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Chicago Blackhawks rebrand (UPDATE #2)


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#1 Eric Westhaver

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 02:00

Hello everybody. I've put together a redesign for the Blackhawks. Considering that many people find their name and logo offensive (why they do is beyond me) I thought they could rebrand to celebrate their ties to the military.

You see, the Hawks are, of course, named after Major McLaughlin's old Army unit, who used a black hawk as an emblem.

I used that, with some inspiration from modern Chicago symbolism. The shoulder patch is based off of Chicago's city flag.

C&C is very welcome. I think this is my best work yet, but if something's wrong, there's nothing wrong with trying to improve it.

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#2 drakexedge

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 02:02

I think this looks awesome man!

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#3 Stampman

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 03:14

I think this would look greata on the ice in the NHL, the colours, stripes and logo all work together, and it's a solid effort--however I think there would be a huge resistance to such a rebranding, but a new team (either re-location with a name change, or an expansion team) would do well to consider a name that would work with this (With some weaks due to the Chicage flag reference.)

Still solid work.
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#4 aci

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 04:26

Digging the jersey striping and the logo package, but I'd recommend making the primary colour of the dark jersey red. The dark grey just doesn't feel right for the team. Baby steps.

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#5 Ice_Cap

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 04:50

I don't think I've ever heard of anyone complaining about the Blackhawks' name or logo. They're usually left out of the discussion when offensive Native imagery in sports is discussed.

Anyway, the concept. If the Blackhawks were an expansion team starting next season this would be perfect. Obviously nothing is going to top the look they have now, but there's nothing wrong with what you've come up with at all.

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#6 werbear

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 05:05

If I were the blackhawks and they transitioned to this look I wouldn't even look back.

#7 Whittier S

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 09:34

This is about a billion percent improvement. Kudos.

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#8 rtrich11

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 11:12

I like this, too. It's clean and classy.
Are the wings supposed to have a beveled look, or is that my computer screen?

#9 STL FANATIC

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 11:17

Couple of thoughts.

If you're thinking of this as being at all realistic, I think you'd be wise to emphasize red over black on the uniforms. Right now, it's the opposite. I understand it comes from the name, but for the sake of continuity, and a good look, I'd like to see red as the base (not on the logo, but on the uniforms).

Also, the wings on the hawk resemble in some ways the wings on the Blues logo and the Flyers logo? Does that matter? I don't know. The Blues are a rival. But the wings also resemble aviation wings and other birds of the same style. Just pointing it out. It'd be something to be aware of if this were actually happening.

EDIT: I left out the part where it looks really nice. Would not be a bad direction to go if someday the debate caught up with them.

Quite honestly, I'm not sure WHY they're not in the discussion. Certainly there's nothing caricature about the logo. It's a fine and decent illustration. But that's only a concern of some of the people who are against American Imagery in sports. A lot of others are simply that: against American Indian imagery in sports. So it's a little strange they fly under the radar.

They're probably lucky (and I say lucky, because I don't think there was any forethought in this, it just happened), that the logo is really all they have.

Illinois had a physical embodiment of their symbol along with a respectful logo.

The Redskins have a bad name along with a respectful logo.

The Indians have a caricature logo along with a tame if not universally excepted name.

In those three cases, the former, in the eyes of those on the opposition at least, has indicted the latter and everything related to it. The Blackhawks logo is no more decent or respectful than the Illini's was and the Redskins' is, but they have no spark, so they've avoided the firestorm.

#10 Lafarge

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 11:31

For C+C's sake, I'm gonna look at this as though the real Blackhawks never existed. There are two things about this design. The first is the grey/black combination on the home. It just doesn't work for me, I'd stick with black throughout the entire uniform.
Second, on the crest, I'm not a fan of the stars behind the wings. I find that they kind of stick out like sore thumbs. Otherwise I like this attempt.
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#11 illwauk

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 12:53

I seriously doubt the Hawks would ever did ditch their traditional sweaters... I'd like to see your crest on them (minus the extra stars behind the bird, of course)

Great job with this, BTW. As much as I love the Hawks' unis, your logo is much truer to the teams' roots.

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#12 hockey week

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 13:01

I always come into these threads with a bit of doubt. Like anyone can really touch the Hawks' image and do something good. You sir, have made me a believer. The fact that you looked up the Black Hawk Regiment and worked from that makes sense on a level that I'm shocked nobody has thought to do before. Bravo.

First thought when I saw the logo was that it's very...third reich-looking. Seems that I'm the only one who has thought that (I'm a history major, so I notice such things more than others), so maybe I'm way out to lunch on that idea.

I agree with the comments on the stars behind the wings, they're not necessary, and to combat the blues/flyers/reich similarities, maybe angle the wings upward, like they are in the regimental logo. It's just a thought. Might work, might not, but it would also fill in the area where the stars were.

I also agree on the jerseys, the gray looks cool, maybe hold onto it as a third, but red needs to be the primary here if any kind of transition were to happen. I would say that the home and road would have to remain very similar, not the same, but the same general feeling, for any of that to work.

Your secondary seems a bit redundant, too. The Chicago flag star is very unique when you look at some of the better images of it. Very thin center, not at all like a Star of David. I would use one of those for the shoulders. Simple, different, effective.

This is awesome work, I hope you go through some of the C&C and tweak to see if it can get better.
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#13 drakexedge

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 13:06

I think the stars near the bird look good, but what if you placed one under each wing, then one above the head? That would get rid of the fact that they are peeking out at us, yet it would still keep the element there in a more "balanced" way.

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#14 Lights Out

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 14:59

Unpopular opinion: this concept > what the Blackhawks wear now. A consistent striping pattern, black as the primary color, a strong, well-rendered crest: this fixes all the flaws with Chicago's current look. Well done.

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#15 the admiral

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 15:19

Quite honestly, I'm not sure WHY they're not in the discussion. Certainly there's nothing caricature about the logo. It's a fine and decent illustration. But that's only a concern of some of the people who are against American Imagery in sports. A lot of others are simply that: against American Indian imagery in sports. So it's a little strange they fly under the radar.

They're probably lucky (and I say lucky, because I don't think there was any forethought in this, it just happened), that the logo is really all they have.

Illinois had a physical embodiment of their symbol along with a respectful logo.

The Redskins have a bad name along with a respectful logo.

The Indians have a caricature logo along with a tame if not universally excepted name.

In those three cases, the former, in the eyes of those on the opposition at least, has indicted the latter and everything related to it. The Blackhawks logo is no more decent or respectful than the Illini's was and the Redskins' is, but they have no spark, so they've avoided the firestorm.


I think the two things saving the Hawks are
1) Black Hawk is enough of a regional figure that there's Black Hawk this, Black Hawk that throughout northern Illinois and thereabouts, so it's not really thought of as offensive.

2) The general identity of the Blackhawks is at this point more just "the hockey team that plays in Chicago" than anything Native American. No war chants, no war drums, no tomahawk-chopping, no caricatures, no mascots, no sports page headlines about them "scalping" last night's opponent. Sure, every now and then someone shows up to a game in a stupid headdress from that Halloween costume store that occupies a vacated Pier 1 Imports and then disappears without a trace, but these people are generally shamed out of it pretty quickly. If they're not, they should be. I'll email them.

So that, and of course the beauty of an unconventionally multicolored logo jumping off the universally powerful red/white/black color combination, kind of gets them off the hook. I think it's a crying shame that the Illini had to give up their Illiniwek logo, which was one of the best in college sports. Striking, symmetrical, detailed, it was great. I wish they could have compromised by keeping the logo but losing the dance. As someone with no connection to downstate Illinois as anything but that thing you have to hunker down and get through on the way to St. Louis (which can also take some hunkering down itself), the Chief doesn't mean anything to me or to my family, and so I should like to think they could have jettisoned that and kept the logo. Unfortunately, this is a reasonable compromise, and the NCAA is never reasonable. Conversely, there were probably too many Illini people who were happy to double down on stupid.

As for the concept, I find it grim and uncomfortably Prussian. Do not like, would not take over actual uniforms, would not suggest it as a brand extension for the Rockford team. sry
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#16 joechicago

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 16:24

The hawk and shield, along with the use of red and white, remind me of the Eagle you see in Polish or German iconography:

http://en.wikipedia...._arms_of_Poland
http://en.wikipedia....arms_of_Germany

Intentional, given the ethnic makeup of the city, or accidental, I think it works really well. The Hawks will never change their jerseys, but I would love to see the black primary as an alternate jersey to the traditional white and red. Much, much better than their black/black-and-white stripe efforts.

#17 NDFreek

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Posted April 12, 2013 - 16:30

As a Blackhawks fan, this is how I normally deal with Hawks rebrands.

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However, I love that logo. I'd defiantly buy a tee shirt with that logo on it.

Nice job.

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#18 Dbroalexander

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Posted April 13, 2013 - 03:09

I saw this on HJC and couldn't believe it. A Blackhawks rebrand that I really genuinely liked.

Only thing I'd like to see differently is the hem striping resemble the arm striping.

#19 El Scorcho

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Posted April 13, 2013 - 04:38

This is terrific, even as a blackhawks fan. I'd love to see the home in red though.

#20 WarriorFight

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Posted April 13, 2013 - 07:44

This is really good looking. The logo and the colors are perfect, and switching the target of the name isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I feel that the Blackhawks are like the Seminoles of Hockey, their name itself is not as offensive as others (Chief Wahoo from the Cleveland Indians, the Atlanta Braves, etc), it's just the name of a tribe.
Aside, this is definitely one of my favorite backhawks concepts I've ever seen. Good Work.