Basketball Bar Mitzvah

A Bar Mitzvah logo “brands” the party — not in a callous, capitalistic way — but as an immediate, effective expression of the event’s vibe or theme and, ideally, the spirit of the 13 year-old boy MAN(!), himself. The logo can appear everywhere, from the invitation to the decor. Through take-home favors and swag, the logo lives on beyond the mailing of the last thank-you note. You should love your logo, and it should be as unique as every other important element of this major milestone.

A logo consisting of a black shield shape surrounding a bright blue capital letter M. A white basketball net overlaps the center of the M, with an orange basketball that says Max halfway into the hoop. Below the M is the date 2.27.2016.
Basketball Bar Mitzvah logo ©Jessica Zirkel-Rubin

Max’s big night had a basketball theme. The logo incorporated the trendy color of 2015/16 basketball gear, Nike “gamma” blue, outlining the varsity letter M at its center. A white basketball net is draped over the valley in the middle of the M, and a personalized orange basketball glides through the hoop. The M rests on the event date, and the whole megillah is set in a macho black shield.

The first logo item we ordered was a roll of 3″ die-cut glossy stickers from StickerGiant, because, frankly, what middle-aged mom/former Mrs. Grossman’s collector doesn’t dream of designing her own roll of stickers? Eventually these were stuck to post-reception  takeout bags and t-shirt favors, among other places.

M basketball logo sticker, shaped like a 3 inch shield, repeating vertically on a roll of stickers.
logo stickers!

The Invitation

To engage guests from the start, we incorporated the logo into the invitation a few different ways. First, we lined the envelope with it in a repeating pattern. In this case, the logo was white except for a bronze basketball, to coordinate with the other formal pieces, such as the invitation to the service. (Formal invitation from Stationery Stephanie.)

Second, we designed a custom reception invitation, which featured a bird’s-eye view of a basketball court, marked with party details. The reverse side showed Max’s logo repeated again, but this time in color.

Finally, I created a custom postage stamp to echo the reception invitation and preview the fun about to literally unfold.


The party guests next encounter the logo on the “place-laces “— bundles of shoelaces in the theme colors that serve as place cards, labeled with the guests’ names on the front and table numbers on the back. Our party planner, Dayna Platnick, worked with a decor provider to create a chain-link fence (think outdoor basketball court), and we hung the place-laces from it in alphabetical order for easy grabbing by guests.

Rolled blue, orange, white and black shoelaces, wrapped with names and table numbers.
shoelaces as placecards © Jessica Zirkel-Rubin
Bundles of white, blue, orange, and black shoelaces, wrapped with guests' names and table numbers, hanging from a chain-link fence.
place-laces hung from fence. • photo by Ira Casel

Logo Decor

Throw pillows with the logo on the front and basketball-textured fabric on the back added some pizazz and continuity to the kids’ lounge. The kids’ bar was also decorated with the same repeat logo pattern as the back of the reception invitation.

Black pillow with basketball bar mitzvah logo on black couch.
logo pillow in kids’ lounge area • photo by Ira Casel
Curved bar with bar mitzvah logo in repeat pattern on front, sodas and plastic cups on bar top.
kids’ bar with repeat logo pattern • photo by Ira Casel

Logo T-Shirt/Party Swag

Logo t-shirts printed by Custom Ink were modeled by the motivational dancers and given to the guests as party favors. Almost three years later, some of Max’s friends still wear the shirt, which delivers a pang of pride and sweet nostalgia every time he sees it.

Female and male dancer wearing M basketball logo t-shirts, reacting to boy getting orange paper dumped on his head.
logo tees and celebratory “Gatorade” • photo by Ira Casel
Black tee shirts with basketball logo, rolled up and secured with shoe laces and name tags.
logo tees as party favors • photo by Ira Casel