AHL: Firebirds Rise up Over Coachella Valley, Take the Ice in 2022-23

Just as a Kraken rises up from the depths of the sea, the Firebird rises up and out of the flames.

The NHL’s newest franchise today announced Coachella Valley Firebirds as the name of their American Hockey League affiliate to begin play in the 2022-23 season. The Firebirds will play out of Palm Springs, California in a yet-to-be-built 11,000 seat arena.

“Over the last two years, and after listening to fans, our leadership, and partners, we’ve been heavily involved in identifying the best team name and brand to represent the nine cities of the Coachella Valley,” Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said in the press release. “As a proud resident of the valley, I think the Firebirds has a meaningful representation for the beauty and what people experience when they come to our great community.”

The logo and colour scheme both make direct references to the Seattle Kraken without being overtly obvious, as a good minor league identity should. The quadruple blue and minute red colour scheme of the Kraken has been flipped to instead focus on multiple shades of red and orange with a hint of Deep Sea Blue as a direct tie between the two clubs.

The logo was designed by Brian Gundell of the aptly named Brian Gundell Graphic Design Co., Gundell has designed numerous top-tier logos in recent years including the Kraken’s Space Needle secondary logo and the new brown-and-gold San Diego Padres set.

“We’ve taken the mythological spirit of the Firebird and the Kraken and applied it throughout the entire brand,” Gundell said in the press release. “Where the Kraken utilize a palette of ocean blues with a red accent of warning, the Firebirds have flipped the script. Using Deep Sea Blue to tie both brands together, the Firebirds build out a primary colour palette in flaming red and orange, with an ice blue accent in the bird’s eye.”

The logo also utilizes the beveling techniques seen on the primary logo of the Kraken, this is plainly obvious on the Firebirds wordmark logo which uses a Mid-Century Gothic style typeface more appropriate for Coachella Valley while still incorporating heavy influcence from the wordmark used by the Kraken.

In terms of the secondary logo, the Firebirds are going with a red and orange palm tree on a navy blue shield, the shield in the shape of three mountain peaks – a nod to the local landscape. The palm tree itself has nine fronds representing the nine cities which make up Coachella Valley.