Michael Weinstein

Graphic Designer

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NBA Logo Redesigns: Phoenix Suns

NBA Logo Redesigns: Phoenix Suns

Another redesign I’ve been kicking around ideas for.

The Team

Suns-intro
Interesting fact: the Suns have the highest winning percentage of any team that has never won an NBA championship. My earliest memory of the Suns was the Barkley/KJ/Dan Majerle team that lost to Jordan’s Bulls in 93, but they clearly have a long history of success. Recently Steve Nash and the “seven seconds or less” teams in the mid-2000s contended for titles and were fun to watch.
Suns - point guards
They also seem to have a long history of getting multiple talented point guards and pitting them against eachother, which sounds great but occasionally ruins team chemistry and forces them to make a trade. Notably there was a KJ/Jason Kidd/Sam Cassell/Steve Nash roster, the crazy Goran Dragic/Eric Bledsoe/Isiah Thomas team, and the current Bledsoe/Brandon Knight combo.

Past/Current Logos

Phoenix Suns logo - 1968/69 - 1991/92

Phoenix Suns logo – 1968/69 – 1991/92

From the wikipedia page regarding the Suns name/logo:

Suns was preferred over Scorpions, Rattlers, Thunderbirds, Wranglers, Mavericks, Tumbleweeds, Mustangs and Cougars. Stan Fabe, who owned a commercial printing plant in Tucson, designed the team’s first iconic logo for a mere $200; this was after the team paid $5,000 to a local artist to design the team’s logo, but were disappointed with the results.

I’d be interested to see the results from the designer that the Suns ownership weren’t happy with. Stan Fabe’s logo has the unrealistic basketball lines that plague a lot of these older team logos and continue to confuse me.

Phoenix Suns logo - 1992/93 - 1999/00

Phoenix Suns logo – 1992/93 – 1999/00

24 years later the team updated the logo. The long streaks behind the sun adds a lot to this, feels much more dynamic. This basic design has remained up to now, with a few slight updates:

Phoenix Suns logo - 2000/01 - 2012/13

Phoenix Suns logo – 2000/01 – 2012/13

The 2000/01 update creates a more contained shape, and removes the gradients from the previous version. These changes make sense as an evolution of the logo. These colors are not great though, especially the gray.

Phoenix Suns logo - 2013/2014 - present

Phoenix Suns logo – 2013/2014 – present

The 2013/14 update removed purple and added black as a primary color. This was a good update, although I would have liked them to push the ball/sun a little more from the previous versions, it doesn’t seem to fit with the new beveled SUNS lettering.

Phoenix Suns secondary logos

Phoenix Suns secondary logos

My favorite part of the current suns branding is the secondary logo with the phoenix, with some tweaks I could see this being a better option for the main logo. It is strange that the purple only shows up here, overall this brand is a little all over the place.

The Redesign

Instead of updating the phoenix, I added some connection to Arizona with the rising/setting sun, desert scene, and the southwestern diamond pattern. The mountains in the center are based on a mountain range outside of Phoenix.

For the color scheme, I combined the black and purple into one dark color. This allows the warmer colors to really stand out, and would help the secondary logos feel like part of a more cohesive brand.

For the secondary logo I would focus on the ball/sun and pay tribute to the older logos with the diagonal streaks.

NBA Logo Redesigns: Phoenix Suns - secondary NBA Logo Redesigns: Phoenix Suns - lockup

This brand also translates well to a gorilla tshirt:

NBA Logo Redesigns: Phoenix Suns - the gorilla

See more NBA logo redesigns here

Comments 5

SP

This is your best work yet. I like both of your takes.

Please do the Raptors next. This is a team that’s never gotten a logo right imo. It shouldn’t be hard for a team called the Raptors to have a cool logo. The new one looks like a watermelon! I’m very curious about your take.

Nikhil Paladugu

This is all great, stunning work. Are you planning on redoing the Charlotte Hornets since NOLA took on Pelicans?

Suns

Good concept, would be even better if you kept the “SUNS” ambigram.

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