The Milwaukee Bucks are a proud franchise that has been in existence since 1968. Although they have only one NBA title, the organization has made 32 playoff appearances, 15 division titles, and two conference titles. When the history of NBA teams is written, Milwaukee Bucks will have pride of place in it. Teams are not only recognized by their performance, but also by their team logo, and the Bucks are no exception.
On May 22, 1968, the Bucks became the second professional basketball team in the city and more than 14,000 fans were a part of a contest to determine the name. Numerous fans suggested ‘Bucks’ in reference to the strength, agility, speed, and jumping ability of the male deer. The original logo, which lasted until 1993 featured a caricature of a buck wearing a sweater with the letter “B” on the front, spinning a basketball. The caricature sat on top of the words ‘Milwaukee Bucks.’
After the team’s 25th anniversary season, the Bucks unveiled their new logo that featured a frontal view of the head and shoulders of an eight-point white-tailed buck with a triangular background on top of the Milwaukee Bucks lettering. The color portfolio used in this log was silver, purple, and hunter green. The main man behind the new look was Mike Dunleavy, at the time Vice President of Basketball Operations. The green color was kept as a remembrance of past team accomplishments. Purple was seen as good contrasting color and silver was added to highlight the other colors.
Tom O’Grady, NBA Creative Director at the time, noted that “the Bucks logo is an image of strength and focused determination. The solid logo design, incorporating the powerful Buck, portrays a confident, cohesive team. It is one unit, an attribute of any good team...... The theme of solidarity is repeated upon through the physique of the muscular buck and they heavy block lettering.”
In 2006, more changes were made, this time to the team’s secondary logo, which was first introduced five years earlier in the postseason. The logo kept the red triangle as the base and the eight-point buck antlers. What changed was the addition of a green basketball outlined in silver, strategically centered at the top of the base. In addition, the word mark “BUCKS” had a more etched, rigid font and an altered box that outlines the word “BUCKS.”
The most recent changes to the Bucks’ logo came in 2015 with the new Buck that is only looking ahead. The menacing figure appears extremely focused on what is in front of him. Several key features are an expanded rack from eight to 12 points, indicating the continued maturation of the more physically dominant nature of the Buck.
It’s also worth noting that the white-tailed deer (Fear the Deer) is one of the most symbols officially recognized in the state of Wisconsin, which in the end may be the most compelling reason the Milwaukee basketball team took on the name of the “Bucks.”
- The basketball feature in the negative space between the antlers.
- The M Shape within the chest chevron as an homage to Milwaukee
- With hard edges that appear almost cut from metal and industrial but classic proprietary font juxtaposed against the curvature of the logo represents a symbolic union of urban and rural Wisconsin.
- The M Shape within the chest chevron as an homage to Milwaukee. With hard edges that appear almost cut from metal and industrial but classic proprietary font juxtaposed against the curvature of the logo represents a symbolic union of urban and rural Wisconsin.
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