With the NHL Draft Lottery taking place tonight, it seemed like a good time to dig into the full branding package for 2021.
Like last year, the ongoing pandemic is forcing the NHL to hold its entry draft online once again. That means there’s no host city around which to brand the event. But it also means the sky is the limit one what could be done with this year’s logo. You’re not confined to a specific color palette or iconography.
So the NHL did this.
It shows the league has clearly abandoned the design system that’s been in use over the past decade. We saw it start to disappear last year, but it still had a few familiar elements. Not anymore.
Here’s a look at how the new design compares to other NHL Draft logos from the past 18 years.
The three-star motif of the old system paralleled the attention paid to the top three overall picks each year. That period certainly seems to be over. But where are we going? The new design feels a bit rudderless to me. I hope we see a return to more interesting designs when we return to in-person drafts.
Another glaring issue for me is the striking similarity of the new 2021 logo to the just-as-generic NFL draft logo.
I always thought the NHL had a good thing going with its draft logos, so that’s probably why I’m being a bit harsh right now.
Even the secondary marks are a little boring. Here’s the logo for tonight’s draft lottery as well as the simplified version of the primary mark.
Oh well. It’s an unusual year. Hopefully this will end up being an unusual logo in the grand scheme of things.
All that being said, I do like the expansion draft logo for the Seattle Kraken. I’ll have a blog post on that one soon. That draft will take place on July 21, two days before the NHL Draft on July 23.