Portland Thunder Unveil Logo for New Franchise


The Arena Football League’s newest member has finally unveiled their logo.

From the team’s press release:

Focused on encompassing the electrifying excitement of Arena Football, the Portland Thunder’s brand and logo exhibits the cohesiveness between energy and power. These two elements; as well as the team’s originality, authenticity, and innovation will be the foundation and relentless intensity of the Portland Thunder as they crusade across the battlefields of the Arena Football League.

A logo is the very first visual identity a team releases to the public and the first connection to the fans. “In our Inaugural season,we aspire to communicate with our fans by producing a trans-media marketing campaign utilizing a championship language” says director of football operations, Meadow Lemon. The first approach to delivering the team’s brand will be the unveiling of the Portland Thunder logo during tonight’s NBA game; where the team’s city mates Portland Trailblazers face the Philadelphia 76ers.

“The focus during our ideation phase of developing the logo was geared towards manufacturing distinct elements that define the spirit of the franchise. A logo should never be conceptualized without the consideration of how the players, fans and game will relate to its message”, explained Rashad Floyd, Art Director.

The process of creating and developing the Portland Thunder brand includes conceptualizing the team’s vision, mission, and a foreshadowing of a history that will intrigue the local fan base; draw national interest; and introduce the new era and future ofthe Arena Football League. We intend to harness the power of Thunder; for the crowd and fan base, it transforms an average Joe or Jane into a full participant of the movement and creates a contagious environment where everyone becomes a convert.

As a franchise is built, the logo becomes the basis of a first impression. From that pivotal moment, the emotional connection produced through the visual texture of the logo has the most significant impact on how a relationship is built between the organization and community.

The Portland Thunder’s objective is to become the catalyst for returning the Arena Football League to the level of respect and momentum required to catapult itself back to the limelight it established during the 2003-2008 seasons.

Heart and Hustle Productions CEO Rashad Floyd and his Designer Nathanael Clanton’s creative objective throughout the branding of the Portland Thunder has been to make the fan base, organization, and players see; feel; and hear the vision of the Portland Thunder Owner Terry Emmert and Executive Director Meadow Lemon.

“As we establish momentum around the organization’s brand identity, we will create a reverberation of thunderous electricity. From the team’s design, color scheme, and merchandising; the power of the logo will be apparent”, said Floyd.

The Portland Thunder logo is designed to embody more than just static symbols of the city of Portland, Oregon; but ratherexpresses something deeper; metaphorically representing the attitude and spirit of the people who support Portland’s teams.

To reflect the originality of the city of Portland, Heart and Hustle Productions (a local creative agency that produces motion and still photography, as well as art direction for professional sports franchises, television networks, and athletic brands to create,develop and design the brand of the franchise) found it extremely important to use elements that were less expected than the traditional symbols of Thunder (e.g. lightning bolts and clouds) and focused on symbols that would give fans and players alike a much more powerful connection to the Thunder organization.

The brand design embodies the spirit, power, and integrity that is expected of the players on the team; and looks like the logo itself could withstand the grind of playing in the arena. The Portland Thunder logo smashes the competition; it is an unmovable and powerful force that demolishes all opponents.

The Thunder logo utilizes a dynamic color palette, anchored with royal blue as the base of the shield, reinforced with bolted silver metal, and streaked with lines symbolizing speed and Portland’s iconic rain. The Thunder Shield is the unifying banner. In many cultures, a family crest symbolizes the identity, history, vision, mission, and direction of a group. For the Portland Thunder, the shield (like a crest) carries the ideas rooted in the city of Portland’s identity and the fans that take pride in the sports teams that they call their own.

The logo also boldly uses black, trimmed with a vibrant red, and highlighted with electric Thunder Blue. The palette reflects the intense attitude of a storm: immense power under control, yet unpredictably fierce; providing visual unity and communicates the aggressive attitude of Arena Football.

Positioned on top of the shield is the letter “T”, representing the Thunder Hammer: a monolithic piece of destructive power; capable of dismantling any opposing force. The Thunder Hammer is incorporated as an ode to Mjolnir; the legendary hammerof Thor whose name means “that which smashes”, and as a tool that symbolizes the city’s hard-working individuals. TheThunder Hammer also embodies the spirit of the team and of the people of Portland: industrious, passionate, relentless, and bold.

Engraved prominently on the hammer are the initials PDX, the identifier of Portland’s airport. In the context of the PortlandThunder, PDX is used as a shorthand identifier for the team. “PDX Thunder” brings voltage when referencing the team, providing announcers and fans alike a call sign that exemplifies the team’s performance on and off the field.

The “XX” symbolizes the Roman numeral 20, which is dedicated to the late Maurice Lucas, a long time friend to team ownerTerry Emmert and is an all-time Portland icon. His number 20 jersey is well known through the Portland Trailblazer organizationas “The Enforcer”, an attitude that the Thunder will embrace.

Pronounced across the shield and hammer is the “THUNDER” logotype, chiseled to a crisp edge. The bold type echoes theweight and power of the hammer and demonstrates the refined precision of our players’ speed and gameplay. Mountedabove the beveled Thunder name in white and Thunder Blue, the word mark proudly identifies itself as Portland’s team.

Thunder is the sound after a lightning strike; the sonic boom. You may see lightning flash for a second, but the crack andheart pounding thunder is what you remember. The shield is emblazoned with a downward-facing football, and cascading offof the football are the shockwaves, symbolizing the high impact speed of the game and the “Boom” of thunder.

The Portland Thunder’s symbol completely embodies the team. Thunder is not only the name of the team, it is the primarytheme. Thunder is the sound you hear when a storm is coming. Thunder is the roar of the crowd. Thunder is the rumble of Portland’s team charging toward the end zone. Thunder is the chant of the loudest fans; the resounding sound that opposing teams hear as they arrive to Moda Arena, and the echo they feel long after they have left.

Jake Donahue
Jake Donahue is more of a Ron Burgundy than he is a Ben Simmons. He does have a background in journalism, sports writing and marketing, though. And he owns the Donahue Media Group, a local web design and project management company, as well as a real estate marketing firm, Portland Picture. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he grew up a Mariner fan before launching his own Little League coaching career.