New Orleans Pelicans Logo

New Orleans Pelicans LogoNew Orleans Pelicans Logo PNG

The broad scope and proud appearance of the New Orleans Pelicans emblem are conveyed precisely because it depicts a massive bird, a symbol of invincibility in any situation. Will, determination, resilience, courage – all are present in this emblem. Here is also a love for the city where the basketball club is located.

New Orleans Pelicans: Brand overview

Founder:Gayle Benson
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

The team was founded in 1988. Until 2002, it was based in Charlotte, North Carolina, considered one of America’s most basketball states. Therefore, its appearance in the NBA in 1989 was not a surprise. But the colors of the new club truly astonished people, as no one had seen such a combination before. In nature, teal does not occur alongside purple. But the ’90s were just around the corner, so very soon, the innovation of the new team was picked up by other organizations. Therefore, it was not even five years before basketball teams like “Vancouver” and “Detroit,” the hockey “San Jose,” baseball “Florida,” and football “Jacksonville” demonstrated the same indescribable shade of blue.

As for the name, the original owner planned to name the club Charlotte Spirit, but the fans voted for Hornets. This name is directly connected to the city’s history, whose residents fiercely resisted British troops during the American colonies’ war for independence. “This town is a real hornet’s nest,” said Marquis Cornwallis, a British general.

In the early new millennium, the team encountered problems. The Hornets wanted city authorities to help them build a new arena, but officials refused to cooperate with George Shinn, the team owner. Conservative Charlottes unanimously detested the slightly extravagant Shinn, and since he was not planning to sell his brainchild, it was decided to move the Hornets to another city.

This happened in 2002 when the city they moved to was New Orleans – a merry, cosmopolitan, brilliant, and poor American region. In New Orleans, the name “Hornets” no longer had its former historical context, but the sentimental owner decided to keep it. The primary colors remained the same, with only gold added. In 2004, an alternative yellow uniform appeared. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, and further staying in this city proved to be poorly compatible with basketball and life. The Hornets had to go to Oklahoma City, where they spent two seasons while their arena was being restored in New Orleans. At the same time, the team officially received a rather stunning name, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. The New Orleans toponym disappeared from the home uniform, but the emblem with the letters OKC (Oklahoma City) appeared.

In 2007, the Hornets returned to New Orleans, and a year later, they slightly changed their brand, making the blue color a bit more teal. The Pelicans emblem was also changed. Designers added two minor logos reflecting local specificity – the fleur-de-lis (symbol of Bourbon France, whose colonists built the city) and a trumpet (symbol of jazz) with the abbreviation NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana).

Before the 2013/14 season, the club abandoned the Hornets franchise, changing its name to New Orleans Pelicans. Another NBA team from Charlotte, the “Charlotte Hornets,” took the name “Hornets.” The choice for the name Pelicans is easily explainable. The fact is that the brown pelican is a symbol of the state of Louisiana. This animal is depicted on both the state flag and its seal.

Pierre the Pelican is the mascot of the New Orleans Pelicans team.

Meaning and History

New Orleans Pelicans Logo History

The New Orleans Pelicans team, formerly known as the Charlotte Hornets, once wore an emblem in the form of a cartoonish hornet. But this did not last long: in 2014, another symbol was adopted, which looks progressive and corresponds to the current name. The team’s new owner, Tom Benson, took care of the team’s image, starting a modern era in Louisiana’s basketball history.

What is New Orleans Pelicans?

The New Orleans Pelicans basketball club is one of the five participants in the Southwest Division (NBA). It appeared in 2002 as a result of the relocation of the “Charlotte Hornets” to New Orleans. Initially, the team was called the “New Orleans Hornets,” and it acquired its current nickname in 2013.

1989 – 2002

Charlotte Hornets Logo 1989-2002

The early emblem of the “Charlotte Hornets” depicted a blue hornet with a sharp sting. The image is anthropomorphic, as the insect has arms and legs. Also present are attributes of a sports theme: white sneakers and a brown ball. They associate the logo with a basketball club. The same function is performed by the inscription “CHARLOTTE HORNETS,” which is divided into two parts and surrounds the drawing from the top and bottom.

2003 – 2008

New Orleans Hornets Logo 2003-2008

In the 2002-2003 season, the franchise moved to Louisiana and was renamed the “New Orleans Hornets.” After the move, the emblem remained practically unchanged: the designers only repainted the ball in yellow, updated the city’s name, changed the font, and made the letter “H” on the hornet’s chest more noticeable.

2009 – 2013

New Orleans Hornets Logo 2009-2013

Changes in the logo from 2009 – 2013 were made to improve graphics, as the layout and design were taken from the previous logo. In 2009, the cartoonish hornet became similar to the official team mascot – Hugo the Hornet. The blue color became darker. The blue and navy blue colors in the drawing became brighter, and the ball acquired more natural contours and color. The only change was replacing the “Charlotte H” inscription on the hornet’s chest with “NOLA” (“New Orleans”).

2014 – today

New Orleans Pelicans Logo 2014-Present

In December 2012, the club announced a name change to the “Pelicans.” The rebranding allowed the club to separate from the franchise that originated in Charlotte and moved to New Orleans. The nickname “Hornets” returned to its historical homeland and became the foundation for another namesake team. New Orleans Pelicans debuted in the 2013-2014 season with an updated logo, which is completely different from retro versions. The new colors were dark blue, gold, red, and white. Moreover, the symbol of the basketball team became the pelican. Now, the New Orleans Pelicans emblem has an unconventional shape and a blue background, with the inscription “New Orleans” written in white at the top. Slightly below are a white pelican head and gold wings. The animal holds a golden ball in its red beak. At the very bottom, in a red semicircle, the word “Pelicans” is written in white letters. A golden outline also frames the entire New Orleans Pelicans logo.

New Orleans Pelicans: Interesting Facts

The New Orleans Pelicans, a newer team in the NBA, have a story filled with changes, tough moments, and amazing players.

  1. Starting and Changing Names: The team began as the New Orleans Hornets in 2002 after moving from Charlotte. In 2013, they changed their name to the Pelicans, after Louisiana’s state bird, to show their connection to the area and its spirit.
  2. Why Pelicans?: The pelican is Louisiana’s state bird and appears on the state flag. Naming the team after it shows how much the team wants to be part of the local community.
  3. First Big Win: They won their first big playoff series in 2008, proving they could compete.
  4. Anthony Davis: Picked first in 2012, Davis became a star. He is known for stopping other teams from scoring and being able to do a lot on the court. He helped the team reach the playoffs twice before moving to the Lakers in 2019.
  5. Where They Play: The team’s home games are at the Smoothie King Center in downtown New Orleans, full of the city’s sports excitement.
  6. 2018 Playoffs: In 2018, they impressively won all their games in the first round of the playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers, showing they were a team to watch.
  7. Zion Williamson Joins: In 2019, Zion Williamson was the top pick for the Pelicans in the draft. Known for his amazing jumps and energy, he’s become a central part of the team.
  8. Helping Out: The Pelicans do a lot to help the community, like supporting healthy youth sports and helping after disasters. They play a big role in bringing people together, especially after tough times like Hurricane Katrina.
  9. Mardi Gras Uniforms: For Mardi Gras, people wear special, colorful uniforms to celebrate this big New Orleans festival and show their local pride.
  10. The Owners: Tom Benson bought the team in 2012 and ensured it stayed in New Orleans. After he passed away in 2018, his wife, Gayle Benson, took over, keeping the team locally owned.
  11. Fun Mascots: They’ve had three mascots: Hugo from when they were the Hornets, Pierre the Pelican, and King Cake Baby, each adding fun and a local touch to games.

The New Orleans Pelicans have a strong connection to their city and its culture, making their mark in the NBA with exciting games and community involvement.

Font and Colors

New Orleans Pelicans Emblem

The modern club sign contains the head and wings of a pelican (viewed from the front), a golden basketball, a white inscription “NEW ORLEANS” on a blue background, and a red semicircle with the word “PELICANS.” Above is a red fleur-de-lis, known as the fleur-de-lis.

The design was developed by the branding studio RARE. When choosing a new concept, specialists based it on the fact that the pelican embodies the state of Louisiana and is found on its seal and state flag. To make the drawing look harmonious, artists emphasized the wings. At the same time, they tried to avoid the bird’s profile, as they did not want to focus attention on the massive beak.

New Orleans Pelicans Symbol

The phrase “NEW ORLEANS” is written in a stylized old font. There are even more serifs than expected: they are at the ends of the letters and in the middle. The word “PELICANS” is set in a simple sans-serif font.

Colors are selected according to the club’s official palette. Each has a specific meaning and is depicted on the New Orleans flag. For instance, red symbolizes the blood vessels under the pelican’s throat. On the emblem, it is complemented by gold and dark blue.

New Orleans Pelicans color codes

Navy BlueHex color:#002b5c
RGB:0 43 92
CMYK:100 64 0 60
Pantone:PMS 289 C
GoldHex color:#b4975a
RGB:180 151 90
CMYK:20 30 70 15
Pantone:PMS 872 C
RedHex color:#e31837
RGB:227 24 55
CMYK:0 100 81 4
Pantone:PMS 186 C


What does the New Orleans Pelicans logo represent?

The logo of this basketball club reflects its name. In the center – the head and wings of a pelican, holding a ball in its beak. Above is a beautiful arch with the word NEW ORLEANS and decorative swirls. Designers used a serif font for the text, stylized as old signs. At the very bottom, there is a red semicircle with the word PELICANS.

Did the “Pelicans” change their logo?

As of 2021, the “New Orleans Pelicans” have not changed their logo since the 2012-2013 season. The last rebranding was associated with updating the name, as it was then that the team received the nickname Pelicans.

What is the current slogan of the New Orleans Pelicans team?

Since 2019, the “New Orleans Pelicans” team has been using the telling motto: “Won’t Bow Down.” It was introduced at the very beginning of the season.

Who is on the “New Orleans Pelicans” team?

The team roster for the 2021-2022 season includes Jose Alvarado, Devonte Graham, Josh Hart, Jackson Hayes, Willy Hernangomez, Dalton Hommes, Brandon Ingram, Herbert Jones, Kira Lewis Jr., Marcos Louzada Silva, Naji Marshall, Trey Murphy III, Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, Jonas Valanciunas, Zion Williamson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker.