Artist Daniel Arsham embraces “magical” vision and team history to take a fresh look at the Cavaliers

Cleveland, Ohio – Somehow, the newly redesigned look of the Cleveland Cavaliers dates back a few years to a sculpture by an artist Daniel Arsham At Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

If you’ve been in the ring for the past few seasons and wandered down the lower level lobby, you’ve probably seen “Moving Basketball”. It draws you in, its multi-shaped shape like a basketball that appears to be folded into an undulating piece of white cloth. It’s one of more than 100 pieces of art that have been installed or hung inside the arena, thanks to an initiative from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer.

“That was kind of the trigger to start this conversation about taking on this role,” Arsham said of the work he’s done with Gilbert. “There were fans who loved this work, there was a good reaction from the community, and I started to discuss with the team – really just making suggestions about things about the jersey or the court.”

Those conversations, he said, turned out to be “you probably have a big role here.”

Arsham became the team’s creative director in 2020. His default in-ring cloth is the team’s entire look: he’s responsible for “anything the players wear, anything on the field, all social media graphics”.

So the updated lightweight look the team unveiled today includes a few changes. He said the sword that cuts the letter “C” is removed, and the letter “C” will not be the main focal point. The redrawn logo is inspired by the ’90s, “Sort of Mark Price-era Graphic,” he said, referring to the base that played his first nine out of 12 seasons at Cleveland.

New Cleveland Cavaliers logos

The Cleveland Cavaliers introduced an updated brand identity with an updated logo set. The design of the logo set was led by Cavaliers’ Creative Director and world-renowned artist Daniel Archham. (Photo: Courtesy of the Cleveland Cavaliers)

“Although it looks familiar, it is a completely new drawing,” Arsham said. “We drew it from scratch. It takes cues from multiple eras. I knew from the start that I wanted to update the team’s logo package. Part of that was when I arrived, it kind of felt like a lot of graphics and rays of color had piled up on top of each other for 15 years. I think it was There is a reluctance to let things go; they keep adding stuff.There were nearly 30 different logos and multiple different uses.

“Our color for the team is wine and gold, but our go (was) represented by this mustard color, and then the Navy was dumped in there at some point. I started simplifying things last season and reducing the package to six or seven uses. Then I started thinking, ‘How can I improve?’” That’s more?” For me, it’s really about creating a cohesive brand language, and it’s something that people can stick to.”

To this point, the color palette has been changed. He said gold is real gold – not reflective, and ends up looking more like beige gold. On the jersey the color is covered with silicone, which gives a reflective quality.

“It’s that kind of magical thing,” Arsham said. The graphic is quite new, but when fans see it “the logo will look like something they’ve probably seen before”. In fact, a quinquennial set of graphics makes up the “family” of the new logos. One notable difference: the swashbuckling effect is gone; The graphics are mostly print based.

Working on projects in his role with the team is not just Archham’s artistic endeavor. The New York-based artist, a third-generation Clevelander, was raised in Cleveland and Miami and maintains a strong affinity with the Cleveland team.

“Mark Price was definitely someone who was part of the era when I was going to games in the old arena long before the renovation. Other quirky players like World B. Free are among his friends,” said Archam, who counts Kevin Love, Colin Sexton and Darius Garland among his friends, I think they’re part of a special moment.Arsham gets five or six Cleveland games every year, and he sees the Cavs every time they play in New York.Last year, he’s attended eight games;Cleveland won seven.

When he is not watching, he is designing. Arsham and the design team have created around 50 different types of Cavs look, including some “entirely new designs”. While the final word may rest with the artist, the Cavaliers and Nike have remained involved in every step of the process. A design can look great up close on paper, for example, but the same print or logos on a T-shirt might not work well on camera.

“Everyone needed to know what would be practical in court,” Arsham said.

“I looked at a lot of historical T-shirts,” Arsham said. “I have a lot of them myself from different eras, and I don’t just look at the design of the shirts but how the graphics sit on them. I think when people see our shirts coming out next season, our shirts are going to be very unique in the league. They are like the seventies shirts in that they are simple graphics Very. Not a lot of embellishments all over, and no rims on the edge of the sleeve. It’s a very reductive board. I think it would be strong that way. Players will love them, I’m sure.”

The Cavaliers’ redesign comes on the heels of The Guardians reworking their jersey logo and scoreboard printing. This change was prompted by the team’s launch of its new name this season.

For Archam, the project remains special because of the city as well as the team that cheers it on.

“It has been a magical experience for me to understand the team, both from the front office side and in thinking about how everything we do off the field also affects our identity as a team. The Cavs are similar to the way the high school team is in other places, it kind of represents Everyone’s view of the city, you know? It kind of represents towards the world. I think the sport is such a big part of the culture in Cleveland. It was kind of magical to me on both sides of it.”

Related Coverage

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Cavaliers have appointed internationally respected artist Daniel Archham as creative director, hoping to create a larger cultural footprint.

I’m on cleveland.comThe Life and Culture team covers food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, This is a guide on Bill Wills from WTAM-1100 and I usually talk about food and drink at 8:20 am on a Thursday. Twitter: @ mbona30.

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