The history of “Colorado Avalanche” started in 1972 in Canadian Quebec, where the club “Quebec Nordiques” was born. “Nordiques” existed until 1995. It was the most unusual club in NHL because all announcements on its arena were solely in French. French-speaking Montreal is a town that is quite tolerant of English; however, the same can’t be said of Quebec’s country town. “Nordiques” was an aggressively francophone club.
Strange as it may seem, it took the league founders a lot of time to come up with the idea to integrate the club from Quebec to WHA. In the beginning, they dreamt of the Californian sun, and they even reached an agreement about the team in San Francisco. They also created a nickname; however, their dream didn’t come true. It turned out that Californian people ran out of money before the beginning of the first season. The club had to find a new home, so they came up with Quebec.
Naturally, the most French team of all French teams should be properly named. After thinking for a while, fans named their new favorite club “Nordiques.” This nickname is more than logical because Quebec was the northernmost city in NHL and WHA. Except for Edmonton and Calgary. Also, Vancouver and Winnipeg. But it was northern. Very northern.
A club emblem was also designed – the elephant carcass, a stylized letter “N” that looked like an “igloo” – Eskimo dwelling.
It wasn’t hard to choose the colors: they were the same as on the French flag. Blue and red were the primary colors on the first uniform of “Nordiques.” One year after that, sweaters’ shoulders featured a logo – “fleur de Lys” – in French, which afterward became famous. A lily is considered a symbol of royalty in France, and Quebec people consider this flower as a symbol of independence and connection to France.
It was the 1990s. The Canadian dollar was dropping, the competition with “Montreal” wasn’t met, the arena was obsolete, the hockey players didn’t feel enthusiastic about the country town where nobody speaks English. As a result, after Quebec’s government refused to provide the club with financial assistance, “Nordiques” was sold to Denver’s group of investors. This happened right after the loss in a playoff in 1995. On June 1, 1995, the team was relocated to Denver and renamed the “Colorado Avalanche.”
New owners decided to give the team a new nickname in Denver. Rumor had it that it would be “Rocky Mountain Extreme.” These nicknames were also considered: Bears, Cougars, Renegates, Outlaws. However, all of them got a lot of negative feedback. The new nickname was extravagant anyways – “Colorado Avalanche,” which is understandable as avalanches in the Rocky Mountains are rather common.
The logo for Colorado Avalanche was well suited, and there was a bigfoot print on the shoulders.
The club colors were burgundy, blue, grey, and black, featuring the uniform’s zigzag-shaped design in the “mountain” style.
The newly dressed club instantly rushed into the elite of NHL. Someone has to wait in vain for decades, but Denver people got snowed under this happiness like under the avalanche: the club with young superstars came with one Patrick Roy. They won Stanley Cup in the first year in a new place and threw a parade in Quebec with a foil prize.
Meaning and History
The evolution of the Colorado Avalanche team logo began when they were Quebec Nordiques. It is this name that appears in the two early versions. The modern name is also reflected in the emblem but in a completely different format. When the Nordiques left for Denver in the 1995 season, naturally, their logo changed, too. A man named Michael Beindorff came up with the “A” part of the logo. This is where the idea of “Colorado Avalanche” came from. In total, there are four signs of visual identification in its history.
1973 – 1985
The Nordiques started in 1973 with their famous red igloo logo. Half of the igloo was replaced with a hockey stick and a hockey puck. The outline of this image was blue. There was a wordmark “Nordiques” on top in blue and “Quebec” in blue on the bottom.
1985 – 1995
Some insignificant changes in the Colorado Avalanche logo were made 12 years after that. The wordmark and red circle were removed. The hockey stick as the entrance to the igloo remained. The colors became deeper, which gave volume to the image.
1995 – 1999
In the move to Colorado, they changed the emblem and nickname to “Colorado Avalanche.” As stated previously, Michael Beindorff developed a concept of the burgundy letter “А,” shaped like a mountain. A blue wave looking like an avalanche wraps around and over, led by a black puck at the end, in the shape of the letter “C.”
1999 – present
The team is currently using the version that appeared in 1995. It is framed in the form of a mountain peak (letter “A”), from which a huge blue and white avalanche, formed by a hockey puck, flies. Part of the logo is Michael Beindorff, who came up with his idea.
The emblem directly echoes the club’s name and conveys its essence: the athletes go ahead in a powerful stream, and it is impossible to leave it because it sweeps away everything in its path. This is the principle of team play.
The modern version is based on its predecessor. The difference between them is in color: in the first case, “A” is red, in the second – burgundy. The letter is set against the background of a diagonal oval. Instead of a crossbar, it has an avalanche.
Font and color of the Emblem
The Colorado Avalanche logos are divided into two basic groups: the n and the club (1973-1995), and the A and landslide (1995 to present). A quarter of the letter is cut off in the first case: a hockey stick is used instead. In the second, the emphasis is on the mountain peak, from which the puck is rapidly rolling towards the foot of the mountain, leaving a trail in the form of an avalanche.
In the debut version, the inscription is made in a thinly chopped typeface. The letters are provided with slight rounding and are in the upper case. Now the text represents only one character – “A.” It is made in an individual hand-drawn font, where a hockey puck is used instead of serifs and fragments of an avalanche. They also replace the crossbar.
The Colorado Avalanche emblem color scheme includes Process Black, Gray PMS 428, Silver PMS 877, Burgundy PMS 202, and Blue PMS 647. Also, there is white, which enhances contrast well.