How the Seattle Kraken chose the team’s look
Somewhere in Los Angeles A team of Kraken insiders sat in a room and stared at an ice blue “S”. Then billion dollar businessman and majority owner David Bonderman stood up, pointed to the curve of the square letter on the screen, and said something like, “I think we should try an eye there.”
“And now I’m looking [the logo] and I can’t imagine it without the eye, ”said Katie Townsend, the team’s current VP of Marketing, who passed on the now legendary story.
Our brand new hockey team started with over 1,000 possible names: the Seattle Sockeyes, the Seattle Rainiers, the Seattle Emeralds. A little over a year ago, fans didn’t have an official nickname to hold onto. Now 36 players are ready to dress in midnight and ice blue jerseys and go to the ice rink.
Since Seattle in 2018 for the 32nd
Kraken’s official branding book is littered with quotes that set the mood for even the smallest branding decision. “Fear the creature that lives in the darkest depths, the ice-bound octopus that threatens to emerge, and keep your soul,” says a quote from Erna Grcic’s collection of poems. Under the surface. The biologist EO Wilson: “In our hearts we hope that we do not discover everything.” It is clear that the Kraken “is an invisible, immutable force”, mysterious and all the more dangerous as it is never fully revealed – only hinted at a single tentacle rising from below. (Always, always from below.)
These quotes lead to a number of rules that marketers need to follow. The Kraken, when published, should never be portrayed in a humorous or caricature manner. It never attacks its home (thank god). Disrespect is encouraged – see the team’s pre-expansion Twitter bio: “Now that we have a name, we’re planning all the ways to draw your favorite player.” What to call a Kraken fan? “We’re not pirates or Vikings (although the octopus would love to eat them).” On the plate, we are octopuses, too.
After all, the devil is in the details. Those red accent stripes on the jersey? They’re there to represent the strip of paint on the bottom of some ferries – and they are there because General Manager Ron Francis was attending design meetings and wanted to make sure the strips didn’t cut off players. “He wants his players to look as big as possible on the ice,” explains Townsend. The secondary logo anchor contains a subtle nod to the Space Needle. Kraken Blues matches the marine colors of the Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders. Every element of the team’s appearance has been carefully scrutinized, from the bevel of the “S” – a nod to boats and Seattle’s seafaring spirit – to the letter itself, a callback to Seattle’s original Metropolitan hockey team.
All of that thought means the Kraken will look darn good on and off the ice. But don’t take our biased word for it. Despite one miserable ranking in last place in an early Sports illustrated Analysis of some of Seattle’s future names (we were there too) the response to the brand’s unveiling has been remarkably positive. ESPN employee Arda Ocal gave the logo nine out of 10 points – “a big fat W. “Hockey writer Mike Luciano said the Kraken”mastered the design.” As Zone coverage reporter Giles Ferrell writes“When we took a look at what they were saying, oh boy, it was so good.”