(Est. 1970) “The Portland Trail Blazers, commonly known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Northwest Division. The team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995 (called the Rose Garden until 2013). The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, and has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, and only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977. Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 33 seasons of their 47-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, the second longest streak in NBA history.”
Each of the lines follow the same trail to the center of the pinwheel and are now connected as an added symbol of teamwork. The updated pinwheel is reminiscent of our original 70s logo that was constructed with evenly spaced lines and congruent edges. The angle of the lines are now at exactly 45 degrees representing the 45th Parallel North that leads on a path to the Northwest region, our community and our hometown. We are introducing an updated font that is a modernized interpretation built from our rich history and reflecting the styles of the Northwest.
Images (opinion after)
I got into basketball in the 1990s so that middle logo in the evolution chart is what has stayed all these years in my mind about the Blazers, who were a super exciting team — Clyde the Glide! Their logo, since the beginning, was designed as a pinwheel that represented the five players of each team coming together at center court. It’s kind of amazing that a relatively “abstract” logo has remained in play for 47 years and that the team hasn’t been renamed to an animal with a mascot for a logo. The previous logo had indeed suffered some traditional sports weathering in trying to become more dynamic and sporty but the pinwheel remained at the core, keeping the typography as a secondary element. With this newest version, the pinwheel has been cleaned up nicely and it feels a lot tighter and keeping the lines the same thickness, instead of tapering, makes it feel more classic. Unfortunately, the “PORTLAND” wordmark has been enlarged dramatically, which is a problem because it’s quite terrible; with its two spikes, one poking out of the “P” and the other awkwardly on one side of the “T”. It’s very imbalanced and unattractive. The more important part of the name, “Trail Blazers”, has been turned into a tertiary element and given yet a different typographic treatment. As a bonus I also heavily dislike the “rip city” wordmark.
Thanks to Zac Cosner for the tip.