So as of a few days ago the information was linked that the Utah Jazz are going to be changing their logo. Now we know that note logo is not going away. Why? BECAUSE IT'S A MASTERPIECE. That's why. But how could the Jazz execute a good design strategy without alienating its home fanbase and setting an eye to the future?
Throw away any semblance of this thing:
It is a shame that Utah's best years had this atrocity plastered to the front of our jerseys. Oklahoma City will understand this when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are gone and they're turning in 25-57 seasons and, finally, have a logo that actually is about Thunder, OKC, or anything close to what could be explained as branding. They will look back and think, "We were so good back then, why did our team look like it had glorified rec. league uniforms?" Good question OKC. But want to know who knows that feeling? Utah Jazz fans. We had endure these monstrosities mercilessly thrown on our legends. Even worse than that, when the Utah Jazz decided to rebrand (in what can only be described as one of the laziest rebrands in franchise history) the Utah Jazz re-imaged their brand through the eyes of Eeyore. I give you the pajama jerseys:
The Utah Jazz which reside in a state with so much red, orange, and dirt and whose name, Jazz, is indicative of class, excitement, and improvisation settled on Sad Blue and Manic Depressive Blue as Colors. It was as if the Utah Jazz hired consultants who had just finished a branding session with Xanax.
Okay tangent over. Back to the branding session. So now that we know what has been thrown out, what is left?
The note remains. It is a callback to the Jazz's history and the essence of what the Jazz are. Trying to overwrite any history of Utah being associated with New Orleans is now ridiculous and defunct. Unless the Utah Jazz decide to do something so radical a la the New Orleans Pelicans and rebrand for its current location (which I don't think they do because the brand equity with Jazz in Utah is tangible and has significant value), they must hearken back to New Orleans Mardis Gras. But what also remains. The mountains. The Utah Jazz must identify a symbol that is recognizable as Utah. The mountains associated with the past logo will not do. But these mountains I believe are going to be part of the Jazz's future branding:
That's the clue. The Utah Jazz did something similar when they were beginning to bring back the note. It was put on a few t-shirts here and there, and it was also put on branding efforts inside the arena. This is our hint. I don't believe those mountains will be part of a primary logo but part of a secondary logo.
Colors. We have already discussed some of the color catastrophes that have plagued Utah in the past so let's look forward to the future. First off, green should always be part of the Jazz's color scheme. It is part of their history. It is also a permanent part of their arena. The entire lower bowl's seats are green, and not just any green, but a bright green. We found out that the Utah Jazz are re-tooling all their jerseys: home, away, and alt. This seems to hint at a color change. The Utah Jazz changed to Navy Blue with that hideous depressive re-brand because Larry Miller loves blue. But while he may have liked it and it is his team, it's not good branding. The Utah Jazz are meant to be Mardis Gras colored. Bright, vibrant, and bold. These:
Now the Utah Jazz can even class up these jerseys even more. There was some great branding they released for their Evening with the Utah Jazz.
It almost hearkens back to a bandstand font that you'd see at an old Jazz concert.
I hope that 2016 is the year, the Utah Jazz retire that Navy Blue. Return to the purple of the Jazz's roots. Then instead of yellow, go to gold, true gold. Then add green. The vibrant green. Not the hunter green that looks like a rip-off of Minnesota's tree line. But Mardis Gras green.
Now why do this now? Why so soon after their last rebranding effort? I think the last rebranding effort was a step in the right direction. But it was a subtle step, most likely not taken as far as wanted because there were parties too close to the history of Larry Miller to get rid of the mountain logo. This inevitable change most likely was being imagined by those ready to take the helm after the old regime had come and go. This rebranding effort has to be special. This is going to be the brand that is recognizable not with a perennial lottery team but with an up and coming playoff team. This is the new regime. The kids on the block. The Stifle Tower. Derrick Favors. Gordon Hayward. Dante Exum. Rodney Hood. This is their time. So those within (and without) the Utah Jazz who are heading this project know (or I hope they know) that this is going to be the brand that gets the most exposure and is the voice that speaks to those who come to watch the Utah Jazz anew. The Aussie fans. The fans in France. The fans in Canada. The young fans in the U.S. who become enamored with exciting young players. The reason now is this is launch time. NASA doesn't paint their test rockets. The Utah Jazz might have their final test launch in the playoffs this year, but next year it's all systems go with a developed team with lots of cap space. A healthy Exum. A playoff tested roster. This is go time.
So what's my prediction? The Utah Jazz will go with the Note logo as their primary logo with Purple, Gold, and Green as their primary colors. Their secondary logo will be a version of their mountains but with the Utah Jazz primary logo motif. It will have the round logo form that seems to be the norm (and most likely an NBA mandated standard) like Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Toronto, and others. They will have a fun new tertiary logo that plays off some part of the heritage of Utah sort of like the Philadelphia 76ers' Dribbling Ben Franklin or the Milwaukee Bucks' outline of Wisconsin.
But secretly, I'd love for the Utah Jazz to do something as outside the box as the Atlanta Hawks.
What's your prediction?