An Outsider's Perspective, Part III: Central Division

Hello everyone and welcome to another HJC Sunday post!

This week, I'm continuing my series in cooperation with my wife, where she (a graphic design professional) reviews logos for each NHL division. This week, she is reviewing the Central Divsion.

Chicago Blackhawks - Of course, my first reaction is, why hasn't anyone raised concerns over this in terms of racial sensitivity? At least he look happy, though, unlike many logos depicting Native Americans. I think there are too many colors. It's not a bad logo, there's just too much going on. If I didn't already know that the team's colors were black and red, I wouldn't be able to tell it from the logo. However, I am probably biased, as they are my least favorite team. It's just too complicated for me.

Winnipeg Jets - I like the concept of this logo, but I wish it wasn't so rigid. I do like that there is a jet and a Canadian maple leaf. I think the colors are fine, although overused in sports. I like the subtleties of the logo (the True North reference, the subtle RAF roundel). It does kind of look like an exploding jet, though.

Nashville Predators - I mean, I love the Preds, so I'm going to like their logo. I do like that they have embraced the gold. It's not used often as a main color, making it prominent in the logo. Even after the simplification of the "Pred Head" in 2012, the logo is still a little complicated. I know in the uniforms they use subtle nods to the musical history of Nashville, and they have that in the secondary logos, but I wish there was something in the primary that could reference that.

Colorado Avalanche - It's ok, but to their credit, it's difficult to depict an avalanche, which almost makes me wish they had gone with a wordmark. I'm not a fan of the color palate, as there is nothing exciting about it. There's nothing that says "sports" to me about the colors. It looks like they were trying for something slightly different with their colors than the usual red/blue, but the shades they picked are problematic. Also, there is so much going on with the depiction of an avalanche, that I almost lose the letter "A" in the logo. Even the puck is not immediately evident. The circle is not very useful. Not all logos have to be grounded.

Minnesota Wild - This is my favorite logo in all of hockey. It is actually one of my favorite logos period. It is one of those rare cases where the subtleties, the intent, and the colors, all come together to form a truly outstanding logo. Also, I can't stand the Wild, so that shows you how much I love the logo. The "Wild" isn't something that you can put an image with, and they managed to do that well and be understandable. Contrast that with the Avalanche logo. This is another case where they chose a different color palate, but the colors really work for the context of this logo. It does a great job of having a lot of complexities, but manages to depict these complexities without coming across as complicated. This has the subtleties that I wish the Pred Head did. I just really love it. It has a really timeless feel to it. I doesn't feel like it has aged. It's a modern classic.

St. Louis Blues - I like the Blues logo. The Central division is full of ambiguous names like Avalanche, Wild, Blues, etc. Things that you wouldn't have a specific image in mind already. I like that they have taken a music note, but given it motion. The colors are ok. I mean, they are fitting. The only thing that bothers me is the yellow. If you're going to be called the blues, why not use a two-tone blue color scheme instead of yellow. you could use Cooperstown blue and navy and it would look phenomenal, and  make more sense with the name. I think there could be something more to reference St. Louis in the logo.

Dallas Stars - This logo is really boring to me. It's a star with a "D" on it. The beveling is a little strange to me, but I can see where they are trying to give it some interest. The colors are little bland, but I appreciate that they dropped the gold. I wish the green was more prominent. There's just not much here, and thus not a lot you can really say about it. I think it could have been better if the star was part of a wordmark where the "A" forms the star itself, and not just the top of the star like the old logo.

This week we have several really great concepts. Enjoy!

New York Islanders Concept - Josiah B.

Positives: The hem and arm stripes look good. I would say it's a lateral move over their current look, though. The typeface is more unique than what they currently have. I like it. Execution is clean. Presentation is good as well.

Negatives: I don't feel like the yoke is adding much here. The stripe under the yoke interferes awkwardly with the nameplate. It make the name unreadable on the light jersey. I would leave the numbers white on the dark jersey, as I feel that it needs a little more white.

Overall: Typeface is improved, hem/arm stripes are a lateral move, yoke is a step back. (8/10)

Toronto Maple Leafs Concept - Josiah B.

Positives: The new logo is just wonderful. I''m really enjoying all the concepts coming out that are taking advantage of it. Color balance is good. Presentation is professional. 

Negatives: There are some execution errors. First, the numbers are 43 on the back and 40 on the arms. Then, "Kadree" should be spelled "Kadri." I think the arm stripes would be better with just two stripes instead of four. It would be contiguous. The last stripe would be obscured by the player's glove anyway.

Overall: Execution problems and minor personal opinions on continuity hold back an otherwise solid design. (7.5/10)

Toronto Hockeyfest: Toronto Marlies vs. Manitoba Moose Concept - Vaughn R.

Positives: Using grey for a dark jersey is interesting. I like the stripes across the shoulders of the Marlies jersey. Both sweaters are a good design overall. Colors are balanced pretty well, but I could use a little more light blue on the Manitoba jersey. 

Negatives: The proposed event logo is too specifically referential to the Maple Leafs. It should reference more of the Toronto area as a whole rather than the Leafs. The Moose jersey could use something extra, like a shoulder patch.

Overall: An interesting idea with some creative jerseys. I like it, but the event logo needs work.(8/10)

Colorado Avalanche Concept - Jordan R.

Positives: It's highly ambitious. I really like the designs on the upper arms of the home and away jerseys. Usually when you see a concept that uses more than three jerseys, quality suffers as details and corners are cut, but not here. All these jerseys have wonderful detail and are well executed. Presentation is really cool. The fauxback alternate is a cool idea, too. The detailed texturing around the shoulders looks great.

Negatives: I would take the cuffs striping off the home and away. I think those designs get a little crowded. The foot logo third...whether or not you like it is probably going to be determined by whether or not you like the foot logo. I am not a fan. The away jersey needs more blue.

Overall: There's good and bad, but I really like the creativity and execution here. Attention to detail is key, and this has it in spades.

Edmonton Oilers Concept - Jordan R.

Positives: The only difference on the home/away and third jersey is the thinner yoke design, which I believe is an improvement. Again, detail and execution is superb here. I love the fauxback fourth jersey. I would add that to my collection in a heartbeat.

Negatives: With the exception of the fauxback, there's not much new here.

Overall: The detail and execution is phenomenal. Presentation is very clean. All four jerseys look great. (9/10) COTW nomination from me!

Toronto Maple Leafs Concept - Lucas D.

Positives: It's an interesting concept. It does the old style barberpole striping without coming off as too overwhelming. I really like the sweater collar as well. I could see this jersey being a huge hit on St. Patrick's Day.

Negatives: Unfortunately, the chest striping gets skewed on the front of the jersey. 

Overall: This is a cool concept, but take the time to proof concepts before sending them in. Look over each part in detail. It's easy to make mistakes. (8/10)

Kootenay Ice Concept - Taylor R.

Positives: I like the color palate. Execution and presentation looks good. Good detail on the equipment. Colors are balanced well. I appreciate it when a concept artist chooses a cool name. 

Negatives: The collar design feels very 2007. 

Overall: A really solid design for this minor league team. (8.5/10)

Washington Capitals Concept - Taylor R.

Positives: There are some who wouldn't mind to see this color scheme come back. I'm fine with it as long as the Weagle comes with it. I think it looks good here. Striping pattern is great, especially the yoke striping. Execution and presentation is good.

Negatives: The stars around the logo aren't doing it for me.

Overall: This could be an excellent set for the Capitals. (8.75/10)

Anaheim Ducks Concept - Ryan C.

Positives: Color balance is good, which is a weakness of Anaheim's current away jersey. The typeface looks good on its own. 

Negatives: The Ducks logo is very organic. I feel the rest of the jersey, with its linear striping and geometric typeface seem at odds with the logo. 

Overall: It's not bad, but it needs more harmony. (8/10)

That's all for this week. We've got a really interesting redesign competition going for the Atlanta Thrashers! This is a great chance to really see some outside-the-box thinking, so get your designs in soon!

COTW May 13-19 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
Thrashers entries due (Friday @ noon Eastern)

An Outsider's Perspective, Part III: Central Division Reviewed by Caz on May 22, 2016 Rating: 5


Unknown said...

Two things about my Leafs concept. "Kadree" was intentional, because that's how all my cousins spell it. Should've explained that, sorry. I'm kicking myself about the 43 and 40 mishap. I can't believe I missed it. I sent in the fixed one, but I guess it was too late.

Unknown said...

I'll second Jordan's Edmonton concept.

winnipegjets96 said...

JCR for COTW, this series has been awesome so far! Love the goalie names

DBro Alexander said...

I think it's hard to knock Josiah for the "Kadree" when Mr. Wonka used to spell the names on his jerseys wrong or include some silly name all the time.

Caz said...

I almost didn't mention it, but I couldn't think of a reason for it to be spelled that way.

It happens, Josiah. Once I sent in an asymmetrical Ducks jersey, but forgot to inverse the design for the backside of the template. Somehow it got past the writers here, but when it got pointed out when I was featured on Icethetics I was so embarrassed.

Unknown said...

It's alright Caz. It happens.

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