Washington Wizards Logo

Washington Wizards LogoWashington Wizards Logo PNG

The Washington Wizards emblem reflects the club’s incredibly rich history and symbolizes the district, Maryland, and Virginia. The emblem connects both states with the team’s name, reflecting elements iconic to them.

Washington Wizards: Brand overview

Founded:1961
Founder:Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Headquarters:
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Website:nba.com

It all started in 1961 with the first attempt to develop basketball in Chicago, where baseball and football were the favorite games. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful. The team that played the first season was called Chicago Packers (named after the Chicago meatpacking industry), and the second season was represented by Chicago Zephyrs (zephyrs are a type of wind, also known as a harbinger of both sunny and rainy weather – depending on the direction). In the summer of 1963, the team moved to warmer regions.

Finding itself in Baltimore, a city with a rich military history, the club changed its name to Bullets. This was done in memory of an old team from the BAA league that played in a former armory. Additionally, Baltimore was once a kind of armory capital where ammunition for the U.S. Army was produced. So, the name was more than appropriate.

In 1969, the bullet from the team’s emblem was replaced with hands reaching for a ball. In 1973, it was time to move again. The team relocated to neighboring Washington, where it was first renamed Capital Bullets and then Washington Bullets.

Despite the team’s successes, Washington residents, especially those far from basketball, couldn’t rejoice at the “problematic” name. According to activists, it was one of the main reasons for the escalation of armed violence in the region. It’s worth noting that the District of Columbia still holds a confident lead in this indicator to this day.

In 1995, Abe, the owner of the “Bullets,” announced a name change for the club. He confessed that he was unhappy that his team essentially promoted a killing weapon, especially in Washington, a city with a high crime rate. After the murder of his longtime friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Pollin finally decided to part ways with the shooting tradition. A contest was announced for a new name, the winner of which was “Wizards.” Initially, African Americans were not at all pleased (as they make up the absolute majority of Washington’s residents) because Wizard is one of the highest titles in the Ku Klux Klan. Pollin, far from this organization, simply chose a suitable name that would be pleasant for children.

Meaning and History

Washington Wizards Logo History

The incredibly rich history of the basketball team is reflected in its logos, of which it has had fourteen since 1962. The franchise debuted when it was called “Chicago Packers.” Then, it underwent a series of transformations, changing one after another as Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, Capital Bullets, Washington Bullets, and Washington Wizards. Along with this, the format of individual identification marks also changed.

What is Washington Wizards?

This is an NBA franchise, previously known under different names: Washington Bullets, Capital Bullets, Baltimore Bullets, Chicago Zephyrs, and Chicago Packers. It has existed since 1961 and has changed its location multiple times. Its current home stadium is the Capital One Arena.

1962

Chicago Packers Logo 1962

The team, now known as the “Washington Wizards,” began performing under the name “Chicago Packers,” a nod to the city’s meatpacking industry. The initial version consists of a basketball with characteristic lines forming an inner oval and a central strip dividing the circle into two symmetrical halves. In the center is an outline depicting the head of a bull with long horns pressing against the outer edge.

1963

Chicago Zephyrs Logo 1963

Just a year later, the team changed its name to “Chicago Zephyrs” (“Zephyr” is a west wind, and Chicago is the Windy City), which naturally led to a new logo. The updated club received a radically new emblem. It consists of the single word “Zephyrs,” stretched diagonally from top to bottom. The inscription is golden with a black-and-white border. Next to each letter are small strokes, indicating the speed of movement when encountering wind resistance during a run.

1963 – 1968

Baltimore Bullets Logo 1963-1968

After moving to Baltimore, Maryland, the franchise changed its name and logo. From 1963, it was called Baltimore Bullets for some time. This is reflected in the individual symbolism: a bullet piercing space against the backdrop of a schematic ball. On the trajectory of its flight is the word “Bullets,” starting with a capital letter. Slightly above, in small font, is written “Baltimore.” The logo’s colors are red and blue.

1968 – 1969

Baltimore Bullets Logo 1968-1969

In 1968, a new emblem appeared briefly, consisting of the orange word “Bullets.” It graphically plays with the two letters “l”: they form two hands trying to catch a basketball. The first part of the team’s name is located slightly above the left and is colored blue.

1969 – 1971

Baltimore Bullets Logo 1969-1971

In this version, designers changed the logo’s palette. They removed the orange color and made the words “bullets” blue and “BALTIMORE” light blue. Artists repainted the basketball yellow.

1971 – 1972

Baltimore Bullets Logo 1971-1972

The color change also occurred in the next version of the logo. Both parts of the club’s name became dark blue, and the ball became brick-red.

1972 – 1973

Baltimore Bullets Logo 1972-1973

This was the end of the “Baltimore” era. The image didn’t undergo significant changes, but the word “Bullets” was written in light blue, and the basketball was now light orange. Designers returned to the 1970 logo.

1973 – 1974

Capital Bullets Logo 1973-1974

The franchise was transferred from Baltimore to Landover, Maryland, and spent one season under the name “Capital Bullets.” The name change led to a redesign of the logo, made in 1973. In this version, the text is cobalt, the ball is brick-red, and instead of the word “bullets,” “capital” (the first part of the new club name) is used.

1974 – 1987

Washington Bullets Logo 1974-1987

After the move, when the franchise was transferred to Washington, the management revised the logo. As a result, above the base inscription “bullets,” the name of the city where the team moved to – Washington – appeared. It’s executed in uppercase. The text and ball color was slightly enhanced.

1987 – 1997

Washington Bullets Logo 1987-1997

In this version, the logo creators decided to move away from the concept of hands with open palms and simplified the visual identification structure. They also made the letters cobalt, enlarged the letter “B,” and turned the basketball so that its lines were not horizontal but vertical.

1997 – 2007

Washington Wizards Logo 1997-2007

In 1997, a new era began for the sports club and its symbolism: they got a different name – Washington Wizards, and accordingly, a wizard. In the first version, the wizard’s body and beard form a black letter “W.” With one hand, the magician holds a ball with characteristic lines, and with the other, he points to a star. At the same time, the right hand is stretched out in a throw, and the foot stands behind the crescent moon’s sickle. Below is the word “WIZARDS.”

2007 – 2011

Washington Wizards Logo 2007-2011

During this period, changes were minor: the developers lightened the logo color by several shades.

2011 – 2015

Washington Wizards Logo 2011-2015

In 2011, the color scheme was again redesigned specifically to match the color of the American flag fully. The palette received a different scheme. Designers made the wizard’s torso, palms, and face blue and his pants, sleeves, star, and hat light red.

2015 – present

Washington Wizards Logo 2015-Present

In 2015, the management presented fans with a new version of the team’s logo, based on the alternative emblem of the “Washington Wizards” (2011-2014). The current version consists of a circle, made in the style of a classic rondel. The logo in the form of a print contains a central part, a wide border, and thin dividing lines. In the center is a ball with a star. To the right and left of it are two more stars. Above in a red frame is written “Washington,” and below on the blue side is “Wizards.”

At the same time, the logo featured signature Washington stripes. Three stars represented Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

In any case, the peculiarity of the new Washington Wizards logo is not in its appearance (there’s nothing special in it; truth be told, it’s one of the most boring designs in the league). The point is in the moment of its appearance. This is a rare, almost unique case: the team changed its logo right during the season, exactly under the playoffs. In basketball tradition, this is perhaps the first case when an NBA logo was replaced not in the off-season.

Font and Colors

Washington Wizards Emblem

Despite a wide range of design solutions, each logo variant unites one thing: a basketball. In some cases, it serves as the central detail; in others – it is a background. The current version contains the deepest symbols: three stars symbolize the three locations of the team – Washington, Virginia, and Maryland.

Washington Wizards symbol

The text on the updated emblem resembles Friz Quadrata Bold – a serif font developed by Ernst Friz and Victor Caruso. A similar font is used in the logos of wizards and crescents. In previous logo versions, the inscriptions were even, smooth, without sharp transitions. Now, narrower, strict symbols with miniature serifs at the ends of individual letters are used.

The official Washington Wizards palette includes PMS 877 Silver, PMS 289 Navy Blue, and PMS 186 Red. White is also available as an additional color.

Washington Wizards color codes

Navy BlueHex color:#002b5c
RGB:0 43 92
CMYK:100 64 0 60
Pantone:PMS 289 C
RedHex color:#e31837
RGB:227 24 55
CMYK:0 100 81 4
Pantone:PMS 186 C
SilverHex color:#c4ced4
RGB:196 206 212
CMYK:5 0 0 20
Pantone:PMS 877 C

FAQ

What does the Washington Wizards logo represent?

The central element of the logo is called the monument ball. It looks like a circle divided into several fragments, resembling the petals of a closed flower. In the center is a tower, and above it is a silver star, which, together with two more side stars, represents Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The team’s name is written inside a striped ring frame.

Why did the “Wizards” change their logo?

Wizards changed the logo to reflect the iconic elements of their identity. For example, the red, blue, and white stripes symbolize the design of the basketball uniform.

Who designed the Washington Wizards logo?

The current primary Washington Wizards logo was used as a secondary one from 2011 to 2015. It was developed by Ted Leonsis, an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist.

Where did the name Washington Wizards come from?

This name was proposed by Abe Pollin, one of the direct managers of the “Washington Wizards.” He wanted the team’s name to have no negative connotation but to be associated with wisdom, strength, and energy.