andrewharrington

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andrewharrington last won the day on March 22 2019

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  1. I think the anchor is a symbol that communicates very well, being essentially *the* symbol of the sea, and it’s surprisingly underused in pro sports, so there’s a good opportunity for them to own a really strong icon there. I almost see it as a more conservative, mature alternative to the primary, because not only does it act as the slouchy dad cap to the primary’s flat bill snapback, it also holds up as a crest, which is a huge asset in a secondary logo. The action of sinking or pulling something under is a nice metaphor for the creature, but from a more realistic/less fantasy point of view, which is a great thing to have, giving tepid fans a “dip your toe in” option if they’re still on the fence. If I think of the primary as embodying the creature itself, I think the secondary embodies the people who tell its stories. This is what they fly on their sails. I also think of “dropping anchor” as the seafaring version of “planting your flag,” so it fits well within that direction. Beyond that, it’s just a solid, universal symbol of strength (the anchor of the defense), and it’s a genuine symbol of pride in seaworthy cultures (sailors traditionally got anchor tattoos to show that they’d been across the ocean). Throw in the perfect fit of Seattle’s most famous landmark, and I don’t think it could have been anything else.
  2. Amazing. Conversely, there are some African cultures that can’t see any difference between green and blue, but can easily pick out imperceptible differences (well, imperceptible to us) in tones of green.
  3. I don’t think “Minnesota Northern Lights” works, like, at all. It’s far too long, far too clunky, and there’s just no... imagination or allure to it. I think you’ve got to dig deeper for this concept to work. How about “Auroras?” It’s not the cleanest transition from “Minnesota,” but it’s got what “Northern Lights” lacks and has potential. Or maybe “Winds,” since the auroras are caused by solar wind and the specific term “aurora borealis” is derived from Aurora (Roman goddess of the dawn) and Boreas (Greek god of the north wind and bringer of winter). Or, there’s always that fantastic suggestion from @GFB: “Gemini,” which would allow the identity to dip into both stars and twins.
  4. Have you ever found origin stories for color names? I think that would be fascinating. For example, why is “mint” generally accepted to be a soft, bright green when most mint varieties are a darker, more intense “kelly” color? I recently found out that “powder” blue is named after cobalt powder (a popular pigment), but even then, cobalt powder is generally much deeper and more intense in color than anything we would call powder blue (which is why we have a separate color we traditionally call “cobalt” blue). Maybe there were impurities in old pigment powders that diluted the color? Also interesting to note that some cultures still don’t have a word for blue, and it doesn’t appear in historical texts where we assume it would, such as an instance of a writer describing the color of the ocean, implying that it’s probably the “newest” hue our eyes have come to recognize.
  5. I wasn’t a fan of the bevel at first. Admittedly, that was coming from a place of personal preference because it’s a technique that’s been both overused and (especially) misused over the years. When it makes sense, though, it can really add something to a simple piece. It started as a nod to those hand-carved quarterboards, but as the color scheme came together, it began to evoke the unique tone of underwater lighting really well, and I can’t even imagine it without anymore.
  6. Seeing this stuff makes me wish they had done a special collection of First Nations merchandise this season and donated the profits back to them. I think people would have gotten behind that both socially and financially, but this “Washington Football Team” gear? I’d be surprised if they sell any of it. Seems like such a missed opportunity when they could have done something that turned heads and made an impact. They desperately need some good PR.
  7. Exactly. The eye really needs the darkness behind it to work right. The only way I could see getting the “best of both worlds” is if they had a dynamic identity where the road jersey had no eye/brow and used the dark/reversed colorway, then had the logo “come alive” on the home jersey with the eye. Either that, or pull the eye/brow out of the primary and bring them into the secondary. Unfortunately, you have to make a small sacrifice no matter how you configure the parts. Not that I can remember. I was interested to see if they would unveil it with a long a, but they stuck with the more popular pronunciation (or maybe they just don’t have a collective/unanimous preference).
  8. Man, that was the pinnacle of aesthetics for UT. Classic with just a hint of distinction (the wide stripes, checks, and subtle “moonshiner block” numbers). Loved it.
  9. The Whalers’ logo was pinned up on the board as a benchmark the entire time, so I’m glad you saw that. The arched text on top of the wordmark is another device we used to ground everything with historical roots (along with the blackletter/calligraphic style). I was always imagining it on the back of a boat or a sign above a marina or an old storefront window in Ballard. I like how the final wordmark turned out, too. All caps and blackletter are normally not compatible, but Matt did a great job making these letterforms modern enough to work in all caps, and I especially like how their shapes evoke tentacles and seaweeds without going completely off the deep end. I can’t help but feel this scene was an “art imitates life” moment for JB, because he always said Krāken, with the long a.
  10. No doubt. I love seeing all this content coming out. They had good foresight to compile/record all these stories throughout the process. I think you’re dead on with your comment re: the eye and the classic/cartoon balancing act. If you screenshot that intro animation of the logo right before the eye forms, you can see what it looked like. Personally, I thought that version was an all-timer; a forever logo. Not that this one isn’t, but as you said, it’s definitely closer to the line. Now that everything’s out there, though, I think people appreciate having that extra hint of the creature in the primary logo (the eye). Without it, the logo is certainly more mature and more timeless, but my gut tells me it would have been underwhelming for people because it doesn’t exude the same type of creepiness. Of course, the eyes would have come in somewhere else if not in the primary logo, so it could have worked just as well by distributing the important design elements more evenly across the logo package. I’m just glad it worked out (because there were times I was worried ). To your last paragraph and a half, you’re right in the general sense. How hands-on or -off the client is varies from team to team (and how hands-on or -off the licensee is varies depending on the project and the ask), but for the most part, that’s how it comes together. This project was pretty unique, though, if only for how intensive the whole process was. The team brought strong opinions at every step, but it also took a long time to figure out the right way to proceed at every step (which is expected when you have so many important stakeholders in your ownership group and front office). I’m sure some would have found that frustrating, but no one can fault them for being thorough with every decision. It would have been a disservice to themselves and their investment if they weren’t. On the flip side, while we always worked with guidance from the club, we also leaned heavily on our collective experience and expertise building these types of brands and brought strong opinions of our own to make sure it stayed on course all they through to the end, and that approach is a big reason why it turned out as well as it did; a true team effort driven by both sides.
  11. The thing that really bugs me about the original is how comically large the plume/mane on the helmet is. The new one is much more realistic in the proportion of that.
  12. Everyone seemed to have a couple different favorites at one time or another. Regardless, I want to keep the public “what could have been” talk to a minimum and let the team have its moment for now. They united around Kraken and I’m excited for the lead up to dropping the puck. We trusted them to pick the right name, and they trusted us to bring it to life; gotta give them their space.
  13. I never claim to be a historian, however, I have to emphatically reiterate that we do our research (and lots of it) because we know there are people out there who will appreciate those intellectual details (or, in your case, become infuriated by them ). Kidding aside, I only took offense to the way you characterized it because it implies that we just wing it and generalize without knowing better or even trying to learn or understand the history and significance of the material we’re using as inspiration. I learned far more than I ever wanted to about the origin of this legend, but it was very clear early on that it just wasn’t going to work for people if we were completely authentic to the original stories, so we had to bend it a bit to make it successful in a commercial context (unfortunate, but this is America, after all). Believe me, I understand your frustration as an actual historian. In hindsight, though, I’m proud that we did our best to intelligently link together seemingly incongruous things and respect the authentic history of the myth as much as possible while making it accessible for the audience (more on that a few quotes below), and I think the balance is working pretty well. Could it have been better? Sure. Nevertheless, it’s exceeding expectations (especially my own), and I think it’s shaping up to be a benchmark identity, which is cool. To put the Clash/Pirates/pop culture debate to rest, at no time during the process were any of these things mentioned by the ownership group as a reason for choosing this name. It was more than likely in the heads of the fans who suggested and trumpeted it, but the ownership group was never intent on using its pop culture cliché-ness as a springboard. I’d be surprised if they didn’t embrace some of it, though. We’ll see if the “Release the Kraken” slogan sticks around or was just limited to the launch product. Solid discussion. Definitely. We tried to give every piece a little connection to Seattle, the sea, the folklore, and/or history. If I had to guess, a person who posts online as “VancouverFan69” with a Canucks avatar is rock bottom on the club’s priority list, and I think they’re just fine that you have no interest in their club. Surprisingly, he was reluctant on this name. Opinion was very split on it in general, but they committed to it because they were convinced that it was what the fans wanted. Honestly, the design of all this stuff was just finalized in the past couple months. There’s not even a physical prototype of this jersey yet. Obviously, there are all kinds of circumstances that dictated the strategy a bit, but people were getting antsy for news. To that point, I understand why they pulled the curtain so early, and also why they passed on having product in the pipeline pre-launch, as they were able to suppress leaks and truly do the unveil on their own terms. Ultimately, the unveil seems like it’s been a success even if it’s not quite as polished or tightly planned as anyone would have liked, and I think having the uniforms as part of the unveiling contributed to that success. You’re right. It’s a tough one to find an alternative name for. There are some nice nautical terms that you might be able to spin a Kraken mascot into, but there’s also a risk of creating dissonance for your audience with that approach. Boundless Blue and Shadow Blue are the tonal complements to Deep Sea Blue and Ice Blue. They’re essentially just support colors (though Shadow Blue does take on a minor role in the sleeves and socks). Primary colors are always Deep Sea Blue, Ice Blue, and Red Alert. Yes. The keyline is always tethered to the monogram to contain the eye. Without the eye, you could just reverse the logo and you wouldn’t need a keyline at all, but the eye just doesn’t work without the darkness behind it. See above. Not ideal, but those are the circumstances everyone’s dealing with. I would say prepare for summer 2021? I’m glad you brought this up, because it’s a big reason why the creature is so ambiguous in the mark, and why there’s only one tentacle depicted. As you noted, the myth has been conflated and misinterpreted over the centuries, but I think what we have here can reasonably reflect any of the historical depictions, whether it’s a more snakelike form, the giant fish with the tentacle-like necklace, or the modern squid/octo forms. Seattle Hockey Club was tossed around a little, even as a name for a Kraken-based identity. I think that would have materialized more like the Greyjoys; a group of people who use their habitat’s most ferocious beast as a symbol for their clan. First, I don’t love the name “Kraken,” but I like it a lot more than I used to. I think the identity is doing it justice and catalyzing a similar shift in public opinion. That said, Seattle Kraken *sounds* decent. Not great, not terrible, but fine. Whether it’s professional or appropriate Is obviously up to the individual, but Edmonton Kraken and Washington Kraken both sound atrocious, so no, it’s not the same thing.
  14. See, I think that’s what makes it interesting. Granted, I think it needs one or two *other* interesting things to be great, but this is a pretty nice uniform for a temporary set. The worst thing you can say about it is that it’s the uniform equivalent of 50% grey, but there’s also something oddly distinctive about it, like it’s intentionally boring, with no personality at all, precisely so people won’t get attached to it.
  15. I guess that’s the sacrifice you have to make in order to keep a lid on it these days. But the jerseys... the paint’s still dry on those. We don’t even have samples yet. Wouldn’t green make them look too much like Vancouver? That’s... the *mystery* now, isn’t it? Too easy, man. To characterize it as “mis-understanding the history and folklore” is off-base. You have to balance authenticity with communication. The Kraken myth has evolved over centuries to a point that the most commonly held perception of the creature (by far) is a tentacled beast, not a giant fish. If you put out a fish logo and call yourself “Kraken,” you’re correct, but you’ve also lost the credibility of your audience because that’s not what Kraken means to the average person. The Scandinavian influence and the blackletter style were chosen to bring authenticity (of both the culture/era of origin, as well as said culture’s strong ties to Seattle) to the conceptual foundation of the identity, but when the sun sets, it still has to make sense for people. Tentacles and mystery do, fish don’t.