Denver Designer Breaks Down the Oklahoma Thunder Logo


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If you don’t follow comments closely on The Egotist, it would have been hard to catch this one dropped by our loyal reader, Bubba, under our original post about the new logo designed for the Oklahoma Thunder basketball team.

However, we thought Bubba’s breakdown of the OKC Thunder logo was particularly dead-on and entertaining and wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it. This might have been a good time to use your real name, dear Bubba, since you’re out of work. Someone might be interested in a conversation with you after seeing this. Who knows.


  1. The Artistic Mercenary™ September 10, 2008

    Brilliant. However, a team

    Brilliant. However, a team that steals basketball away from a deserving city because of an owner who wants to take his ball and go to his hometown (and much smaller city at that) deserves a shitty logo. And, really, this team has it all: crap name, crap logo, crap colors and they play in a crap city. So if you think about it, this just might be the most consistent team in the NBA!

  2. Jim Watson September 10, 2008

    I am from Oklahoma City. Your

    I am from Oklahoma City. Your design notes and tips are so right on. Well done. The design community in OKC is somewhat embarrassed about the Thunder logo. I am a Professor of Design at Oklahoma State University and the new logo has served me well as a teaching tool in class. When a student does a poor job, I can now reference the Thunder fiasco. Or the OKC Blunder, as I call it.

  3. Randall Erkelens September 10, 2008

    Jim, don’t you mean the

    Jim, don’t you mean the Blunder OKC? -)

  4. Bubba September 10, 2008

    My name is Jonathon Ortlieb.

    My name is Jonathon Ortlieb. If you work at any place here in Denver or Boulder you probably just got a copy of my portfolio (please don’t throw it in the garbage). If you want proof I am who I say I am just drop me a line and I will send you the original Illustrator file. [email protected]

    PS I’m glad you enjoyed my critique.

  5. Bubba September 10, 2008

    I probably should have put my

    I probably should have put my website in there.

  6. Jim Watson September 10, 2008

    Yes, thanks – Blunder

    Yes, thanks – Blunder OKC.
    Here’s a link to that and a second version:

  7. Jason Zimdars September 11, 2008

    Hmmm… so the client gets no

    Hmmm… so the client gets no blame for this? I’m not saying its a great logo or even particularly good. But your critique fails to mention the clusterfuck this dude probably had to design this in. Can you imagine the committees and revisions that must have taken place? I don’t think it’s fair to assume that they didn’t explore the visual representation possibilities of “thunder”. Before we blame the designer, let’s blame the people who paid for this logo.

    That said, I’m not surprised. The NBA is full of terrible logos – this will fit right in.

  8. Jeremy September 12, 2008

    As a designer that does

    As a designer that does freelance work, I almost guarantee the client is 90% to blame. After revision after revision, I bet the designer had enough and went “Screw it, there, that’s exactly what you’re asking for.” and those morons were overjoyed.

  9. Michael Dawson September 12, 2008

    Horrible, unbalanced,

    Horrible, unbalanced, fourth-rate, no doubt. Kinda like OKC itself.

    Meanwhile, what about “Attempting to help Denver suckless, Daily”? There’s so little space between “suck” and “less” on your banner, it reads as “suckless.”

  10. Nick May 5, 2010

    Your critique of the logo was
    Your critique of the logo was fair; from a graphic designer standpoint, but not from a general public standpoint who you agree is the VAST majority of who sees the logo.

    Where you lost me is in your ignorant tirade of a city that I am pretty sure you have never been too or experienced. You totally destroyed all credibility in your critique by displaying unintelligent pompous arrogance because you live in a city that YOU feel is superior. Do me a favor: Keep up the horrible so-called journalistic opinion writing you are doing. It keeps people just like you away from this great city.

    – A Proud Oklahoma City Citizen

  11. murray August 23, 2010

    Ok so im an Art director out
    Ok so im an Art director out of Oklahoma let me start off by saying i know who designed the logo and from my understanding he was completely handcuffed by the NBA and the owner of the thunder and there wasn’t much he could do. But the agency who designed this and who currently still has their business i would expect a lot more from and, the agency, i would think they have enough political pull to push back even against a client so big, but i guess that wasn’t the case. As far as Oklahoma city being a crappy city. I grew up in SOCAL and ive been to over 20 different countries and yes OKC is small compared to most major city’s, but it’s still a great city with surprisingly a lot to do. So to the person who was making that comment, your a dip shit. sorry. And the reason why they moved from Seattle to OKC is because the crowd participation here is the best of any city and has more crowd participation then any other team in the NBA so why not move to a city thats going to support your team? Seattle sure didn’t seam to care until the team left.

    – know the facts before you make judgments

  12. Anonymous May 2, 2013

    but the thunder are in a
    but the thunder are in a great city great logo and one of the best teams in the nba so shut uo

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