Jump to content

Designing the courts of the British Basketball League and others (Retro Night!)


Recommended Posts

Inspired by other threads here, I thought I would attempt to make some courts for the teams of the British Basketball League (BBL).

Not every team has a branded court, so most of these are just interpretations of what could be. I've never designed courts before, so hopefully these will be ok.

The court template is something I've created, so there might be some inaccurracies with the line placement etc.

Its a little small to make out, but I've also tweaked the BBL logo to add a shadow to the ball. Just to give it a little more depth.


Ok, to start us off, we have two of the oldest teams in the league.


Leicester Riders (2020-21 BBL League Champions)

Leicester, England
BBL Championships: 5



Newcastle Eagles
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
BBL Championships: 7


  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Up next, the two teams that had new logos for the '20-'21 season.


Cheshire Phoenix

Ellesmere Port

BBL Championships: 2


I've not gone too complicated on this one. And I've incorporated the laurel leaf/flame motif from their previous logo.



Manchester Giants

Belle Vue, Manchester

BBL Championships: 0



  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Manchester's court looks gorgeous! I'd be curious to see it with the light greens dots having ever-so-slightly randomized shades, but it's not really necessary.


Cheshire has a solid design, and the placement of the flames are excellent, but I think it would be improved if the flame pattern was stained rather than being negative space in the stain inside the 3-point line. Also, you might try a navy outline for the court so that yellow and white don't touch... Idk if that's enough contrast for an easy out-of-bounds call!


I really like the nice use of gradient for Leicester! Not your fault, but their primary logo sucks, so I'd replace it in the middle with the horseshoe alternate logo. Then I'd ditch the wood-stain horseshoes, because I'm not really feeling it overlapping multiple colors. Finally, the wordmark is nice, but I'd rotate it a bit so its bottom edge aligns with the endline.


Finally, I'm not a big fan of the design for Newcastle. The key coloring is nice, but the black and gold feel too distant to make a nice gradient. I'd replace that part with solid black, maybe with gold stripes inspired by the logo. I like the font for the end line wordmarks, but I assume "Eages" is a typo. If you'd be willing to put that font on the center-court logo, that might be an improvement, or you could cut out the eagle from the roundel and use that as your center-court logo.


Anyways, nice work here! Never knew about this league before, but after looking them up, it seems you're making some big upgrades!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments both!


I'd not conisdered the yellow/white line issue with Cheshire before - so thanks for that. I'll certainly have a go a changing things around with that one.

For Leicester, I did tone it down a bit, originally there was a cinqfoil in place of the secondary logo.

(BTW if you think their current logo is bad, you should see their previous one! They definatly got an upgrade).


As for Newcaslte - yep... you're right - there's a typo! D'oh! It was the first court I did too... you'd think typos would occur later down the line.


They do have the Eagle as their primary logo, the roundel is what they use on their social media page. I think I will update the wordmark to actually match the existing one.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found I'd already created the Eagles wordmark (yet managed to forget to use it!).

So here's a revised court. I have kept the roundel for now - just found the standalone Eagle got lost - I'm going to see how to work around that - maybe an outline.



And also, the court for the Raiders.

Yes, there are two teams with similar names. Just one of those quirks of the league I guess. You've got to feel for the comms team when the Raiders and Riders play each other.


They use a pinstripe on their jersey, so I've gone with that - although it does give it a little bit of a gridiron field feel.


There's talk of them relocating to Birmingham if they can't get a  deal with the Pavilions, but here for now are the Plymouth Raiders.


Plymouth Raiders
Plymouth, Devon
BBL Championships: 0


  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a go at revising the Nix court. The blue has a better impact, and I've gone for a lighter court courtesty of pelicanfan.




I've also re-tweaked the Riders. Removing the '67 horseshoe' and adding back the cinqeufoil motif I'd done in an earlier draft.



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two new courts for today.


London Lions
Hackney Wick, East London
BBL Championships: 1

The centre court logo forms part of their primary logo, but they seem to be using just the ball and paw on social media so I went with that.


Surrey Scorchers
Guildford, Surrey
BBL Championships: 1

I'm not a huge fan of the Scorchers logo; its one of those logos that I may eventually try and redesign, but for now, hopefully I've adapated their scheme well for the court.


  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rounding out the current teams in the league...

Glasgow Rocks
Dalmarnock, Glasgow
BBL Championships: 0 *
* The team was leading the league when the 2019-20 season was cancelled, which would have earned them their first title.

Court wise, I intended to go with a tartan pattern - the detail didn't quite work out; so its a check not a tartan for now. This is something I intend to work on.



Sheffield Sharks
BBL Championships: 4
I went with a pattern that by hapenstance could be deemed as sharks teeth (or a huge backgammon board). I then took inspiration from the teams Twitter hashtag 'fear the fin' and added that in a lighter wood stain.
I've also recoloured their logo, to add the yellow for the basketball (currently its grey), just to make it stand out more.



Worcester Wolves
BBL Championships: 0

I wanted to go for something asymetrical, and Worcester just worked out being that team. I'm quite pleased how this one worked out.



  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I preferred Cheshire's original court with the yellow.  The contrast between white and yellow wouldn't matter as long as it looks fine because touching the white is out-of-bounds just as the yellow is.


These are all fantastic!  I don't know why since there's not much to there logos, but I'm really drawn to the Manchester one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the compliment. :)


I guess the only other alternate for Phoenix is to have a think blue border around the court and keep the yellow as the main colour block.


And yes, Manchester's logo simplicity is something that makes it work as a whole package. Their old logo wasn't too bad - especially complared to the awful original Giants team logo,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time for a bonus round.


Two of the most recent defunct teams in the league. The 'gone too soon' London City Royals (2018-2020) and the Leeds Force (2006-2018).


London City Royals
Crystal Palace, London
BBL Championships: 0


I went with a London Undergroud motif for the wordmark, and added the stylised crown to either side of the court.




Leeds Force
Headingly, Leeds
BBL Championships: 0


  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone have any comments, please chime in. :)


I've done another 'bonus' court. This one is for the XXII Commonwealth Games - Birmingham 2022.

Just kept this one simple, taking the colour cues from the games logo.



Originally, basketball was due to be an outdoor event held in Victoria Sqaure, (concept art) but now will be at another location in the city. Its a shame as I think the square would have made a unique backdrop for the event.


Victoria Square can be seen in the handover portion of the closing ceremony for the Gold Coast games. This segment was put together in short time; the games were awarded to the city on December 21st 2017, with the ceremony in Australia being April 15th 2018. (plus an 10 hour time difference).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glasgow looks really nice! I imagine you could fit another color in there if you made the pattern bigger, which might help you get what you're looking for...

Unfortunate that their logo, with orange and red and no dark blue, feels so out of place both on their jerseys and this court, which isn't really your fault.


I love the Underground font being used for the Royals. Looks beautiful!


Lions also look solid, good call with the partial logo only. Nice use of the skyline wood stain.


The flowers are a solid, if a lateral or sorta random, addition to the Riders. I do wish those horseshoes were present somewhere, though, even if you don't want to put it center court.


Leeds looks good... I think you want to pick one shade of purple for the court though, and maybe integrate a tad of black on the outside somewhere (a wordmark drop shadow?)


You're right that the Scorchers could use a new logo but you've done a nice job with the colors on the court. I like the lighter blue wordmark over the gradient.


I'm not really feeling the white text on the cyan/yellow gradient on the outside of the Birmingham games court. You might go black instead. Also, the center court logo is way too big.


You've done more good work here!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments. :)

Glad to know I'm not making a complete mess of it all!


Glasgow are a bit unusal when it comes to their colours. Whilst their logo is light blue and orange, they previously wore navy, pink and even a gold jersey. This season its teal with sleeves. So its a bit of 'anything goes' there.

After I added the cinqfoil, it reminded me of the Diwali jerseys the Riders had. Which I think would lend itself to a court all on its own - so I'll probably give a Horseshoe court a go too.


Good point on the purple on the Force court - sticks out a mile now!


Maybe Surrey should just go back to their old identity - Guildford Kings. I'm thinking a reverse retro might just be in order.

Looking at Birmingham '22, the logo is oversized - probably as I was concerned it'd be lost amongst the lines. Being an asymetrical logo didn't help, but I agree, looking at it now, it needs shrinking a tad. The games have a geometric pattern as part of their brand, so I might re-visit it with elements of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just realised I've missed one of the teams!


Bristol Flyers
Stoke Gifford, Bristol
BBL Championships: 0


The pattern comes from their current 'supersonic jet' jerseys. I went for an asymetrical look as I thought it'd work well with their contrasting blue and red.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've got a solid look for Bristol. I like the white only wordmark, but I think something needs to go underneath to fill that space... Maybe just a white plane wing.

Also, it might be hard to pull off, but I'd be curious to see if you could flip the diagonal around and get the triangles involved with the color break somehow? Sorta like this maybe?


On 5/15/2021 at 2:26 AM, DukeofChutney said:

Maybe Surrey should just go back to their old identity - Guildford Kings. I'm thinking a reverse retro might just be in order.

Uhhhhhh that'd seem probably a downgrade IMO, but I'm generally not a fan of those old-timey college mascot style logos... Idk, maybe you could you pull it off?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh good call on the pattern for Bristol. That'd look better than the confetti pattern (from their jerseys) that I used.


And I doubt I could do much with the Kings look. That's for the vote of confidence thinking I could though! haha

I've been toying with ideas for redisgns formost teams - I'm just not quite there yet with them. I tip my hat to all you talented designers on here that make outstanding designs.


Redesigns for some courts, due soon. Plus a 80s themed court for the BBLs 35th Anniversary. Sunglasses required. :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Random one today.  This has jumped over the other ones I'd already worked on and was in the process of finalising, but sometimes the idea just hits you.


Hoopsfix ran a story yesterday (25/5) about the potential for a BBL team in Gloucester, following the Bristol model of being combined with the local football team. The co-chair of the football team recently became joint-owner of the basketball team (NBL Division 3 South). 



This is all planned at the moment, nothing definate, but I thought I'd give their court a go. So, here we go. The potential Gloucester City Knights in all its ketchup and mustard glory.


I've added the roundel to the logo, changed the font and chose a slightly darker shade of red. The shield is from the city's coat of arms, and I've used the skyline shillouette from the football team crest.  As there's no stadium yet, (let alone a logo), I've gone with the local tourism boards logo.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • DukeofChutney changed the title to Designing the courts of the British Basketball League and others (Retro Night!)

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.