The current Nets logo designed by Jay Z is the eighth to represent the franchise since its 1967 debut.
The franchise’s inaugural logo set the stage for decades of design by the team even as the name changed from “Americans” after a single season. Taking its cue from the original name, the logo incorporated the elements of the American flag, with stars and stripes that would eventually be infused into the franchise’s most famous uniform look.
After moving to Long Island and adopting the name “New York Nets,” the franchise kept its red, white and blue colors but dropped the flag look on the logo, opting for a script “nets” that would mimic the team’s home jerseys, drawn across a block “NY.”
1972 brought a new arena, new uniforms, and a new logo, incorporating a version of the previous logo into a background of the red, white and blue basketball synonymous with the ABA. The team retained the previous primary logo as an alternate.
With the move to New Jersey, the Nets dropped the “NY” from the logo for this single-season update. Other elements remained the same, with the script “nets” and the red, white and blue basketball background.
A complete redesign that would last more than a decade as the Nets settled into their new home state and prepared for the opening of their new arena in 1981. The circular look incorporated the state name and silhouette with a block “Nets,” set in white over a red and blue background. This logo provided stability, remaining in place for twice as long as any previous incarnation.
The Nets modernized their logo for a new decade, just in time for the arrival of Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Drazen Petrovic and a new era. The red, white and blue gradient featured an all-caps “NETS” floating above a basketball that shared the hues, hearkening back to the team’s time in the ABA.
A second update within the ‘90s proved longer lasting. The Nets went with a three-dimensional shield concept while keeping the basketball that was part of every franchise logo but one. Most significantly, the team changed its color scheme for the first time: deepening the red and swapping royal blue for navy, also adding silver and dark grey. A secondary logo featuring “NJ” overtaking the shield was used from 1997-2006.
The Nets transitioned their shield logo for a new era with the move to Brooklyn. With the new black and white color scheme and a minimalist look on the uniforms, the logo took a similarly direct approach, adding an all-caps “BROOKLYN” beneath the shield. The enclosed basketball with a capital “B” was pulled out to be the primary feature of a secondary logo that adorns the center court circle at Barclays Center.