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Uni Watchs Friday Flashback: Why Hartford Whalers logo endures

Uni Watchs Friday Flashback: Why Hartford Whalers logo endures
uni-watchs-friday-flashback-why-hartford-whalers-logo-endures
Mark Messier Kids Jersey Your friendly uniform columnist was attending an NHL game the other day. Two guys sitting nearby, who looked to be in their early 20s, were discussing NHL teams that no longer existed -- the Quebec Nordiques, the Atlanta Thrashers and so on -- and eventually one of the guys mentioned the Hartford Whalers. "Such a great jersey!" said the first guy. His buddy enthusiastically agreed, and then they shared a look that basically said, "Yup, that's a universal truth right there." To put this in some perspective, the Hartford Whalers have not existed since 1997, when these two guys would have been about 4 years old. The team never won a Stanley Cup or even a conference championship, and it was plagued by chronic attendance problems that ultimately led the franchise to relocate to Raleigh, North Carolina, where it now operates as the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite the team's unremarkable on-ice history, the Whalers' logo and jersey have proven to be surprisingly durable and popular -- even among fans who are barely old enough to have seen the team play. Whalers merchandise was reintroduced in 2009 and has reportedly become Reebok's top seller among defunct NHL teams. The team's merch has even been championed by a number of celebrities, most notably comedian John Hodgman. Zdeno Chara Throwback Jersey At the heart of all this is the Whalers' logo. Unveiled in 1979 -- when the team joined the NHL as part of the NHL-WHA merger and changed its geographical signifier from New England to Hartford -- it's a strong, bold design with an ingenious stealth element: The negative space between the whale's tail and the "W" forms an "H." If you're just perceiving the "H" for the first time, don't worry -- lots of fans have gone years, even decades, without realizing that it's lurking in there. The logo was created by a designer named Peter Good, a Hartford native who still maintains a Connecticut-based design practice. Courtly and soft-spoken, he shared his story recently in a Uni Watch interview. Here's how our conversation went: Uni Watch: How did you end up being hired to design the Whalers' logo? Peter Good: I was hired by an agency, Jack Lardis Associates, which was handling the advertising for the Whalers. Jack was an old friend, and he hired me to do the design. He said, "You'll work directly with the Whalers on this," so I met with Howard Baldwin [the team's founder and owner at the time], Bill Barnes, the marketing director, and Jack Kelley, the general manager. We talked about their goals, and I prepared some preliminary designs based on that. D'Angelo Russell Womens Jersey What did they say their goals were? Oh, you know -- "We want an exciting logo," or something like that. It's the same thing every client says when they want a new logo. Were you already a fan of the team at the time? Were you even a hockey fan? No, no. It was a totally new experience. At that time my children were young, and they were involved with junior hockey, but I wasn't really a hockey fan aside from that. Had you previously done any sports-related design work? http://www.authenticyankeesshop.com/authentic-53-austin-romine-jersey.html No. And the whole thing was on a fast track -- they were in a rush -- so I came back about a week later with several drawings. Some used a whale, some used harpoons, some had a trident shape. And I said, "This is just a way of thinking about the logo." And Howard Baldwin pointed to one that had a "W" and an "H," and he said, "Oh, I like that one. We'll go with that one."

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