Man behind iconic Royals logo reveals history and inspiration

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- You see it everywhere: A cap with the letters KC on it, or a crown on a shirt. There’s one man behind all those designs.

Shannon Manning is an artist.

“The important part of any artwork is knowing when to stop,” he said.

He’s also a sculptor and painter, but his biggest claim to fame has to be a logo seen and worn by practically everyone in Kansas City.

“Maybe one day when I'm gone, they'll put one over my spot,” Manning said with a laugh.

Manning created the iconic Royals emblem. When broken down, the blue pentagon was inspired by home plate and the crown is a nod to Hallmark where he worked at the time.

“I was in my early 30's. I had dark hair. I was a devil,” he said while pointing to an old picture.

In 1968, Hallmark challenged its creative staff to craft a symbol befitting of the team and town. That was when baseball made a comeback in Kansas City.

“People missed it a lot. So when the Royals came to town, they would have embraced anything,” said Manning about the fans.

Manning remembers about 20 other entries in the contest.

“Some were very good graphic designs, some were tongue in cheek,” Manning described.

The shield you see now is a modified version. The letters KC now stand alone and versions of the crown are mass-produced.

“This is my most ever reproduced creation,” he said.

And it’s stood the test of time. The original design can still be seen in present day.