Style Corner ’10-11: Retro Fittings, New Beginnings
Marketing + nostaglia = NBA 2K branding
So, if you haven’t heard by now, both the Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz both “changed” their team logos. If you’ve followed me and my column since the past year, you may know I’m really in to team logos and uniforms. I knew the Jazz were looking to do some things, but I never got word from the team after a few tries of fishing for answers, and so know the general public knows what’s up with the updated looks. On the other hand, the Golden State Warriors have decided to re-invent their wheel with a totally new-old change of brand identity-let’s take a closer inspection of what Utah did in the meantime.
Essentially, the team went from the 2004 color scheme of navy blue, light blue, white and purple, and decided to return to the days of yester (sort of) adding yellow gold, green and silver-gray and riding themselves of the purple and light blue altogether. They also brought back the old Jazz logo from the New Orleans and older Utah days, using the same new colors. Overall, I dislike the decision to change it back to the more “festive” hues. One of the main reasons that Utah changed from the classic color scheme in the first place was because of the banter about how the Jazz should create a new visual identity more resonant with the Utah brand; the purple, largely, was the big carrier of the New Orleans days, so with a fresher (if not more brooding) look with dark colors, the Jazz could still remain visually relevant with the light blue color that seemed to involve the essence of the great Salt Lake…but now, back to the Mardi Gras colors? It doesn’t make a ton of sense, on the corresponding updates to the uniforms may be a big disappointment with the re-appointment of the green and gold with navy. I’m a not a fan at all.
Overall Utah Jazz logo design? D
As for the Magic’s logo, while I loved the personification of actual magic in the stars and stylized fonts of the older logos, changing the type face for “ORLANDO MAGIC” does make some sense for continuity purposes, especially when you’re able to see that the logo scripts match the logo’s wordmarks. I have never particularly cared for the star that the Magic have used since 1999, but that remains, and actually with the less elaborate fonts that Orlando has now installed in the insignia, the star, as is, fits. The bolder, more straightforward scripts seems genuinely more powerful and bolder, even while it’s lost a bit of snazz and uniqueness in the process.
The Magic’s uniforms will now directly correspond with the corporate branding and so forth, so that’s a immediate positive from a franchise point of view. Personally, I believe the uniforms could use a few tweaks, despite the fact that they’ve been changed just under two years ago. One of the annoyances of the duds is the odd side paneling that actually bulks up the streamlined look of the entire look. Add in the generic looking star on the bottom of the shorts, and you have the making of a forced facade on court. If the Magic want to maintain the magical “mystique” of the team’s name without forcing any sort of style cues that may bring down a perfectly good design, Orlando should go back to the old 2003-2008 neckline that used a single star at the v-neck of the jersey collar.
Overall Orlando Magic logo design? A-
Now Golden State…for years, I’ve been aching for the old uniforms of yonder, wondering why they changed the straight-forward royal blue and goldenrod for orange, navy…goldenrod…am I missing a color or two? Either way, it was stupid and it was for marketing and the centurion-like lightning look didn’t make a big splash with me, and besides, it was obvious that the Warriors loved wearing those Hardwood Classics retro threads. To put it bluntly, I agree with the change and I’m a fan. Seeing the royal blue and gold makes the brand of the Warriors cleaner and the franchise is clearly taking the cue of the Philadelphia 76ers and re-identifying itself as a “classic franchise” (which they are, historically) in the same way that the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have branded themselves as such.
All of the primary and secondary logos that the Warriors have now adopted are top-notch as well. I would prefer to see more of the state of California be featured in the primary logo, but how Golden State pays homage to all of the past looks is enough for me. As for the uniforms, I think they are all good, if the neckline changes. If the Warriors adopt that pseudo-silly curved neckline, then it may it do some damage to how the jersey flows, in my opinion; Golden State should go truly retro and go with a scoop-neck collar to further balance the roundness of the chest emblem (*Kanye shrug*).
Overall Golden State Warriors logo and uniform re-design? A
Basically, this is par for the course with the updates to these three NBA logos. The Jazz lost some of its cool in bringing back what I thought was a buried part of the franchise’s past (and somehow, are marketing a former primary logo as another brand, which is silly and overdone to me); the Magic just reinforced a minor theme, but they did well even in that; the GSW have finally come back to their senses. Minor loss, minor win, major score.
As Bill Simmons the Sports Guy would say: “The NBA-it’s faaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnntastic!!”
Sandy Dover is a novelist/writer, artist and fitness enthusiast, as well as an unyielding Prince fan (for real). You can find Sandy frequently here at SLAMonline, as well as at Facebook, Associated Content and Twitter.