The Bay Area of California didn’t always have a basketball team to call its own. The Philadelphia Warriors were founded in 1946. They are one of three teams (including the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks) to survive in the NBA after the BAA merged with it in 1949. In 1962, the team moved to the Bay Area and adopted the San Francisco Warriors as its new name. Their name later changed to the Golden State Warriors prior to the 1971-72 season.
Their past successes – winning championships in 1947, 1956, and 1975 – made them legendary. But their modern-era highlights – winning the championship in 2014 and getting back to the NBA Finals in 2015 – make them noteworthy as well. To celebrate the Golden State Warriors, let’s look at the evolution of their logo.
Bay Area Bliss
The Golden State Warriors – coached by five-time NBA Finals winner Steve Kerr, who earned these titles as a member of the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs – have enjoyed a resurgence over the past several seasons. The team has been to the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, from 2012-13 to 2015-16. The Warriors also set a league record for most games won in a regular season last year with 73 wins and only nine losses. This beat the previous best record (72-10 by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls) by one additional win.
Much of the team’s recent success has come about thanks to great individual talents. It also doesn’t hurt that the league’s back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry is the team’s point guard on a nightly basis. This summer, during free agency, the team made a major move by convincing superstar Kevin Durant, formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to join its quest for a second NBA title in three years.
California State of Mind
The Golden State Warriors have used eight different logos since moving to California. They have tended to use a blue and gold (or yellow) scheme throughout their many designs. They’ve even found ways to work in California iconography. The state’s shape, the Bay Area, and the Golden Gate Bridge are significant in the themes throughout.
There have also been outliers, such as in the late ’90s and early ’00s, where the team opted for a more modern logo that showcased less connection to their team’s storied history. Here’s how the Golden State Warriors logo has evolved over the years.
1962–1968: The first logo for the San Francisco Warriors features the use of blue and white. This circle design is like a coin: The face – or in this case, an Indian headdress – rests in the center of the image. Note the “i” in “Warriors” is an arrow in place of the letter.
1969–1970: The Warriors go with a simple “The City” text to accompany a silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is encapsulated in a blue circle with a yellow fill.
1971: This logo features the first use of “Golden State” on a logo when referring to the Warriors. California is featured with a star placed above the location of California’s Bay Area. No. 14 is placed inside the circle.
1972–1974: This logo drops the “Golden State” from the last logo while keeping California, the No. 14, and the yellow circle with blue trim and text.
1975–1987: The Warriors bring back “Golden State.” The background circle also gains the necessary embellishments to resemble a basketball. No. 14 is removed.
1988–1996: The text style is adjusted, and the basketball image is given better definition. The second primary color is now gold instead of bright yellow.
1997–2009: A blue figure holds a lightning bolt, while references to “Golden State” – in text and symbols – disappear from the logo. A well-defined orange basketball rests behind the figure and the “Warriors” text.
2010 to Present: The current team logo calls the team by their full name, “Golden State Warriors.” It also brings back the blue and gold color scheme and circular format. The silhouette of the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge is the focus of the logo on top of a blue background.
Another Playoff Run
Whether you’re a lifelong fan of the Golden State Warriors or a new fan, thanks to the dynamic play of Curry and Durant, don’t forget Fanatics.com offers officially licensed merchandise and apparel to rep GSW from class to the court and everywhere in between.