While on vacation I was able to finish up this concept for the Lakers logo. I enjoyed working on this one because it’s an iconic logo that hasn’t changed much for 50+ years.
I’ll get this out of the way, the Lakers are probably my least favorite team in the NBA. However, they have a great history and have been one of the most successful teams in NBA history. They have won 16 championships, one behind their longtime rival Boston Celtics, and have had some of the best players of all time:
Ok really though, the Lakers are not very good right now but I’m sure they will lure some big free agents in the next couple of years, as they always do, and contend again.
The Minneapolis Lakers began playing in the NBL in 1947, and were one of the original franchises from the formation of the NBA in 1949 (thanks, Wikipedia). They won 5 championships in the first 6 years of the league, led by George Mikan. I like a logo that also serves as a map to the stadium.
In 1960 the team moved to Los Angeles, which as far as I know isn’t know for it’s lakes. The logo is much improved though. The purple and gold and speed lines haven’t changed much to this day.
In 1976 the logo was cleaned up a bit and the balance between the text and ball were improved. Did they actually use this light purple for 24 years? I was very confused to see this.
It appears in 2000 they changed the official logo to this darker purple, which looks much better.
In 2000 they also introduced this alternate logo. This is ok by itself but I think it feels a little inconsistent to use a different basketball and different L from the main logo.
My main concern was that it was a little generic-looking (so much that the Clippers basically copied this logo). The term “laker” is meaningless for this team and there is no mascot or icon that I could think of, so I tried to tweak a few things to make it more substantial.
The Lakers text hanging off the side of the ball forces a weird white outline for a lot of uses, so I added the circle to create a more solid shape. The 16 stars in the ring represent the Lakers 16 championships, the top 5 from Minneapolis, the bottom 11 from LA. The stars originally appeared in the old Minneapolis logo, and tie in with Hollywood, the walk of fame, “Showtime”, etc. I considered using more of an actual gold color, it always bothers me when teams use yellow and call it gold, but I decided the purple and yellow were too iconic to change up. The white text and purple drop shadow is inspired by the the numbers on the team’s old jerseys from the 70s:
The “Los Angeles” script lettering based on the free font Sail) is inspired by a wordmark used in the 60s.
For a secondary logo I isolated the LA letters to create a lockup similar to the popular Dodgers logo:
Here’s a quick mockup of the logo on the Lakers new court:
See more NBA logo redesigns here