NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs rebranding design almost excluded key element
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs rebranding design has generated a lot of buzz among hockey fans, mostly of the negative kind.
Despite the criticism by some for it being not that much different than the last one, the new logo is beautifully done. NHL Creative Services, in collaboration with Fanbrandz Design, pays homage to the Cup’s rich history with meticulous details.
The Stanley Cup itself is emerging from the bottom of a banner used by all teams to commemorate winning the trophy. It’s a significant departure from the previous logo that had the words Stanley Cup Playoffs written across Lord Stanley’s gift to hockey. However, the most important thing about the logo was almost left off.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Rebranding
The new illustration of the Cup includes the etchings of player names engraved on the trophy, granting a request made by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
“We had originally presented the Cup illustration to Gary during the approval process. He thought it looked great but he said, ‘It’s missing the etchings,'” NHL vice president of creative services Paul Conway told ESPN. “It really brought it over the finish line. It’s the only sports trophy with every winner etched on it. Why wouldn’t you want to tell that story?”
Designers created two fonts called Victoria SC Serif and Windsor Sans, recognizing the 1925 Stanley Cup champion Victoria Cougars as well as Montreal’s Windsor Hotel. The NHL was founded at the hotel in 1917.
The logo is framed by the shape of a championship banner and can be customed for all 32 NHL teams.
“All players dream of having their name engraved in immortality, and it is every NHL team’s mission to raise a championship banner,” said NHL chief brand officer and senior executive vice president Brian Jennings. “And we wanted to visually capture and evoke the majesty of Lord Stanley in a manner that both respects the history and represents of the future of this great game.”
The NHL introduced new branding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday, the first makeover in 13 years.
The redesign of the logo features a photorealistic image of the Stanley Cup trophy, new fonts and a new shape.
“We felt it was time for a fresh and energetic change,” Conway said. “Some of that was coming out of COVID and, having two new broadcast partners, the time was right for us to explore what a new, reimagined Stanley Cup can look like.”
The 2022 playoffs return to a standard 16-team Eastern and Western Conference format last used in 2019, before the pandemic.
“We’re excited to see how all these applications come to life,” Conway explained. “We’re entering into a new era with our broadcast partners, so let’s take this historic and storied brand and then present it in a new and interesting way that’s relevant to all of us.”
–Field Level Media contributed to this report