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MJHL Redesign - Winnipeg Freeze

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A couple years back, I redesigned the entire MJHL. In case you didn't know, the MJHL or Manitoba Junior Hockey League is a Junior A league in Canada, which is part of the CJHL. There have actually been a bunch of MJHLers who have made the NHL now. Zach Whitecloud with Vegas, Cole Smith with the Preds, Jordin Tootoo played in the MJHL once upon a time, Barry Trotz coached in the MJHL for the Dauphin Kings, Brady Keeper with the Panthers, Wyatt Kalynuk with the Blackhawks, Travis Zajac, Travis Hamonic, and a couple others. All that to say, it is becoming a more prominent league and has a high rate of sending alumni to NCAA schools in all 3 divisions. 

 

I decided to scrap my previous redesign of the MJHL and start again. Here's the basics of what I wanted to accomplish.

 

I rebranded the league's logos and special uniforms for the MJHL/SJHL showcase they play every year. I also redesigned every team in the league. Each team has an updated or rebranded logo and four uniforms. Since in the MJHL, they switch their home and away uniforms half way through the year, they are referred to as Dark, Light, Alternate, and Retro. Typically, the MJHL runs with 3 consistent uniforms at most, but I couldn't help but adding a retro option. (The 3 doesn't include special event uniforms.)

 

To this date, one of my redesigns is actively being used by a team. My hometown Steinbach Pistons allowed me to work with them to redesign their uniforms and logo. I was honoured to say the least. So that will be the only team that isn't technically redesigned because I already redesigned it haha. They're just using my redesign already. 

 

So after my long explanation, we shall start with the new MJHL branding and uniforms. I'll just add, I wouldn't personally include a roundel logo in the league branding, but they have an option for it currently, so I thought I'd just add that in, to stay consistent. 

 

Any C&C is appreciated!

 

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Dauphin Kings

 

The first team I redesigned is the Dauphin Kings. A couple years ago, the Kings redesigned their logos and uniforms from the help of someone who actually posts topics here. The design was a cleaned up look of a retro logo they used to wear. It is definitely miles better than what they used to wear. I wanted to take that look and add my own spin on it. The Kings used to wear red, blue, and white, but with their latest redesign, they went with 2 colours. Blue and white. Personally, I'm never a fan of just one colour and white. It just seems boring to me. So I brought back the red and added a beige/tan instead of white. 

 

The alternate uniform has some custom sleeve striping, which is meant to look like the top of the crown. The retro uniform is a mixture of eras. The logo is from the 1990's and the jersey striping is from their current look. 

 

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21 hours ago, darkpiranha said:

Cool stuff so far.  Great sleeve striping.  Love the overall presentation.  

Thanks! Presentation has always been the toughest part for me to get down. 

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Neepawa Foresters

 

If you know or follow the MJHL, you'll know this isn't the current name for Neepawa. They are currently called the Neepawa Natives, but announced in 2020 that they would be moving forward with changing their name. Love it or hate it, it provided me with a blank slate to come up with a brand new identity for them. I looked into what Neepawa was about, from an outsiders perspective, and found strong ties to agriculture and forestry. Using this, I came up with the name Foresters. It actually may be one of my proudest logo designs I have made. I stuck with the colours that Neepawa is currently using. I'm not usually fond of just a black and white colour scheme, but I wanted to keep a piece of their current identity. I am definitely open in adding some colour to it though. 

 

My favourite part is definitely the plaid striping. I also added an alternate logo of a capital N on a piece of a log, as a reference to their current primary logo and uniform. The retro uniform is just a simple college style they used. I figured if they're trying to get away from the name 'Natives', it wouldn't make sense to use a retro uniform with the former Natives logo.

 

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So far this is going really well! Huge updates on both teams and the league logo.

 

The league wordmark is excellent (reminds me of the Kraken's wordmark). However the roundel you put it feels too flat to pair with the beveled logo. Maybe give the roundel some beveled white outlines inside the red outlines, and try a different font for the ring of text.

 

For the Kings, I think the logo would work even better if the text followed the curve of the crown and/or said "Dauphin" instead. The updated colors are quite pretty, and the jerseys are solid, though I guess I'd prefer the hem stripes change to make the sleeves.

 

Only real wish for Neepawa is to match the N on the log to the font of "Foresters." Great job on the logos and the jerseys!

Your current retro jersey is fine as-is but maybe a fauxback of this jersey with "Neepawa" as the script would work.

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9 hours ago, vtgco said:

So far this is going really well! Huge updates on both teams and the league logo.

 

The league wordmark is excellent (reminds me of the Kraken's wordmark). However the roundel you put it feels too flat to pair with the beveled logo. Maybe give the roundel some beveled white outlines inside the red outlines, and try a different font for the ring of text.

 

For the Kings, I think the logo would work even better if the text followed the curve of the crown and/or said "Dauphin" instead. The updated colors are quite pretty, and the jerseys are solid, though I guess I'd prefer the hem stripes change to make the sleeves.

 

Only real wish for Neepawa is to match the N on the log to the font of "Foresters." Great job on the logos and the jerseys!

Your current retro jersey is fine as-is but maybe a fauxback of this jersey with "Neepawa" as the script would work.

Appreciate the comments! I also thought that while making the league logo, but I'm quite fond of that style of font, so I went for it. As for the roundel, I would honestly prefer to not have that option, but staying true to the branding of the league, I added it. That is a good suggestion though, I'll definitely see what I can do. I'll post changes and touch ups after I post all the teams.

 

For the Kings, there were a couple things I would've liked to do, but wanted to keep it similar to their logo from the 60's to 90's. But I definitely see what you're saying.

 

For Neepawa, also definitely see what you're saying. I will admit I rushed through that alternate one, I used the N logo from a previous redesign I made for them and didn't think much about the font. I do like that retro uniform you suggested as well. One of my goals for the retro uniforms was to stay pretty much true to the design without changing too much. Though I did change the colours for Neepawa, so I'm sure I could make that minor change too.

 

And thank you for the comments and compliments! It's a lot more fun to post on here and receive some comments on top of liking the posts

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OCN Blizzard

 

The OCN Blizzard are the first team to fall under one of my goals for this redesign. To make the colour schemes used in the MJHL a bit more interesting. There was too much red and blue in this league. I never found the colours for each team interesting enough. So the Blizzard were given a new look. Replacing the red, blue, white, and black, with a purple, white, and teal/blue look. Very similar to the colours used by the Solar Bears of the ECHL. Maybe not a conventional colour scheme, I actually found these colours to work very well with the Blizzard name. I used a similar looking logo, redesigned from their current look. 

 

Every uniform design pays homage to a uniform worn by the Blizzard throughout their history. The dark and light uniforms were designed based off the uniforms worn in the 90's during Jordin Tootoo's, the alternate and retro were both designed based off other uniforms worn, I just can't find the dates for those. Google has not been kind to me in finding retro looks for the MJHL. 

 

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These are all really well done. The presentation, logos, and uniforms are all top-of-the-line.

 

Will the project be mostly brand updates, like the teams so far, or will there be entire redesigns?

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13 minutes ago, DTConcepts said:

These are all really well done. The presentation, logos, and uniforms are all top-of-the-line.

 

Will the project be mostly brand updates, like the teams so far, or will there be entire redesigns?

Thank you! Really appreciate that!

 

What do you mean exactly by redesign? How would you define a brand update and a redesign? I might have different definitions 😅

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It has been nice seeing you post some hockey, @TrueNorth13. Double points for making it juniors! The overhaul of the league logo is a massive upgrade to the point that it stands above about 99.99% of the junior hockey league logos that exist. Way to shake up the upper arm look with the chest stripe. It feels like that upper arm design (Penguins/Coyotes template) has become popular again, and what you did was just enough to make it look unique.

 

Dauphin Kings

The outline looks odd in the middle of the crown, but I'd say you did a good job brining the logo up to date. While I do enjoy a good look that utilizes only two colors, you were right to add the red. Their current blue is just too dark, making the overall identity bland. I'd like to see a light version of the alt because I think the design would make a solid home/away. Your light and dark being used full time does make more sense considering junior hockey teams have a harder time committing to a full custom look. 

 

Neepawa Foresters

I love the Forester logo you made, but it feels odd on the chest. I think this team could get away with a full commitment to the funky wordmark in that logo. The flannel looks perfect on the dark, but the light feels lacking for some reason. Maybe it needs more black? Alts are a classic and the retro looks clean. Only thing I need to say is that the retro reminds me of the old Dallas Stars, and that just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

 

OCN Blizzard

The logo is a major upgrade over the overcomplicated, yet somehow still clipart-esque chrome primary that they currently use. The colors you picked and your use of them definitely feels more "Blizzard" to me. I really love the dark jersey, I actually think it is close to perfect. Not necessary, but I would suggest keeping the teal and gray striping a consistent thickness on the sleeve. I get what you are going for, but I just think it would look cleaner. The alt is fun and on brand for a junior team. Not only does it call back to the team's history, but it also follows the consistent theme of junior jerseys being inspired by the NHL (Vancouver's RR). 

 

Great work! This has been an awesome thread to keep up with. 

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1 hour ago, TheHealthiestScratch said:

It has been nice seeing you post some hockey, @TrueNorth13. Double points for making it juniors! The overhaul of the league logo is a massive upgrade to the point that it stands above about 99.99% of the junior hockey league logos that exist. Way to shake up the upper arm look with the chest stripe. It feels like that upper arm design (Penguins/Coyotes template) has become popular again, and what you did was just enough to make it look unique.

 

Dauphin Kings

The outline looks odd in the middle of the crown, but I'd say you did a good job brining the logo up to date. While I do enjoy a good look that utilizes only two colors, you were right to add the red. Their current blue is just too dark, making the overall identity bland. I'd like to see a light version of the alt because I think the design would make a solid home/away. Your light and dark being used full time does make more sense considering junior hockey teams have a harder time committing to a full custom look. 

 

Neepawa Foresters

I love the Forester logo you made, but it feels odd on the chest. I think this team could get away with a full commitment to the funky wordmark in that logo. The flannel looks perfect on the dark, but the light feels lacking for some reason. Maybe it needs more black? Alts are a classic and the retro looks clean. Only thing I need to say is that the retro reminds me of the old Dallas Stars, and that just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

 

OCN Blizzard

The logo is a major upgrade over the overcomplicated, yet somehow still clipart-esque chrome primary that they currently use. The colors you picked and your use of them definitely feels more "Blizzard" to me. I really love the dark jersey, I actually think it is close to perfect. Not necessary, but I would suggest keeping the teal and gray striping a consistent thickness on the sleeve. I get what you are going for, but I just think it would look cleaner. The alt is fun and on brand for a junior team. Not only does it call back to the team's history, but it also follows the consistent theme of junior jerseys being inspired by the NHL (Vancouver's RR). 

 

Great work! This has been an awesome thread to keep up with. 

Always appreciate some comments and compliments! You're definitely right about the retro Neepawa uniform reminding you of the old Stars jerseys. I'm almost 100% certain it is the same template. I feel like it's pretty common for MJHL teams to just use NHL uniform templates rather than come up with a custom jersey. It's easier. Especially from 10 years ago and prior. 

 

I'll always advocate for a cleaner, upgraded look for OCN. When they announced they were getting a new logo last year, I had some high hopes and they put out a logo that in my opinion was worse than the past look. Adding gradients to an already complicated logo seemed like an interesting choice haha. Impossible to embroider on a hat, that's for sure. I was pretty happy with my version of the logo. It just fits better as a hockey logo in 2021. 

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Portage Terriers

 

I'm usually not a fan of straight up using NHL uniform templates for junior teams. I love a good custom design. But the Minnesota Wild reverse retro uniforms were so amazing, I couldn't help but use that style for the Terriers, while adding a gold alternate and throwing back to their classic black and green for the retro. The Terriers have used other NHL templates in the past, like Dallas' current uniform style, so this fits with what they have done in the past.

 

Gold and green might be one of my favourite looks in sports, and even though the Terriers are my hometown's biggest rival and I will never cheer for them, this redesign might be one of my favourites, in terms of the colours. 

 

For the logo, I just simplified it. Changed out the dog to look like a terrier.

 

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Neepawa Foresters - Updated Colours

 

I got a suggestion on my instagram post to add some colour to Neepawa. I purposely didn't just to stay true to their current look, but I went back and added in some green. Seemed like an obvious choice for the name Foresters. The black and green look reminds me a lot of UND hockey, which is awesome because I love their look. The double green works really well too, at least in my opinion.

 

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Selkirk Steelers

 

I didn't do too much with the Steelers. They have a pretty classic red and black look. I do update the logo, a modernized, cleaned up version of their current logo. The alternate logo is also a cleaned up version of a logo they have used in the past. The retro logo is very similar to the alternate logo, but from further in the past. It's probably the most simple, maybe boring concept of the MJHL series, but it's one of those teams I didn't want to do anything crazy with. Didn't want to change too much.

 

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Steinbach Pistons

 

This is by far my favourite redesign for two reasons. 1. They are my hometown Steinbach Pistons, a team I witnessed in person go from winning 12 games a year to winning a championship in 2013 to being in the hunt for the title every single season. And 2. I got to work with them a year and a bit ago to make these uniform and logo designs a reality. They have worn 2 of the 4 uniforms in my redesign. They use both logos I designed as well. I have designed maybe 4 uniforms for special events as well that they have worn in the past. 

 

The logo is simply a simplified version of their previous logo, with a couple other minor changes. I always disliked the realistic pistons they used, it made it so hard to embroider or put on any apparel. It just didn't make sense. So we worked together to make the new simplified version of their primary logo. Something that wouldn't change the brand a crazy amount, but would improve the look. I also convinced them to adopt a new alternate uniform, that includes a vintage car. The Pistons' first logo was an old car, but it was a pretty bad looking logo. It was bad enough for the team to stray from using a car at all, until I designed the current alternate logo that uses a car that has a lot of meaning in Steinbach. Steinbach is known as the Automobile City and we have the 'Big Red Car' as it's known as. A 1931 replica Rolls Royce. That was the inspiration for the new alternate logo, using a car that actually has meaning for the city of Steinbach. They have a shoulder patch for that uniform that was sketched out by the head coach's brother and I touched it up. As you might be able to tell, I'm very proud to have such a big part in this redesign turned real life. 

 

The retro uniform I added to the set is the uniform that the Pistons won their first ever championship in. Not my favourite design they have ever worn (obviously haha) but won that is now in the history books.

 

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Swan Valley Stampeders

 

This one might be one of the biggest redesigns in the series. I never minded the colours that Swan Valley uses, other than the fact it's another team with a primary black uniform. Not enough colour for me. The logo was probably my least favourite part. It's not an exact rip off of the Denver Broncos, but it's pretty much the same logo. I came up with a brand new logo, that I designed from scratch. I went with a very unique colour scheme as well, with a retro Phillies vibe. The maroon and light blue. 

 

I think my favourite part about this one is what I did with the alternate. I had an idea of a logo that would be similar to the St. Paul Saints pig logo. The logo is a pretty simple outline of a horse, with the initials 'SVS' inside. The uniform gets even cooler. I went with a fauxback kind of style. It's not something they have ever worn. It's very different, but would look so good on the ice. I love playing with new ideas. It feels like the Dallas Stars winter classic uniform a little bit. But I loved that uniform. 

 

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