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2016 NHL Winter Classic design process


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the 2016 WC identity has been out for a while, so this isn't new and if it's already been discussed in the other hockey threads, forgive me as i don't follow them. so, mods feel free to merge or delete if needed, but i haven't seen the Fanbradz process of the identity talked about here

link to full process

the main reason i wanted to start a thread for this particular identity is because Fanbrandz does such a great job of showing the steps taken in development of the identity. it's common perception from non-designers that logos and design "just has to look good" but that's not how anything is designed. especially not an identity as large as this - the visual narrative and ideas expressed in their work makes Fanbrandz one of the very best in the business.

"We wanted the visuals to answer this basic question: What would it look and feel like to watch an afternoon hockey game on a frozen lake in last century New England?"


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What's usually good, when taken into consideration, is how both teams are meant to have a great looking uniform matchup. This year job well done again.

Still wondering where the special spoked B will be used on the uniform, if used at all...

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That's why I like this Winter Classic identity so much; it's New England and not Boston.

thats a good point. you dont often see projects like this that get to stretch outside of city limits.

there is one thing that makes me sad about this identity though; this is what the Super Bowl identities could be like.

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Completely agree. They do such great work. Sometimes I feel like Big4 level identity work is suffering overall a bit... but at the same time the event work (in large part due to these guys) has really never been stronger. Speaking specifically of the event work that hasn't been templated like the SB has.

If you'll indulge me a bit here...Most of you know I'm from WI and lived in Milwaukee for like 20 years. So that's home. But my family has been in greater Boston for 3.5 years now and we settled in the far southern burbs in a town called Franklin, MA. I like to tell people it's THE Franklin, cause while every state seemingly has one, our Franklin was named after him while he was still alive.

Anyway, Franklin is generally (and my house is specifically) about 8-10 miles from Patriot Place in Foxborough (as the crow flies).

And so even though we don't go to Pats games we're over there ALL the time.. Our local movie theatre is there. Our local Trader Joe's and Olive Garden is there etc. My point is I know the area quite well now and can speak to the aesthetics of the area.

Long story short....the MOMENT I saw this WC logo I thought of this sign (See Google Maps image below) for Lafayette House right there on Rte 1 maybe a half mile from the stadium. Stadium is red arrow in BG. And when we're leaving the movies I take the back way home and turn at Lafayette House every time.

There's a million more like it everywhere.

SO even though I'm not a New England lifer by any stretch I couldn't help feeling they had nailed the "vibe" that permeates everything out here.

Super well done.


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Ha! Yeah, I knew that Olive Garden line might come back to bite me.

Before I write a whole bunch of stuff nobody wants to read are you of the opinion the WC stuff wasn't good? Or as good as it could have been?

Cause yeah, Rte 1 is NOT quaint or touristy. It's actually pretty run down and gross. Patriot Place proper isn't gross...it's shiny and commercial and pretty cool in an outdoor retail/mall way.....but it's definitely not quaint.

So I guess I was saying......unclearly......not that the logo perfectly reflects Foxborough..but that even HERE you can see evidence of this kind of thing...that type of sign and the history of what I think they were going for.

And if you care I could elaborate. But if not that's fine too. It was a huge adjustment moving out here. The 'burbs are not what anyone in the midwest or south would associate with suburbs. Hard to explain I guess.

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I think I get it. More like towns unto themselves, with little squares and village greens and stuff? Less urban planning in general? There's also less or no county government in New England, as I understand it, so that probably makes cities feel a little more autonomous and not just part of a giant jigsaw puzzle of suburbia.

You know, being from north of Chicago, I've never really found a reason to coo over New England's celebrated New Englandyness. In terms of forests and ponds, small towns with cute train stations, and frozen winter hellscapes, I've always had all the boxes checked just fine in my own backyard. S'pose it would have been nice if someone wrote some poems about Lake Forest but I guess there's always Ordinary People.

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i know what you're going for Sterling. if we could go back about 200 years, this kind of aesthetic would be the major decor of the area. since then, lots of things have sprung up and grown in like weeds between those old things, but it still exists in NE, and its what Fanbrandz is pulling from. i guess the best vote of authenticity i could give it is from a friend of mine who grew up in a small CT town and he said they "nailed it".

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