Anatomy of a Game Day Banner

Nazem Kadri
Photo: MLHS

Turning it over to MLHS graphic designer and power user mcloki for this morning:

Hello, Gents. It’s Mcloki. Last year, I suggested to Alec and Declan that a consistent look should be developed for the GDT. Foolishly they said yes. Those banners were done in the rush of adrenaline that came with the end of the lockout. The old banners were nice, but they didn’t bring a tradition or regularity to the site. And the Game Day Thread is special. When posted, it announces that it’s hockey time in Leaf Land.

I want to create something that will be instantly recognizable and deliver the needed info to the unwashed masses of the MLHS fanbase. You know who you are. Of course, the teams names are needed and I added the date, time and TV Station carrying the game. I knew these would be archived, so they make a good historical header. And at a glance you know where to get your hockey fix.

The first design was a little clinical. I was rushed after the lockout and just happy that hockey was back. I wanted to get these out pretty quick. It was very utilitarian.

I wasn’t satisfied, so I ended up adding in the team logos besides the teams names. It was pretty dull, looking back at it now. I hated it. There’s nothing like contempt to spur you on to greater creativity, because then it hit me – always remember who your target audience is. The audience was all the regulars on MLHS. They know hockey and the Leafs inside and out. They don’t need the facts, they need a bit of humour, a little levity, and they will get the joke.

I’ve changed the entire thinking of how to portray the other teams. Rather than team logos or shots of hockey players on the team, let’s get a little funny. Let’s find an image that epitomizes the team to MLHS fans. No respect. No logos. We can make fun of the other team. We’re a Leafs site, dammit. We do it every thread. Last year we ended up with Boston as the Care Bears and Carolina as the Dukes boys jumping General Lee. Let’s step it up this season.

I’ve got plenty of time to come up with the banners, but I have to do the entire league, and this is where I’m going to ask for you help. During the dog days of summer we’re going take suggestions from the MLHSer’s on proper images for each of the teams. We’re going to go per conference, so it’ll be 7 -8 teams per day. I’ll go through your suggestions and try and pick the most appropriate and doable one.

Let’s start with the Pacific Division:

Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
Arizona Coyotes
San Jose Sharks
Vancouver Canucks.

Some are going to be easy. How many diving boards will I get for Vancouver, or For Sale signs for the Coyotes? But some of the other teams are going to be hard. That’s where the combined warped humour of the MLHS board will come to the rescue. Please, suggest away.

Just a few caveats. Looking over my images from last year, the food reference didn’t work. Montreal was almost a bowl of poutine. The cartoon characters worked really well. Nothing too pornographic or too offensive. Keep it funny. These images have to last a full season. I won’t show the winners until we actually have the games, that way people will get a game day surprise.

Monday Morning Links…

TLN’s Top 20 Prospects
Justin Fisher kicks it off with some honorable mentions.

If you could only re-sign one of Phaneuf or Kessel, what’s your inclination?
That’s an ugly question, Michael.

How the departure of Grabovski and MacArthur will force the Leafs to think differently
Extremely tough mins for McClement – Bolland – Kulemin, giving a top 6 of Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson & JvR – Bozak – Kessel prime scoring opportunity. Sounds good on paper.