The Portland Trail Blazers Club was founded in 1970 in Portland, Oregon, USA.
The idea of creating the NBA franchise in Portland appeared back in 1955. It belongs to sports promoter Harry Glickman. He suggested expanding the NBA into two teams: one in Portland, and the other – in Los Angeles. However, for several reasons, the leadership of the National Basketball Association granted the right to create a franchise in Portland only fifteen years later.
In 1970 a competition for the team’s best name was announced. Among the ten thousand variants of the names, “Pioneers” was the most popular one. However, this option was excluded because it was already used by the university teams of Lewis and Clark College, located in Portland. As a result, Trail Blazers, the name that received 172 votes, was chosen.
The team colors are red, white, black, and silver. The last one was added in 2002. The team logo was developed by Harry Glickman, the cousin of the team leader.
The name Trail Blazers refers to the builders of railways in Oregon that goes through forests and mountains. The name of the team is often shortened to Portland Blazers.
Blaze the Trail Cat is the mascot of the Portland Trail Blazers. It has been the team’s official mascot since 2002.
Portland Trail Blazers logo history
The stylish minimalist logo has been used by Portland for 18 seasons. Nothing can spoil memories of him – even the fact that in 1984, Portland preferred Sam Bowie than Michael Jordan in the draft.
The Blazers will never drop out of the top 10 until they use this logo, the masterpiece of abstract art in American sports. Five red and blue stripes symbolize the top five competing teams on the court, which interact on one side, and on the other, converge in opposition. Of all the symbolism of the NBA teams, only the emblem of Portland reflects the poetic nature of the sport.
1971 – 1990
Almost 50 years ago, Portland, Oregon, became a home city for a new basketball franchise with the pretty catchy name “Portland Trail Blazers”. The team color scheme included black, red, and white. The initial logo featured five black and five red curved lines, intertwining in the middle to make a circle. The five lines on either side of the image represented five offensive players and five defensive players. The image was crowned with black-scripted “Portland” wordmark, while “Trail” and “Blazers” written in red and black respectively were placed under the image. The logo was very minimal and actually cool.
1991 – 2002
After 19 years, the club logo was changed, but only slightly. The primary colors remained the same. The interlaced lines from the previous logo were mirrored to the previous ones, turning the pattern on 45 degrees and decreasing in size. To the right of it, the logo developers arranged an abbreviated version of the name of the team – Blazers. It was made in large, bold red letters with a black outline.
The third change of the team logo brought some volume and a three-dimensional view. Designers increased the interlaced lines in size again, placed them in the center, and mirrored the previous picture. Also, they replaced the black lines with the white ones, added a black outline and a narrowing of the ends. As a result, such changes made the drawing more attractive and modern. There was the word “Blazers” below, made in italics in black with a slight red outline to add volume.
In 2004, the logo was changed again. Designers replaced the white lines from the previous logo with silver ones. They placed the whole picture together with the name in a black rectangle with silver edges, twisted at 45 degrees. There was the word “Blazers” at the bottom of the rectangle. This time it was white with red outlines. Fourteen years later, the name of the city “Portland” was added above again.
2004 – 2012
In 2005, updates were made to improve the graphics rather than to completely change the design. Indeed it is: with the help of shadows and new technologies. Thus, the drawing became neater and more voluminous. The only innovation was the addition of the original word “Trail” to the logo.
2017 – Present
The last update of the basketball team from Oregon occurred in 2017. The main changes were made in the picture, in which the red lines were directed upwards and the white lines downwards. Besides, the designers have combined them under a single black contour line from both the top and the bottom. Also, they have made the word “Portland” in big black letters. The letters “P” and “T” were made with serifs – small lines at an angle of 45 degrees. As one of the Blazers players explains, this is a reference to the 45th parallel going north and passing through Salem, Oregon. The inscription “Trail Blazers” is located below the name of the city.