The unofficial designs for the Los Angeles Clippers' new logos and uniforms have been out there in the Internet ether and making the rounds since Paul Lukas of UniWatch published leaked graphics in April. We didn't write anything about those leaks in part because we were kind of hoping that what dribbled out through Lukas' sources was an early proposal or prototype rather than the real deal, but ... well, owner Steve Ballmer removed all doubt with his appearance on "Conan" on Wednesday night:
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Yep, that's it — that's the logo.
Most of the reaction I've seen has been pretty negative, with the new logo drawing comparisons to an office product:
Everybody made the Clippy jokes with Steve Ballmer buying the Clippers, but man that new logo … is it a staple? pic.twitter.com/Z3q9Pq6qpM
— Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor) April 20, 2015
... an Office product befitting the "Microsoft organization" that Ballmer wants the Clippers to become:
— James Dator (@James_Dator) April 20, 2015
... the letter that signifies your car's out of gas:
No one took a step back from the sketch pad and noticed it ends up looking like an E? https://t.co/6yOJxUc9GX
— Katie Nolan (@katienolan) June 18, 2015
... and nine-year-old video-game branding:
That response, as you might expect, stands in stark contrast to the energetic and positive vibe Ballmer's putting out there.
“This is an exciting time to be a Clippers fan,” he said in the team's statement accompanying the release of the new logo and "brand identity." “We have one of the top teams in the NBA, and now we have introduced a new look that is bold, edgy, powerful and truly representative of us turning the page and entering a brand new age.”
Well, there certainly are edges. And I think that typeface is technically bold? So, y'know: nailed it.
While their redesign explainer document includes a lot of discussion of "dimension and energy," "nautical roots," "silver linings" and "optimism," to their credit, Ballmer and company showed a sense of humor about the proceedings. They steered into the skid a bit by trading on Blake Griffin's established Funny or Die connections to produce this sketch about the rebranding effort:
Then again, if Blake was really the one who designed this thing, you'd figure he'd look a little happier to wear the resulting uniforms:
Let's thank heaven for small mercies. It could've been Ballmer doing the modeling.
So, well, there's that. At least if you're in Los Angeles, you can benefit from Ballmer's enthusiasm about the new look — he'll be giving away cupcakes at Sprinkles in downtown L.A. on Thursday morning. I'm afraid, however, that he'll also be giving away shirts with the new logo on it; still, you can put up with an awful lot for a free cupcake. (There'll be more local giveaways around L.A., too, if you're looking to soak up whatever swag you can.)
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