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Why NBA logos are different from NFL, MLB, NHL


ScubaSteve

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This is part observational and part opinion. Take a minute to look at the NBA's primary team logos page. Then flip over to NFL, NHL, and MLB. I notice a difference.

Every NBA teams' primary logo (with the exception of the Pacers and Wizards who might have been grandfathered in) seem to adhere to standards that they must include the city and team name in their logo. This style is pretty heavily used in minor league sports as well.

Meanwhile the other 3 sports tend to rely mainly on imagery and symbols. In the NFL and NHL, wording in primary logos is rare. In MLB, it seems like a mix of the two.

My question is: Do you prefer the more basic logos of the NFL and NHL or the NBA-style logos with city and team name?

Also consider: Should the NBA change its standards? What is more iconic?

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I definitely prefer NHL/NFL. The NBA teams 1) tend to force city/name into logos and 2) rely more on secondary logos as an end-around to the requirement.

Pre-CCSLC, I always wondered why the text was a bit "forced" on the below logo:

Thanks to the CCSLC, now I Know!

The current T-Wolves logo does something that several NBA logos do, which is to incorporate the text a bit more seamlessly. This beats forcing the text in, but it still puts an extra barrier in front of the logo designers.

That said, it has always driven me nuts that the Wild primary logo is the below. The "Minnesota Wild" makes it look like the team decided to adhere to NBA standards.

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I think part of it is the NBA doesn't have a uniform feature that exclusively shows off one logo. In the NFL you create your logo to go on a helmet, in the NHL it's the crest of the jersey, the MLB it's on the cap. In the NBA your logo can show up anywhere. Now I'm not sure why the NBA decided to force teams to include the team and city name into the primary but that seems like its a part of it.

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I definitely prefer NHL/NFL. The NBA teams 1) tend to force city/name into logos and 2) rely more on secondary logos as an end-around to the requirement.

Pre-CCSLC, I always wondered why the text was a bit "forced" on the below logo:

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Thanks to the CCSLC, now I Know!

The current T-Wolves logo does something that several NBA logos do, which is to incorporate the text a bit more seamlessly. This beats forcing the text in, but it still puts an extra barrier in front of the logo designers.

That said, it has always driven me nuts that the Wild primary logo is the below. The "Minnesota Wild" makes it look like the team decided to adhere to NBA standards.

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That brings up a good point. Whereas teams like Chicago would be just as iconic if you took away the wordmark in the primary, other logos are actually built around these wordmarks. Simply emoving the lettering would essentially break the logo

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I assumed that one reason for NBA and some MLB logos forcing text onto logos is because wordmarks are much more important on NBA/MLB jerseys than NFL/NHL ones. The latter two can get away with using just a logo because there's usually little to no room for text on their jerseys anyway. MLB uses a hybrid because there's room for both a plain logo (cap) and a wordmark (jersey). With NBA jerseys, the wordmark and number font will be displayed more prominently than anything else on the jersey.

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A good logo should represent the teams namesake, city or both (preferably) without relying on text as a crutch. The NBA should definitely change their standards because just about every team has an alternate logo vastly superior to it's primary with cluttered text. A couple examples being these...

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Because the NBA is a glorified minor league that just happens to be the top league for basketball so therefore is deemed "professional" (christmas jerseys? nicknames on jerseys?)

... I wouldn't go that far.

But the NBA is a different animal. It's more about "flash" than the other Big Four (+ MLS) leagues.

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