalties for the old one.

The oldest date at which I can confirm the leaping tiger logo existed is 1953. The Tiger-Cats came into existence in 1950, so I'm guessing it was either in '52 or '53 that the logo was created.

I recall that there was a story in the Spectator about the origins of the logo when the introduced the new one. I believe Gaudaur did a rough scetch of the leaping tiger and hired an artist to complete the design. I think Princeton was later given permission from the Cats to use the logo.