Orlando Magic’s new identity
Orlando Magi, one of NBA’s elite franchises, announced its new logo. If I am not mistaken, this is the third logo of the franchise. Last time Magic changed its logo, the club chose a much more subtle approach. This time? Not so much…
We always say brand identity should stem from brand strategy. So before slicing and dicing the new logo, let’s read what the organization had to say:
In anticipation of the opening of the team’s new home, the Amway Center, the Orlando Magic have updated its primary logo. This new look “turns the page” on the next chapter in Orlando sports history. As the team and the Magic brand continue to grow, the logo evolves with a stronger, cleaner, more timeless design to match the team’s championship ideals.
The new logo incorporates the Magic’s current jersey wordmark giving a more integrated look. It also continues the team’s colors with the Magic blue, Magic black and Magic silver. The updated look includes the team’s current secondary logo with the iconic star ball for a smooth transition from old to new, building on the heritage and history of the Magic from its birth in 1989.
First, kudos to Orlando Magic for not changing their logo just for the sake of change. The team is moving into its new arena and they consider it as a new beginning. So, there is a bigger news than just the logo being changed and I like that. Logos symbolize many things. This one symbolizes a new beginning.
Second, they tried hard to keep the elements of their brand equity alive. Its iconic star ball and the colours all refer to their heritage. These are solid strategic decisions. But, they don’t change the fact that the old logo is better than the new one. Here is why:
The major problem with the old logo was the needless repetition of the star. There are three stars in “Orlando Magic” and three more attached to the ball. To me, the one that makes most sense is the one that replaces the “a” in “Magic”. That one is almost at the centre of the logo. A better approach would have been to drop all the other stars and make more subtle changes to the font, staying loyal to the original rendering. Because, I truly believe that a slightly modified version of the old logo is “stronger and more timeless” than the new one. Case in point, Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, NY Knicks, Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings. I don’t see those logos going away any time soon.
Another problem that I see with the new logo is that the new font does not look stronger than the old one, even if it is all caps. Moreover, the star ball is right in front of the name. If that is not the “integrated look” that the team is talking about, then I am curious to know why the designer made that decision.
While I admire Orlando Magic’s desire to win an NBA championship and I applause the timing of the logo change, I personally think they could have been better off with a more subtle approach that further leveraged its storied history.