Established in 1908, the Czech Ice Hockey Association (recently renamed Czech Ice Hockey in English and Český Hokej in Czech) is the national governing body of ice hockey in the Czech Republic and one of the founding member associations of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Czech Ice Hockey is also responsible for the men’s and women’s national teams representing the country in international competitions, including the Olympics and although they haven’t won gold since 1998, they are historically considered one of the top hockey teams in the world. Recently, Czech Ice Hockey introduced a new identity designed by Prague-based Go4Gold.
A microsite with more information and images is available here.
The new dynamic logo is inspired by the lion which - as the country’s official symbol - has been present on the jerseys of Czech ice-hockey players for almost a hundred years. The logo’s coloring is based on the colors of the Czech national flag, and it is supplemented with “ice” shading. The lion is firmly connected with the puck, much as ice-hockey is associated with modern Czech history. The six spikes of the lion’s mane refer to six players on the ice, and if you take a closer look at the lion’s eye, you will discover the outline of the island of Štvanice in Prague, which is were the Czechoslovaks won their first ever world championships.
The old logo was pretty bad although, to its credit, it tried to cleverly used the Czech Republic flag as the basis for its confusing hockey-stick-reflected-in-water rendition of some kind. The sad puck in the depressing gray bar sealed its fate as a terrible logo. The new logo is more in tune with the growing Americanization of European sports logos, which is probably not our most popular export. Nonetheless, it’s undoubtedly a better logo visually and conceptually (perhaps a little heavy-handedly).
The lion comes from the Czech Republic’s coat of arms and its wagging tongue has been transformed into a hidden puck, which is kind of clever (but also kind of weird — I’ll beat someone to the punch and quip that the lion looks like it’s coughing the Nike swoosh). As a self-contained unit (or floating head) the icon is quite effective and can be used freely across applications. The wordmark is fine; perhaps feeling slightly heavy and static but let’s appreciate that it doesn’t have spikes and wisps to match the lion’s mane.
The logo works great as a system and will certainly help consolidate the efforts of the organization and make it clear that they are the ones behind all things Czech ice hockey.
Not much else to say about the custom fonts… They are fine but a little dry. The numerals are quite nice though.
The applications are straightforward and display a good dose of organizational seriousness that gives the logo some extra gravitas.
The ads take on a more vivid execution with duotone gradient action photos and some more visible lion-mane-lightning-bolt graphics. It starts to look kind of cool but the type treatments are not the most flattering.
In merchandise, the logo looks pretty great and it will give ice hockey fans a proper and exciting design to wear in support of their team.
Thanks to Vít Bockstefel for the tip.