v is for vancouver (and its happy, upbeat, aggressive players)

Beyl and Boyd was the San Francisco design and marketing firm that foisted these famous sweaters on the Vancouver Canucks in 1978, convincing the team that their traditional hues just didn’t cut it in the new NHL. “The Canuck colours,” divulged Bill Boyd, one of the deep-thinkers consulted, “were all wrong. Blue-green is the coolest colour of all. Slows the pulse, reduces aggression, promotes calmness. Psychiatric wards are painted blue-green. Encourages tranquility.” That was why the team had no choice other than to go with the palette that goaltender Richard Brodeur is seen styling here during the 1981-82 campaign.

“With the Canucks’ uniforms,” Boyd explained to The Vancouver Sun’s Jim Taylor in ’78, “we are going from the coolest of colours — blue-green — to the hottest — red-orange. The cool colour is passive, the hot one aggressive. Plus the black. It’s the contrast of colours that creates emotion. White produces no response at all, so we went for yellow, which is warm, pleasant, happy. Upbeat. What we are attempting to create is an atmosphere that will help create the happy, upbeat, aggressive player — and, hopefully, the happy, upbeat fan. The Canucks want to provide the fan with an atmosphere in which it’s easier for him or her to have fun.”

The Flying V design survived through the 1984-85 season whereafter it was replaced by the Speedy-Blurry Skate logo. The heated colour scheme persisted until 1997, when the Canucks returned to their tranquil past and suited up once more in blue-green … and white.



3 thoughts on “v is for vancouver (and its happy, upbeat, aggressive players)

  1. Nothing here I didn’t already read elsewhere but thank you for the post! I always found the original blue and green ultra-dull. The “yellow” years were fun! (The Kings wore yellow also) but my favourite were the 89-97 unis. Anything after ’97 was just bad.

    There should be a post on here about the original artist’s intent for the original “stick and rink” design There’s a hidden “C” in there.. which was just a horrible excuse for what everyone “really” saw…. a plain old rink and stick.

  2. Minor correction/clarification – the Canucks didn’t return to the blue & green colour scheme until 2003, when the ’72 away jersey was worn a handful of times as part of the NHL Vintage program, before becoming their regular 3rd jersey for 06-07… In 1997 they introduced the Orca Bay logo in a new double-blue/red/silver colour scheme, harkening back to the pre-NHL Canucks, who had worn blue & red from 1945-1970 in the PCHL and WHL.

    Fascinating application of pop-psychology to athletic sciences and sports management. Almost makes me think the jerseys could have contributed to the cinderella runs in 82 and 94… could the 2011 Canucks have beaten the Bruins if they were just wearing more aggressive colours?

Comments are closed.