Aug 12, 2008

The Puck Stops Here!

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where the sport of hockey wasn't very popular.

Every so often I'd stumbled upon it accidently while flipping through channels. I never watched the whole game and the only reason I held off turning the channel sooner than later had to do with the possibility of a fight breaking out.

The only exception to this was about six years ago when FOX Sports embedded a computer chip into the puck and you could watch it zip around on screen like a laser beam. That kind of technology actually made me want to watch a full game. I still had no clue what all the rules were however.

Turns out each puck cost around $8,000 to replace if broken or if hit into the crowd and carted off by a fanatic. So they stopped doing that after the first season and thus my new found fascination ended.

NHL nick-name patches.

Upper Deck Company hired me to create a set of embroidery patch designs for their NHL licensed product. Many of the themes I had to design reflect specific achievements, famous moments, awards, and as shown above player nick-names. I have no clue who "Moose" is, but his intense look worked well for this design. The dentist of "Golden Jet" must be a happy camper, and "Stitches" seems to have inspired a franchise of hollywood horror films it would seem?

"16" of "135" embroidery patch designs in set.

With embroidery you have to keep detail simplified or it can get messy quick. I was given a garden variety offering of various themed embroidery patches to design. All the various color shifts reflect the team colors the patch is associated with as well. This shows about "16" out of around "135" I created for this set.

The holy grail of the hockey world.

Every sport has it's ultimate award and with hockey it's the "Stanley Cup".


I may be wrong but I think hockey has more award trophies than any other sport and I had to illustrate each of them. From what I could tell there was around "13" different awards in all. (Feel free to correct me if I am wrong)

I don't have to be a fan of broken teeth, mullets gone wild, or spontaneous skirmishes between two pugnacious players to appreciate the finer points of ice hockey. I just get to enjoy designing for this frozen sport culture.

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