In today's Old School Design column, we step into our time machines and travel back to 1974. We get the opportunity to take a look at sports design in one of the most colorful eras in American history. Let's go back in time and check out this Harlem Globetrotters program from their 1974 tour. This game program is loaded with classic design styles from the era and is a history lesson in sports design from the 1970's. (click on the photos to see larger versions)
The cover features the heroes of every kid in the 70's , Meadowlark Lemon, Marques Haynes, Curly Neal and Geese Ausbie. Along with the other members of the Globetrotters, these guys captured the imagination of every young sports fan of the time. Their on-court performances were the thing of legend. The player insert page to the right gives us another view of these legendary "stars". The smiles on their faces tell their story and the star layout is classic 70's design style.
This page features some great shots of the Trotters in action. The lettering style on the pages and the tint of the photos is vintage 70's. The photos capture a trick shot by Jackie Jackson, a sweet jumper by Theodis Lee, the dribbling magic of Marques Haynes and the kid pleasing style of Hubert "Geese" Ausbie. The page also gives us a great look at the Globetrotters fantastic uniforms. The classic stars on the jerseys and the outstanding striped shorts are images that need no introduction.
The bus page screams 1970's design. On this classic page, you get a glimpse at life on the road for the players and a look back at their bus from 25 years before (which would have been 1949). Take a look at the modern bus they are traveling in, pretty fancy for the times. The illustration at the top of the page exudes the colors and imagination of design in the 70's.
This program also has some classic 1970's advertising contained within its pages. This page contains an advertisement for a Seamco basketball set. The basketball set claims it can handle the demands required by the Globetrotters to pull off their classic tricks. The page features some great 70's colors and an image of Bobby Hunter doing a classic ball juggling trick.
One more fantastic gem contained in this classic program was a set of player illustrations by Charles Linnett. This example features the classic smile of Geese Ausbie. What kid in the 1970's didn't want a picture of Geese on his wall? There is also a sketch of Curly Neal and Marques Haynes. These illustrations capture the great personalities of these legendary players in true 1970's sports style.
This program is like having a time machine at your finger tips. It truly captures the design style of the decade and brings back so many great memories of the greatest basketball magicians ever. It is loaded with color, unique 70's style and captures the spirit of these 1970's childhood heroes. The Globetrotters are still going strong today, but their is nothing quite like being able to take a look back in time to an era of fun, color and heroic basketball artistry. I hope you enjoyed ths little trip down basketball memory lane, from a design perspective!