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IIHF unveils 2020 Women’s World Championship logo

Oh. Canada.

CHURCH, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Photo by Pascal QUITTEMELLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The International Ice Hockey Federation released the logo for the upcoming 2020 Women’s World Championships in Nova Scotia.

”How do you like it?”

In all honesty, I don’t. A maple leaf? For Canada? Groundbreaking.

National symbols and flag imagery, like the maple leaf or the stars and stripes from the American logo in 2017, are the default well for designers to draw from. As such, they get old quickly without some new interpretations. I genuinely thought the maple leaf was a wall of flame at first, with a masked skater emerging from the fiery depths. That would have been AWESOME.

It took a moment to realize exactly what I was looking at. The deep blue background evokes the flags of Truro and Halifax as well as the blue found on the Nova Scotia banner (yes, I had to Google those) but beyond that it indicates nothing about the tournament or where it’s being held. Compared to logos from other IIHF women’s tournaments, including the one from Canada’s last hosting gig in 2016, it lacks symbolism, distinction, creativity, and vision.

For example, look at last winter’s U-18 Women’s World Championship logo.

IIHF / someone on Reddit

The anime-style art is a dead giveaway the tournament is being held in Japan, while the falling cherry blossoms add further cultural dimension. It’s cute, unique, and memorable.

Same with Michelle Karvinen’s design for the senior women’s tournament in Espoo last April. Karvinen took a clean design approach and imbued the logo with plenty of Finnish symbolism. It’s evocative without being cluttered or messy.

Eastern Canada is a beautiful place, and it would have been great to see it portrayed on the 2020 logo with a bit more of an identity. Graphic design is, of course, subjective, so — grain of salt, etc. More details on the tournament are forthcoming.

Final Grade: C