There’s a really neat series going on at Icethetics that’s been looking at designer Ken Loh and his involvement with NHL logo designs in the 1990s. It started out with a teal Philadelphia Flyers alternate jersey that never saw the light of day, during a time when the NHL was seeking to break with tradition.
Here’s what Loh told the website about the Flyers redesign and what the league wanted its jersey redesigns to explore during this time:
“The idea was to break the mold and be less traditional with the designs. The league … wanted us to push the envelope, which is probably why there were some pretty garish patterns and gradients being used for other third jerseys around the league. Personally, I was never a fan of that approach so I tended to stick with solid colors in my designs.
While the brief was to redesign the jersey, we were encouraged to come up with new, alternate treatments for secondary logos and wordmarks. There wasn’t really any expectation that any of the artwork we designed would replace any of the existing team logos or identities at that time.”
The jersey, from Icethetics:
The site also explored an alternate look for the Carolina Hurricane (before they picked up the “s”) and other ‘90s looks.
Today comes the revelation that the Florida Panthers nearly went with a teal look, too. And when you catch a glimpse of these designs, you’ll see instant parallels with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, which formed in 1995. The Icethetics post draws attention to a Miami Herald article from 2010 that talks about how then-Panthers owner Marti Huizenga preferred a black-and-teal look that resembled the MLB’s Marlins.
The teal Panthers, from Icethetics:
Here’s what Loh said to the Icethetics website about this Panthers design:
“I’m actually really glad that never saw the light of day since I felt it was too cartoony. I much preferred the simpler, more emblematic approach which, [in my honest opinion], had better potential for a longer lifespan.”
Loh isn’t alone in his relief this look never hit an NHL ice surface. The Panthers current logo is one of my favorites and, without spoiling where it ends up in our ongoing logo rankings, the Panthers are not a bottom-feeder in that regard. The logo they ultimately ended up with – and the sharp red jerseys – were a part of why I was attracted to the team as a young 10-year-old fan.
What do you think of this teal Panthers look? Pretty awful, right?
Any dissenting opinions?