If you’re reading this post on my actual site, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m a fan of the new Brooklyn Nets’ logo: black, white, simple. That has less to do, though, with my personal preferences, and more to do with the fact that the logo is so…un-sports-like.
Minimalist branding is nothing new — consider the throwback trend that’s dominated the NBA for the last several years. But look at the Nets’ logo among all the others (scroll just past the league logos) — it’s a bold contrast to nearly every other design, even the Spurs’, which basically has the same color scheme.
To me, the Nets weren’t going for a cool, or even modern/hipster, basketball logo; they just wanted to make an iconic logo, period. That was likely necessary, given that the last pro team to call Brooklyn home had one of the most iconic logos of all time, and which is still more or less in use today. It’s also still associated with the neighborhood*, despite the fact that the Dodgers left in 1957.
The logo does have technical and logical flaws (second link: “if the identity is meant to convey Subway signage, where is the bold Helvetica?”), but for the purpose of this post, I’m more concerned with the conception than the execution. (Besides, logos get gradually perfected all the time while still remaining basically the same.)
The concept and thinking are what sports logos need more of. How do we stand apart? How do we make it so that all you need is a shape, a color or a font to know that it’s us and not the other guys, or some other thing entirely?
Arguably, that’s what any industry’s logos need more of.
*I don’t mean to suggest that Brooklyn teenagers are playing sandlot games in Dodgers caps — maybe they are — I just mean that any time Brooklyn and pro sports are brought up in the same sentence, the Dodgers are what come to mind.