DE PERE, Wis. — John Gordon, an artist who as a young art student helped design the Green Bay Packers’ distinctive “G” team logo, has died at age 83.
Gordon died Saturday, said Matt Cotter, the owner of Cotter Funeral & Cremation Care in De Pere, Wisconsin. The funeral home posted an obituary which says Gordon died “surrounded by his family after living with Alzheimer’s disease.”
Gordon was an art student at St. Norbert College in 1961 and was working as an assistant for Packers equipment manager Gerald “Dad” Braisher when he was offered the chance to design the team’s logo under then-coach Vince Lombardi, WLUK-TV reported.
“Dad came down from his meeting with [Vince] Lombardi with a piece of paper in his hand, and he said that Lombardi wants a logo … and it’s going to be a ‘G’ in a football shape,” Gordon said in a video produced 10 years ago by St. Norbert College.
Within 24 hours, Gordon’s sketched design was approved and the Packers’ original logo was born.
“John lent his talent to the Packer organization and helped design the ‘Packer G,'” Gordon’s obituary states.
Gordon’s name and his sketch are featured in a display at the Packers Hall of Fame museum at Lambeau Field, said Packers curator Brent Hensel.
The original “G” as designed by Gordon was shaped like a football, but it has been modified over the years to the current oval “G.”
Despite the popular belief that the “G” stands for greatness, it in fact stands for Green Bay, Packers team historian Cliff Christl wrote in a 2015 article on the Packers’ website.
Gordon was a lifelong artist who taught art at Parkview Middle School in Ashwaubenon before becoming an adjunct professor of art at his alma mater, St. Norbert College.
His survivors include his wife, Dianne, his ex-wife, Joan Gordon, and their six children, three grandchildren, a brother and sister and three stepchildren.
Gordon’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at Faith Lutheran Church in Green Bay.