Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Project: Branding The IHA

IHA. Get used to that acronym. It'll be sticking around Icethetics for quite some time. No, it's not the Icethetics Hockey Association (I wish), it's the International Hockey Association.

The IHA is a fantasy hockey league that exists only in cyberspace created by an Icethetics reader named Nicolas. I'm collaborating with him to get logos designed by you guys for his league. We'll get into more details of what's involved with this league at some point in the future. But right now, what you need to know is that it has 30 teams, each with a name and color scheme chosen by its "hometown fans" — but no logo.

The assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to design logos for these teams — if for no other reason than as an exercise in graphic design. This will be a cool project, something to have fun with. Challenge yourself! Do something different!

The IHA is structured like the NHL with two conferences made up of three divisions each. And each division includes five teams. Over the next several weeks, I'll be unveiling the team names one division at a time along with their colors. I'd do it all at once but I don't want to overwhelm anybody.

Today I'm unveiling the first five teams — the Atlantic Division. You can pick one team and focus all of your creative energy on it — or you can try your hand at all five! But it's not as simple as one logo per team. You're creating an identity from scratch!

You need to design a primary logo (usually the jersey crest), a secondary logo (usually the shoulder patches), and a wordmark for use in promotional materials. You may design additional logos to be included in the package but you must have at least these three: primary, secondary and wordmark.

There really aren't any restrictions on you aside from team name and colors as far as the designs go. The "fans" chose those and you need to stick with them. But you do need to give them a unique identity. I'm not going to list ideas because I don't want to taint anyone's creativity.

Without further ado, let the games begin...


ATLANTA FIRE / Atlanta, Georgia
orange (E68700), red (A81212) and charcoal (202020)

red (C80231), blue (131B87) and white (F0F0F0)

PHILADELPHIA TITANS / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
gold (CF9B1F), teal (27577B) and white (F0F0F0)

PITTSBURGH MINERS / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
steel (999999), yellow (D9BB13) and black (202020)

blue (30316C), red (980404) and white (F0F0F0)

I've supplied colors in hexadecimal format. Should you need RGB conversion, here's a decent resource. By the way, you aren't tied to the exact colors here. Feel free to alter them a little if need be. But please shy away from the standard colors like total black or total white or total red. Remember, be different! As similar as it is to the NHL, it's not the NHL!

To sum up, follow these guidelines when submitting IHA artwork:
  • Submit three (3) logos: primary, secondary and wordmark. Use a white background. If your logo requires a white outline (think Lightning or Capitals), then use a gray background with the white outline included.

  • Submit vector art if possible. I will accept .ai, .psd and .pdf files. If you cannot submit vector art, you must be able to provide high quality raster art in .jpg or .png files. No .bmp files, please.

  • Try to stick to the assigned colors. Change them only if you deem it necessary and then explain why you made the change. Remember, the "fans" chose these colors and they're who you're working for in the end.

  • Email them to nhllogos@gmail.com with IHA in the subject line. Please include your first and last name (it will not be posted). Please also submit your nickname which will be public if you don't want your real first name used.

  • By submitting your own original artwork to the email address above, you agree to grant permission of its use for online or print publication by Icethetics. Do not watermark your logos or they will not be considered.

  • And finally, be prepared to accept feedback and criticism of all kinds!

It may seem like I'm asking a lot and while I am looking for highly-talented artists here, don't be discouraged if you feel you don't fit that category. If you have a good idea that you can't translate into a good graphic on your own, submit it anyway as best you can and it's possible someone more skilled might be able to give it a boost.

I'm sure a lot of you still have questions as well. Post them in the comments area. I'll be monitoring that so I can get all your questions answered. One question I know will be when will I announce the next division? It depends on the response I get for this one. If a lot of folks submit art, it'll be sooner rather than later.

Having said that, get to work and be creative! Put some real effort in! Start designing your logos getting them submitted. I can't wait to see them and show them off!

Alternates From A Fan

In combing through my inbox I came across a set of third jersey designs one reader sent in recently. There's 18 in all but I'm going to start with six — my favorites of the bunch.

An obvious win for a Hurricanes alternate sweater would be this one.

Though it steals a page out of L.A.'s book with the locator on the front of the sweater, it's not a bad look. Speaking of the Kings...

...how about a purple jersey with the Gretzky-era logo? One of my favorite logos has to be the new alternate unveiled by the Canucks last summer. I'm dying to see it on a uniform.

As far as that jersey goes though, sort of reminds me of the Whalers. But I do like the green. A lot!

Of the few things we have confirmation of regarding next year's third jerseys, is that the Blues will use a new logo that incorporates the Gateway Arch. Here's another concept with that in mind.

It may not be a new logo but it does include the arch.

I know many of you are opposed to black third jerseys, but I think they work for teams that actually have color in their regular home sweaters — the Sharks and Coyotes, for example.

I love that shield logo too. And here's a unique take on Phoenix's logo.

I'll have more from this artist in the future. In the meantime, stick around. I'll be posting information about the brand new International Hockey Association logo project a little later this evening.

Potential Third Jersey Colors

Here's another item to file under unconfirmed third jersey rumors. I received an email from a reader who I assume works in a sporting goods store. He tells me he has an account with Reebok and that the company has apparently listed the colors for this season's new third jerseys — no actual designs or logos, though.

I don't have any specific reason for not trusting it, but I get a lot of crazy emails. So like I always say, take it for what it is. Listed below are the "body colors" for this fall's new alternate sweaters.

"special" orange
sky blue
Maple Leafs:

That's the list as it's been presented to me. I don't know if it's a complete list or how accurate it is. Really only time will tell us that for sure. In the meantime, it's just a little more speculation to add to the pile.

And for whatever it's worth, I'm psyched about a possible blue Lightning jersey!