Portland Trail Blazers Logo

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Portland Trail Blazers Logo
Although the history of the professional basketball team Portland Trail Blazers has lasted around half a century, its logo has been remarkably consistent in its core emblem, which has a hidden meaning behind it.

Meaning and history

Portland Trail Blazers Logo history

The Trail Blazers joined the National Basketball Association in 1970 as an expansion team. The author of the original Portland Trail Blazer logo was Frank Glickman, who worked as a graphic designer in Boston at the time. Probably a more important reason for choosing him as the author of the logo was the fact that he was the cousin of Harry Glickman, the team’s founder and first general manager.

Old logo

Portland Trail Blazers Logo Old
The logotype was built around a shape resembling a pinwheel. What was the meaning Portland Trail Blazers logo conveyed (and still does)? Each of the five lines from one side of the emblem symbolized an offensive player, while the five lines on the other side symbolized defensive players. The shape of the lines symbolized the way the players move during the game and emphasized their speed. So, instead of focusing on the team’s distinctive features or image (like logos of most athletic clubs), the emblem rather represented the basketball game in general, with its speed and fierce competition.


Portland Trail Blazers Symbol
In 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers old logo was slightly reversed, while the word “Blazers” in large black letters with a red shade was placed to its left.
In the 2002 version, the pinwheel emblem was updated and, as a result, acquired a more complex 3D look. The name of the team, in a different font, was placed below.
The logo was revisited for the following season. The emblem was placed in a parallelogram shape with black filling. Another modification took place in 2004.

The 2017 emblem

Portland Trail Blazers Logo emblem
The Portland Trail Blazers new logo, which was unveiled in 2017, has a cleaner look. The black background has disappeared, while the name of the team has moved below the emblem.


While the glyphs are generally rather generic (and perfectly legible), the letters “P” and “T” boast distinctive sharp “claws” implying that playing with the Blazers and having them as your opponents can be quite an unpleasant experience.


Portland Trail Blazers Logo Color
In spite of its simplicity, the color palette, which includes only red (PMS 186), black, and white, works great for this type of design. It creates a contrast and eye-catching image. The same combination has been used on the Portland Trail Blazer logo throughout most of its history, with the exception of the period between 2004 and 2007, when grey was added to the color scheme.