Lakers are probably the most widely known and iconic American basketball team, and certainly one of the best rosters in the NBA. That’s where Kobe, LeBron and Shaq, the icons of this sport, grew to prominence. They are also considered one of the chief brands in Los Angeles.
The team was originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was created there in the year 1947, although they did move to their seat in Los Angeles in 1960. The name was also originally adopted during their Minnesota years. Unsurprisingly, it’s directly derived from the fact that this region is home to a bunch of lakes.
The first 1947 logo was dedicated to the Minnesota phase of the team. It featured a bright yellow basketball with a white silhouette of the state in it. Also, where Minneapolis is on the map, they put a yellow star there and labeled it after the city in small letters.
There were also letters all around the ball. Above, were four letters ‘MPLS’ in thin, yet blocky letters. Below, was the name – Lakers – in the same thin font, but without the curvature. They also slightly outlined the letters in light blue, which was also the color of the seams on the ball.
They could take inspiration from the state’s seal and flag, which were dominantly yellow and blue respectively. That, however, isn’t really clear.
The team’s move to LA called for a design shuffle.
The logo was basically just letters that the new full name – Los Angeles Lakers – comprised of. It was largely the same font as before, just colored blue this time. They also arranged them into a triangular shape of sorts, even though there were blanks between the letters.
By 1967, they settled on a new design, the one that was still in use even into the 21th century. The colors were different, however.
It was a greenish-yellow ball with yellow seams. The text across said ‘Los Angeles Lakers’ in tilted letters with the font clearly reminiscent of the previous iterations. The ‘LA’ part was again smaller and put right above the main name fragment. This, for its part, was a bit more elaborate in style, but not really.
The entire writing piece was in purple, which was now one of the main team colors.
In 1976, they changed the colors and slightly reoriented the call positioning, but that was pretty much it. The purple was now paler, and the ball’s green was now bright yellow with a tint of orange, while the seams turned straight black. The ball itself seems to have rotated counter-clockwise for about 45°.
The only change that followed in 2001 was that purple in the letters became rather more saturated, which was a very good choice.
There are several secondary Lakers emblems, although the most commonly used of them is a decal that features a basketball sitting right behind a giant letter ‘L’. This decal only uses two colors, purple and orange, ignoring the third color used by this brand – the black.