The Box Score: Minnesota Timberwolves
The Box Score is a series where I review the launch of a new brand or rebrand that I find compelling. However, the review will be using a scoring system based on Chicago Bulls players. This edition I will be
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Sports logos are difficult to judge when it comes to the sketch test. They generally have more illustrative qualities than corporate logos as they often need to appeal to children. In saying that, for the new Minnesota Timberwolves logo I managed to get the basic layout right which indicates to me that its still simple enough to remember.
Score: Steve Kerr
When stood alone, the Minnesota Timberwolves new logo has some appealing qualities.The colours are fresh and the wolf is well designed (simple but not without detail) however the type does unfortunately look a little too corporate. The transition of the wolf into the border is also a nice touch that I appreciate. My only real gripe is not with this logo but with the recent trend of circle primary logos in the NBA. I believe they lose character and the flare from their cities when it’s basically the same layout.
As you can see from both the logo timeline on sportslogos.net the new logo draws heavy inspiration from history. My theory (in the above image) is that the designers have moved back to a to a blue and grey with green accents colour scheme like the early 90s. The text in the new logo has some similarities to the mid 90s wordmark with the pointed N, M & W corners.
The dynamic action of the wolf is not greatly different from the previous logo, but it does make more sense facing forward. The final reference is the star that looks similar to the one found in the Minnesota Wild logo. In the Wild logo, the star references the defunct North Stars team. However according to nba.com for the Timberwolves the star represents Minnesota North and ‘following true north as a team.’ Honestly, it just sounds like media release filler, but it wouldn’t be the first design decision justified after the fact.
Score: Michael Jordan
There isn’t much marketing material out with the new branding and the uniforms are yet to be released. At this point, its hard to accept the branding as a sports team as it resembles more of a corporate home builder. I understand that a minimal approach is modern and appealing, but not when it’s at the expense of character. I just hope the uniforms are more memorable and fit the personality of a basketball team.
Score: Eddy Curry
I tried an experiment to see how long it would take me to get from the original wordmark to the type in the new logo. So I selected Futura LT Regular, added a thick outline and I achieved a result that appears pretty close. From there I added the type to a circle and then widened the kerning. Put side by side with the new logo, you can definitely see the type hasn’t strayed too far from the original wordmark despite first impressions. However, it does create more of a corporate look and has definitely lost some character.
Score: Steve Kerr
Even though I’m not a fan of the lime green used in the new Timberwolves branding, looking at the logo timeline you can see that it was a natural progression. Using a blue as the primary outline colour, grey as the secondary colour and the green accents is a reference of the original logo and the black of the former logo has been removed entirely. The blues and grey in the new logo closely resemble the blue and grey of the former, however the lime green is new, not only to the franchise but the NBA as a whole. I’m interested to see how it feeds into the uniforms when they’re released.
Score: Scottie Pippen
One of the most important things to do as a sports team is to make sure your logo works in context to other major sports teams based in the same city. Whether that means all the teams share a connection (like Atlanta based teams with their use of red and dark blue/black) or like the Minnesota teams that all represent a variety of elements in a city. Whilst there is certainly some layout similarities to the Twins logo, the new Timberwolves logo still holds its own among the city’s teams.
Score: Scottie Pippen