WEEKLY

ALL ABOUT THE LOGO:NBA
一個標誌的誕生:NBA編

不要小看一個小小的標誌。對企業來說,公司標誌是外人對你公司的印象,是一切的代表。環顧中外的著名品牌,肯定都擁有一個出色的標誌。Chessman Post新欄目會不定期和大家分享一些標誌背後的趣聞軼事。趁著今年NBA總決賽即將開打,今次就和大家說說關於NBA標誌的故事。

「The Logo」的傳說
要談NBA標誌,當然得先從那紅白藍的官方標誌談起。看著這個現在全球人都認識的標誌,不少人的第一個疑問,肯定都是標誌中間那個運球的球員是誰?那就要回到這個標誌誕生的時候說起。叫人意外的是,這個標誌並非在1949年NBA成立之初就存在,而是在約20年後的1969年誕生。當時NBA還不是美國唯一的籃球聯賽,另一個剛成立的聯賽ABA(American Basketball Association),憑著更創新的規則、更具娛樂性的風格,和NBA在入場人數及收視率上不斷競爭。急於想辦法吸引球迷的NBA,決定從重新包裝和宣傳著手,第一步自然就是設計標誌了。這個重任落了在品牌策劃及設計公司Siegel+Gale的創辦人Alan Siegel身上。為了找尋靈感而在亂翻體育雜誌的Siegel,目光最終被一張相片所吸引——相片中的球員正以左手運球高速切入,而這個球員正是洛杉磯湖人60年代的名將Jerry West。Siegel從這張相片中感受到強烈的動感,也覺得這相片很能代表NBA一切的特質,於是就以West這張相片為基礎開始設計。最後Siegel總共做了近50個設計,每一個都包括了West這個元素在當中。可惜NBA為了避免支付高昂的肖像權費用,從未正式確認標誌中的是West,不過這個典故已成為了籃球迷間口耳相傳的故事,也是West暱稱「The Logo」的由來。

而NBA最終採用這個由紅白藍三色加上一個球員運球剪影的設計,竟然和北美另一個體育聯盟、比NBA更受歡迎的MLB(Major League Baseball)有關!當時MLB剛好也在早一年(1968年)設計了全新的標誌,正是由一個準備揮棒擊球的棒球員剪影及紅白藍三色組成,推出後大獲好評,大大影響了其他體育標誌設計的風格。NBA那時的主席J. Walter Kennedy就向Siegel表明,希望NBA的標誌也可以「參考」MLB這個標誌,因為他想藉此表達出兩種運動的關係不一定是敵對、是可以和諧共存的,亦希望使用相同的顏色(同時也是美國國旗的顏色),能在大眾的潛意識中將NBA的地位提升至和MLB一樣的全國級數。雖然有抄襲之嫌,但從結果來看,NBA這個官方標誌還是十分成功的。

隊徽轉又轉
除了官方標誌,NBA每一支球隊也會有自己的隊徽。多年來不少球隊都曾經改過隊徽,原因除了想給球迷帶來新鮮感,偶然一些弱旅為了一洗舊形象也會從改隊徽入手,當然還有改變根據地或改隊名這些不得不改隊徽的原因。那30支NBA球隊中,哪一支改過最多次隊徽?答案正是近幾季呼風喚雨的聯盟一哥金州勇士和東岸的阿特蘭大鷹隊,總共改了10次隊徽之多!本來以動物為隊名的應該相對較容易設計出一個耐用的標誌,但鷹隊還是反反覆覆改了多次才滿意;而勇士放棄風評一般的「勇士超人」設計,重新使用傳統以所屬城市地標的金門大橋為主的設計,效果也較好和較被球迷接受。不過也不是歷史較悠久的球隊就一定常換隊徽,像湖人就只曾因為球隊要從明尼亞波利斯搬到洛杉磯而被逼改過一次隊徽,除此以外多年來基本上一直沿用金黃色籃球配紫色字的設計,中間只是微調過用色。那有沒有球隊從來未改過隊徽?答案是有的,而且只得一支,那就是「籃球之神」Michael Jordan曾效力的芝加哥公牛隊,可見著名設計師Dean P. Wessel設計的這個正面公牛頭隊徽,在美感和相襯度等各方面都無可挑剔。

撰文:王卿儒
圖片:網上圖片
美術:李介琳

Never underestimate the significance of a logo. To corporates, a logo is the face of a company; and all the global multimillion brands have great logos. It gives the first impression. It represents everything. In this new column of Chessman Post, we will share the anecdotes about famous logos. As the NBA Finals is round the corner, let’s talk about the story behind the NBA logo.

The Legend about ‘The Logo’
When it comes to the NBA logo, we must start with the patriotic red-white-blue combination of the official logo. Many must have pondered the identity of the player in the iconic logo. To answer the question, we must walk down memory lane to the birth of the NBA logo. This might sound surprising, but the logo did not exist in 1949 when the National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded. Instead, the logo was born in 1969, 20 years after the founding of NBA. Back then NBA was not the only basketball association in the United States, American Basketball Association (ABA) was just founded and was growing strong. Because of its innovative game regulations and entertaining style, ABA became a strong competitor to NBA, in both number of entries and ratings. In order to consolidate and expand the fan base, NBA decided to rebrand itself by firstly designing a logo for the association. Alan Siegel, the founder of the branding and design company Siegel+Gale, was responsible for the design. Along the flipping of sports magazines for inspiration, the photo of Jerry West, a celebrated Lakers player in the 60s, caught the eye of Siegel. In the photo, Jerry West was dribbling with his left hand. It was dynamic, and to Siegel it represents the essence of NBA. He started to design the logo based on the photo of Jerry West. In the 50 plus designs drafted, Jerry West was incorporated in every design. However NBA never acknowledges that West was the player in the logo, so as to save themselves from a pricey right of publicity. That said for basketball fans this is no secret to them. That was also why Jerry West was called ‘The Logo’.

So why did NBA adopted the iconic red-white-blue combination and the silhouette of West? Surprisingly, the decision was related to Major League Baseball (MLB), another major and more popular sports association in North America at the time. In 1968, a year before the birth of the NBA logo, MLB published their brand new logo: a red-white-blue combination and the silhouette of a baseball player batting. It was a huge success and righteously became the reference for forthcoming sports logos. Mr. J. Walter Kennedy, the then chairman of NBA, told Siegel his intention that the NBA logo referenced the MLB logo, a gesture to show that the two sports can coexist in harmony. He also wanted to use the same colour combination, which is also used in the America national flag. It was hoped that the popularity of NBA could be promoted with such correlation with MLB. While some might regard this as plagiarism, the success of the NBA logo is beyond doubt.

The Ever-Changing Club Logo
In addition to the NBA logo, each team also has their separate club logo. Throughout the years, many teams have redesigned their logo for different reasons: to bring freshness to fans; to brighten up the depressing team performance; to cater change in team name or geographic base of the team. So within the 30 teams in NBA, which team has changed their logos the most? The answers are the Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks. Both of them have changed their logos for ten times! Usually it is a relatively easy task to design a logo that could last longer for a team named after an animal, however for the Hawks it took them ten times to get it right; as for the Warriors, the fans were more than happy when the team decided to revitalise the traditional logo that portraits the Golden Gate Bridge over the widely criticised ‘Warriors’ logo. However, having a rich heritage does not mean that the logo will be redesigned all the time. Take Lakers as an example, they only change the logo once when the team is moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. The yellow basketball and purple typography design is almost the same over the years, with only some minor adjustment on colour arrangement. Then is there a team that has never changed the logo? The answer is Chicago Bulls, the team that the legendary Michael Jordan played. As at today, Chicago Bulls is the only team that has never changed their logo. Designed by the famous Dean P. Wessel, this logo features the rear of a bull and the design is immaculate in aesthetics and appeal to the club’s root. No wonder the Bulls never consider changing their logo.

Editor: Eric Wong
Photo: Internet
Art: Carol Lee

ISSUE #142

ALL ABOUT THE LOGO:NBA

 

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