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Indiana Pacers Rebrand: Logo + Script

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Good afternoon, folks!

 

So I've been sitting on this for a solid two or so months now, and though far from complete as far as a full package is concerned, I wanted to share at least the start of this project anyways as a means to gage where to go from here and how y'all think of the direction I'm taking with this.

 

I got the idea for a Pacers rebrand after looking through some old pictures of 1940's-50's Indy 500's, and am shooting for a brand package inspired by these kinds of elements. To help see where I'm coming from, here's just a couple of the bunch of pictures I used as references: 

 

image.jpegimage.jpeg

 

Some brainstorming and sketching led me to going in the direction of using a racecar driver from this time period as the primary, with the wordmark inspired by this Mercury ad. The colors remain similar, and the "speed lines" trailing from the driver's helmet are slightly inspired by and nod to those found in the current "P" logo. I really wanted to make this guy look like he was hauling it, so without diving into gradients and such, I tried to make him look like he was blurring by in a way (which is why some elements of the left part of the logo are sort of trailing off and do not connect naturally). Anyways...

 

...the finished product:

image.png

 

As of yet, I still haven't settled on any uniforms or the court, so that's still to come much further down the road. But I just wanted to post what I did have for now and see what y'all thought of it, and how it could be improved before I took the project much farther.

 

All C&C is welcome and encouraged! Thanks for viewing!

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This is awesome but the pacers would never change their iconic logo better for a NBA D-League team for the pacers

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Cool idea. I would make the brim of the helmet longer (like in the photo).

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watch out that you don't get too literal here.

because the pacers is a sport name that references a completely different sport, you wanna make super clear this is a basketball logo, (or at least) not a racing one.

 

i like where the script logo is goin, its got personalitaaay.

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Super dope, man. Love it. I’ll echo Whitefoot and maybe suggest a longer brim, but other than that, I like where this is at a lot. Does a great job of capturing the era.

 

Speaking of that, it doesn’t really have anything to do with the concept, but since I practically live at the Speedway during May, I’m gonna nitpick a bit — that shot looks to be of ’40s-era midget cars, not the Indy cars. They’re shorter (hence midget), though without some of the aero differences, they didn’t look too different from the Indy cars back then — a stark contrast to today. Google tells me that’s Sam Hanks driving one of those bad boys, and by the time he started in the 500 in 1940, the cars at IMS had moved on a little aerodynamically:

 

 


imsc2822.jpg
 

 

 

And when he finally won in 1957, they’d started to figure out more, but nowhere near as much as they did in the next handful of years…

 

 


hanks.jpg
 

 

 

Which, talking about Hanks, reminds me of three fun bits of trivia with him — he was the only driver to run both before and after WWII who fought in the war; he won on his 13th attempt, the longest wait before a win for any driver; then retired in victory lane after finally winning the 500. As for the concept though, once again, love it — I just can’t help myself with 500 things. ;)

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Adding a few lines into the helmet could make the “make sure there's a basketball in every logo so people know its basketball” rule mesh really well.

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I love the entire nostalgic look of the logo. But I think it doesn't represent an NBA team, more some D-League franchise, as already mentioned. I just miss the parallel to basketball while it's too racing-heavy. However, it could easily become an alternate mark for the Pacers, without the script.

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9 hours ago, Commodore Crablegs said:

watch out that you don't get too literal here.

because the pacers is a sport name that references a completely different sport, you wanna make super clear this is a basketball logo, (or at least) not a racing one.

 

i like where the script logo is goin, its got personalitaaay.

 

24 minutes ago, Go Red Sox! said:

I love the entire nostalgic look of the logo. But I think it doesn't represent an NBA team, more some D-League franchise, as already mentioned. I just miss the parallel to basketball while it's too racing-heavy. However, it could easily become an alternate mark for the Pacers, without the script.

These two couldn't have said it any better. One sport shouldn't have to mesh in to another sport, so try and distinct that it is a basketball logo, not so much racing.

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Are the Pacers the only pro team to name themselves after something to do with another sport? I've never really thought about it...

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Remember the Pacers were named for harness racing and the pace car in the Indianapo!is 500, so the franchise itself is actually involving another sport. I don't see why the team logo has to be exactly related to the sport of basketball, just because that is the sport they're in. Some of the NBA logos are bland anyways. Example: Lakers, Clippers, Pistons, Knicks, Thunder, etc. 

And how do you explain the Warriors? They have a bridge as their logo, it is a symbol of the city/area but not related to the team name.

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I feel like the font would be better without the lines you added.

 

Great logo, though. It's different, but it's not bad. I'd have to see the jersey set to get a full view on how this identity would work.

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Definitely great design. No doubt about that. But as others have said, this is a not a great (not in quality) basketball logo. It doesn't really say anything basketball other than knowing that Indiana Pacers are a basketball team

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Great work! I'll be in the minority here but I like that it doesn't include a basketball. It feels like every team in the NBA uses a similar logo having a basketball present in it somewhere. I think it stands on it's own well enough that it doesn't really need it.

 

Besides, is the cheek/neck not resembling a net? That is the first impression I had of it. I guess you could do something like expanding that I little bit more and maybe turning the goggles into a basketball? That may be hard to execute though. Regardless, I think it is a great logo!

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10 hours ago, Tygers09 said:

Remember the Pacers were named for harness racing and the pace car in the Indianapo!is 500, so the franchise itself is actually involving another sport. I don't see why the team logo has to be exactly related to the sport of basketball, just because that is the sport they're in. Some of the NBA logos are bland anyways. Example: Lakers, Clippers, Pistons, Knicks, Thunder, etc. 

And how do you explain the Warriors? They have a bridge as their logo, it is a symbol of the city/area but not related to the team name.

uhh, ill bite...

 

your first sentence is literally the answer to your second sentence. I cant even think of any other major pro team that has this 2-sport conflation.

 

No idea why the warriors are brought up here, its a totally diff issue.

Relocated franchises might embrace legacy branding issues (dodgers, lakers, jazz) rather than totally rebrand. Can't say i disagree with how the warriors dealt with theirs tho; i'd prefer the bay bridge over 'injun' imagery, while keeping the baddassly generic name.

 

 

 

...all that said i definitely think there's kickass possibilities to be more literal with pace cars, while making it clear its a basketball team logo.

i totally wanna see if and how finsup bridges the gap.

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I greatly appreciate the response and feedback, everyone! This helps a ton and is exactly what I was hoping for in kicking this off. Thank you all for your comments (and thanks @crashcarson15 for the awesome historical info! Great stuff and very helpful to know!)!

 

So just briefly I wanted to touch on a couple of things in response to some of your concerns, and hope to be able to get an update or even some additional stuff out sooner than later (just got a week and half of summer school left and I'll be much freer!)

 

- Keep in mind that this is only part of a larger package I have in mind, so this won't be the only logo altogether and thus the package won't exclude any basketball imagery altogether. There will be at least one other alternate logo that will feature a basketball for certain, and possibly others. 

 

- I'm not extremely familiar with the NBA's branding requirements, but is it true that they really require a ball for primaries? Because the Spurs, Rockets, Grizzlies, Warriors, and a couple others I think don't use a ball and weren't sure if they were grandfathered in.

 

- In reading your responses I've been thinking up ways I can tinker with working basketball imagery into the primary, but at the moment I'm having a bit of a hard time doing so without it looking quite forced. Maybe the best option is the helmet? I'm not sure, but I will work on it and at the very least if it doesn't end up working, I'd intended the secondary and possibly other logos to carry the basketball imagery in the package anyways.

 

- I should put out on the record that I LOVE the Pacers' "P" logo and would probably have a really hard time with it ever leaving. But designing something new and departing from the current was more as a means to stretch myself as a designer and sort of "force" myself to take something I really love as far as current identities are concerned and take it in a new direction. 

 

Now, I hope none of this came across at all as a "you're wrong I'm right!!" sort of thing; that is not at all how I mean any of this! I just wanted to better explain where I was coming from with the identity in mind (something I should've explained better from the start haha). I greatly value and appreciate your comments, and will see what I can do in regards to updates!

 

Thank you all very much again, and if there's any other C&C, keep it coming! Hopefully after swimming through the last of summer school I'll have some more to show y'all!

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I don't see any problem with you not using the Pacers P logo. The point of a concept is create something that is your own and that is what you have done. There is nothing wrong with moving away from that logo in your own concept if that is what you want to do.

 

As far as the basketball imagery goes. I mentioned this earlier, but the cheek/neck area which is yellow and features blue stylized lines in it already resembles a basketball net to me. I'm guessing you didn't really intend for it to be this way but that would be a fresh and creative way to emphasize basketball imagery into the logo if you want to go back and stylize that even more to resemble a net. I think that would be a great departure from using a basketball just like so many of the other basketball primary logos use.

 

Just an idea, I'm excited to see where you go with this!

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So bringing up the history of the franchise name is futile for the using a racing motif for a new logo?  

 

As for bringing up the Warriors, not all NBA teams have basketball in their logo, do the Warriors have one in their logo? NO they use a bridge. So teams use a symbol of the geographical area for their logo. Though a bridge is synonymous of the San Francisco Bay area ( the area is filled with bridges),  it has nothing to do with the name, Warriors.

Warrior: 

  A person engaged or experienced in warfare and combat; a soldier

The Warriors old logo, the person with a lightning bolt superimposed over the word WARRIORS (1997/1998-2009/2010) was one of their best logos IMHO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here's a thought...why does the Lakers logo have motion lines, when it would perfectly fit with the Pacers?

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A guy in one of those cars holding a basketball (as if literally driving towards the hoop) could be a cool secondary logo.

 

-the script isn't working.  It's simply not possible to draw a script like that with all the jagged lines.  You don't get a lot of artistic freedom with scripts, since by nature they're supposed to be hand drawn, or at least capable of being hand drawn.  Even if they're supposed to be motion lines, it's painfully awkward to look at and would stand much better without them.

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