Identity Re-Design: B.A.S.I.C.

In the early 1990's. my very first design project for the Portland Trail Blazers was the re-design of the identity for the Blazer/Avia Scholastic Improvement Concepts program, commonly referred to as B.A.S.I.C. Blazer Clyde Drexler was chairman of the effort, a statewide literacy project sponsored by the Trail Blazers, Avia and - at that time - Seafirst Bank. The program offered hands-on help for children to improve their academic achievement.

The logo I was asked to improve upon (below left) was a confusing conglomeration of a book, the Blazers icon, the Avia logo with tagline, the Blazers logotype and the text spelling out the B.A.S.I.C. name - all within a circle. Then the Seafirst Bank identity was dropped in below to add to the sensory overload.

I was very pleased with my simplified treatment for the identity (above center). The design was primarily made of up collegiate looking letterforms that I had drawn myself to give them a kid-friendly appearance that would appeal to the young target audience. I replaced the "I" with a stylized human figure reading a book - after all, this was a literacy program. What most kids zeroed in on immediately was that the figure was wearing athletic shoes. Across the bottom of the illustration was the name of the organization in simple and tasteful type - with the word "Blazers" plural.

Everybody loved the design - and then it was time to stick in the Blazers' fancy schmancy, new slanted icon and type treatment - and the Avia logo (thankfully without the tagline) - and the Bank of America identity (above right). Suddenly, my clean and simple design didn't appear so clean and simple. When major corporate sponsors want their logo bigger within a design, you make the logo bigger. However, I do think it was still an improvement over the design used previously.

(Note: My book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives