Hockey By Design is exactly what it sounds like: a site about visual design and branding in hockey – specifically, the NHL.

What the name doesn’t say is that the people who control and contribute to the site are all professional designers. We’ve made a career out of creating and critiquing brands, logos and marketing materials…and we also all love hockey. So when you read the vast array of articles on the site, remember that we all have a professional eye and an in-depth understanding of what works (or doesn’t work) – and why it works (or doesn’t work).

Which teams have the best jerseys? We’ve talked about a ton of them. Who has the best logo in the NHL? Got that. Love goalie masks? We’ve got that too. And we’ll keep you updated on all the new designs as they get announced, and then break them down for you, so you know what’s the best of the best visual designs in the league.

Who are we? We are the following people…

Founder and Editor

John van der Woude 


From 9 years old, John was re-creating (and sometimes re-designing) the logos of all the teams in the NHL and creating construction-paper books of them all, ordering them by what team he liked best to least. Growing up in BC, Canada, the Canucks were always (and still are) at the top of the list. He was studying, thinking about and looking at hockey logos and designs since a young age.

These days, he’s been working as a professional visual designer for over 15 years and has run his own design business (jvdwdesigns.com) for over 7 years, working on hundreds of branding, logo and corporate identities projects, as well as web/print/book design projects. He loves design, and he loves hockey. (Twitter | LinkedIn | Website)


Ally Koss

From the early days of always having a crayon, pencil or one of those snazzy scented markers in hand, to heading off to college to pursue a degree in Graphic Design, Ally’s passions and career path have always been rooted in creativity. Possibly the only thing matching her love for art and design however, is her love for sports, having grown up as a skier, tennis, field hockey and lacrosse player, and an avid fan of all Boston teams.

Whether she was brainstorming ideas for the paint job on her field hockey goalie helmet or creating elaborate signs for college hockey games (go Huskies!), she was always subconsciously merging two things she loved into some kind of hybrid hobby of its own.

Now years later, after having worked as a designer for her favorite NHL team (go Bruins!), graduated from Northeastern University and continued building her design career in Boston, she began writing for Hockey by Design as an outlet to keep combining her loves for design and hockey, hopefully sharing a perspective that others will enjoy too. (Twitter | LinkedIn | Website)

Kris Kern

Hailing from the not so hockey rich state of Oklahoma, Kris’ passion for hockey was sparked by the arrival of the CHL Oklahoma City Blazers in the mid-90’s. From that point on, hockey has remained an avid interest for Kris and over the years it has continuously intersected with his other passion: art, graphic design and all things creative. With 15+ years of experience in the marketing and creative field, Kris’ career has taken him to Tulsa, Austin, Los Angeles (go Kings go!) and currently back to Oklahoma City where he serves as the Creative Director for a nationwide network of convenience stores/travel stops.

As a former collegiate baseball player and current (almost washed up) men’s league goalie, the visuals of sports design have always been of keen interest to Kris. Whether it’s jerseys/uniforms, equipment or the overall branding of teams, the meticulous details of the aesthetics of athletics is what inspires Kris to obsess over it all and contribute to Hockey by Design.

Dave Kottler

Dave Kottler is the creator of the sports branding blog Sports Brand Jury. He combines the seasoned expertise of a veteran branding professional, the energy and passion of a lifelong sports fan, and a writing personality that educates and entertains. And there’s one thing you can count on – he’ll never pull any punches when it comes to telling you what works and what doesn’t. And he’ll always explain why.  You can also follow Dave @sportsbrandjury on both Instagram and Twitter, and his design business @APEX_Branding (Instagram/Twitter).

Former Contributors

Chad Pinckney

Chris LoBosco

Thanks for reading and visiting Hockey By Design!