The most popular NBA logos and brands

Top-10 NBA Logos

Of course, the NBA is first and foremost a sport. But the vibrancy of the game and the competitive spirit that pervades everything during games is complemented by colorful team logos that remain in viewers’ memories along with game results. NBA basketball team logos are a world apart, where every icon is designed to represent your team, your city, and your character in the best possible way. Standing out from the 30 teams taking part in the competition is not an easy task.

Over the more than 70 years of the Association’s existence, basketball fans have seen many different emblems. And there have always been more or less successful ones, memorable the first time and forgotten the minute the game was over. Today we decided to compile our rating of the top 10 NBA logos and tell you a bit about their history. We start from the 10th line.

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Logo Los Angeles Lakers

The current logo was designed in 2001, but its predecessor was first introduced in the 1960s, and it was the third emblem created for the Basketball club in LA. The initial logo was also based on the image of a basketball, but had a different style of the lettering, and was created while the team played in Minneapolis, so featured a Minnesota state silhouette on it. Then, in 1960, the club moves to California and introduced the new logo — a simple white and blue inscription with no graphics.

The era of the iconic Lakers badge started in 1967, with the creation of the first “yellow ball” badge. It was a darker version of the logo the whole world knows today, with muted shades and a fuchsia hue on the logotype. In 1976 the colors on the logo become brighter, and finally, by 2001 the club comes to the perfect yellow and purple palette, which is instantly recognizable today.

  1. Boston Celtics

Logo Boston Celtics

The original version of today’s Boston Celtics logo saw the light in 1968 and has only been redesigned twice since then. Although the history of the club traces back to the 1940s, and there were two more design concepts for its badge, those versions are already forgotten. The iconic leprechaun in his green suit was first drawn over a dark red basketball, and only in 1974 it was placed on a white background and enclosed into a bold green circular frame with the team’s name written around it. Today the logo got more colors, and all of its elements are well-balanced and refined, creating a perfect professional look and showing the club’s value of roots and traditions.

  1. Miami Heat

Logo Miami Heat

Compared to other teams on our list, Miami Heat is a pretty young one, thus its logo has been redesigned only once, keeping the original concept and not stepping too far from the initial style and color palette. The first emblem, created for the team, was introduced in 1988 and stayed untouched for almost a decade. It was the same bold black lettering as we can see today, the fireball was drawn with more orange gradients and the ring was colored black, balancing the inscription. Although today, with the dark red basketball and orange flame coming out of it, the logo of the club from Miami looks much more powerful and modern. Everything here is clean and strong, the contours are perfectly refined, and the proportions — are in complete harmony.

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Logo Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets is one of the teams that for a pretty significant period has been playing under another name: from 2004 till 2014 the club was called Charlotte Bobcats. Hence, the visual identity history of the Hornets can be split into three parts — the early Hornets, with some naive emblems and caricaturish images, the Bobcats with the modern and “wild” badges, and the modern Hornets with an extremely stylish and yes, sophisticated, badge in a dark-turquoise and blue color palette.

The Charlotte Hornets logo could work for a casual fashion brand or a hip-hop album cover with a huge success as it does for its basketball club. The alien-like hornet with its white sharp wings is accompanied by a two-levels inscription, executed in a custom fancy typeface, which is unique and memorable.

  1. Phoenix Suns

Logo Phoenix Suns

The current Phoenix Suns badge was introduced in 2013 but is fully based on the version from 2000, just with a rethought color palette. Before that, the club had two more logo designs with sharp rays around the orange basketball, but they both were lacking something. The last emblem is executed in a strict black and white color palette with the orange gradients on the basketball and its “sun” stylization, which creates a strong accent and emphasizes the main — the sport. The black and white geometric crest of the Phoenix Suns team also makes the club stand out in the list of its competitors, which prefer brighter shades and more ornate designs.

  1. Washington Wizards

Logo Washington Wizards

Before getting the current modern and confident design for its badge, the Washington Wizards club has been experimenting a lot. While playing under the Bullets name, they used to have one of the most iconic and recognizable emblems in the history of the NBA — the logotype with two hands up and a red basketball above them. But the name was changed in 1997, and the first few logos after the rebranding were not very successful. Although, today’s badge is truly remarkable and simple at the same time. It is a circular medallion in a patriotic blue-red-white color palette, with the gradient gray Star as the central element and a voluminous inscription, with the white color softened and slightly shadowed.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Logo Milwaukee Bucks

The deer has always been the main element of the Milwaukee Bucks’ visual identity, but in 2015 the animal became a real symbol of power and grace. The current badge of the basketball club from Milwaukee is executed in a calm and elegant beige and green color palette and features perfectly balanced clean lines and shapes, with the modern and sharp drawing of a deer and clean geometric sans-serif lettering, written along the bottom part of the logo’s circular frame. There is absolutely nothing special in the composition of the badge, and you don’t see any links to basketball or sport at all, but the animal evokes an extreme sense of strength and determination, that nothing else is needed.

  1. Toronto Raptors

Logo Toronto Raptors

The third line of your today’s ranking goes to Toronto Raptors. The only team from Canada playing in NBA has a very strong and memorable logo. Its first version was introduced in 2015, after two badges with a dinosaur in the club’s jersey. The rethought concept was more minimalistic and strong: built around the basketball with its stitched replaced by the claw traces, outlined in a thick circular frame with a bold and clean inscription. After the redesign of 2020, the central part of the emblem turned red and black, which only elevated the whole mood and made the sense of the fighting spirit even more visible and sensible. The frame was simplified, which gave more space for the lettering, hence a better balance and proportions.

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Logo Atlanta Hawks

After a dozen of redesigns, the Atlanta Hawks club has finally found its perfect emblem in 2020. Although the original version was created in 2015, it looked and felt different because of the muted colors and lack of contrast. Today’s badge of the basketball club from Atlanta can definitely be called one of the most outstanding and stylish logos in NBA history. The stylized image of the hawk head, placed in profile and turned to the right is drawn in a thick red line over a white circle, and outlined in a double red frame with the lightweight and very delicate lettering, executed in a condensed typeface with enlarged serifs.

  1. Chicago Bulls

Logo Chicago Bulls

And the leader in the logos of all times, which is hard to argue with — Chicago Bulls. It is undoubtedly the most well-known and recognizable NBA emblem across the globe, and also the one with the most power in it. The Chicago Bulls badge was designed in 1996 and has never been changed since then. Because there is simply nothing to change. It is bright, it is strong, it is brutal and the balance is also there. The dark red head of a bull with white horns and sharp red ends is accompanied by a massive black inscription set above it on two levels. The lettering is set in a serif font with smooth lines and small curves, which softens the sharpness of the graphical elements and makes the animal on the emblem look less aggressive.