Detroit Pistons Logo

Detroit Pistons LogoDetroit Pistons Logo PNG

The Detroit Basketball Club, founded in Indiana in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, reflected its history and important characteristics in the emblem. The Detroit Pistons logo demonstrates patriotism, commitment to its heritage, and professional affiliation.

Detroit Pistons: Brand overview

Founded: 1937
Founder: Tom Gores
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Fred Zollner was an industrialist and founder of the Zollner Corporation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1939, he decided to enrich a boring routine of the piston manufacturer and based a basketball club. The man named the team Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. For seven years, Pistons had been playing in the NBL, where they became champions twice. In 1948, the club joined the BAA that very soon was transformed into the NBA. Despite the popularity of the team in their hometown, the leadership, following the trends of that time, thought about moving to a larger place. Therefore, the team moved to Detroit in 1957. It should be mentioned that the city’s name was very appropriate for the team.

It is worth noting that the capital of the Automobile State already had its basketball clubs, but “hungry” fans who were passionate about spectacles warmly welcomed the settlers, who changed the name to the more patriotic Detroit Pistons.

We can’t help mentioning the merits of the team owner, who was a hot basketball fan. Zolner provided all possible support to the newly formed Association and became one of the initiators who introduced a shot-clock and 6-foul limitation game rules.  Also, he was the first owner who acquired a personal airplane for team travel between cities.

The significant contribution of Fred Zollner was appreciated: in 1999, he was introduced to the NBA Hall of Fame, and the trophy of the winners of the Western Conference still bears his name.

Meaning and History

Detroit Pistons Logo History

Detroit Pistons Club’s sports career is very long. Moreover, it includes moving, which radically affected the original symbolism. As a result, since 1941, the team has had many logos united by just one element – a basketball. Six emblems are directly connected with it, and the remaining four include it as the basis of the component, accompanied by other details.

What is Detroit Pistons?

The Detroit Pistons are a basketball team that moved from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit, Michigan, in 1957. Before that, it was called Fort Wayne Pistons, and even earlier (from 1937 to 1948), it was known as Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. The franchise’s home stadium since 2017 is Little Caesars Arena. The club is affiliated with the National Basketball Association and has even won three league championships.

1941 – 1947

Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons Logo 1941-1947

The program started with the name Fort Wayne Pistons and received the corresponding symbol. This was a humanoid character consisting of automobile pistons: two for each arm and leg, one was in a place of the head, and the largest served as the body. An impromptu basketball player threw the ball up. All logo details were white and red.

1948 – 1957

Ft. Wayne Pistons Logo 1948-1957

In 1948, the emblem was redesigned, after which the pistons that make up the basketball player became more realistic – both in drawing and color. Gray “metal” basketball player dribbles. On his chest is a red “Z” – the first letter of the word “Zollner,” which was part of the club’s debut name.

1957 – 1971

Detroit Pistons Logo 1957-1971

After moving the franchise to Detroit, she went through the process of renaming Detroit Pistons. The emblem was also changed – it was simplified to the ball, focusing on the basketball theme and the text. Several inscriptions appeared on the logo: the largest at the top – “DETROIT PISTONS,” the middle in the middle – “BASKETBALL CLUB” and the small print at the bottom – “NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSN.”

1971 – 1975

Detroit Pistons Logo 1971-1975

Another intervention in the structure made the logo visually simpler: the icon depicts only a ball with two inscriptions. The third (lower) designers removed.

1975 – 1979

Detroit Pistons Logo 1975-1979

The management decided to give expressive emblem, which made the contour of the ball thicker. It also abbreviated the phrase “NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSN” to “NBA” and changed the color of the letters to muted orange.

1979 – 1996

Detroit Pistons Logo 1979-1996

In this version, the developers used the principle of the classic round disc, placing one into the other several round elements. In the center is a horizontal oval with the words “DETROIT PISTONS.” Then comes a circle with a thin white stripe, and then a wide blue ring. It covers the entire outside of the logo.

1996 – 2001

Detroit Pistons Logo 1996-2001

To modernize the logo, make it fresher and more attractive, the basketball team redesigned it. In this version, there is a roll call with transport-related topics: the image of a horse (a hint of horsepower in which engine power is measured) and the elongated legs of the letters “S” (stylized as automobile mufflers).

The logo also contains a basketball (in the center), the inscription “PISTONS” (horizontal), and flames (in the horse’s mane). The round background is still circled in a blue fringing ring, and on it is the second part of the sports club’s name – “DETROIT.”

2001 – 2005

Detroit Pistons Logo 2001-2005

In 2001, new colors appeared on the logo. Now, instead of black, yellow, and turquoise, dark blue, red, and cyan have become dominant. Gray remained the same. The shape of the elements has also been preserved.

2005 – 2017

Detroit Pistons Logo 2005-2017

The emblem with the horse’s head wasn’t popular. Both fans and journalists mostly criticized this variant of the Detroit Pistons logo. Moreover, it was called an emblem for car races or racing. As a result, in the 2005/2006 season, the management of the team adopted a new simplified design. The emblem consists of a red basketball, white lettering with shadows, and a circle with a blue border. The palette matches the colors of the US flag. The team name is located in the center and is made in the form of an arc. Moreover, the upper word is small, and the lower one is large.

2017 – today

Detroit Pistons Logo 2017-Present

In 2017, the basketball players decided to return one of the old emblem variants, namely, 1979. In a modern interpretation, it looks like a ball surrounded by a wide light blue ring. In the central oval is the phrase “DETROIT PISTONS,” placed in two lines. Thin white stripes separate all elements. In Michigan, it is believed that this will be a new chapter in club history. This is the eighth renewal of the club’s emblem of the team, founded in 1941.

Font and Colors

Detroit Pistons emblem

In the current interpretation, the logo of the 80s looks a little different than its prototype. It has an elongated middle, so the contours of the oval are directly touching the right and left edges of the ball, and the upper and lower parts are sickle-shaped. The edging lines became twice thinner; the colors changed to light. Inscriptions have also evolved. Also, there are chrome circuits, which, according to the developers, are a tribute to the Detroit automakers.

Detroit Pistons symbol

In previous versions, an individual typeface was created specifically for the Detroit Pistons logo. At an early stage, these were white labels with a red outline. Subsequent changes concerned not only color but also shape, style, size. If the chopped font was used first, then miniature serifs appeared later, which is visible on “P” and “D.” In some cases, the letters “S” are graphically highlighted: they look like silencers or now like the number “5”.

If we talk about color, then the American flag’s gamut – the combination of white with red and blue- always prevailed in the logo.

Detroit Pistons color codes

Royal Blue Hex color: #1d428a
RGB: 29 66 138
CMYK: 100 78 0 18
Pantone: PMS 7687 C
Red Hex color: #c8102e
RGB: 200 16 46
CMYK: 2 100 85 6
Pantone: PMS 186 C
Gray Hex color: #bec0c2
RGB: 181 179 179
CMYK: 30 25 25 0
Pantone: PMS Cool Gray 5 C
Navy Blue Hex color: #002d62
RGB: 0 45 98
CMYK: 100 68 0 54
Pantone: PMS 282 C

What does the Detroit Pistons logo mean?

The Detroit Pistons logo represents the sports team’s commitment to what it does and its heritage. Basketball has accompanied the franchise throughout its history, and the combination of blue, white, and red has been used in identity since 1957.

Why did Detroit Pistons change logo?

The Detroit Pistons team updated the logo in 2017 because they decided to move to downtown Little Caesars Arena. Of course, this sounds more like evolution than global change: the basketball image and blue-white-red color scheme have stood the test of time. The designers combined traditional elements with a modern typeface, which began to be used in 2001.

Are the Pistons still a team?

Yes, a basketball club with that name still exists. He plays in the Eastern Conference (NBA) and is based in Detroit, where Little Caesars Arena’s home arena.

Who is number 1 on the Pistons?

In 2002, Chauncey Billups was recruited into the Detroit Pistons and was ranked # 1 because another basketball player was already playing at # 4. After leaving the team in 2008, Billups returned to the team for another season – 2013-2014. In February 2016, the Detroit Pistons discontinued the # 1 Billups jersey. As of 2021, there is no # 1 players in the basketball club.