Memphis Grizzlies Logo

Memphis Grizzlies LogoMemphis Grizzlies Logo PNG

The Memphis Grizzlies logo features a ferocious bear, a mascot befitting the most persistent and desperate athletes. It appears as an intimidating mask, instilling terror in opponents. The fearsome creature creates an atmosphere of resilience, endurance, desperate struggle, and the drive to win.

Memphis Grizzlies: Brand overview

Founded:1995
Founder:Memphis Basketball, LLC
Headquarters:
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Website:nba.com

In the early 1990s, the NBA had a fantastic idea – to open up Canada. Not to discover it entirely (after all, the “Toronto Huskies” was one of the league’s first teams and even played in its first game), but at least to remind everyone that such a great country exists. Up North, the weather is always frosty. The NBA was already aware of Toronto, but representing only one team seemed improper. Hence, the search for another Canadian city began.

As a result, Vancouver was introduced to the enthusiastic American fans. In 1995, the NBA welcomed the Vancouver Grizzlies team. Initially, the owners wanted to name it Mounties in honor of the famous Canadian Mounted Police Department. As expected, local fans and the police didn’t appreciate the joke. Thus, the search for the team’s name continued. Following a public vote, the rather stern Vancouver Grizzlies and the mysterious Vancouver Ravens were favorites, with the strongest prevailing. However, the sacred name created in honor of the North American bear proved equally fortunate. Western Canada is home to many grizzlies, considered a totemic symbol by the local indigenous people. This fact is reflected in one of the team’s less significant emblems. As for the logos, no one knows exactly why the managers chose them. Perhaps it reflects Canada’s blue sky as it might be depicted by an avant-garde artist working in the genre of nuclear apocalypse. The Grizzlies called this turquoise shade Naismith Blue, hinting that basketball inventor Dr. James Naismith is related to their emblem.

The mutation of blue didn’t survive the 1990s. In ’99, the Grizzlies introduced an alternative black uniform, which became the primary one the following year.

Associations with the mighty northern giant were mere illusions: during six years in Vancouver, the team finished last in the tournament table five times, securing only 22% of victories in total. After changing two owners in four years, the franchise was practically in the hands of Bill Laurie, who decided to move the team to St. Louis. NBA Commissioner David Stern vetoed this deal. Thus, the team was sold to Michael Heisley, a businessman from Chicago, who promised to keep the franchise in Canada.

However, the financial illiteracy of the former owners, coupled with a weak marketing campaign and draft failures, led to the club losing up to 40 million dollars a year. In the 1998/99 lockout season, all league clubs recorded a drop in audience activity, but the decline in interest in the Grizzlies was catastrophic.

In March 2001, the team was officially moved to Memphis, the city of Elvis Presley. This city wasn’t spoiled by the attention of the most significant sports leagues in the USA. However, the Memphis team wasn’t the first basketball club in Tennessee. In 1970, the ABA team “Filibusters,” having moved from New Orleans, spent the next five years grappling with merciless names. They concocted various names like Memphis Pros, Tams, Sounds, etc. Yet, their predecessors’ success couldn’t compare to the future heroes of the Grizzlies.

And again, there was a problem with the name. Memphis houses the headquarters of Federal Express, which became the club’s sponsor. They hoped the team’s new name would be Memphis Express. But the NBA made its adjustments, deciding that the club’s name (and its uniform) shouldn’t contain advertisements.

Eventually, the club remained the Grizzlies, although this type of bear doesn’t inhabit the state of Tennessee. Initially, the team continued playing in Vancouver’s colors, but by the fourth season in Memphis, it had acquired new ones. Designers sought to change the blue color. They added three (three!) different shades of blue to the Memphis Grizzlies’ uniform. They are called Memphis Midnight (dark navy blue), Beale Street Blue (blue, named after the famous Memphis street that played a significant role in the history of blues music), and Smoky Blue (pale blue).

Meaning and History

Memphis Grizzlies Logo History

On all four Memphis Grizzlies logos, a bear is depicted. It’s the team’s mascot, Grizz, which appeared in 1995 when the NBA franchise was owned by the western Canadian city of Vancouver. The modern logo also reflects the club’s color palette, which includes gold, gray, and two shades of blue: Beale Street Blue and Memphis Midnight Blue.

What is Memphis Grizzlies?

The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team competing in the NBA, representing the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. The team was founded in 1995 in Canada as the “Vancouver Grizzlies.” After moving to Memphis, Tennessee, the team adopted its current name. Its home arena is the FedExForum.

1996 – 2001

Vancouver Grizzlies Logo 1996-2001

During the first five seasons, the team was named the “Vancouver Grizzlies,” which was indicated at the top of the logo. The word “VANCOUVER” in red was positioned between the peaks of the letters “G” and “S” of the next word – “GRIZZLIES,” which was light blue and volumetric.

Below was depicted a grizzly bear – an American brown bear. The animal stood on its hind legs, holding a basketball in its front paws, clutching it with its claws. Artists specifically emphasized the claws and teeth to make the bear look formidable.

2002 – 2004

Memphis Grizzlies Logo 2002-2004

At the end of the 2000-2001 season, the club moved to Memphis and became known as the “Memphis Grizzlies.” Visually, nothing changed: the logo developers removed the word “VANCOUVER” and replaced it with “MEMPHIS.” Everything else remained the same, except for a slight color change: black became more contrasting and brown – brighter.

2005 – 2018

Memphis Grizzlies Logo 2005-2018

The first significant redesign occurred in 2005. The club abandoned the old symbolism and presented an entirely new sign in the form of a blue bear’s head with yellow eyes and the inscription “MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES.” The drawing turned out to be schematic and abstract. A successful combination of several shades creates a 3D effect. The city’s name is written horizontally, and the team’s nickname is in the form of an inverted arch.

2018 – today

Memphis Grizzlies Logo 2018-present

In 2018, the “Memphis Grizzlies” introduced an updated logo with a gray outline around the bear’s head. The shades became a bit darker. The font also changed: serifs disappeared from all letters, and on the contrary, they appeared on the “S.” GRIZZLIES is no longer bent upward – it’s aligned horizontally.

Font and Colors

Memphis Grizzlies Emblem

The grizzly bear – a fierce animal, served as the basis for the team’s image. It’s reflected in the mascot, name, and logo, and in the latter case, artists used not a realistic illustration but an abstract image. They depicted the bear’s head in a minimalist style but managed to convey its stern character using simple graphic techniques. The eyes, glowing with otherworldly yellow, dark shadows, and menacingly drawn eyebrows – all are designed to give the grizzly an aggressive and dangerous appearance.

Memphis Grizzlies symbol

The basketball club’s emblems include the inscription “MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES.” Until 2005, the word “GRIZZLIES” was volumetric, and from 2005 to 2018, it had the shape of an inverted arch. Until 2018, the word “MEMPHIS” was written no less originally: the letters “M” and “S” were tall, and all others were low, although they were uppercase. In the current logo, fonts specifically designed for the team are used.

The color scheme includes gray (#707271), Grizzlies Gold (#FDB927), Memphis Midnight Blue (#00285E), and Beale Street Blue (#5D76A9). Gray replaced the smoky blue (#BED4E9), used until 2018. The retro emblem palette included black, brown, orange, and teal colors.

Memphis Grizzlies color codes

Grizzlies BlueHex color:#5d76a9
RGB:93 118 169
CMYK:64 68 7 2
Pantone:PMS 652 C
Grizzlies NavyHex color:#12173f
RGB:18 23 63
CMYK:100 84 45 50
Pantone:PMS 289 C
Grizzlies GrayHex color:#707271
RGB:112 114 113
CMYK:30 20 19 58
Pantone:PMS 424 C
Grizzlies YellowHex color:#f5b112
RGB:245 177 18
CMYK:0 23 91 0
Pantone:PMS 123 C

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