Originating in New Orleans, the Utah Jazz franchise has been based in Salt Lake City since the late 1970s, becoming one of the NBA’s most enduring names. Making the play-offs at the end of the regular season is a huge deal for any franchise, not to mention its players and fans. Having qualified at the end of last season, Utah Jazz invited Studio Dumbar/DEPT® to create a visual identity for their play-off campaign.
With very little time between qualification and the play-offs, the turnaround from brief to delivery was tight. We worked with the client to create a strong campaign built on fluid, streamlined foundations. Our aim was to create a stand-out campaign, celebrating the prestige of the play-offs, the natural grandeur of Utah state, and the common ground between jazz and basketball: rhythm and sound, movement and flow, synergy and individual expression.
We created a series of robust yet flexible building blocks, led by a family of bespoke icons. Designed for application in print, 3D and motion, each icon is a simple, evocative pattern illustrating one or more themes from the brief: basketball (defense, flow); the field of play (net, scoreboard); music (rhythm, jazz); and the State of Utah (mountains, trees). The supporting colour palette is restrained, with grey and white providing a crisp, elegant foil to a metallic gold – used sparingly for maximum impact. The campaign springs to life when animated icons are applied to motion graphics – across digital and social media, as well as JumboTron screens and LED hoardings at the Vivint Arena. The campaign encompassed print and 3D applications too, including: gold wrap for exterior signage and the Jazz’s famous musical note symbol; and huge typographic banners, unfurled by fans before the games, inviting the competition to ‘TAKE NOTE’.
Not only did we answer the brief quickly, we also exceeded expectations – delivering a campaign that is both innovative and distinctive. The sophisticated, confident tone ensured that Utah Jazz stood out from the other teams involved in the play-offs, while still appealing to their dedicated fans and public.