Grading The NBA’s New Team Logos


For better or for worse, several teams have recently rebranded themselves in anticipation of a fresh start in the 2015-16 season by revealing new logos, new uniforms and, in some cases, even new names. Like the stalwart fans we are, we thought we’d see which efforts were most successful, and which ones should go back to the drawing board.


Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks revealed their new primary and secondary logos on Monday, along with the team’s new official name: The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club. The main logo—a badge-style icon in the team’s iconic red and white—features the original “Pac-man” style logo in the centre. Text bearing the team’s new name surrounds it, finalizing the branding shift.
Extra credit: It builds on the success of the original, a smart move as many basketball fans aren’t fans of change.

Lost marks: In contrast to the team’s unimaginative new primary, the out-there secondary logo features a flaming basketball with phoenix wings, breaking brand continuity.

Final grade: B


Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers, otherwise known as the worst team in the league, dropped this new logo ahead of the NBA Draft Lottery. It brings back the original Philadelphia numerics in blue and red and pays homage to the original American colonies with a ring of 13 stars.
Extra credit: The partial and secondary logos feature stars and little else, making them crowd-pleasingly minimalist.

Lost marks: The primary logo draws on elements of all the team’s other logos, resulting in a busy badge.

Final grade: C+


Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks showed off this new logo in mid-May. It features several nuanced design elements that make it one of our favourites, including an expanded rack with 12 antlers over the previous design’s eight (showcasing the team’s growth over the last season).
Extra credit: Teams love throwing a basketball into their logos, which gets old fast. Milwaukee hid one in their spirit animal’s antlers instead.

Lost marks: The tertiary logo consists of an outline of the State of Wisconsin and too closely resembles a college ball icon.

Final grade: A+


Washington Wizards
Washington began its NBA Playoffs push by revealing its logo redesign for the 2015-16 season. The circular icon features the team’s name and the Washington Monument, which has figured into the design since 2011, leading many to note that it resembles a soccer or hockey team logo.
Extra credit: The team announced that it will discontinue using its late-90s era wizard/partial moon logo. Thank goodness.

Lost Marks: As critics were quick to point out, several details of the logo that was released seemed incomplete—colours bled, curves weren’t exact and the text doesn’t appear to be aligned properly.

Final grade: C-


Toronto Raptors
The Raps’ new primary logo came out early in the 2014-15 season, bearing a basketball shield complete with claw marks. The release coincided with the team’s shifting fortunes—Toronto scored a playoffs position for the first time in almost a decade the year prior.
Extra credit: A gold, black and silver version of the new logo provides a nod to the OVO brand founded by rapper Drake, the Raptors’ global ambassador.

Lost marks: Another basketball logo, eh?
Final grade: B+
OVO hits the court in 2015-16
The rapper steps up his presence as a core part of the Toronto team’s new identity
Posted on May 14, 2015
Clothes may not make the man, but they make the team
The good, the bad and the ugly new uniforms we’ll be seeing out on the court this season
Posted on Sep 30, 2014
Less is more this year
Small logos, first names and more reasons we love the pared-down look
Posted on Nov 25, 2014


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