I’m a basketball fan. Having grown up in Denver, I’m more specifically a Nuggets fan. I played basketball at the YMCA as a kid, and our Junior Nuggets team got to play during halftime at a few NBA games. We got to meet the players before the games and got autographs and photos. I still have an autographed ball from one of those trips to the Pepsi Center, shortly after it had opened. The team, at the time, was coached by Nuggets legend Dan Issel. His is the most notable signature on my ball. The top players on our team back then were Nick van Exel and the perpetually-injured Antonio McDyess (they also had a young, pre-Pistons-Finals-MVP and fellow Denver native Chauncey Billups, one of my favorite players of all time, but I didn’t manage to snag his autograph).
Point is, the Nuggets weren’t great. Hell, they weren’t even good. They finished that season 35-47 and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year. They continued their ineptitude for another few years until finally, in the 2003-2004 season, they made the playoffs thanks in part to a rookie named Carmelo Anthony. In my opinion, however, something else changed that year that helped set everything in motion — they rebranded.
You might not know his name, but you undoubtedly know his work. Ivan Chermayeff and his New York-based design firm are behind some of the most iconic logos in America. Chermayeff’s impact on the design community is evidenced by his portfolio, which includes illustrations, posters and sculptural installations, as well as the logos for Harper Collins, The Smithsonian Institution and Showtime.
His modern designs were among the first to use abstraction to express corporate identity. In Chermayeff’s opinion, a logo should be clean, crisp and easily comprehensible. In a 2015 interview at the University of Texas, Chermayeff explained, “It is usually a two-month process to get to that point, but it should look like it took five minutes.”
Chermayeff passed away earlier this week at the age of 85, but his timeless designs have cemented his legacy as one of the most important graphic artists of the 20th century.
For me, watching the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Team destroy the competition was a highlight of the Rio Olympics, especially in comparison to their more highly touted male counterparts who occasionally struggled to squeak out wins. The women straight up dominated on their way to winning gold (for the sixth straight time), outscoring their opponents by an average of 37 points. Their superiority made me wonder: why does the WNBA settle for such terrible names and logos for their teams? These women are athletes and competitors. They deserve better than to play for the Sparks, Sky, Fever and Dream. The especially irksome names are all derived from NBA affiliates, with the women’s team being the lesser of the two. The Wizards (an awful name in its own right) have the Mystics, the Timberwolves have the Lynx, the Spurs have the Stars, and the Mavericks have the Wings. Let’s give these women the respect they deserve and come up with some team names that are cool, and logos that aren’t simply bastardizations of their NBA brothers.
When we decided to form GroundFloor Media’s sister agency, CenterTable, a design challenge arose in the form of a new identity. Unlike logos for most new businesses, CenterTable’s had to show a connection to an established brand. CenterTable had to look new and unique, while also calling to mind its relationship with GroundFloor Media. As soon as we figured out the name for our new venture, I began sketching out dozens of ideas. Below, I’ll summarize the process of breathing life into CenterTable’s identity.
Step 1: Initial Sketches
Knowing the logo had to incorporate some elements of GFM’s design, I chose to focus on shape. With a shared hexagonal silhouette, the logos look cohesive when placed side-by-side. Read more after the jump…
A new NBA season brings with it a slew of new beginnings: fresh expectations for your favorite team, players switching rosters and, occasionally, rebranding.
Teams don’t change up their looks very often, so when they do, it’s easy to notice, and even easier to draw criticism. Fans have a tendency to get more attached to their favorite team’s look and feel than the players since the former usually sticks around for a lot longer. One of my favorite Nuggets jerseys, for example, is a rainbow skyline Carmelo Anthony jersey. Melo’s been gone for almost five years now, but I still love the jersey because of the iconic rainbow skyline. Players change, but design sticks around. Read more after the jump…
Google recently unveiled their new logo to mixed reviews, but everyone has been focusing on what’s changed rather than what’s stayed the same. The one aspect of the Google logo that’s been consistent through the years is the playful sequence of colors. Those logo colors are so distinct that the typeface in the logo can easily change to reflect design trends without altering brand recognition. Read more after the jump…