The first Canadian entry into the BTLNHL enclave is the Ottawa Senators, giving them the unenviable distinction of being the worst NHL logo in Canada. If you are not Canadian, understand that hockey in Canada is like college football in America, or football (soccer) in England, or cricket in India. Huge. A part of the national identity. Having the worst team logo in Canada is like Tobias Fünke losing his hard-boiled eggs. Or Captain Kirk being left on a dying planet by Khan. Or Bill O’Reilly not knowing what “play us out” means (potty mouth alert!). A mixture of extreme rage and despair.
Okay, so maybe not all Canadian hockey fans are as enthusiastic about design as I am, and I’m guessing I won’t be getting death threats from Senators fans.
Remember my rant about animals in logos? Well, I didn’t count the most intelligent animals of all – dolphins. I mean, 2nd most intelligent – humans. How many humans are featured in logos in the NHL? Two out of 30. Ottawa and Chicago. In the AHL? Three out of 30 (incidentally, one of those teams are also called the Senators). The ECHL? Five out of 20. So, if we combine animals and humans into one category, the ECHL has a whopping 16 out of 20. Of the remaining 4, two of them are caricatures of humans (so 90% altogether). The AHL has 18 out of 30, with another 3 that are caricatures (70%). The NHL? 10 out of 30, with no additional caricatures (33%).
So, with the Ottawa logo, it’s a borderline minor league logo. As a caveat, I should add that I have absolutely no problem at all with minor league logos in general, and some of them are excellently designed and a lot of fun, but as mentioned in previous posts, the NHL is the highest level of hockey in the world, and as the best professionals in the world, the design should follow that lead.
That’s a nice segue to positive things about this logo.
First off, for having something as complicated as a human face on its logo, it does a good job of trying to keep it simple, keeping it away from being something super-cartoonish. The thickness of the black lines are just right to bring out an element of strength and solidity to the logo without quite overtake everything. A delicate balance.
The styling has just enough detail to keep it interesting and multi-dimensional, although it does become a bit much in parts. Don’t really need the shadow on the guy’s face, or the mimicking of the flourishes on the circular element on the head armour. Speaking of which, is the circular element needed at all? I doubt it.
Also not crazy about the burnt yellow/light brownish colour, especially how dominant it is in the design. Something more golden (similar to the Penguins) would work a lot better. Okay, I somehow got sidetracked back to the negative stuff.
The strength of this logo is in the refinement and strength of the form. There’s not a lot of movement happening, but he doesn’t look stiff either, being much less flat their original logo. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but they did a good job with it. There’s just some things in the execution that don’t work.
So, Ottawa comes in as the 21st Best Team Logo in the NHL. Let the death threats begin!
The BTLNTL Countdown Posts
BTLNHL Finals: Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings
BTLNHL #3: Philadelphia Flyers
BTLNHL #4: St. Louis Blues
BTLNHL #5: Montreal Canadiens
BTLNHL #6: Pittsburgh Penguins
BTLNHL #7: Chicago Blackhawks
BTLNHL #8: Toronto Maple Leafs
BTLNHL #9: Phoenix Coyotes
BTLNHL #10: Vancouver Canucks
BTLNHL #11: Edmonton Oilers
BTLNHL #12: New York Rangers
BTLNHL #13: Calgary Flames
BTLNHL #14: Buffalo Sabres
BTLNHL #15: Winnipeg Jets
BTLNHL #16: Minnesota Wild
BTLNHL #17: New Jersey Devils
BTLNHL #18: Nashville Predators
BTLNHL #19: Carolina Hurricanes
BTLNHL #20: New York Islanders
BTLNHL #21: Ottawa Senators
BTLNHL #22: Tampa Bay Lightning
BTLNHL #23: Columbus Blue Jackets
BTLNHL #24: Washington Capitals
BTLNHL #25: San Jose Sharks
BTLNHL #26: Florida Panthers
BTLNHL #27: Dallas Stars
BTLNHL #28: Los Angeles Kings
BTLNHL #29: Colorado Avalanche
BTLNHL #30: Anaheim Ducks