Deconstructing the Brand Identity behind a Timeless Logo
After a night of browsing Reddit, I stumbled upon a rather interesting GIF on an NBA subreddit. For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, I was essentially browsing through a forum on NBA related topics. A Reddit user posted a GIF on the evolution of NBA team logos, and to my surprise (even being a fan), I noticed that one team stayed the same since their introduction in 1966.
I’m sure the featured image gave it away, but the Chicago Bulls have never altered their logo.
Not even a little bit. In nearly 50 years. Not even once.
It speaks wonders about the brand and the public perception/feelings towards the brand, that they never felt the need to modify or revamp their logo. I am a little bias being a Chicago Bulls fan, but it’s safe to say that the logo was far ahead of its time. In an age where extravagant fonts with several colours were the norm, the simple but effective Bulls logo truly stands out, even today in a lineup of other sports logos.
Theodore “Ted” W. Drake was paid $50 in 1966 to design the Bulls logo, in case that ever comes up in random Trivia, now you know. For five consecutive years, the Bulls have led the NBA in attendance, with an average of 23,343 fans per game. Now I’m sure they aren’t attracting 23,343 fans simply because their logo never changed, but I believe that has to do with it and much more. The Chicago Bulls brand tells a story, and the logo is the front cover. A bull is a tough and powerful animal that is charged up and ready for adversity. The team does a great job portraying these qualities and exemplifying what it means to be a bull. Is it just a coincidence that Bulls players have always been like this, or is it the brand identity that deserves some credit as well?
A logo is the first line of defence for a brand and the consumer’s first point of contact. By saying this I mean, usually your first interaction with a brand is the logo on their ad, on their store, or on their product. We flock towards the simplicity, yet effective design of the logos of Nike, and McDonald’s. What makes these logos stand out over Burger King and Sketchers? Is it simply the fact that the former companies are larger, or the established brand identities behind them?
Using the Chicago Bulls as an example, identity is everything. Would the team be the same if they were the Chicago Birds? It’s an interesting thought that we will never know the answer of, but my guess is I doubt it. Identity is pivotal for a brand to stand out and succeed. Just look at what the re-branding of the Raptors did for their team if you aren’t fully convinced.
Dakarai Turner (Dak) is an ambitious professional approaching his final year of the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Over the course of the summer, Dakarai spent his time working as a Communications Intern for the digital and marketing agency thinkCOMPASS, as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals as a Marketing Coordinator. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and connect on LinkedIn to learn more about him.