Release the Kraken! We Crack Wise at Seattle’s NHL Team Identity
It’s been over a year of anticipation, but the newest NHL team finally has a name: the Seattle Kraken! On Thursday morning, the Seattle Hockey Partners revealed its name, logo, colors and uniform design. Last year, the writers at Puck Junk gave their suggestions for potential team names for the NHL’s 32nd franchise. Now, they’ve teamed up again to share their thoughts on Seattle’s brand identity.
Sal Barry, Editor and Webmaster
When I watched the Seattle NHL team press conference on Thursday — which was attended not by the press but by construction workers who were asked to applaud — the team showed a video of an “S” logo being slowly revealed. At first, I thought it was going to be an update on the Seattle Metropolitans logo from 100 years ago, which had me worried. I’m tired of teams recycling names of old, long-gone teams. (Sorry, Ottawa Senators fans.)
Then I noticed that the “S” was scaly-looking and I got excited. Maybe the team would be called the Seattle Sockeyes after all! I started thinking about buying all of the Jani Davenport romance novels about the fictitious Seattle Sockeyes hockey team and shipping them to Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard, who promisedthat he would review them for this site if the Seattle NHL team ended up being called the Sockeyes.
But then that red eye at the top of the “S” logo flickered in, and my heart sank; at that point I knew team was going to be called the Kraken, because only fictional beasts have cartoonishly evil-looking red eyes.
I’m not excited about Kraken as a name for Seattle’s NHL team for two reasons.
First, I don’t like singular names because that’s what soccer teams tend to use. Avalanche, Wild and Kraken sound like they’d be more likely to play against the Fire, Galaxy and United than the Canucks, Golden Knights and Sharks.
Second, seemingly everyone either wanted the team to be named the Metropolitans or the Kraken. I was hoping for a more-unique third option.
Then we have the jersey design and color scheme. Did the NHL really need another team that wears blue? Really? The Sabres, Rangers, Islanders, Blue Jackets, Jets, Lightning, Maple Leafs, Canucks and Blues (natch) all have blue as their main color. When the Kraken starts play in 2020-21, one-third of all NHL teams will wear blue jerseys. Thank God the Oilers switched to orange a few years ago.
That all said, I really do like the color scheme of the Kraken jersey, which uses four different shades of blue: shadow blue, boundless blue, ice blue and deep sea blue. And the way that the team incorporated the Seattle Space Needle into its secondary “anchor” logo is sweet. If I had a dark home jersey, I would wear it. I’m a size XL, should anyone feel generous.
Jim “Not the Goalie” Howard, Senior Writer
When the Seattle organization was playing their reveal video and got to the “S” logo with the tentacle rising, I was sold. I had been rooting for the Sockeyes up until that point, but the logo sold me that this would be very cool and I’m very happy that they are the Kraken.
When the uniforms designs were released a few minutes later, I expected more, and I had really thought they would have gone with a deep, angry red or a kelpy green, but instead went with a pastel turquoise that would not look out of place as a house color in Charleston, South Carolina. While I appreciated the anchor detail, I felt that it was rather subdued where they really could have come up with something smashing, breathtaking and gob-stopping; lord knows they had enough time to come with it!
However, I originally didn’t like the Hurricanes’ newer black jerseys when they were first released to the public, but once I saw them in person and as a complete uniform I understood what the designers were going for. I’m hoping for the same scenario here. While I still plan on going to follow my Hurricanes to Seattle, in what the Kraken has promised to be a very expensive ticket, I will also mark my calendar for their appearance against Detroit for some hot tentacle action between Al the Octopus and Krackers the Kraken.
I wonder if the Amazon logo on the ice will be larger than the “S” at center ice? Get ready for the “Prime, with two day shipping, Power Plaaaaay!”
Tim Parish, Writer-At-Large
When the Seattle NHL franchise changed their background on their Twitter feed on Wednesday, you knew it was a matter of moments before a name was coming. Judging by the water, it had to a nautical theme, right? Well now we know as they literally released the Seattle Kraken.
At first, I was unimpressed. It’s no Metropolitans, but the primary logo does pay tribute to that bygone team that was the first American based Stanley Cup winner. On closer review, the Detroit Tigers-esque “S” takes the design further. From a distance, the scripted letter looked like the kind of typeface you would see in a Broadway playbill. Then you see one of the mythical beast’s tentacles stretching up the frame of the S. Its capped by the bloodshot eye of the giant octopus, laser focused on your demise. OK, I’m in on that.
The secondary logo bored me too at first when I thought it was just an anchor. I had to look again to see that it was more than that. The main post of the anchor is the Space Needle. Very clever and it makes sense.
If you check the Kraken’s website, they claim the name “represents the fiercest beast in all the world. Too large and indomitable to be contained by man (or finned mammal). It instills one message in all opponents whether in our waters, or theirs…Abandon all hope.”
The prototypical “pucks in deep” interviews are going to take on a whole new meaning.
Larry Berman, Contributing Writer
So, the Seattle Hockey Partners just spent $650 million to enter the NHL. Rather than build another cookie-cutter arena, they took the time to renovate an existing arena with ties to the city that go back to the 1960’s and to the original minor hockey team that called Seattle home. The new arena will be a technical marvel, will NOT be named after a corporation and aims to be “the most progressive responsible, and sustainable arena in the world.”
The ownership group was respectful and held off on releasing the team name during the pandemic and social unrest that has gripped our area and the rest of the nation for the past several months.
Without further ado, let me introduce….the Seattle Kraken. Not the Metropolitans, which would pay homage to Seattle’s first professional hockey team, or the Totems which would pay homage to their most recent one as well as the First Nations people. Not the Pilots, not the Sonics, not the Storm, not the Sounders nor any of the other 999 names suggested by fans. Not one with any view of the future, concern for the past, or any discernible tie to the city or the region; just the Kraken.
But all is not lost. The team chose a really-great logo that looks a lot like the letter “S” but with an eye in it. And the secondary logo is even better because it is a ship anchor. I know, I know…it’s all very ECHL, but maybe that’s what everyone involved was looking for in the end.
David Schauer, Contributing Writer
The Seattle Kraken have emerged from the depths and the team embodies the new NHL. The flash and excitement that surround the team already needs to spread across the league during this time of controversial playoff hockey. The colors on the uniforms are unique, recognizable, and transferable to everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers. The marketing team is having a field day.
I especially love how the colors on the arm sleeves seem to represent the progressive darkness and depths of the ocean. The logo is clean, mean, and will look good flashing across the ice. The name “Kraken” instantly brings to mind tales of lore and legend, another marketing sweet spot that the team can build character around. Look for narratives of strength, mystery, and underestimated force. Seattle, as a city, needs hockey back and the NHL has found ways to welcome them into the league with a strong and individual identity, very similar to the Vegas Golden Knights.
The only downside I see are the plays on the Kraken name that opposing fans will undoubtedly chirp, like calling Seattle fans “Krak-heads” or their arena “the Krak-house.”
Blake Isaacs, Columnist
Welcome to the show, Seattle Kraken.
I was petrified the Seattle franchise was going to do something stupid and name the team the Metropolitans, in honor of the first pro hockey team in Seattle. They did not and I am a happy camper. That being said, do I love the Kraken name? I’m warm to it. It’s cool, it’s fresh, and it’s unique to Seattle. Those are the three boxes I wanted to be checked and they’re checked. Do I think Kraken is a home run? Not yet, but it’s extra bases for sure.
The color scheme is above average. I like how the Kraken itself is incorporated into the logo, with the tentacle and red-eye. I also like how the team incorporated the Seattle Space Needle into the secondary logo. The jerseys are much better than the Golden Knights jerseys. I think they’re a little safe, but the blues and greens are perfect for Seattle. The Kraken’s color scheme pairs well with the other Seattle teams, the Mariners and Seahawks. All three teams have some nautical references and shade of green in their uniforms.
It looks like Seattle finally released the Kraken. The newest NHL franchise selected its name Thursday and they did not disappoint. Kraken is the sort of name usually reserved for minor league affiliates. Top-tier franchises tend to play it safe with more generic names like the Kings or something more culturally relevant like the Maple Leafs. Unlike AHL teams, such as the Orlando Solar Bears or the Rockford IceHogs, NHL teams rarely have names that are as fun and playful as The Kraken.
While the name itself is fun, the logo is lacking, like a pirate ship without enough cannons. So far all we’ve seen is a neatly designed ‘S’ with a few sea serpent highlights and slick looking anchor. What we really need is a full-fledged creature that might live a few fathoms below sea level. It’s unclear why the front office’s school of thought didn’t make the Kraken itself the central logo design.
The colors they selected are certainly sea-worthy, but until we get our ocean monster, the Kraken’s logo is a few tentacles short of being truly memorable.