The History and Evolution of Phoenix Suns Logo

The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team that competes in the NBA. Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, the team boasted of having some great players in the past, such as Steve Nash and Charles Barkley, in their ranks. Although the team has some fantastic records, they never managed to win an NBA title in their history.

After mediocre performances over the last two decades, the Phoenix Suns finally reached the finals of the NBA in 2021. However, the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title.

While the Phoenix Suns may not have won a title, they are an attractive team. From the mascot of the Phoenix Suns logo to their visual identity , the Phoenix Suns have all the elements of brand identity properly balanced. We will explore all about Phoenix Suns logo logo, but first, let’s look into their history. 

A brief history of Phoenix Suns

Founded in 1968, the Phoenix Suns were the first team that represented the entire state of Arizona for their first twenty years. Known as the “Madhouse on McDowell,’ the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum was Phoenix Suns’ home ground for the first 24 seasons.

The Suns’ first trip to the finals was during the 1975-76 season when they made important moves to improve the team. After advancing through several stages, the Suns finally managed to reach the finals of the NBA, where the experienced Boston Celtics were waiting. After a hard-fought battle, the Suns had to face defeat.

Apart from being a tough adversary, the Suns are also known for their mascot, “Go.” Known for his antics, Go the gorilla is one of the most famous mascots in the NBA. 

While the Suns are yet to win the NBA title, they have retained the 7th spot in the best all-time winning percentage with 2,286 wins. Apart from 10 Hall of Famers, the franchise has had two “NBA Most Valuable Player” titles.

Interesting fact: J. Walter Kennedy, the commissioner of the NBA from 1963 until 1975, had remarked that the Phoenix Suns were “too small” to be a triumphant team to play in the NBA. 

The Phoenix Suns logo

One of the most important components of brand identity is the logo. Sports franchises spend a substantial amount of their revenues on establishing their brand identities. In the sporting world, logos and team jerseys form the crux of the brand identity. Fans and followers associate themselves with their favorite team’s logos and jerseys.

The Phoenix Suns changed their visual identity four times; however, they have always been consistent with the main design elements: a basketball that represents the sun.

Meaning of Phoenix Suns logo

The main element of the Phoenix Suns logo is a basketball emitting rays. The logo symbolizes the sun in all its glory. The logo stands for victory, energy, strength, power, and youthfulness.

The current emblem sets itself apart from the crowd due to its shape and color palette. 

Evolution of Phoenix Suns logo

Evolution of the Phoenix Suns Logo

The Phoenix Suns logo went through four overhauls in its history; however, the 1968 version is the most distinct among them all.

1968 – 1992

The first Phoenix Suns logo was a red rectangular frame with an image of a basketball. The basketball had white rays protruding out of it. The wordmark was divided in two and placed above and below the rectangular frame. The word “Phoenix” was placed just above the rectangular frame. While the second half of the inscription, “Suns,” was placed below the red rectangular box. The letter “n,” both in Phoenix and Suns, appeared in lowercase.  

1992 – 2000

The 1992 redesign saw many changes. The red rectangular box was replaced with a purple badge, while the text became considerably small and was placed beneath the badge. The basketball, along with the sun’s rays, appeared in different gradients of orange.  The fonts looked more modern with softened edges.

2000 – 2013

The 2000 redesign took the previous emblem a notch higher in terms of the colors and the lettering. A new gray and black outline was added to the badge, while shadow was added to the lettering. The new changes made the logo appear dynamic and full. The black details in the ball gave the logo a sophisticated look.

2013 – Present

The present logo is a partial redesign of its 2000 counterpart. While most of the design elements remained untouched, the 2013 edition of the logo was redone with a black and orange color scheme. The orange ball is placed on a black badge, while the white and gray wordmark is placed at the bottom. The fonts look futuristic and trendy.

The evolution of the logo of a brand reflects its internal changes. It also highlights how it wishes to connect with the audience. The Phoenix Suns logo reflects its emotions and values at different stages of its existence. Although the logos are not much different from each other, the changes in the color and fonts highlight how the franchise has evolved itself through time. 

Color palette of the Phoenix Suns logo

Color palette of the Phoenix Suns logo

The official colors of the Phoenix Suns logo is black, gray, orange, yellow, and purple. While purple is one of the official colors of the franchise, it has not been used in the current logo. The following are the RGB, CMYK, and HEX color codes:

RGB:  229, 95, 32CMYK: 0, 75,100, 5HEX Code: #E56020
RGB:  229, 95, 32CMYK: 0, 75,100, 5HEX Code: #1D1160
RGB:  229, 95, 32CMYK: 0, 75,100, 5HEX Code: #F9AD1B
RGB:  229, 95, 32CMYK: 0, 75,100, 5HEX Code: #000000
RGB:  229, 95, 32CMYK: 0, 75,100, 5HEX Code: #63727A


Phoenix Suns logo font

The official font of the Phoenix Suns franchise is Trade Gothic Bold Condensed. However, the typeface used in the current logo appears closer to Lightsider Regular.

Interesting readMiami Dolphins logo: Everything you need to know

Evaluation of the Phoenix Suns logo

We analyze a logo on four criteria, namely relevance, memorability, simplicity, and timelessness. Analyzing a logo enables us to understand the effectiveness of the emblem. Let us quickly find out how the current Phoenix Suns logo does in all the parameters. 

Relevance: A relevant logo is the one that clearly communicates the brand’s identity and personality without beating around the bush. It is free of extra design elements, which can make things unclear. The current Suns logo does not have any extra design element that clutters the design. It is easy on the eyes and communicates key messages instantly.

As a graphic designer, you should focus on using colors, which evoke the right emotions. You must be careful when choosing colors because any wrong choice can alter the meaning of your logo. The Phoenix Suns logo uses a combination of yellow, orange, black, and gray: perfect for highlighting the team’s competitive side.

Memorability: The idea behind creating an effective visual identity is to generate a connection between a brand and the customers. A good logo can help establish a healthy connection between you and your brand. And how does a logo establish a connection? The answer is simple: it does so by increasing the memorability quotient. When customers can easily remember your logo, they can connect with your brand effortlessly.

The Phoenix Suns logo is a great example of a memorable logo. The combination of colors, shape, and lettering gives it an edge over the others. Apart from clearly communicating about the franchise, the logo makes a lasting impression on the followers’ minds. 

Simplicity: Simplicity is one of the most important elements that separate the best from the good. A simple logo is both relevant and memorable. So, if you want your logo to stand apart from the crowd, you should use simple design elements. A simple logo is uncomplicated and free from clutter. If you feel that your logo has extra design elements, you should immediately remove them.

From Apple to Nike to Coca-Cola, the biggest brands in the world have some of the simplest logos. The Phoenix Suns logo is simple and is free of extra design elements. However, the franchise may think of using fewer colors to make it more effective.

Timelessness: Logos that remain relevant even after years have passed are the ones that truly stand apart from the crowd. While it is tempting to use the latest design trends, using design elements that are right in line with your brand is always the best decision. Applying the latest fads may look great momentarily, but as soon as the craze is over, you will find yourself looking for a new trend. A timeless logo does not follow the latest trends, which is why they remain relevant and effective over the years.

The Phoenix Suns logo has retained its central theme from day one. The basketball that represents the sun is the centerpiece of all the logo designs they have had over the years. The current logo is well-balanced and timeless.

The verdict

The Phoenix Suns visual identity has all the right design elements in place. The logo is relevant, memorable, simple, and timeless. While the franchise can redesign the logo with fewer colors, it has all the components to turn the emblem into an iconic one.

Bonus: Sun symbolism in logos

From antiquity to the modern-day emoji, the sun symbol has been used to convey multi-layered messages.
In ancient times, the sun depicted the most important aspects of life, such as birth, life, death, rebirth, power, royalty, and the cycle of time.

Today, the sun symbol is used across industries to symbolize knowledge, power, fame, and emotion. Brands across the world use the sun in their logos to convey various messages. Businesses that deal with energy, tourism, and agriculture use the sun in their emblems. From Red Bull to Lipton to Miami Dolphins, some of the biggest brands in the world use the sun in their logos. Let us look at a few sun emblems. 

RelatedPhoenix logo: meaning, symbolism, and design ideas

Red Bull

The History and Evolution of Phoenix Suns Logo

Established in 1987, Red Bull is the largest-selling energy drink in the world. The Austrian-based energy drinks company sells over 7.9 billion cans a year.

Red Bull has stuck to its original emblem since its inception. Two bulls about to lock horns in the backdrop of the sun is an instantly recognizable logo in the world. The logo is perfect for the energy drink brand.


The History and Evolution of Phoenix Suns Logo

Established in 1890 and owned by Unilever, Lipton is a tea brand known for its distinct flavors. The teas are grown with special care in plantations from India, China, Sri Lanka, and Kenya.

The current logo has the famous horizontally stretched badge with the “Lipton” inscription and a yellow circle resembling the sun.


The History and Evolution of Phoenix Suns Logo

Formerly known as The British Petroleum Company plc, BP is an oil and gas company based out of London, England. Apart from being a major oil company in the world, it is spreading its wings in the renewable energy sector.

The current BP logo was designed in 2000. The flower-shaped visual identity stands for nature. The center of the flower depicts the sun, and the green petals portray the environment.


Logos speak a thousand words, and when done the right way, fans and followers easily connect with your brand. Sports and games are all about passion and emotions; a team that can capture these extreme feelings in their logo can easily connect with their followers.

Businesses accross the world have consulted DesignBro to build their brand with logo, website, packaging design and much more.

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The History and Evolution of Phoenix Suns Logo

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