Looking Back at the 2019 NHL All Star Game Branding

Last weekend the NHL hosted the 2019 NHL All Star Game, at the SAP Center in San Jose. While we've talked much about the logo and the jersey designs, there are a lot of pieces of the overall All Star brand that we haven't taken a look at yet. So, let's take a look back at it all.

The overall brand of the All Star Game was inspired by the technological climate of the Silicon Valley area, which can be seen in many of the pieces of this branding package, mostly in the form of a "tech energy" wave that finds its way onto many of the logos and graphics from the game.

The logo was our first indication at what the branding for the All Star game was going to look like, released in mid-September of last year. This is where we first saw the technological theme come out, as the base shape of the logo is an app icon, specifically an iPhone's. The 2019 in the corner is encased in a rounded rectangle, to mimic the notifications badge. In the typography, the crossbar on the A is replaced with a shark fin, at least in "All Star". Below the typography you can find the tech energy wave, and below that is the sponsor. In the alternate version of the logo, which removes the sponsor and is used as the event patch, the "San Jose" is relocated to the bottom where the sponsor is usually found.

Image via Patch Collection

Divisional Logos
The divisional logos follow a similar style to the All Star Game's primary logo, using the same style of typography with the same app icon shaped container. The only difference is that the A's no longer contain a shark fin. These can also be found on the helmets of each player (which can be seen below in some of the photos), but just the typography.


We move on to the other often discussed topic around these parts: the jerseys. Despite continuing the four division tournament style for the All Star game, the jerseys drop back from four differently colored jerseys, as was the case in 2017 and 2018, back down to 2, one black and one white, as was also the case in 2016. The main reason for this: the material the jersey is made from. Through the collaboration between the NHL and Adidas with Parley, material is made from "upcycled" marine plastic debris. While the NHL's reasoning was that the jerseys' colors are inspired by the colors of the game: white ice and black puck, it is more likely to do with difficulties dyeing the Parley thread. 

This also lead to an interesting situation with the socks: what were they going to do if one team had to switch jerseys? In 2016, the sock color was split in half, white and black, but it played perfectly into the striping pattern and looked just fine with both jerseys. This year ... not so much. Instead of a half/half design, or having the players change socks, everyone wore black socks, With both jerseys. Yep. It looks a bit awkward, but I'll be honest, I hardly noticed it while watching the game. To see some photos of it in action, just scroll down a bit to the photo gallery.

The striping consists of three stripes on the arms: A white stripe above and below a heather gray stripe, with black in between them. The white and black are reversed on the white jersey. On the hem, the pattern is the same, except the bottom white stripe is removed.

The biggest change in this year's All Star jerseys is the front logo. Rather than the NHL logo or a conference or divisional logo on the chest, instead the logo of the NHL club each player was representing instead took that place, instead of its usual spot on the shoulder or pants. This wasn't without some issues, however, as the improper version (or the "ghost logo") of two teams' logos were used: the Dallas Stars' white and the St. Louis Blues' black.

And can we just appreciate how good Marc-Andre Fleury's pads paired with these jerseys?
Image: Las Vegas Review Journal
Here's some more photos of the jerseys in action:
Image: NBC Sports
Image: SB Nation - Litter Box Cats
Image: Sports Illustrated
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio
Image: USA Today Images / WFAN Sports Radio

Other Logos
Along with the event logo and divisional logos, There were also logos for the Fan Vote, Fan Fair, Skills Competition, and each individual event within the Skills Competition.

The logo for the fan vote takes the approach of a wordmark logo, carrying over the same typographic style found in many of the other logos and graphics for this game. The tech energy wave makes an appearance as a line underneath the text.

The Fan Fair logo follows the same style as many of the other logos in this set, with the typography and the tech energy wave. This time, a fin shape is used for the logo.

Image: sportslogos.net
I repeat: the Skills Competition logo follows the same style as many of the other logos in this set, with the typography and the tech energy wave. This one also follows the same style as many other recent skills competition logos, taking the shape of a star.

The Skills Competition event logos again carry over the typography and tech energy wave. This time, the container is an oval, with the sponsor of each event found above the event name, the NHL logo to the left of the event name, and below it, a small icon that represent the event (i.e. a skate for the Fastest Skater, a target for Accuracy Shooting) inside of an app icon shape. The Fastest Skater competition logo is above, and take a look at the rest below.

Ice Design
All images in this section are screengrabs from the NBC Sports broadcast of the game.
This normally isn't something to take much note of, but this year the NHL did something a bit interesting with the ice design.

 Do you see it? It's not something that completely screams in your face, but the blue lines use the tech energy wave pattern. Personally, one of my favorite small details of the branding package here, as it was completely unnecessary, but another great way to incorporate everything together, and it doesn't stick out or distract much at all, let alone in a negative way.

Player Emojis
Another interesting piece of this year's All Star branding were the NHL player emojis, that were primarily used with the Fan Vote, but could also be found in various social media posts and in the player introductions before the All Star Game itself.

Super excited to share the NHL Player Emoji concept that was developed for this year’s NHL All-Star Fan Vote. I’m particularly proud of how this project came about. It all started because of an effort to push my skills in new areas, like character design and illustration. My boss saw this and suggested we use the style I was working on for our players. 40+ headshots later, it’s part of an international campaign for our upcoming All-Star game in San Jose. Thank you to @pconway119 the entire CSD team, the NHL and NHLPA for making it happen! Shoutout to @fanbrandz for the dynamite look feel! And to all my fellow creatives, continue to put yourself out there...it pays off! πŸ’πŸ‘ #nhl #nhlemojis #nhlallstar #nhlallstarfanvote #fanvote #hockey #icehockey #sanjose #california #creative #design #illustration #emoji #character #characterdesign #vector #adobe #nhlcsd #DubCreates #wnotw
A post shared by Justin Wright (@dubcreates) on
The designs were created by Justin Wright, a member of the NHL creative team (and possibly other members of the creative team as well, though this seems to be primarily his idea and project). The idea again plays off the technological theme of the game, seeming to follow a Bitmoji-esque style. I've been following Justin on instagram (@dubcreates) for quite some time now and have always enjoyed seeing these pop up on my feed, especially the post you can find in his highlights that shows part of his process in creating them.

Player Announcement
All images in this section are screengrabs from the NBC Sports broadcast of the game.

The NHL also had some special graphics for the player announcements previous to the All Star Game.
During the presentation, the ice in the dark arena was lit up with another tech/motherboard pattern.
A look at how they incorporated the divisional logo into the presentation. Creates a nice symmetry with the event logo itself in the center.
The player emoji for each player, as well as the tech energy pattern, could be found behind them as they entered before they skated off.
Another design featuring the motherboard pattern and an action shot of the player was on other digital boards along the way.
A similar design was also projected onto the ice around the motherboard pattern.

A look at these with a few other players:

Other Web Graphics / Social Media Graphics
Throughout the other various graphics you could find posted on the NHL or the teams' websites, or on their social medias, they mostly all followed the same themes as have been mentioned many times over in this article. Most of them contained the same typography, and all of the ones I've seen have contained the tech energy wave. They also followed the game's color scheme, primarily using teal, black, and white outside of the tech energy wave. You may have already noticed this with some of the other posts embedded above.

Take a look at some more:

A post shared by NHL (@nhl) on


Overall, I really liked the branding package of this year's All Star Game. The logo is not the greatest I've ever seen, but it's grown on me a lot since the original release. And with the one exception of the jerseys, the creative team(s) involved did a great job of keeping everything consistent and cohesive, starting from the logo and working its way down all the way to web graphics. Kudos to everyone who had a hand in working on this, at least in my opinion, a great job was done.

What do you guys think about the All Star Game's overall branding? Leave us a comment below or hit us up on one of our social media feeds!

All images in this article, unless otherwise noted, are from the NHL.
Looking Back at the 2019 NHL All Star Game Branding Reviewed by Bpoe on February 03, 2019 Rating: 5

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