New York Knickerbockers are an American professional basketball team established in the USA in 1946. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. This franchise was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA). It’s located in New York.
The team was created initiated by Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, sports editor at the Boston American, and Walter A. Brown, Boston Garden owner. Two of them and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel, and they told the group about the great horizons of the basketball players. However, they couldn’t reach an agreement with the authorities of the local stadium – Ned Irish was ahead of them. The owners were much more impressed by the college basketball promoter and his vast resources than by the guarantees of the sportswriter. Kase relented the franchise, though he originally planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself. The franchise was awarded to the Irish.
That’s how Irish became the owner, and he led the club with the participation of The Madison Square Garden Company. Initially, they wanted to choose another nickname; however, then they called together members of the staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers.
The “Knickerbocker” name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York. This name became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what later became New York. This term refers to such trousers as crop trousers or pantaloons tucked beneath the knee: they were an integral part of the image of New World’s settlers.
Besides, a local baseball organization was called Knickerbocker Nine in 1845. This nickname was suggested again. The team is more commonly referred to as the Knicks. James Dolan became the owner of the team in 1999. He still shares the stocks with The Madison Square Garden Company.
Evolution of the New York Knicks Logo
The New York Knicks logo was approved in the year the team appeared and fully meets the basketball focus requirements. It shows the ball and the name. Moreover, the entire history of the emblem is an evolution from simple to complex. Over the years, the sports club has existed; it had eight logo options.
1946 – 1964
The very first logo of the club was “Knickerbockers,” which originated from Dutch settlers who arrived in the New World. Most of them settled in the area, which is now known as New York. In particular, this refers to the style of pants worn by the settlers. The trousers rolled up below the knee that became known as “breeches,” or “pantaloons.” Now this word is mostly forgotten, and the name of the team is reduced to “Nix” in a hundred percent of cases.
The debut emblem was designed for the first official basketball competition in the 1946/47 season. It depicts a player nicknamed Father Knickerbocker. He runs forward in an attempt to grab the ball, which catches with both hands. The main character has a black cocked hat, a red-orange vest, blue pants, and a camisole of the same color. On the legs are boots with large buckles. The author of the cartoon version is Willard Mullin. He is a cartoonist, so the drawing style is appropriate.
1965 – 1979
New York Knickerbockers would introduce an iconic logo that would endure for the next three decades. It was designed by Bud Freeman from advertising agency J. C. Bull. The New York Knicks logo depicts a brown basketball, “illuminated” by the wordmark “KNICKS.” The letters are orange, and there’s a shadow in the lower part of them to add the 3D effect. The letters also have a black outline.
1980 – 1983
The designer changed the color of the basketball in this version of the New York Knicks logo and made it much lighter. He also added black seams and a blue outline. The font is the same, the only thing that was changed was a color scheme: the letters became burgundy with white and blue outline. Shadow of the lower part of the word “KNICKS” widened and went deeper, enhancing the 3D effect.
1984 – 1989
The New York Knickerbockers logo of this period had other colors, but the shape, fonts, position, and size were the same. The color scheme had pastel shades, which is why the elements don’t seem aggressive. The Knicks made slight changes to the logo by again changing the basketball to brown with dark brown seams. Reflected light below, the letters became blue. All details of the New York Knicks logo have a blue outline, except for the basketball – its outline is dark brown, just like the seams.
1990 – 1992
In this version of the New York Knickerbockers logo, the colors are changed. Designers lowered the deepness and enhanced the fogginess effect. Basketball was of the same orange shade as the wordmark “KNICKS.” All key elements have a blue outline. 3D shadows of the letters were bluish-grey.
1993 – 1995
In 1992, the Knicks updated their logo. Michael Doret suggested using a triangle. Tom O’Grady designed other elements. A slightly tilted back word “KNICKS” appeared against the bluish-grey geometric figure, which enhanced the 3D effect. The letters exceed the triangle and are darkened on the bottom. Outline and basketball seams are light blue. The primary color is orange.
1996 – 2011
The 1996 version of the logo has very slight changes to the colors. The wordmark “NEW YORK” is on top of the team nickname – between the letters “K” and “S.” Fonts, triangle, basketball, and seams on it are the same, just like the elements’ outlines.
2012 – present
The current version is fundamentally different from the debut: they are connected only by a basketball. In the process of evolution, the emblem received more complex details than it was initially, although it is a remake of the previous logo. Designers removed black shadows from it (replaced by grayish-gray) and reduced the intensity of the brick color. Everything else was left unchanged.
Many fans of the Knicks were delighted with the return to the blue color scheme, which was used by the club for most of the history. Orange, blue, and white are the official colors of New York City. But the blue color is very spread. It looks neutral and fits any team in any kind of sport. The orange color of the current Knicks logo is quite rare, and the emphasis is made on the shine and confidence that match the team from the big city. In this case, the blue looks good as a border, and the white font draws attention to the team’s name.
The New York Knicks logo somewhat resembles the label of a second-rate detergent and would be appropriate on the chest of some superhero. Of course, this is not very bad, but it is somehow unserious for the enterprise of such level and rich history.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The team’s visual identification sign went through several stages. For more than half a century, the most significant changes occurred in the 1965th and 1993rd years. In the first of the noted periods, the transition to a simplified design took place, where the ball and the name were combined in 3D format. The option, which became the prototype of all subsequent ones, was proposed by Bud Freeman from J.C. advertising studio. Bull. The developer of the 1993 version is Michael Doret. He used a triangle in the emblem, against the background of a three-dimensional name and a basketball.
The main feature of the typeface is volume. To obtain a 3D effect, the artists used the technique of shadows. Moreover, the style of letters is not similar to any of the well-known commercial fonts. It is individual, as it was created specifically for this logo. Colon-shaped signs are visually tilted and narrowed towards the center.
The color scheme of the team echoes the official palette of the city of New York. It consists of white, blue PMS 293, and orange PMS 165. In some periods, silver and black were also included in the list.