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The Magic logo that never was, nor will ever be

October 27, 2010

Believe it or not, some of us here at the Weekly actually watch professional sports. One of us actually watches so intently that he obsesses over minutiae like jersey and logo design, enough to get into a shouting match over the Atlanta Hawks’ home-court color scheme. It was on an especially OCD day that this Weekly staffer came across the blog of a young art student at George Mason University, Ian Bakar, who was designing sports logos on his own time and dime.

Surprisingly, the logos looked pretty legitimate. In 2009, he even created a redesign for the Orlando Magic.

Here’s what Bakar writes about the design:

Since the team’s inception in 1989, their identity has centered around a streaking ball and the same script – updated in 2000 to be a bit more modern. The name Magic is an obvious tie for them being the home to Disneyworld and other theme parks – (not saying you should put Mickey Mouse in a wizard outfit and call him your logo). Nor does that mean you have to settle for a streaking ball. Their current logos are not really bad, but I feel like the team could take a step forward into the future and produce an identity truer to their name.

Bakar is a prolific logo designer, his work ranging from impressive overhauls of existing logos to conceptual art of his own invented teams, some based on nature’s well-known intimidators: puppies, salmon and mules.

Anemic imaginary teams aside, we thought his “rebranding” of real teams was quite good (especially the Oklahoma City Thunder; their existing logo is utterly abysmal), and so we emailed him to see what kind of reaction he’s gotten from the NBA. Here’s what he had to say:

To be honest, I sent their creative directors my work via email, and received no sort of reply whatsoever. However every single forum, website, blog that I have posted my work on has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Until they’re ready to rebrand, I don’t think they’re looking for anything.

Either that or maybe I wasn’t persistent enough and should have flooded their inbox with my concepts.

I do not know how the NBA works, I’d expect they’d rather stick to their ‘guns’ and hire their own network of people, regardless how crappy their design work may be.

We vote for Bakar’s design to replace the existing Magic logo, since his darker rendition of the team is much truer to the Magic’s roots. Right, Mr. DeVos?

P.S. Since sports is the topic, we’re also aware that the World Series kicks off tonight. We’re rooting for the Giants, since they’ve managed to convince both the dude from 300 and the kid from Dazed & Confused to join the team. Vainglorious bastards that we are, we’ll always root for the team with more star power.

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