One of the few positive moments that could be remembered from 1993 was the release of Jurassic Park, one of the most popular and box-office movies in history. The film had the effect of an exploding bomb: the fascination with dinosaurs has become common, and Tyrannosaurus Rex has become a new iconic character.
The same year, almost half a century later, the return of professional basketball sport to Canada was announced. At the moment, the Toronto Raptors is the only NBA team that represents Canada. Raptors were based in 1993 and joined the National Basketball Association in 1995 when the leadership decided to expand the league with the Canadian teams. Along with Toronto Raptors, the Vancouver Grizzlies club also joined the NBA, but in 2001 the club changed the residence from Vancouver, Canada to Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Since then, Toronto is the only representative of the “country of maple leaves.”
One of the primary tasks was the selection of a suitable title, so the competition that collected more than 2,000 applications was announced in Toronto. The most preferred option was to return to the roots: the Toronto Huskies team was remembered. However, the variant with the Huskies soon receded because of the similarity of the club’s logo with the emblem of the colleagues Minnesota Timberwolves.
The management decided to announce a competition for the best team name. Over 2000 variants of the club’s name and emblems were sent, only nine of which were left for consideration: Beavers, Bobcats, Tyrannosaurs, Hogs, Dragons, Scorpions, Raptors, Tarantulas, and Grizzlys. Ultimately, the Toronto Raptors’ name, inspired by the Hollywood blockbuster, was the winner of the vote.
Meaning and History
The young team, formed in 1993, had its logo three years later – in 1996. Based on the name, it is associated with the theme of dinosaurs. At first, it was a full-length anthropomorphized predator image, but then it was removed, leaving only the ball.
It was largely the 1990s phenomenon that team colors were in step with contemporary trends and tastes. So it seemed many sports franchises took a ten-year in-style vacation, showing a total lack of style and good taste. The pop culture was influenced by the huge popularity of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jurassic Park (1993), which had the effect of an exploding bomb. The fascination with dinosaurs became common, including the Toronto Raptors. Hence, the logo of the team featured the cartoonish Tyrannosaurus Rex as an iconic character. As for the team color scheme, it was affected by the so-called purple-and-black revolution of the 1990s. No wonder, it was purple and black. And only after an existence of nearly 20 years, the franchise agreed to adopt a new version of the logo, whose elements were originally present on the alternative team logo.
1996 – 2008
The leadership chose a velociraptor as the basic elements of the team logo. This fast and brisk creature that can respond instantly to circumstances has enormous endurance and is a wait-and-see predator. The red dinosaur is dressed in a white sports uniform – shorts and a T-shirt with the letter “R” on the chest. He dribbles a basketball, looking back on the animal’s legs – sneakers with two bulging claws. The long tail goes far beyond the logo. In the upper part, there is an arched word “Raptors,” and above it with a smaller font – “Toronto.” The emblem also has purple lines, a circle, and spikes.
2009 – 2014
The changes of 2009 touched mainly on color. All other elements remained the same: around background (disk shape), sharp “spikes,” as on a Velociraptor ridge, open mouth with two rows of teeth, and so on. In this version, the designers changed the violet color to red to add aggressiveness to the logo to intimidate rivals.
After seven years, the team introduced an updated logo. It is radically different from the previous versions because it contains a different design: it does not have a prehistoric dinosaur. Thanks to this, the readability of the inscription has increased. But the predator did not completely disappear: its presence is visible in the tracks of sharp claws on the basketball ball. The logo took the form of a classic disk shape with a round central part and edging along the edge.
The new team logo was designed by the Toronto-native creative services agency, Sid Lee, who described this logo as aggressively stylish.
The current version consists of a ball, which is placed in the center, and two bands surrounding it – a wide inner and a narrow outer one. On the ball, instead of three lines, there are traces from the claws of a Velociraptor. There is no more sharpness in the emblem: all elements are streamlined.
Font and color
In the initial versions, the team’s name was poorly readable because the powerful dinosaur figure drew attention to itself. The letters were monolithic, almost continuous, with sharp serifs along the edges. “R” and “S” were larger than the rest of the characters. In the current logo, another headset is used – chopped grotesque.
Officially, the Toronto Raptors branded palette includes five colors according to the Pantone Color Matching System. Among them are white, black PMS Black, red 200, gold 872, and silver Cool Gray.