Times are changing and teams with logos and brands deemed derogatory to Indigenous communities are making changes for the better.
The Cleveland Guardians (formerly Indians) of Major League Baseball, Washington Commanders (formerly Redskins) of the National Football League, Neepawa Titans (formerly Natives) of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, and Saanich Predators (formerly Braves) of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League each changed their names away from those derogatory towards Indigenous People.
The Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League changed their logo from a face framed by an Indigenous headdress to one that represents the aviation history of the City of Moose Jaw.
With all of the changes coming down the pipe, I thought it would be good to rebrand the Chilliwack Chiefs. As a graphic design student, I was tasked with rebranding a business for one of my classes. As a sports fan and someone who loves to design logos for teams, I decided to rebrand the Chiefs.
The only thing that will stay the same is the Chiefs name as the local Indigenous groups around Chilliwack have given the team their blessing to use the name to represent them and the city.
The Chiefs’ current logo has been in use since the team arrived from Richmond back in 1990. The logo changed and developed over the years as I noted in an earlier article. The logo, similar to the old Moose Jaw logo, is a shape-based face with an Indigenous headdress.
My rebrand logo brings other aspects of the City of Chilliwack to the forefront. The logo is a sports font ‘C’ with corn in the middle. A new wordmark is placed under the ‘C’ in the same font as the large ‘C’. The logo colour follows the new colour scheme with the ‘C’ being green with a black outline.
The Chiefs’ colour scheme has been in place since their return in 2011-12. The crimson, gold, and white follow the same colours as the seats in the Chilliwack Coliseum as well as NCAA Division I school Denver University.
I’ve changed the colours to represent the City of Chilliwack. The main colour is green which represents the city’s nickname as “the Green Heart of the Province”.
Black replaces the gold and represents the rich soil that corn and other crops are grown in, and white represents the snow-capped mountains that surround the City and eastern Fraser Valley.
The current jersey has a new, but old-school look to it. The current jersey has the home white look, similar to the 1950s Detroit Red Wings jersey, with one bold red stripe on the sleeves and waist. The road jersey has a crimson base with a bold white stripe on the sleeves and waist while adding gold piping around the numbers on both jerseys.
My new suggested look will go back to the early 2000s with a black base for the road jerseys with green and white stripes on the waist and sleeves. The logo on the jersey will be taken from the New York Rangers design and have the ‘Chiefs’ word mark diagonal across the front with the ‘C’ being the new main logo with the corn in the middle and with a white outline around the letters.
A second look is the same jersey style as the diagonal but with just the main “C” as the logo. The home whites will mirror the road counterparts with the white stripes reversed to black and the outline of the letters and logo also reversed to black.
My idea is to try and keep the history and traditions of the Chilliwack Chiefs while adding some elements that represent the entire city and region. The team’s current tagline is “Chiefs hockey……Chilliwack’s team” and this redesign would make that tagline true. From the green and white to the corn in the logo, this redesign encompasses everything and everyone that lives in, and represents, the City of Chilliwack.