I’m in Puerto Rico right now, but wooooooohhhhhh how am I posting an entry kick starting a new client for Monthly Brand? Magic. And by magic I mean WordPress. I’ve learned a lot about blogs and WordPress and content management and CSS and RSS and INXS these past few months—it’s all apart of the goal here, so, looks like I can say that something is working. One thing I also figured out was how to post a poll on a blog. First, thanks to all who actually voted, always good to know you’re out there. In all honesty though, it was just an excuse to figure out how to put a poll on the blog—but I’m still happy there were responses. I’m surprised how many I got, but it looks like there is a more popular choice out of all of them, and it so happens to be one that I also think fits the bill. So, I’m calling it, though with a slightly different spelling, that the hockey team to be branded will be the fictional New England Nor’easters. Go ‘Easters!
Though it was indeed the most popular voted name, I was also drawn to a few of the others as well. I found out that the Baltimore Ravens were actually named that after that town being the resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, the inspiration for my Rhode Island hockey team (since Poe also spent time in Providence). So that’s a wash, someone had the same idea, and I hear the Ravens aren’t so bad. The Maine Thrillers were based on Stephen King‘s legacy of that creepy northern state where I’m sure they play a lot of hockey and kill a lot of people with axes, but it has a bit of vague and gory concept, so not so much. The Swarm is great I think, and maybe I’ll try this one again next year with that name, though I have already brainstormed what exactly that swarm might BE (rats? bats? snakes? bees? locusts? humans?) and find that to be a major task that has much more to do with people who name teams and less to do with design. The one write in we got was the New England Minutemen. Asked to wikipedia it, though knowing the origin of the term already, I found it a great idea for a team sport based on quick deployment, stamina and a competition of attrition. Kudos for the entry, alas, I’ve got to land on something, and the Nor’easters have won my heart.
Why? You’re going to laugh. I just can’t help the typographic play. NE is for New England, but also for Nor’easters. That’s the number one reason, pathetically. However, I think the “mascot” is quite apropos—it’s got ferocity, it’s got thematic attachment to the winter sport of hockey, and I don’t know if you’ve talked to someone from New England, but they are eerily proud of their cataclysmic snow dumping storms up here. Pride means a unified team, and fans to boot. So there we are, the new team. The traditional route of pinning down a few words that describe the client are going to fall in a class that you might consider expected for any hockey team: fierce, strong, fast, ugly, tough, cold, things like that. I’ll try to nail down a few of those fundamental descriptions, but I’ll try to toss in a few that distinguish this team from any others. I don’t know that much about hockey, and as this brand is already tardy, I’m going to let what research I’ve done be it for now and get right into stretching the real world of leagues, divisions, competition, ticket sales, coaches, equipment, etc. I’m going to have to say the team is ready to play; they need a logo, they need jerseys, they need team colors, and they need to fill the seats with people who want to watch some hockey. With my supportive arguments for the team name itself already bringing support from the locals and a genuinely confident and appropriate team name, we now must get on to graphics and let the rest ride out.
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So the first thing to do is show a few examples of people who have used the name already. Completely unfazed by the possibility that there is already something hockey (or otherwise) related out there called the Nor’easters, I found a hockey cup competition called such, a soccer team called such, a beer called such, and finally an entire university that call such their mascot. Awesome. Well, to say the least, some of their logos really aren’t that bad (I’ve seen worse), some are…just worse, but we’re going to have to kick this up a notch for a professional team and hope we can bring something new to the table that’s already been set. There’s always going to be someone out there who’s already done it, and sometimes several times over. The only thing a good designer can do is acknowledge what’s been done, and attempt to bring in a new idea. So let the drawing begin.