What’s in a sports logo? Although most people don’t think of a sports team mascot or organization as a brand and the role of sports logo design, they indeed are one. In fact, sports teams and organizations can be some of the most popular and visible brands in our culture. As you peruse this logo design gallery, think of all the people you see wearing a t-shirt, ball cap, or jacket with one of these powerful, playful top ten sports logos or another of the many favorites.
1. San Diego Chargers
While the Chargers have always included a lightning bolt in their logo, their latest sports team logo is a logo alone. The lightning bolt is curved to closely follow the lines of a football league team helmet, which makes for an attractive uniform while subtly suggesting the sport the team plays. The lightning bolt is the same yellow of the uniform and also outlined in the blue that is the other team color. This logo is both simple and recognizable, earning it a place in our sports logo design gallery.
2. New Jersey Nets
The New Jersey Nets change logos almost as often as they change hometowns—that is, pretty often. However, their latest logo has a place in any sports logo design gallery for its balance and thoughtful design. While many teams have used a shield shape for their basketball logo design, the Nets change it up so that the shield is angled away from the viewer. Adding a basketball hoop about two-thirds of the way down the shield not only ties in to the sport of basketball, it also balances the skinnier third of the shield for a more balanced, rounded look.
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
This professional baseball team has earned a place in our logo design gallery for another simple yet effective design. With a baseball team mascot like an angel, the tendency would be to overstate the obvious. The Angels stick to a simple halo, which balances the skinny top of the letter A, along with serif-like projections that hint at an angel’s wings.
4. Chicago Blackhawks
This hockey team logo is a surprise to anyone who is not already familiar with it. While one might expect a Blackhawk mascot to be a bird, this team’s name in fact refers to an Indian tribe named for the bird. As such, the logo includes this mascot. The logo is more detailed than many other successful logos in this logo design gallery, but it has changed little over the years and is consistently rated the number one team logo in the NHL.
5. Seattle Seahawks
The hawk’s head in this sports logo is stylized to resemble tribal art from the Native American tribes that traditionally occupied the Seattle area. The bird is aerodynamically shaped and quite fierce looking, making it both an attractive logo and a formidable opponent at the same time. In fact, although sea hawks are not particularly frightening, the Seahawk logo may be the most threatening figure in this logo design gallery.
6. San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs win a place in this logo design gallery for ingeniously incorporating their mascot into their name. The team name is written in a bold font with shadowing to give a 3-D illusion. The ‘U’ of the logo is transformed into a spur, seamlessly integrating the logo and its graphic. Moreover, the shape behind the team name has a shape that is reminiscent of Southwestern designs, incorporating a little local flair.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks’ logo features an ‘A’ for Arizona, with a snake-like diamond pattern on the left side. However, if you look closely, the negative space inside of the ‘A’ combined with the top of the ‘m’ in Diamondbacks combines to create a baseball diamond-like shape. Also, the ‘A’ and ‘K’ in backs have extended legs to suggest the fangs for which this famous snake is most feared.
8. Chicago Cubs
This logo is so old that few people even bother to think about it, but its age and success make it one of the most recognizable team logos in pro baseball, certainly earning a place in any sports logo design gallery. This logo is dominated by a large C that is in a circular shape, creating a feeling of inclusion that so many fans enjoy. The rest of the word is inside the ‘C’, completing this effect. A blue circle surrounds the word, making for a patriotic red, white, and blue color scheme that is perfect for an all-American sport like baseball.
9. Manchester United
Many soccer teams originally used a crest as a soccer logo, and this team is no exception. While this team’s success might be due to great players and immense local support, the logo likely helps. The chevron on the crest is a bold figure, while the soccer ball on either side of the crest assures viewers of which sport the team plays. The red and gold colors are bold and very common in this sport.
10. Ladies Professional Golf Association
There was a time when the Ladies Professional Golf Association had a boring logo and a similarly lackluster image, but both of these belong in the past. Golf is now one of the most popular sports in the world, and LPGA logo has been redesigned to reflect this. The new logo includes the golfing woman seen in the former logos, but in a bold new color palette. The woman is also featured in a more powerful position, at the end of a swing. This represents the bolder, more powerful image the organization is trying to portray.
As you can see, a sports logo can be a crucial part of a team, more important than any given player or even the coach. The logo represents not just the team and its mascot design, but the team’s image, strength, and even their logo design history. The best logos incorporate the name and graphic seamlessly in an eye-catching and memorable logo icon way. However, sports teams are not the only organizations that need a logo. On the contrary, a professional logo can provide group identity and a winning team spirit for any group.