NBA logo redesign#4, the Brooklyn (New Jersey) Nets.
For no reason at all, I’m going to sum up the relevant teams in the history of the Nets with some magazine covers. First up, the ABA New York Nets team. Led by Dr. J, they won 2 ABA championships in the 70s, including the last one before the NBA merger. Nevermind Dr. J, the goggles on the guy on the left tell me that I would have been a huge ABA fan had I been alive.
The Nets weren’t particularly relevant until they were featured on this cover in (I think) 1998..and they still didn’t do much. Looking at where these players are now and the “Champs by 2001, Count on it” guarantee is pretty ridiculous, but nevertheless they were starting to show some promise.
In 2000-2001, the Nets drafted Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson, and traded for Jason Kidd, making them an instant playoff contender and resulting in the team’s best season in the NBA. They lost to the Lakers in the 2002 NBA Finals.
Recently the Nets have been in the news for a number of reasons First, they were bought by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who promises to spend a ton of money and generally be mysterious. The Nets also announced that they will be moving to Brooklyn, NY next season. In recent weeks they have been involved in trade rumors to get Carmelo Anthony. Whether they get him or not, the Nets will be going through some changes and I’d be shocked if they don’t have new logo some time in the next few years.
The Nets began as the New Jersey Americans in 1967 in the American Basketball Association(ABA), a rival league of the NBA. This explains the trademark red, white, and blue ball.
After a scheduling conflict, the team moved to Long Island, NY. The new name “Nets” was chosen to rhyme with New York pro teams the Mets and Jets. This reminds me of the CBS logo, but I like the simplicity of it and the loop suggested by the “nets” lettering. Keep that in mind.
In 1976, the ABA merged with the NBA, the team moved back to Jersey, where they used this heinous logo for one season.
In 78′ whoever designed this decided to jump on the bandwagon and use Helvetica, combined with the beautiful outline of New Jersey, which for some reason reminds me of a chicken nugget.
This logo might have been cool when it arrived in 1991, but looking back on it now, I would assume this was done by a crack-addled airbrush artist in Seaside Heights.
Here is the Nets’ current logo, introduced in 1997. I actually like this one a lot. This was ranked by some designers as the best NBA team logo on this site. This one was tough to redesign, but it had to be done.
This team has a lot of history and some cool ABA roots, so I wanted to keep some of that in the new logo. The color scheme and the loop that is suggested by the 2 ends of the N are inspired by their old New York Nets logo. The modern typography on “Brooklyn” and the simplified rim come from the new logo.
I had a hard time representing Brooklyn itself with this logo. The Brooklyn Bridge seemed like an obvious choice, but I think 1 bridge-related logo (the Golden State Warriors) in the league is enough. I didn’t want to go over top like this fake hipster-themed logo, but I wanted something. As I was working on this I realized the whole thing kind of looks like a planet with rings. “The Planet” is coincidentally a nickname for Brooklyn, as Mos Def taught me, due to its large diversity, population, and size. I also drew inspiration from the logo for design studio Mighty, which is located in, you guessed it, Brooklyn NY.
In closing, here is a picture of Nets part-owner Jay-Z at the location of the Nets future Brooklyn home:
See all of these logos as I post them here »