After the absurd (see honorable mention) cartoon-like Rockets uniforms were cast away in 2002 the Rockets went modern, and have remained that way for over 10 years. The return to the red uniform coincided with the rise in popularity of Yao Ming. While other marks in professional basketball are often cartoon-like and overly illustrative, the Rockets new identity succeeds in departing from these expected styles in mainstream sport graphics. It is simple, classic, energetic, and forward-thinking. Yet the logo is also extremely practical and versatile from a marketing point of view, easily adaptable for use on merchandise and billboards, in broadcast and signage, and on ticket stubs and T-shirts. In this way, the design team (Eiko Ishioka and Alfalfa Studio) met the expectations of the Rockets’ owners for a new standard in sports design. Their organic and collaborative design process has produced the most innovative and popular identity the NBA has seen in years.