As sports logos have evolved, so too have the messages they communicate. Through the clever use of negative space and cryptic design, there may be more to a logo than meets the eye. This trend is most visible in American sports, where the commercial aspect of the game — including branding and visual identity — often trumps traditionalism.
By far the greatest collection of sports logos on the Internet is Chris Creamer’s sportslogos.net. This is heaven for a sports geek who loves logo and uniform design, and it stands as a self-proclaimed “virtual museum dedicated to the past, present, and future of graphic design in the world of sports.”
Having scoured the site for a while, here are 10 sports logos that communicate hidden messages through the use of negative space or clever design, with a few clues to help you along the way.
Can you find them all? The last ones get quite tricky…
1. Hartford Whalers
The blue whale tail is combined with a green W for Whalers, but can you find the H for Hartford?
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Two to find here: a basketball and the letter M, for Milwaukee.
3. Minnesota Twins
An emphasis on Victory!
4. Big Ten Conference
This was the logo when there were eleven teams.
5. Atlanta Falcons
The letter F, as in Falcon…
6. Dallas Mavericks
This time it’s another M, maybe for Mavericks, probably for Mark – as in the team’s modest owner, Mark Cuban.
7. Houston Rockets
There’s a space shuttle launching with an H for Houston.
8. Washington Capitols
The Capitol Building is hiding there.
9. George Washington University Colonials
Continuing the Washington landmark theme, can you find another of D.C.’s famous buildings? This may require a bit of staring…
1o. Yoga Australia
And the last one is a bonus, and not from sportslogos.net, but is textbook use of negative space with an outline of Australia.
Now you’ve seen some of the best sports logos, here’s The Top 5 Ads of Super Bowl 50.