February 01, 2011

The Moncton Hawks - A Logo of Champions!

If you haven’t heard... I’m so happy to share the great news that Moncton’s own Pee Wee AAA Hawks are coming home with Gold Medals from a hard fought American Cup International Hockey Tournament in Lake Placid, NY.

Well done guys. All of us at Razor Creative are extremely proud of you and this great accomplishment.

As a huge hockey fan, hockey dad and coach myself, I appreciate what you must have gone through to win. I know that hockey is as much a mental game as a physical one. Everything must come together perfectly to win at that level. No detail is unimportant... right down to how you look.

Your Head Coach, Dr. Gord Reid knew this too back in the early Fall when he contacted Razor to help create a new logo and team identity for the (now International Champion) Pee Wee AAA Moncton Hawks. I have created sports logos and team identities in the past... but when Gord outlined this project, I knew it had to be special.

In Moncton hockey circles, the name Hawks has a tremendous legacy with famous teams at various levels dating back to the 1930's and on to the days of the professional AHL Hawks teams through the 1970's80's and 90's.

Whatever I developed had to compliment and stand on the shoulders of these great Hawks teams of the past. It had to be a perfect blend of modern, confident, professional, tough, cool... and most of all excite a team of 11 and 12 year olds (those of you with kids appreciate how difficult this can be sometimes).

To add to this, "Hawks" as well as just about every other bird known to mankind - including of course Penguins, Ducks and yes, Mud Hens - have teams named after them. That means literally hundreds of cool bird logos already in existence.

Some of the 100's of bird logos I dug up in my research. I'm sure there are thousands.

Like any branding assignment, it’s all about the homework. I did a ton of research on what was out there now and current trends in sport design, all the while remembering who it was I was ultimately trying to please (the kids) and what it could mean to them. I found some great reference poses of actual hawks (and some eagles for comparison), then started sketching, and sketching, and more sketching. Dozens of different doodles and drawings were used to help hone in on where I knew I wanted to go, until I ended up with a traced, vectorized and coloured version of the final logo...
Once we had that in the bag, we moved on to the sweaters and uniforms and everything else. It all came together pretty quickly after that. We knew we had something pretty good but it was the OOOH's and AAAAH's when the sweaters were revealed for the first time to the players that we knew we had nailed it.

So congratulations once again to the team and coaches for an outstanding victory and a pretty cool banner to hang in the home rink. I know Razor never made a pass, stopped a puck or scored a goal, but at the very least I'd like to think we helped make you look good in doing so.

Here's to good luck and continued success with the rest of the season, and many more seasons to come.

Go Hawks!