Saturday: The Logo

Hello everyone! We've got a great post for all of you this week. We have several alternates, an international set, a Winter Classic set, and the first entries of the 2014 HJC Open! I know you're all very excited about that!

The USA Today did a great article on hidden images in sports logos a few days ago, and that got me thinking about what is the greatest logo in NHL history? Over the last 100+ years, the NHL has seen some great logos, and some terrible ones,  but which one is the greatest? Today I thought I would share with you my three favorite hockey logos of all time...and one extra.

Most Improved: Nashville Predators

Image Credit: SportsLogos.net

This isn't just because the Preds are my team. I genuinely believe, especially looking back now, that the old Pred Head was one of the worst logos ever made for a sports team. The 3D version was even worse. I honestly believed the logo could not be salvaged, and if/when the Preds rebranded, they would have to ditch it for a completely new one. This logo, while not perfect, showed that the old Pred Head wasn't completely terrible, it just needed restraint.

3. Minnesota Wild

Image Credit: SportsLogos.net

The "Wild" is a fairly abstract name, but the logo sums it up perfectly. You have a nature scene, with a river, trees, hills, a sun, and shooting star, which all combine to form a bear head. Some people say it's a wolf, but I believe it more closely resembles a bear. There's just too many cool elements in this logo not to love it.

2. Boston Bruins

Image Credit: SportsLogos.net

Yes, the current interpretation of the "Spoked B" is my favorite. I know it's essentially a fancy monogram, but I absolutely love this logo, and wouldn't change one thing about it. It's instantly recognizable, and really pops on a jersey. I don't even care that this doesn't represent what a "bruin" is. The color balance is perfect.

1. Hartford Whalers

Image Credit: SportsLogos.net

Has any logo ever used dead space more effectively than this one? It's such a superb mark that I usually see at least one person wearing some Hartford Whalers gear at every Preds game. Is it because they really love the team over 15 years since their move to Carolina and subsequent rebranding? Of course not! People love this logo, and for good reason. It's a shame the team is no longer around, because I don't just think this is the best logo in NHL history, I believe it's the best logo in all of sports.

Naturally, I'm going to assume some of you will disagree with me on the three I have chosen as the best logos in NHL history, and that's what our comments section is for! Let us know your top picks for the best the NHL's best logos. Next week I'll be sharing my views on the worst logos to ever [dis]grace the ice.

The first entries in the 2014 HJC Open!

Alan J.H.

Caden P.

Christian L.

David K.

Now, let's get into today's concepts!

2015 Winter Classic: Washington vs. Chicago Concept - Stephen T.

Positives: This definitely isn't your usual throwback fare. Stephen is adding helmet logos now, which is an encouraging sign. I think that bringing back the old Washington Capitals striping could really look good when it's done well. It even fits well with the "Weagle" logo.

Negatives: I've already reviewed that Chicago jersey, so I won't be reviewing it a second time. A few minor things have been changed, but it's essentially the same. Putting Washington in red/black/white instead of their actual colors is a mistake, especially against a team who's color scheme is red/black/white. The number on the back of the Capitals jersey is off-center. I know that it is likely because of the striping, but it still shouldn't be off-center. The Capitals previously overlapped the striping with the number when necessary. The Blues modified the numbers to fit the striping, but I would say Washington's method was preferable. The socks on the Washington jersey need more red.

Overall: There is some potential in the Washington jersey, but the Chicago jersey needs to go back to the drawing board. (6/10)

Columbus Blue Jackets Alternate Concept - Phil B.

Positives: I like the Ohio flag-inspired chest striping. I am a big fan of Columbus' alternate number font, so I'm glad to see that used instead of their usual font, which incidentally, is my least favorite in the NHL.

Negatives: With the exception of the red stripes, the rest of the Ohio flag crowds the jersey. It just seems at odds with the primary logo. The Reebok wordmark should probably be left white. The details on the numbers aren't really necessary, and I would make the outline on the numbers white so that it stands out against the striping a little better. Also, I would add something to the arms. They are a little plain as is.

Overall: This is a good launching point for a solid alternate. (7.5/10)

New York Islanders Alternate Concept - Christian L.

Positives: The rope pattern on the arm striping is great. I love it. It really matches that logo well, too. An orange alternate would be welcome for the Islanders. This is a good, detailed alternate.

Negatives: I'm ambivalent towards the side paneling. I don't hate it, but I'm not crazy about it, either. The Isles' primary logo appears on this concept in three different locations. I would try to do something different with either the helmet or pants for this alternate. I wouldn't mind to see the Isles' four-stripe alternate logo on the pants.

Overall: Very solid alternate. (8.5.10) COTW nomination from me!

San Jose Sharks Alternate Concept - Christian L.

Positives: Christian keeps the creativity high with this concept as well. I've only seen a handful of artists over the years who has played with the stitching lines on a jersey like this. It takes guts to do something like that. 

Negatives: The color combination reminds me of Tron to a degree. An alternate logo would be welcome on either the pants or helmet. I think this logo would fit well. The font used here runs together and could make the name hard to read. I've seen the different shades of aqua used on a Sharks jersey in the past, and my opinion on it hasn't changed: it reminds me of a paint swatch.

Overall: Inventive and memorable, but not something I'd want to see on the ice with regularity. (8/10)

NHL All-Star Game Concept - Trent D.

Positives: The 2004 All-Star Game featured the last jersey set that I would consider owning, so I wouldn't mind seeing that aesthetic coming back. 

Negatives: The red jersey was made first, and then recolored for the other jersey, which explains the loose red pixels and lost elements (collar laces) on the light jersey. The crest on the light jersey is missing a few parts of the NHL crest, which makes it look like a knockoff. A different shade of red from the rest of the jersey, which makes me wonder if this concept started off as a Minnesota Wild third, before being recolored and modified. The stars on the striping are not properly spaced or aligned. There are no sleeve numbers. The old Reebok logo is used on the back of the jersey instead of the Reebok wordmark that has been used since 2012. The inside of the jersey that is visible around the collar was left white on both jerseys when it should be the color of the jerseys themselves. The stitching has been colored over with both jerseys.

Overall: A hastily done concept, and the corners that were cut show clearly. This design could look great if proper time and effort were put into it. (5.5/10)

Calgary Flames Concept - Jamie R.

Positives: Time and time again we see how the Flames could improve their look if they would get away from the Reebok template they currently use. Execution is great. This is a very clean concept, with attention paid to the details. I like the darkening of the gold color. I have personal thing against red/gold together, but this muted gold doesn't bother me near as much. That new Calgary logo looks great as a shoulder patch.

Negatives: I find myself wishing there wasn't as much white in the striping, or maybe if the gold/black outlined the white stripe in the same way that those colors outline the numbers and primary crest.

Overall: It doesn't blow you away, but this is a good, clean design that would only need minor tweaking. That's exactly what Calgary needs. (8.3/10)

San Jose Sharks Concept - Patrick E.

Positives: Using teal as the main color is a good thing, because the Sharks need to take ownership of that color in the NHL. It makes their team brand more recognizable. 

Negatives: The jersey striping is a little plain. I would like to see more black on the jersey than just the logo. That would balance the colors more and make the black equipment mesh better. The recolor of the logo is interesting, but the teal stick looks a bit odd. I would use the shark logo sans hockey stick rather than recolor it. The phantom yoke, while not really an eyesore, 9 times of 10 adds nothing to the concept, as is the case here. Secondary logos on the helmet and possibly the pants or shoulders would be welcome.

Overall: I fully support the teal, but this jersey needs more color variety and detail. (7/10)

Columbus Blue Jackets Concept - Scott B

Positives: The recolor of the cannon logo looks really nice. I love the cannon logo. The 'Lumbus primary looks good on the shoulders as well. The striping fits well with the state flag of Ohio. 

Negatives: The striping shouldn't overlap the the boundaries of the template. The number on the back is too small for the jersey, and the group of letters just doesn't look near as good as an actual name. Taking the time to use a player's name and number really picks up the quality of a design.

Overall: Like the Blue Jackets themselves, this jersey is on the right track, it just needs a little more work. (7.5/10)

Team Switzerland Concept - S2udio

Positives: It's best to keep it simple with a Swiss set, which S2udio does here. S2udio never flips the color of the Swiss flag elements, which is a good detail. I don't even mind that there isn't striping on the arms.

Negatives: The white cross is a little big for me on the red jersey. (side note: Tim Ramholt? I remember him as the guy I always cut from the Preds in Franchise Mode of NHL 2K10)

Overall: A good, clean Switzerland set. (8.5/10)

Arizona Coyotes Concept - Mario A.

Positives: Mario's work has grown a lot in the past month or so. This is miles ahead of the Nike Swift concepts from a few weeks ago.

Negatives: I could do without the green; it's not featured in the Coyotes' logos anymore. The Southwestern tribal pattern isn't the greatest I've ever seen on a Coyotes set, but I prefer it to the arm striping. Matching the hem to the arms would be welcome. Pixelization is heavy on the primary logos, and it's especially noticeable on the black jersey. The numbers on back are a little too far apart as well.

Overall: Keep working. The concepts will continue to improve over time.

I hope you all enjoyed today's post. We're always interested to hear your views on today's concepts and material, so let's get a good discussion going. We have a really big vote coming up next week: the Concept of the Year 2nd Quarter vote! This will send a concept in the COTY vote, so you can't forget to send your vote in! For all those who remembered to send their votes in last week, here are some Phil Kessel gifs as a reward. If you didn't vote, take this gif and do better. See you all later!
Saturday: The Logo Reviewed by Caz on July 12, 2014 Rating: 5


Unknown said...

I really thought the side panels represented well the light from a lighthouse. Also on a side note Ryan, why did you shrink the concepts for the OPEN, they look grainy.

Ryan said...

I didn't shrink anything. That's how they are being presented today. There is a different writer each day and that's how they have been presented.

When it comes time to rate the concepts, they will be presented exactly as they were sent in.

Unknown said...

Will they be presented like that in the sideshow?

Caz said...

It's likely something on my end. I got a new computer this week (my old one got in a fight with a tile floor and died) and I'm still getting used to some of the features on Windows 8. I may have saved it from our gmail account differently than I normally do.

As for the logos, I take it from everyone's silence that they agree with me 100%. I'll go ahead and tell Chris from Icethetics that there's no need to do the Tournament of Logos anymore. I've answered the question for good. This is a proud moment for me.

Anonymous said...

I agree to an extent Caz: Chicago Blackhawks, anyone? On a biased note, I say the Islanders logo should be up there too, because of the hockey stick formed from the NY and the use of Long Island.

Caz said...

Chicago and the Isles have good logos. I'd probably rank Chicago as 4th or 5th. The Islanders logo won't make as much sense when the team moves to Brooklyn. It's good, just not one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to these guys, Truman. I'd buy that Chicago jersey ina heartbeat, and I'm not even a 'Hawks fan. That Chicago flag look is a nice spin on a team whose look is consistently 'classic' in style. The style is amazingly still classic, and the colors are relevant to the city. Hell, I'd buy one just to be "that guy" that has one. I like the white one even better than the black one, and I salute you wholeheartedly for thinking outside of the box a little. It's pretty freakin' awesome. Cheers, dude.

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