Kachina, the Spirit Thrives in the Pack
The Arizona Coyotes, formerly the Winnipeg Jets, made the move from Canada in July of 1996, making the desert their home for the last 23 years and counting. Over the last two decades, they’ve moved arenas, had four Captains, were coached by Wayne Gretzky, and have been Pacific Division Champions. Their presence in Arizona both on and off the ice continues to make history, not only in the hockey community but throughout the state as well.
Hockey in the Desert. Inspired by Home.
Bringing a sports team to a new market is no easy feat, but the Coyotes approached the transition with grace and powerful intent. They involved the community from the start, allowing the fans to select their team name and hiring a local design firm to create their inaugural logo. There was no mistaking that this is an Arizona team.
The Kachina is not your traditional hockey mark. The level of detail and hidden intricacies give the viewer something new to notice with every glance. Not only is it the union of a coyote and a hockey player, but it’s uniquely Arizona.
For the 2018-2019 season, the Coyotes brought back the fan-favorite Kachina jersey as the official third jersey, which they wore every Saturday home game as a part of Kachina Saturdays. Nothing was more impressive than seeing the arena filled with these throwback sweaters.
Bringing the Kachina to Life
Traditional corporate offices can tend to feel unremarkable, dusted in the traditional Arizona beige paint. Parts of the Coyotes hockey offices were no different. The word described to us was “boring” and if you know the Coyotes, they are anything but boring. Did you see the goal scored off of Conor Garland’s face? Shane Doan’s jersey retirement ceremony? Grabner’s eye injury? All those shorty’s? We could go on, but let’s get back to the Kachina.
We are obsessed with its complexity, nods to the Southwest, and clever geometric patterns. When we were tasked with re-energizing the hockey offices we knew we had to incorporate the Kachina in an extraordinary way. We didn’t want to simply bring it back, but rather bring it to life. However, before we could construct this feature piece, we had to start by completely deconstructing it.
We envisioned the Coyotes staff being able to stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow teammate. To accomplish this, individual pieces were machine cut, sanded and hand-painted using custom mixed paint to match their original ‘96 Pantone swatches. It was assembled by laying each piece on top of the next. The pieces themselves varied in depth, adding extra dimensions to each layer. Picture the biggest, most impressive jigsaw puzzle. That’s how we felt throughout the fabrication process.
After a nail biting journey from our studio to Gila River Arena, the Kachina now stands proudly in the newly minted Kachina Conference Room. Currently, we might be the only ones calling it the Kachina Conference Room. Perhaps the name sticks since the Kachina jerseys are coming back for the 2019-2020 season.
Here’s to many more seasons of desert hockey. Keep scratchin’ and clawin’.