October 2, 2008

Retro Review: Hartford Whalers

The former Hartford Whalers' logo, created by Peter Good, was one of the most clever designs in professional sports.  Introduced in 1979 when the Whalers joined the NHL, its simple, bold forms and use of positive/negative play are typical of 70s era design.  The W initial of Whalers with the back fin of a whale depicted as if sticking out of the water represent the team name in both a typographic and graphic way.  Perhaps the most intelligent aspect of the logo, and one that is often overlooked at first, is the H initial of Hartford which is created by the negative space between the W and the fin.   The rounded illustrative style form is also expressive of the whimsical, lighthearted nature of sports.  Had it been designed today, we'd most likely see some sort of angry animal that appears as if its moving quickly through space.  

While many logos are so generic that they could really be used for a number of companies, this logo is so unique that it could not possibly represent anything other than that sports franchise in that city.  Classy, clever, and fun.  Its a shame the team has been defuct for over ten years now. 

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