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The green Avs logo that never was: How a faulty printer could be to thank for the classic burgundy-and-blue

Burgundy and forest green? How a shoddy 1995 color printer played a role in the origin story of the Colorado Avalanche's "steady, ownable" look
Posted: 1:34 PM, Jun 24, 2022
Updated: 2022-06-24 15:34:49-04

DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche has a shot at a third Stanley Cup win in their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning – a chance for the burgundy-and-blue to be immortalized for a third time in the annals of hockey history.

But that color combination – a “steady, ownable look,” as uniform critic and author Todd Radom put it in an interview with Denver7 – sort of happened by accident.

And they have a 1995 color printer to thank for it.

As Radom tells it, an NHL designer was working with forest green as a secondary color for the Avalanche after their relocation from Quebec. It was supposed to “reflect the outdoors of Colorado” alongside the burgundy, Radom said (sound familiar?).

Well, the printer they used to print those designs and present them to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wasn’t quite up to snuff, and the forest green came out as more of a muted blue color.

“Fundamentally, it’s the same muted blue that the team still wears a quarter-century later,” Radom said.

The green Avs logo that never was: How a faulty printer could be to thank for the classic burgundy-and-blue

Bettman, as it turned out, liked the muted blue. And so did the team’s owner, COMSAT.

The ownership group wanted a form of red and blue to coincide with both the navy-and-red Denver Nuggets jerseys and the logo of the soon-to-be-built Pepsi Center.

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“This is a visual identity that, because of the haste with which it was conceived, had multiple parents,” Radom said. “There were several design teams that were creating this thing simultaneously.”

“The look was unveiled in August of 1995. They [had to] get ahead of merchandise [because] it was just a couple of months before the team was going to take the ice.”

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