Established in 2008 in White Plains, NY, the New York Blaze Athletic Club is a nonprofit organization that offers kids aged 7 to 18 programs in basketball, homework assistance, and life skills. Its main focus is to get kids into college, ideally through a basketball scholarship. A new identity was released earlier this year, designed by Bialystok, Poland-based Kamil Doliwa — the Blaze’s CEO, Torey Thomas has played in the Polish Basketball League (which explains how a Polish designer designed a logo for an org in White Plains, NY). This is typically not something we would cover on Brand New, since it’s small and it’s far from perfect but, for some reason, it gives me the warm and fuzzies and I felt like it was something worth covering.
The old logo was a mess. Terrible typography all around, strokes around strokes around strokes, an oblong basketball, a negative-colored Statue of Liberty, Pittsburgh Steelers starburst knockoffs, and a swoosh to tie it all up. By contrast, the new logo is a major improvement. Primarily through concept by focusing on Lady Liberty’s torch which, you know, blazes. And it’s competently executed. The typography is where things go awry: the “B” and “E” are disproportionately tall and distracting and the shading is not very convincing. In context of sports logos this gets a C+ but, and this is the but that got me, for the kids in this program this looks as awesome as the Miami Heat logo. They probably got super excited about the new uniforms with the new logo and the new t-shirts. It’s a logo change that makes kids feel like they have a superhero costume on. And it’s these little things that can make a big difference in a kid’s life and give the excitement and confidence they need when things may not be going great in other parts of their life. So, yeah, that’s why I posted this.