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    Secrets to a Great Basketball Logo Design from the Top Examples

    Hailey Savona Published: March 3, 2024 17 min read

    Discover How the Best Basketball Logos Represent Their Brands Creatively

    Basketball is one of the Big-For sports in the US, alongside football, baseball, and ice hockey. After football, it is the most watched sport in the country, tying in many places with baseball. While the sport itself was popular, the rise of professional sporting leagues like the National Basketball Association made it more mainstream.

    In these leagues, each team playing is represented by a unique basketball logo design, a symbol that forms the basis for that franchise’s brand. These basketball logos allow people to recognize kindred spirits, rally together for team morale, and show their support.

    Speaking about the branding of basketball franchises, these logos has certainly played a massive role in their success. These emblems are always used in different promotional activities, which is indeed a part of smart branding strategy.

    Now, with NBA as the premier basketball league in the country, many of the logos from NBA are used by smaller brands to inspire their own designs. That is because, as the pinnacle of that sport, these larger sports brands have figured out what works and what doesn’t. So, knowing about these logos is important, as it can help to solidify your own skills and offer better logo design services to the clients.

    So, let’s begin and take a look at the various popular basketball logo ideas, and see what it is about them that makes them so popular with the masses.

    Let’s begin.

    History and the Rise in Popularity of Basketball in the United States

    Basketball court

    With a country as large as the United States, it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe that such a large and diverse population would have different sporting interests. From soccer to American football, lacrosse, baseball, and field hockey, NASCAR to Indy Car, and even ice hockey. Besides these, there may be dozens of different sports that people may like, including basketball. The reason is that the history of basketball in US is quite rich and long. With people playing the sports since the early 20th century, its no wonder that the game is popular in the country.

    Speaking about the popularity of basketball in US, the states that have got immense craze of this sport include Texas and California. Both of them are known because of producing top-class talent for professional basketball every year. From Royal Ivey to Kevin Durant, there are many names that have graced this game from Texas, which is precisely termed a hub of basketball in US.

    Besides Texas, California is also known for producing highly skilled basketball players in the country. Looking at the history of NBA, you an find many names that came from California and simply conquered the circuit with their stunning game skills. This list can give you many names, so it is safe to say that California is also a hub of basketball where kids not only love the sport, but also want to pursue their careers in it from a very early age.

    Best Basketball Logos in the World that Represent the Core of Their Brand Successfully

    If you are a basketball fan, then you would know about their branding elements such as the logos, colors, and more. This is something which is common to all popular sports logos, as brands aim to make their logos memorable. However, do you know how those basketball logos were designed or what they represent actually? Well, we know, and we are here to help you. Listed below are some of the best examples of basketball logo design to help inspire your new basketball logos. .

    Let’s take a look at the popular team logos from the NBA to understand how they were created, and what design elements were used to create these basketball logo ideas. Let’s take a look at them below.

    Chicago Bulls

    Chicago bulls logo

    When it comes to talk about NBA logos that have bold characteristics, the emblem of Chicago Bulls always comes first in the discussion. It is a stunning logo created with a strong illustration of a bull head.

    This figure represents the gallant nature of this franchise, which is what they are highly known for. The basketball logo design was created back in 1966, and is still leading as the main image of the franchise. It hasn’t changed much over the years, as the team decided to stick by its identity to represent a bold team image, expect for a few minor tweaks here and there.

    The colors of the logo are chosen quite carefully keeping some important things in mind. The red color of the angry bull obviously showcases the high intensity of the team, whereas black wordmark illustrates a sense of simplicity. This logo was designed by famous American designer, Dean P. Wessel. He is known for designing quality logos, in which this emblem is a one fine piece of his skillful design mastery.

    Philadelphia 76ers

    Philadelphia 76ers logo

    Philadelphia 76ers is also a renowned franchise of NBA, having many star national players over the years. The club was formed back in 1946 when the league was still in its infancy. At that time, there were only a few teams in the eastern wing of the league, which is why 76ers are still considered an important NBA team. Their history is also quite unique, in fact a bit diverse when it comes to understand their evolution in the NBA circuit.

    Earlier, the team had the name of Syracuse Nationals which was changed soon after they moved to Philadelphia in 1963. A new logo with 76ers highlighted in the center was also introduced after the team was renamed. Then the evolution of this logo started, as team changed it multiple times during the last few decades. The official logo that we see today was introduced in 2015 when the team branding saw a new change. It is certainly very good, showcasing a colorful identity of the team in a prominent manner, making for an interesting basketball logo design.

    Boston Celtics

    Boston celtics logo

    Boston Celtics is also a prominent name in the circuit of American basketball. The franchise was established back in 1947 when NBA was still in its development stage. The first basketball logo design for the team consisted of a simple shamrock leaf in the middle. However, later in 1951, it received a first redesign in which a leprechaun was used as the main logo figure. From that time, it became a main consistent identity of Celtics logo that remained throughout all the iterations.

    The present Celtics logo was introduced in 1996 when the team decided to have a rebrand, adding itself to the list of the best basketball logos in the NBA. The color chosen for this logo is complete white and green, showcasing a stunning historic theme of the franchise. The basketball however was turned to its original color i.e. brown to exhibit a proper realistic image. Overall, this is a highly unique basketball logo that is regarded as one of the best NBA emblems in the industry.

    Los Angeles Lakers

    Los angeles lakers logo

    Talking about the most successful team of NBA, Los Angeles Lakers is a one name that rules all the charts. Till to date, Los Angeles Lakers has won 17 NBA titles. This is certainly a huge number defining the pure dominance of Lakers in the American basketball circuit. Due to this reason, this franchise has got a stunning reputation in the industry, which is why its branding is also strong. The logo of the Lakers is certainly a good example of that, showcasing a great class of perfection.

    The Lakers basketball logo design is created with a core theme of basketball in mind. When you see the logo, the fact will be apparent to you instantly. The bold representation of basketball in the logo defines the true identity of the team. It looks rather simple, but presents a straightforward image of the franchise that is indeed a champion team.

    Golden State Warriors

    Golden state warriors logo

    Golden State Warriors hails from the Western Conference of the NBA. It is another franchise that has shown great consistency over the years. At the start, the name of this club was Philadelphia Warriors. However, when the club moved to San Francisco in 1962, the name also got changed. Renamed the San Francisco Warriors, it became an instant hit. This name remained with the franchise for next ten years until 1971, when the club was officially renamed as Golden State Warriors.

    Talking about the basketball logo design of the Golden State Warriors, it is creatively designed with a stunning figure of iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The color used for this bridge is golden, whereas the rest of the logo is designed with dark blue color. This color combination certainly looks very good in the logo, depicting a decent identity of the franchise.

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    Miami Heat

    Miami Heat logo

    Miami Heat is a professional basketball team that started out in 1988 as an expansion franchise. Based out of Miami, Florida, the team is known as one of the most successful ones in the NBA’s recent history, with three NBA titles to their name. Known for Hall-of-Famers and legendary players like Shaquille O’Neal, as well as the power trio of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat is one of the most famous franchises in the NBA currently.

    For its logo, the team went simple yet memorable. The design features a basketball hoop without the net, through which a flaming basketball is going through. Underneath that is the wordmark, which looks plain, yet has a few tweaks and twists that give it an elevated and modern vibe.

    Charlotte Hornets

    Charlotte Hornets logo

    The Charlotte Hornets are a professional basketball team based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. They joined the sport in 1988, playing as part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. They are one of the least successful NBA franchises so far, with no Division, Conference, or NBA titles to their name.

    The logo for the Hornets features an interesting basketball logo design. It features a large, teal colored hornet with an aggressive profile, holding a football in front of its thorax. Superimposed over the front of the logo is the wordmark for the team, written in the style of typography that highly resembles the vibe of many NFL logos.

    Overall, this is another great entry in the list of best basketball logos active today.

    Milwaukee Bucks

    Milwaukee Bucks logo

    The Milwaukee Bucks, more commonly known as the Bucks, are a professional basketball team from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Playing professionally since 1968, the team is known for their winning squad in 1971, featuring the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as their headliner.

    The Bucks have an interesting basketball logo design. Their symbol features a large, 12-point buck’s head as the centerpiece of the logo, under which is the team’s name. A simple and straightforward design, the logo is encircled by a double thin line, that forms a semicircle connecting the middle of both sides of the antlers. Moreover, the smaller antlers at the top of the buck’s head are designed to mimic the profile of a basketball, showing an excellent use of negative space in the design.

    Atlanta Hawks

    Atlanta Hawks logo

    The Atlanta Hawks is a professional basketball team based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The franchise started out as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946, playing in the National Basketball League. Just three seasons later, as the NBL merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the National Basketball Association, the team joined the NBA.

    Their brand symbol is one of the best basketball logos in terms of versatility. Designed to look like the popular monogram logos you see on merchandise for different businesses, it features a round, red and white design. The outer red ring features the name of the team, as well as its sport. The inner ring is designed to mimic the profile of a hawk’s head from the side, using negative space to emphasize the design.

    Overall, the Atlanta Hawks brand symbol is often considered one of the top basketball logos currently in play.

    New York Knicks

     New York Knicks logo

    The New York Knicks are arguably one of the most famous teams in the NBA, with a basketball logo design that is as iconic as it is simple. Representing one of the two teams to call New York City its home, the Knicks feature a somewhat vintage style of logo, colored orange and accented with blue.

    The design features an inverted triangle for the background. Emerging from it is a three-dimensional wordmark, designed to replicate the style of someone looking up at a large brand sign on Times Square. Underneath the wordmark is a basketball, looking like its rolling through the air. The design continues the tradition in NBA of older teams using some of the simpler basketball logo ideas compared to other major sporting leagues, such as the NFL.

    Denver Nuggets

    Denver Nuggets logo

    Based out of Denver, Colorado, the Nuggets are a professional basketball team currently playing in the National Basketball Association. Originally starting their journey in 1967 as the Denver Rockets, the team played in the American Basketball Association for its first nine seasons. In 1974, they changed their name to the Denver Nuggets, and it was the Nuggets that joined the NBA in 1976.

    Known for its rich mining and prospecting history, especially during the gold boom, the Nuggets sport one of the most expressive basketball logos with names. The team’s basketball logo design features a round design, with a navy background, outlined in thin bands of maroon and gold. inside, there is a pair of crossed pickaxes, with the upper gap featuring a craggy mountain, and the bottom a basketball.

    The result is an example of successfully executed basketball logo ideas, as it would have been very easy for the design to become too complicated to be memorable.

    Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz logo

    Utah Jazz is a National Basketball Association team based out of Salt Lake City. The team was founded in 1974, playing as the New Orleans jazz for the first five seasons. With over a dozen division title and two NBA Finals appearance, the team has had the bad luck of having its most successful years be the ones where famed player Michael Jordan played against them. This resulted in them losing out to the Bulls both times, putting an end to their chance at glory in the 90s.

    Its brand symbol has one of the most interesting minimalist logos on this list. Consisting simply of a musical note, the bottom round part of the design is changed to look like a basic illustration of a basketball. Incorporating the play of words in their name, the resultant logo looks great, and is one of the most memorable basketball logos.

    Dallas Mavericks

    Dallas Mavericks logo

    Based out of Dallas, Texas, the Mavericks are a National Basketball Association team playing from the NBA’s Southwest Division of the Western Conference. Founded in 1980, the team has faced long period of rebuilding and failure, interspersed with some great moments like winning their first and only NBA Championship in 2011 with Dirk Nowitzki.

    Its logo is an interesting one, and features a horse in its design to pay homage to the rich Wild West history, and ranching history of the region. Colored in shades of blue, the design features a shield with a star at the bottom, over which is a stretched banner with the team name. Superimposed over the top half of the shield is a round shape meant to mimic the design of a basketball, which incorporates a horse head into the design as well. Overall, it is an amazing basketball logo design, ranking with the likes of the Heat and Knicks logos.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Why is basketball so popular in United States?
    Basketball is a popular sport in United States due to its historical roots. It is being played in the country from last many decades, which is why it is very famous in every city and state of the US.
    Which basketball logos are famous among the fans?
    There are many basketball logos popular among the fans. They usually associate them with their home team, which is why they get popularity. Among many names, logos of Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and more are very famous in the country.
    How to design a basketball logo?
    To design a basketball logo, you need to first get some unique basketball logo ideas. This will help to enlarge your concept, and give you better suggestions related to the designing of every team emblem.
    How to find best basketball logo ideas?
    You can find creative basketball logo ideas by doing a comprehensive market research. It will give you plenty of examples how other known teams are creating their logos. Additionally, you can also find some good templates available on the web to assist your design research.
    What type of colors should be used in a basketball logo?
    You can use different types of colors in a basketball logo. It all depends on the core theme of your team, as that will decide the overall color combination and style required for the logo.

    Final Words

    That takes us to the end of this blog in which we have looked at various basketball logos in the American professional circuit, to understand what it takes to create a successful basketball logo design. Incidentally, all of the logos discussed belong to the National Basketball Association, as the NBA is the biggest basketball league of United States.

    The basketball logo ideas we discussed today are quite important, as they represent the history, character, and the vibe of the basketball franchises. And more importantly, the brand message they portray is both clear and memorable, portraying these factors as the hallmarks of great brand logos.  

    Meanwhile, if you are looking for a company that can help you to design quality logos for your basketball team, get in touch with us today. We will help you create custom basketball logos, tailored specifically to your team’s vibes and requirements.

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