I’ve ranted on DetroitHockey.Net (and related environs) in the past about my dislike of the “Hockeytown” name by the Detroit Red Wings. I think it was a cheesy slogan that would have been gone after a year had the Wings not happened to win the Stanley Cup that year.
And the logo… What an awful mess.
I was complaining about the logo to Jenny a few days ago and she had a simple response: “So fix it.”
It wouldn’t be the first time I did that, as I re-worked the Grand Rapids Griffins’ 20th anniversary logo back in January. A couple summers ago I did my take on the Dallas Stars’ then-new logo and jerseys. That’s in addition to a smattering of other concepts. So I threw a few hours at it and came up with something new.
First, I’ll explain why I don’t like the existing logo.
There are three elements to this logo. It starts with the Red Wings’ actual logo, then the word “Hockeytown” is thrown over it in a font that looks like cracked stone (maybe it’s supposed to be cracked ice?), finally the team’s year of establishment is added in smaller text.
As I’ve said in a couple conversations while I’ve been working on my concept, the reason this logo says “Hockeytown” is that it literally says “Hockeytown.”
The “Hockeytown” wordmark doesn’t stand on its own. The font is dated, its choice is confusing. On top of that, it’s used to obscure the Red Wings’ logo, the only thing that ties in to Detroit, the city the logo is supposedly representing.
It could say Baseballtown or Footballtown or be used over any team’s logo and carry the same weight. Example:
It works just as well with the logo of the rival Colorado Avalanche as it does for the Red Wings. I’ve already been told I’m going to be punched for doing that, too.
So I wanted to create something that said Detroit, Red Wings, and hockey without needing the word “Hockeytown” to do so.
I love shield logos so it should be no surprise that I use a shield as the base. That shield is set atop a pair of crossed hockey sticks, pretty much a universal symbol for “hockey” (one that I’ve used repeatedly in other projects). In the bottom part of the shield is the Red Wings’ logo on a red background.
That red background becomes the skyline of Detroit moving upward. In the “sky” portion of the shield is the wheel part of the Red Wings’ “Winged Wheel” logo in a very light grey, while “Established 1926” appears arched across the top of the shield.
Over the middle of the shield is the word “Hockeytown” in a block font.
One bit of stealth symbolism that shows I was thinking too much: There are seven pieces of tape on each stick representing the seven Stanley Cup Championships Detroit has captured as of the time they started using the “Hockeytown” name.
I don’t love this logo. The text looks awkward to me, I’m just not going to take the time to get it right. It also looks familiar, like I might be borrowing elements from something I’ve seen and can’t recall. I know there are shield logos with a skyline in them, for example. Also, the shape of the shield matches the one used in the Griffins’ 20th anniversary logo because I already had it drawn.
That said, I think it hits all the notes I was trying to. The team logo says “Red Wings” (obviously), the skyline says “Detroit,” and the sticks say “hockey.” Yeah, you could swap out another team’s logo and another city’s skyline but that’s a bigger change than what I did to make Denver “Hockeytown” above.
I think the real test is that it stands on its own with the “Hockeytown” text removed.
Removing the text and enlarging the team logo gives you a logo that says all the same things.
I’m not saying “ZOMG! They should totally use this!” or anything. This took me about three hours, one of which was spent tracing the Detroit skyline. I’m not a designer and I put together something less sloppy and lazy than the logo the team actually uses.