As the agency of record for the Chicago Blackhawks, Coudal Partners largely defined the team’s visual aesthetic from the mid-nineties through 2007. Each season, we developed a unique slogan and advertising campaign that became the graphic identity for the team’s marketing materials, ticket sales collateral, promotions, and in-arena graphics throughout the season.
As the lead designer on the Blackhawks account, I was deeply involved in the development of the campaign and handled most day-to-day implementation. I worked with team management to create the season tickets and their packaging, hundreds of newspaper ads, promotional items, pocket schedules, signage, media guides, and more. Player trades, injuries, and hot streaks required I keep a close eye on the games and react with relevant headlines and photography.
The 2003-4 season was the peak of my involvement in the creative direction, as we pitched a letterpress aesthetic inspired by boxing posters, with grainy halftone photos and cocky mid-century copy, highlighting rivalries and on-ice action. At this time, home games were still not broadcast locally, so we reminded fans the only way to witness a home game was “LIVE FROM CHICAGO,” in the stadium itself.
Many seasons, if the team wasn’t doing well, management would start making tweaks to every detail of the operation, firing coaches, trading players, and even rethinking the slogans and graphics we came up with, but this particular season, despite a last-place finish in the division, the Blackhawks couldn’t find anything to blame us for, so this was one of our most consistent campaigns of the decade and remains one of my favorites. conceptually and visually.