As most of you know, I happen to be a Grade A basketball junkie. Usually the off-season is difficult enough albeit soothed by the dulcet sounds of the ballpark in summer, but with the NBA lock-out underway with no end in sight, this off-season stretches out before me like a lazy brown cat settling down for an afternoon nap. To feed my basketball jones, I’ve taken to doing some branding mock-ups for teams that desperately need it, starting with the New Jersey Nets.
The New Jersey Nets are an interesting case. While there is nothing terribly wrong with their current look, they’re moving to Brooklyn come the 2012 season and are going to have change.
I’ve seen a few mock rebrands of the Nets done on the internets but none of them executed all that well. The best one was conceptualized by Michael Weinstein (see his full blog entry on the subject). I liked his nod to a more retro look of the bygone Nets and overall its a nice job. I just felt the logo lacked a certain symmetry — forcing the “Nets” word-mark to the bottom third of the logo. Obviously, I thought I could do a bit better.
Let’s start with a look back at the Nets’ previous looks courtesy of Chris Creamer’s comprehensive sports logo site.
Kind of a bland logo history, even while they were part of the wet ‘n’ wild ABA (until 1978) the best they could really cook up was a fishing-line “nets” mark surrounded by the famous red, white, and blue ABA ball. I know the name “the Nets” doesn’t readily offer itself it up for spice and pizazz which is probably why there’s a lot of rumblings that the organization will go for a whole new look along with a whole new name (I’ve heard the Brooklyn New Yorkers floated about) when they move to the billion dollar Barclay Center next year.
But I’m old school. I love the classic NBA look, void of over-outlined vector mascots, aggressive word-marks, and new fangled team colors. Needless to say I didn’t want to recreate the wheel with this one but rather evolve their look with some historical elements to create a “new classic” with the logo/mark, color-scheme, and jerseys. Note the classic, round-collar jersey style and a lack of logo incorporation into the jersey elements (e.g. the aggressive, side plumage on the Atlanta Hawks’ get-up. We got it, you’re HAWKS!). To achieve this look I’ve riffed on a previous wordmark (from 1978) and created a new, lighter color palette for the jerseys and city mark in a nod to the sporting history of Brooklyn.
As I stated earlier, there’s no guarantee the Nets will even be the Nets in a year. But given the name-changes NBA teams have gone with recently (the Wizards? C’mon!) I really hope they go a more classic route.
These designs are my own and in no way possible or proposed actual NBA team logos. Please don’t freak out, its all in good fan-dom.