NBA Logo

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NBA LogoNBA Logo PNG

The NBA logo was introduced in 1969. Its creation can be considered a result of the rivalry between the American Basketball Association and its newly-created rival the American Basketball Association.

Meaning and history

NBA Logo history

The NBA visual identity history can be split into two main periods — from the foundation of the association and until 1969, and from 1969 until today, the modern chapter. All five logo versions, created for the NBA throughout the years have been strongly connected with basketball and reflected the purpose of the organization without complicating anything.

1950 — 1953

NBA Logo 1950

The logo introduced by NBS in 1950 was composed of a circular emblem, where the whole basketball was depicted. The red lettering was placed on its upper and middle parts, leaving the bottom one free. The upper parts comprised the datemark in bold lines, while the main wordmark was in the middle segment of the ball, with “National” and “Association” arched along the stitches, and “Basketball” in a straight line, written in all capitals of a bold sans-serif typeface.

1953 — 1962

NBA Logo 1953

The redesign of 1953 made the basketball red, and the lettering white. The ball was placed slightly diagonally, and the inscription was now composed of just three letters, “NBA”, written along the bottom line of the emblem, in strict and clean sans-serif capitals.

1962 — 1969

NBA Logo 1962

With the redesign of 1962, the ball becomes white again, but the stitches and letters gained a new color, black. The “NBA” wordmark in all capital of a solid serif typeface was placed diagonally, from the upper left corner to the bottom right one, inside the middle segment of the basketball. This emblem stayed with the association for seven years.

1969 — 2017

NBA Logo 1969

The iconic vertical NBA badge was introduced in 1969 and stayed completely untouched until 2017. It was a rectangle with its corners rounded, left part in the red and right one — in blue. The white silhouette of a man with a basketball was placed in the middle of the badge, separating the rectangle into two parts. It was a stylized image of Jerry West, a legendary player. The “NBA” wordmark was placed in the bottom left corner of the emblem, executed in all capitals of an extra-bold sans-serif typeface, in white.

2017 — Today

NBA logo

The redesign of 2017 changed only the style of the lettering on the NBA logo, keeping all other elements unchanged. The inscription of the current badge version featured thinner lines and narrowed shapes of the letters, with clean contours and distinct cuts of a traditional sans-serif typeface.

How much does the symbol earn?

NBA symbol

The international design firm Siegel+Gale claims that every year the National Basketball Association symbol brings over $3 billion a year in licensing. Although this information may certainly be biased, as it comes from the company that worked on the logo, it is still obvious that the emblem does generate a lot to its owner as it is very popular around basketball fans all over the globe.

Who is the player in the emblem?

emblem NBA

Siegel claimed that he used a photo of Jerry West from the Lakers as an inspiration for the emblem. He explained, he had found the photo while looking through old pictures form the Sport magazine and was astonished by the way this shot captured the essence of the game. He also was impressed by its dynamism.

However, NBA does not acknowledge it was really Jerry West in the logo. The organization’s spokesperson Tim Frank mentioned that he had never seen any proof for the fact. Siegel explained this with NBA’s desire to make the picture an abstract emblem that could refer to any player rather than a specific one.

Interestingly enough, Jerry West also said he knew it was he in the picture. He mentioned that he was told about it by the late commissioner, Walter Kennedy, and then read about it in New York Times. Although Jerry West found it flattering, he claimed more than once that he does not feel he deserves such attention and did not like to be called The Logo. When asked who should be depicted in the NBA logo, West suggested Adam Silver or Michael Jordan.

Font

Font NBA Logo

The emblem uses a customized type resembling Helvetica Pro Black Condensed. Also, it looks rather close to Horrible Jefe Font.

Color

Color NBA Logo

In contrast to many other commercial logos that can be given in a variety of colors, in case with the NBA emblem only one palette is acceptable: the combination of red, white, and blue. However, in monochromatic visual contexts (in a newspaper ad, for instance), a black-and-white version is possible.

Who is on the NBA logo?
The basketball player Jerry West is believed to be the person depicted on the NBA logo. To be precise, the logo was inspired by a particular photo published in Sport magazine. The author of the mark, Alan Siegel, chose this picture as it seemed to be an excellent representation of the essence of the game.

National Basketball Association Team Logos