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The San Antonio Spurs logo is one of the most recognized professional sports logos across the country, but nearly 50 years ago it was just another project for the artist credited with designing the original look.
In 1973, a group of San Antonio businessmen led by Angelo Drossos and Red McCombs brought the basketball franchise from Dallas to the Alamo City. McCombs asked a local advertising agency called the Pitluk Group to design a new logo for the team.
“I found out when they came to me, and they said, ‘There’s a new company that we just took on. It’s called the Spurs,” said artist Finis Collins. “I didn’t know anything about it.”
Collins, 93, has worked for the Pitluk Group for two decades and said he received only one instruction from management about the possible design.
“The only thing they really wanted was a way to show the incentive as part of the symbol. They said we would like to have a track somewhere,” Collins said.
Two days later, Collins presented three designs to management which were taken to the Spurs group of investors.
“I just ran to the Witte Museum and looked at all the tracks on display. Every one of them had round ends and could turn,” Collins said.
Collins designed the logo with the “U” in the team name to represent an incentive. He also drew the original black and gray lettering by hand, creating a 3D look.
“They had a meeting the next day, and they approved it,” Collins said. “They haven’t changed anything. It usually takes a lot of grinding and a lot of work, but in this case it just flew by.”
Collins, who spent years designing corporate logos and is a noted watercolor artist, said the turnaround was unexpected.
“Results can take months, even years and cost a lot of money. But within three days we made a sight. That’s unheard of,” Collins said.
While the lettering, color and dots at the bottom of the logo have changed over time, the one thing that has remained the same is the incentive has always been in the middle of the team name, a nod to Collins’ design.
“I don’t want to take any credit from anybody else at all because Red McCombs mentioned it,” Collins said. “All I did was an artwork that said it was the Spurs.”
Other Spurs news and notes:
The Spurs announced that they have signed Jordan Hall to a two-way contract. According to team policy, the terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Hall, 6-8/220, finished his sophomore campaign at Saint Joseph’s, averaging 12.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 50 career games (47 starts).
Hall was on the Spurs Summer League team and averaged 3.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists over five games in Las Vegas. He will wear number 30 for the Spurs.
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