The new logo isn’t just a new logo for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It’s the start of something bigger than that.
For the Timberwolves, there is plenty to be excited about besides Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins (although those are certainly good reasons to be excited).
There’s the Target Center Renovation. The promise of a team lead by coach Tom Thibodeau. The team’s worldwide reach. The G-League. And of course, as of Tuesday night, the team’s new logo.
To start the new logo process, the Timberwolves reached out to Rodney Richardson of RARE Design.
Richardson isn’t new to the sports logo business. He’s already spearheaded projects for the Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings.
The Wolves first reached out to Richardson with an open mind. There were no limitations when Richardson first met with the Wolves, led by Chief Strategy Officer Ted Johnson. Richardson felt like he was working with a clean slate.
“That was probably one of the more healthy ways to look at this too, because even when we started the conversation, there wasn’t a pre-drawn conclusion of ‘let’s blow this whole thing up and let’s redo everything’ or ‘let’s just go one or two steps.’ It was ‘we want you to evaluate this with us and let’s find the best route,’” Richardson told Timberwolves.com. “They kind of gave us the opportunity to explore that at both ends without saying we want it on this side or the other. They wanted us to research it, look into it and then come back with recommendations.”
It’s been a 12-month process between the Wolves, Richardson and RARE design. The logo is a combination and evolution of past logos and incorporates elements of what makes Minnesota great. From the North Star in the logo to the entire color palette, the logo is a nod to what makes the state great. It also reminisces to the past, while looking ahead to what’s to come.
For Richardson, working with the Wolves was a different challenge than some of his previous endeavors. For the Pelicans and Hornets, there were name changes. For the Grizzlies, there was the move from Vancouver to Memphis.
“All of those are huge natural reasons why you would undergo some sort of brand refresh or rebrand,” Richardson said.
But the Wolves aren’t moving, nor are they changing their name. But it’s part of a new identity and in a way, a new start. A renovated arena, perhaps the best young core in the league, a new CEO, and now, a new logo. For the Wolves, it was just time to turn the page to a new chapter.
“Because all the other change going on with the arena, a young team, just the transition that is happening there, the timing was right,” Richardson said. “As a team, as you grow, there are different points in your growth and maturing that just seem, now is the time if we’re going to evaluate, if we are going to look as something, let’s do it now. You can certainly tell when a team has reached the end of one era and moving into another one and that’s always a good time to evaluate what’s working and what’s not.”
About The Logo
The logo has many nods to Minnesota, the team and, of course, the Timberwolf.
There’s the North Star which represents one of the pillars Minnesota hangs its hat on. The star represents Minnesota pride.
The Wolf is facing forward. Of course the team respects the past. The 2003-04 Western Conference Finals run. Past owners. The Kevin Garnett era. But the new logo represents looking forward and carving out new territory.
The open mouth with the teeth showing represents the fierce energy of not just one Wolf, but a collective unit. To show aggression and fearlessness to the future.
The green of the eyes is a nod to the green that surrounds the state whether that be through Northern Lights, reflection of ice crystals in the winter or the flourishing of buds of trees in the spring.
The primarily colors include midnight blue, aurora green, lake blue, moonlight grey and frost white.
“From the motion and vibrant hues of the Northern Lights, to the depths and reflections of a midnight forest, to the rich contrasts of this great frozen city of the north, the palette is the perfect representation of modern sport colors inspired by the story of Minnesota’s landscape,” Richardson said. “It’s color with a sense of place.”
For Richardson, he loves how the logo is simple, yet intense.
Throughout the process he learned plenty about Minnesota (a bit too cold for his liking considering he’s from Mississippi) and the great people who live there.
“I really felt like, the more we learned, the more we looked into just this place and how creative and innovative and progressive the mindset is,” Richardson said. “How hard working people are and the expectation of that and a shared contribution of that, but then also this clarity and precision of design, even just the way people live and express themselves. It’s not an overly adorned place, which is good.”
Working With CEO Ethan Casson
Richardson was able to work with Wolves CEO Ethan Casson throughout the process and found it exciting that this is Casson’s second stint with the Wolves. Casson was very interested in learning about the process of how the logo came to be. What were the reasons behind each decision?
With that being said, Casson challenged and reaffirmed some ideas, all in a positive way, contributing to the ultimate process.
“He didn’t want to come in at that stage and not know any of that and just say, let’s try this and this,” Richardson said. “He wanted to know what we talked about, what we looked up, what had been said, what other people within the organization had said and what we learned about the place. It was really kind of cool at that point to get that check and for him to look at that, measure that against what he knows, the leadership that he brings and either affirm or challenge some of the ideas and positions where we were.”
The new logo is certainly significant for the Wolves. But the logo alone proves there’s plenty more to come.