A little diversion for this blog, but there’s a lot of noise being made about the newly unveiled Vancouver Canucks jersey. The consensus seems to be that people hate it. Well, I’m not one of them.
First impressions: I like the colour; it’s a great blue. I like the green striping. They are using their retro colours well here. I’m not crazy about the old logo on the shoulders, but it’s not horrible. And now for the big controversy: the “Vancouver” scrawled across the front. It’s the first thing I noticed–probably the same for most people–when I first saw the jersey and right away I liked it. It’s got a vaguely collegial feel to the lettering. But it also reminds me of European soccer jerseys (see Inter Milan or Argentina). Part of me wonders if the Euro-jersey influence isn’t actually what’s really at work here. Maybe this is a first, tentative foray into stamping lettering across a hockey jersey’s front, as a way to ease viewers and fans into eventually accepting advertising like most European club shirts. First we start with the city’s name, later it’ll be Molson, or Tim Horton’s.
In the meantime, based on the photos I’ve seen, I think it’s a decent jersey. I think they could have done something to integrate the lettering and the orca logo more; right now they do seem a bit disconnected and thrown together (though the arc of the text does try to match that of the orca’s). Both elements carry similar importance and weight which creates an odd tension. I think this is what people are responding to when they say they don’t like the text. It’s easy to be an armchair graphic designer, but maybe they could have screened back the logo and made the text the dominant feature? (They did simplify the orca logo, probably in an attempt to do just this, but maybe they didn’t go far enough.) Or layered the text over the logo somehow… I’m sure they tried a ton of combinations. Anyway, we’ll see if the excitement dies down in a few days. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see the new jersey’s in person during their training camp at Bear Mountain. I’ll reserve my final thoughts until then.