Official logos for the Charlotte Hornets (left) and New Orleans Hornets (right). (SportsLogos.net)
The Bobcats announced last week that the franchise, which is set to re-brand itself as the "Charlotte Hornets" for the 2014-15 season, will unveil a new logo at halftime of a Dec. 21 game against the Jazz.
"We are excited to introduce to our fans the next step in our overall brand identity as we transition to the Hornets," Bobcats president Fred Whitfield said in a statement. "Our fans were the driving force to bring back the Hornets name and we wanted to share this announcement with them."
Back in November, the franchise announced that the new Hornets would adopt the purple and teal color scheme used by the original Hornets, who played in Charlotte from 1988 until 2002, when the franchise relocated to New Orleans. That decision came a few months after owner Michael Jordan announced in May that his organization would take back the "Hornets" moniker, which became available when the New Orleans Hornets re-branded as the "Pelicans" earlier this year.
Here's a look at the Bobcats' current logos, which will disappear following this season. Images via SportsLogos.net.
Official logos for the Charlotte Bobcats. (SportsLogos.net)
Why wait until Saturday for the official unveiling of the new "Charlotte Hornets" logo? 99designs.com has launched a massive (unofficial) "Create a logo for the revamped Charlotte Hornets!" logo design contest. If this sounds familiar, that's because 99designs.com also ran a design contest for the Pelicans' re-branding last year.
As of Tuesday, more than 600 entries had been submitted for the Hornets contest. Most of the prospective logos incorporate the teal and purple color scheme, a Hornet image and a basketball, which are consistent with both the original "Charlotte Hornets" and "New Orleans Hornets" logos, which can be seen above via SportsLogos.net.
Below, check out The Point Forward's five favorite Hornets logos from 99designs.com's logo contest. More entries can be viewed here.
No. 1: This logo excelled by touching all the necessary bases -- teal/purple, Hornet image, basketball -- while still keeping a compact shape. The major elements are supplemented by a few subtle touches: there's a crown at the top to suggest Charlotte's "Crown Town" moniker, and the hexagon (honeycomb) design in the back reinforces the hornet/bee theme, as does the Hornet's point at the bottom. Deciding on the right personality for the actual Hornet isn't easy: some designers went for a robot-inspired look, others went for an intimidating or athletic caricature, and others kept it real with bug/insect varieties. Here, the Hornet is friendly and non-threatening with a muted personality. He's not boring, and the fact that he's clutching the basketball is an appropriate, thoughtful touch. The wings don't dominate the image but they do provide a sense of movement, which keeps this design from being flat. Finally, the clean text at the top is always a plus. The only major question here is whether the Hornet is a little "too soft."
No. 2: Here's a good example of conjuring up "intimidating" without going overboard. This Hornet -- with his double basketballs, pronounced wings and large eyes -- looks like he would be a playground pick-up basketball star. He means business, and his buzzing might even include a little trash talk. The strong symmetry helps catch the eye and keeps the whole design together, and the winged look to the white "Hornets" text works very well with the Hornet's wings. Bringing out the "Charlotte" a bit and finding a way to sneak more purple into a teal-dominated look would put this one over the top. Still, it's crisp and manages to be futuristic without being corny whatsoever.
No. 3: This is the Death Hornet; come across this guy in a dark alley and you're probably not coming out alive. The only real bones to pick: the Hornet is just a little bit too angry and there's no basketball incorporated in the design. Otherwise, the font and colors are well-chosen, the honeycomb background is low-key but effective, the stars are cool flourishes and the yellow/teal accents are a nice touch. Using teal rather than white to do the "Hornets" lettering is bolder, and it works. The top-down approach of the alternate logo on the right is somewhat similar to the Bobcats' current alternate logo (shown above).
No. 4: Empowering the Hornet with human-like characteristics isn't against the rules by any means, and this one crafts a half-Hornet/half-man hybrid. The basketball-clutching works well in conjunction the clenched left fist, which provides a little extra power. The "H" on the chest also adds a superhero flavor. The wings and the point keep this guy from being "too human," and the text-bearing shield ensures the overall design doesn't waste space. The orange towards the bottom of the design does a nice job balancing the basketball; if that background wasn't there, the ball might stand out too much by way of its brightness. There's a slightly cartoon-y feel to this logo, which dampens its magnetism a little bit.
No. 5: This one is a little less orthodox than some of the others, and there might be a little Pixar influence to the Hornet figure, who has hands, feet and an elbow that he's ready to throw as he drives to the hoop. Honeycomb makes another appearance, and the circular design in back goes well with the basketball and the arced text at top and bottom. There's a certain scrappiness to a Hornet in real life that this design seems to nail; he's not friendly or evil, but he will pester you. The colors are right and the basketball pops out, but perhaps there's a way to tighten this up so that the text isn't on the outside. Then again, the old New Orleans Hornets logo (see above) took a similar approach.
All designs included here with permission from 99designs.com.