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Posted inLogo Design

The “Black Mamba” Logo – What Does it Mean?

kobe bryant black mamba logo design
Black Mamba logo artwork

Who is Kobe Bryant?

Kobe Bryant, the legendary “Black Mamba” is one of the most prolific names in basketball. As one of the most fiercely passionate individuals on and off the court, Kobe Bryant inspired an entire generation. His motivating reign spanned the 90’s, early 2000’s and he will continue to galvanize our hearts posthumously. Kobe, a five-time NBA champion, took the opportunity to brand his famous “Mamba Mentality.” Few players have transcended the game of basketball, and branded themselves in such a tremendous way. The team at Black Mansion decided to delve into the Black Mamba brand. Most notably, we dove into the Black Mamba logo.

Kobe Bryant and his Black Mamba Logo

The inception of the Black Mamba Logo

In the summer of 2007, four years after Kobe’s incident in Colorado, and three years after Shaq’s departure in 2004, Kobe revealed sketches of the first iteration of the Black Mamba logo. The logo symbolized Kobe Bryant’s moniker. As first revealed by Esquire magazine reporter Mike Sager,

He showed me a drawing and explained each piece like a high school kid in his bedroom revealing a notebook sketch. The logo is called the Sheath. It resembles the sheath of a samurai’s sword. The sword is the raw talent, Bryant explained. The sheath is the package it’s kept in—everything you go through, your calluses and your baggage, what you learn.

Sager, Mike. “Esquire.” Esquire, 2016, classic.esquire.com/article/2016/5/1/twenty-years-later.

Most athletes prefer professionals to help design their logo and bring it to life. It’s extraordinary to note that Kobe created his own logo. He put forth the effort as he always did. As a result, his personal logo added another paramount moment to his career.

The Birth of Black Mamba

Releasing Feb 18, 2011, Nike premiered “The Black Mamba” video. The video, starring Kobe Bryant, Bruce Willis, Danny Trejo and Kanye West was a hit amongst fans. The production primed the persona of Kobe Bryant as “The Black Mamba.” Unfortunately, the top dollar effort doesn’t premiere the logo as we would have expected. To this day, the symbol spans across countless numbers of shoes, clothing and accessories. It’s notable that the end of the Black Mamba video displays a theatrical helicopter crash. We found this remarkably ominous in hindsight to what happened after his passing on Sunday, January 26th, 2020 .

Kobe Bryant black mamba artwork

Mamba Mentality

Before the first sketch of the black mamba logo, Kobe Bryant was best known for his insatiable desire to get better as a player on the court and thus the mamba mentality was born. He would arrive hours early to every game, sometimes 3-4 hours earlier to start running drills and hitting practice shots. He wanted you to know that he was willing to work harder than you were, before the game was underway.

The mamba mentality is used by athletes of all sports around the world. His hard work and dedication to his sport proved that you could rise to the occasion and live out your dreams no matter where you are from. The mamba mentality is a focused and aggressive state of mind that Kobe attributed his entire career to on and off the court.

Black Mamba Logo Symbolism

Director Quentin Tarantino released Kill Bill: Volume 1 in 2003. The movie stars Uma Thurman and her assassin character the “Black Mamba.” The movie debuts her now-famous katana sword. The sword sheath bears an insignia with a striking resemblance to the black mamba logo. Kobe Bryant, drawing inspiration from the sheath, sketched the initial design for the black mamba logo. The logo is a great nod to the movie and his notable assassin athleticism. We will always remember Kobe Bryant as an awesome competitor. The black mamba inspired us all to follow our dreams and compete at the highest levels. The black mamba logo is an awesome nod to excellence. The team at Black Mansion Design Studio will continue to design with the mamba mentality.

black mamba katana sword from Kill Bill movie
The katana of Hat­tori Han­zo for Black Mam­ba aka The Bride (Uma Thur­man) in Kill Bill : Vol­ume 1

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You can check out some logos we have previously designed here or can get in contact with us for some more extensive consultations.

By now, you’re aware that a logo can define whether or not your business has a good chance of attracting customers. With us at Black-mansion, you get designs that would put your business on the right path to success.


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