A Forgettable Knight: The Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Anti-Vegas Experience
We are starting a new recurring mini-blog, entitled Brand New. We will highlight how organizations present their visual identity through their logo. I’ve touched on this briefly on Twitter, but I saw that it had the opportunity to be a more in-depth regular part of our blog. Our one regret is that we didn’t start this series earlier and offer our perspective on the original Trump-Pence logo. Wow.
The NHL recently unveiled the name and visual identity for its newest franchise, The Las Vegas Golden Knights. In an entertainment mecca like Las Vegas, it’s logical that the NHL, and to a greater extent the NFL, would want to have franchises here. Fan bases of cool weather cities often travel well for warmer destination games. And is there more of a destination than Las Vegas?
The majority owner of the franchise, Bill Foley, is a graduate of West Point, and made a strong push to have the team name pay homage to the Army Black Knights. Which would describe the only logical explanation for the name (not to mention logo similarities) and its seemingly utter disconnect from anything relating to the city or the history of Las Vegas. The Sicilian Knights…maybe; The About Last Knights…sure; The Up All Knights…of course – but other than a lame play on words, I’m not sure what Las Vegas Golden Knights have to do with Sin City.
But enough about the league and the name, this series is focusing on logos and visual identities.
Where It Connected
With so many different “Knights” out there, it’s challenging to do anything that is significantly original. But when looking at the primary, secondary and word marks together, there are some solid takeaways. The primary mark uses a strong V in the helmet that doesn’t feel forced or unnatural. And that same V is echoed in the word mark. The secondary mark uses the “Welcome to Vegas” star as the clash of swords. And the introduction of the red really makes a bold statement when juxtaposed against the other two versions. Some of the serifs and letter structures (S) of the word mark seem a little clumsy, but nothing out of the ordinary for professional sports logos, or Vegas-inspired typography.
Where It Missed
First and foremost, the color scheme is just too drab! It’s lack of vibrancy and muted tones seem to be the antithesis of the Vegas experience. It would have been great to incorporate that red into the primary mark. The highlights and shadow lines in the execution of the helmet make it feel flat, rather than adding any definable dimension. And it seems as though there was an utter lack of thought that went into the shield behind the helmet. Is it just there to mimic the helmet shape? Overall, the primary mark certainly feels rather unsophisticated for a major sports franchise logo.
But almost as disappointing as the technical execution of the primary mark is the fact that it in no way connects to hockey nor to the Vegas experience. The secondary logo and to a lesser extent the word mark do make some small reference to the Vegas welcome star. But that’s it. And with a name as disconnected and common as Knights, I think the viewer should have gotten more from the Las Vegas Golden Knights.