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New York Knicks Logo History

The term Knickerbockers originates back to the Dutch settlers who came to what is now New York in the 1600s.  Specifically it refers to the style of pants the settlers wore. They wore pants that rolled up below the knee which became known as Knickerbockers. As history moved on the Dutch settler Knickerbocker became significant to New York City.

In 1845 the term Knickerbocker had its first use in the sports world. A Manhattan based baseball team was named the New York Knickerbockers or the Knickerbocker Nine. The name even stayed when they moved New Jersey in 1846. In the summer of 1946 The Basketball Association of America granted a charter franchise to New York City. The name Knickerbockers was pulled out of a hat. Named after Father Knickerbocker a symbol of New York the name was later shortened to the Knicks.

Keeping New York tradition the color ways were orange blue and white, the official colors of New York. Including minor color and style alterations, the Knicks used only three primary logos in their 64 year history. The first was Father Knick. This was the original Knicks logo, used from the opening season in 1946 through 1964. It was that of a smiling Father Knickerbocker dribbling a basketball, the creation of famed sports cartoonist Willard Mullin.

In 1965 the Knicks unveiled their round ball logo created by artist Bud Freeman of the J.C. Bull advertising agency. It was the logo under which the Knicks won both of their NBA Championships. With only minor color and style alterations it remained in use 1992. Alterations to the classic round ball logo included maroon lettering from 1980-1983, the brown ball from 1983-1989, and orange ball 1989-1992. The versions that were introduced were made to conform to standard PMS colors.

In 1992 the Knicks unveiled an updated version of the club logo, featuring three-dimensional, modernized lettering newly fitted in a triangle. The new logo was created by NBA Marketing, an effort headed by creative director Tom O’Grady. During 1995 the logo was altered slightly to include the words New York at the top.

While the triangle logo remains the Knicks primary trademark, the club has used additional secondary logos in the past. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Knicks also used a secondary ball in the box logo on game tickets and club merchandise. The Golden Anniversary logo in 1996-1997, the “Knicks 2000” millennium logo in 1999-2000, and the circular “NYK Subway Token” logo were some of these.  First introduced in 1995 the NYK logo was added to the backs of the player jerseys in 2002.