“The National Hockey League and the Nashville Predators today unveiled the official logo for the 2016 NHL All-Star festivities, which will be held Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. This marks the first time the Predators, the city of Nashville and Bridgestone Arena will host the League’s mid-season showcase, which includes the NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game.” -NHL
This was certainly exciting news, but what about the unveiling caused us Nashvillians to take to the internet and rally around the announcement like we did? It could be the way it was so eloquently articulated by the NHL’s Public Relations, but I’m willing to bet it was the beautiful new logo and identity presented by the NHL and Fanbrandz. There’s just something about it that made this announcement land. I mean news like this would have been exciting on its own, right? Why place so much importance on something like the event’s logo at the time of the announcement? That’s because the logo gave the news a face. It became tangible; news that we could see.
It got me thinking about the power a logo can have, especially ones that represent large and varied groups of people. Strong brands are inherently engaging. They have the ability to unify or divide. There’s something about them that forces you to form an opinion, for better or worse. Just take the introduction of the Nashville Sounds re-brand and the introduction of Tennessee’s new state logo, for example. For both, one look had Tennesseans organizing groups, coming together, and taking action (though, for different reasons.)
But enough of personal reflections, and back to the 2016 ALL-Star Game mark. Veterans of professional sports identities, Fanbrandz have become savants of the art of the All-Star Game. Armed with the uncanny ability to capture the DNA of a host city in a savvy and concise image (and the portfolio to prove it), they make their rounds in the City of Nashville. Fanbrandz begins their creative process with a site audit along with NHL’s VP of Creative Services, Paul Conway. Starting with “research” at popular local landmark establishments like Tootsies, The Stage, Legends, and Hatch Show Print, the process leads them deep into the history of Nashville. Visual inspirations are plenty here, from the neon lights of lower Broadway, to the rich heritage of music and print production.
“The abundance of neon signage, flashy guitars and music culture inspired the expressive typography and flourishes that make this identity unique to Nashville.”
What I love about this studio is their commitment to maintaining the culture of the city in their marks. Every creative decision was driven by a culturally relevant concept, (even if these particular concepts are becoming a bit familiar). The point is, when Fanbrandz designs a brand, they make sure its representation of the local fans is accurate. I know I’ll be wearing my NHL All Star shirt proudly.
“Every detail of the mark, from the guitar inlines down to the three-starred puck, was inspired by the rich culture and history of Nashville and its music scene.”
Read the whole story here, and check out the impressive portfolio of Fanbrandz.