It only took 45 years, but the Portland Winterhawks finally have a logo made just for them.
The major junior Western Hockey League club today unveiled their new set of logos, moving away from the Chicago Blackhawks clones the team had been using since their inaugural WHL season way back in 1976.
“We are proud to finally have an identity to call our own,” said Michael Kramer, Majority Owner of the Winterhawks Sports Group in an email to SportsLogos.net. “We are very appreciative of the assistance we received prior to our inaugural season in 1976 that allowed us to begin our tenure in Portland, but believe now it is time we have our own identity that our community can be proud of.”
The centrepiece of the new Winterhawks logo set is the primary crest, a right-facing hawk with two feathers, a depiction of Mount Hood — a mountain from the Cascade Range synonymous with the Portland area, and a subtle “WH” for the team’s Winterhawks name. The team is retaining their core colours of red, black, and white while adding “celly gold” and squall grey into the mix.
A secondary logo featuring a large gold “P” for Portland with two crossed hockey sticks behind it, it immediately reminds the viewer of the logo the Winterhawks had long worn on their shoulders but is clearly updated here to work with the new set. This new logo will also be worn on the shoulders of their uniforms.
Both the primary and secondary logos as well as the new wordmark logo were designed by Brian Gundell in conjunction with Portland Gear. Gundell, in the past, has worked on logos for the NHL’s expansion Seattle Kraken and baseball’s San Diego Padres among many others.
“We’re very excited about our new visual identity that we have landed upon,” Kramer continued. “Our collaboration with both a local company (Portland Gear) and the expertise of Brian Gundell has provided us with a final product that we believe is fresh and unique. A logo that represents us as Portland’s hockey team and is consistent with the fast, aggressive and skilled way our team plays.”
The Portland Winterhawks joined the Western Hockey League in 1976 and, with an immediate need of team uniforms, accepted a donation of used sweaters from the Chicago Blackhawks (and then just never changed). During the course of their tenure the Winterhawks have won three WHL titles and two Canadian Hockey League Memorial Cup championships.
“The process of examining our history began in January when Winterhawks Sports Group took ownership of the team,” Kramer continued. “We strongly believe over the last 45 years the Winterhawks have developed into one of the premier hockey programs in the world both on and off the ice. Based on this it was a no brainer to move away for our ‘borrowed’ jerseys and take on our own identity. An identity that celebrates our past successes, lets us be recognized for our future successes and shows our pride about being from Portland.”
No word on the uniforms the teams will wear with the new set, but the team did tell us “the new brand identity is a multi-year process” which suggests changes will gradually take place over the next few seasons.