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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 to the Alamo City from Dallas. 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, had worked for the Pitluk Group for two decades and said he was only given one piece of instruction from management about the potential design.
“The only thing they really wanted was some way to show the spur as part of the symbol. They said we would like to have a spur drawing somewhere,” said Collins.
Two days later, Collins presented management with three designs that were taken to the Spurs group of investors.
“I just ran down to the Witte Museum and looked at all the spurs on exhibit. Every one of them had round ends and can twirl,” said Collins.
Collins designed the logo with the “U” in the team name to represent a spur. 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,” said Collins. “They didn’t change anything. It takes usually a lot of grinding and a lot of work, but in this case, it just went flying through.”
Collins, who had worked for years designing corporate logos and is a well-known watercolor artist, said the turnaround time was unexpected.
“Results can take months, years even, and cost lots of money. But in three days, we produced a sig. It’s unheard of,” said Collins.
While the lettering, color and points at the bottom of the logo have changed over time, the one thing that has stayed the same is the spur has always been in the middle of the team name, a nod to Collins’ design.
“I don’t want to take any credit at all from anybody else because Red McCombs named it,” said Collins. “All I did was a piece of artwork that said this is the Spurs.”
Other Spurs news and notes:
The Spurs announced they signed forward Jordan Hall to a two-way contract. Per team policy, the terms of the contract were not announced.
Hall, 6-8/220, wrapped 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 No. 30 for the Spurs.