Seattle Gets Kraken

In a world where much of the sports news we have gotten in 2020 is political, controversial or uncertain, the unveiling of the NHL’s new Seattle franchise has been a breath of fresh air. Seattle hasn’t had a professional hockey team since 1975 with its previous franchises of the Seattle Metropolitans (1915-1924) and the Seattle Totems (1944-1975). So it’s long overdue for Seattle to get on the NHL rink.

When the NHL awarded Seattle with a team back in 2018, there were many name options thrown around. Totems, Emeralds, Rainiers, Sockeyes, Renegades, Sea Lions, Seals, Evergreens, Whales, Cougars, Eagles, Firebirds, Krakens…just to name a few! As a former resident of Washington State, I was personally partial to the Sockeyes. The name just felt appropriate for the Pacific Northwest. It would have opened up some fun catch phrase possibilities as well like “Sockemn Sockeyes!” as well as some fun alliteration with the word Hockey. posted a lot of great concept art around many of the proposed team names and it’s worth a look to see what could have been!


A couple weeks ago, the NHL announced the new team will be the Seattle Krakens and unveiled the colors and logos for the team. From the color palette, the history, and the thought behind the branding this is a well-designed logo and I am happy with what the team at Adidas has come up with. While the Kraken may technically be a creature from Scandinavian folklore, it’s nautical and mythological qualities do make for a good sports franchise. What other team will have their fans yelling “Release the Kraken!!” at games?

So before we break down this new branding, I highly recommend watching this great interview with the Adidas team on the thinking behind the logo and the brand as a whole.

Also check out the excellent team website. It’s a good use of the typeface Tungsten.

The Logo

The logo is a calligraphic style S. The body of the S has a two tone beveled style that, according to Design director Matty Merrill of Adidas Hockey, is meant to evoke the carved letterforms found on the quarter boards of sailing ships. This is the part of the ship where the vessels name would be displayed.

It is little historical details like this that demonstrate why this mark is so good. Design decisions are best when they are intentional not just flashy.

A single tentacle is revealed in the spine of the S. It rises from the bottom which implies a sea creature rising from the depths. I love the use of negative space in any logo. Less is always more and allows your mind to fill in what is not there. Remember the first time you saw the arrow in the FEDEX logo? 

The final touch, which Merrill describes as a last minute design suggestion, is the inclusion of a solitary red eye just below the beak of the S. Red is a very strong color and this small amount of it adds a good aggressive quality to the mark that does not distract from the rest of the elements.

The secondary mark and type mark continue the beveled two color look of the primary. The twists in the word mark are evocative of tentacles. The secondary mark combines the always iconic Space Needle with a fun nautical anchor shape. This logo will show up on the shoulder patches of the jersey but I would not be surprised to see it get wider use on merch. It’s a great secondary. Simple and clean.

The colors

The colors are Deep Sea Blue, Ice Blue, Shadow Blue, Boundless Blue and Red Alert.While Seattle sports has become pretty synonymous with some variation of green I think the use of a blue palette was smart in this case. I love the Deep Sea Blue when paired with an Ice Blue background. Great sharp contrast! At this point Adidas has only released a Navy and White jersey but I hope we will see an Ice Blue style skating around soon.

The graphics team here at Logo Brands is Kraken away at getting this great new artwork onto awesome products that the fans will be sure to love. Coozies, tents, backpacks and more.

*Mockup image is CONCEPT ONLY and is subject to license approval.*



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