During the the launch of the San Jose Sharks in the early 90s, graphics excellence was highly valued, from the design of the original logos and uniforms, collateral materials and game staging production values (including the iconic Shark Head Tunnel) to commissioned art employed on game magazine covers and retained as part of the franchise’s private collection and heritage. Among the stable of almost 20 graphic artists and illustrators recruited to execute this commitment, five stand out.
- Terry Smith (Graphic artist, illustrator, toy designer) . . . Part of the four-person project team I recruited to build start-up business and marketing plans and brand identity for what would become the San Jose Sharks NHL club, the extraordinarily talented Smith designed the internationally acclaimed Sharks primary logo (Shark biting stick), the first depth-of-plane logo in sport, its secondary logo (stylized fin) and the logo for the grass roots breakthrough program, Sharks & Parks.
- Mike Blatt (Art Director, commercial artist) . . . Developed unique serrated logo-type and “Triangle Gothic” alphabet as well as entire introductory multi-media advertising campaign and collateral materials for the San Jose Sharks. The Art Director for an agency selected in a review I conducted for the Golden State Warriors in the mid 1980s, Blatt (now headquartered in Las Vegas) conceived and developed a highly successful and acclaimed advertising initiative to reintroduce the NBA club via the “Warriors Worriers” campaign, featuring testimonials from John Madden, Reggie Jackson, Magic Johnson, San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, Oakland Mayor Lionel Wilson, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and others.
- Marc Ericksen (Illustrator) . . . a talented past president of the San Francisco Society of Illustrators who was one of the most gifted in the stable of artists I recruited to design original works of art for San Jose Sharks game magazine covers during the 1990s. A Vietnam War veteran, Ericksen served diverse clients like Intel, Hewlett Packard, Levi Strauss and Bank of America, the canvases of his original works remaining a proud asset of the San Jose Sharks, including this treatment of a shark breaking through the ice.
- Anatoly Paseka (Graphic artist) . . . a renowned central/western European science fiction and power flower artist, born in Omsk, now living in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Paseka was introduced to me during his first visit to the western U.S. in the mid-1990s. I asked him to interpret what ice hockey might look like in the 22nd century. His bold imagination led me to retain him to develop seven iconic San Jose Sharks game magazine covers (one this Sharks spaceship) and storyboards for a futuristic NHL video game.
Peter Winter (Graphic artist, cartoonist) . . . It is one thing to demonstrate a burst of creative talent, it is yet another to sustain imagination over a long period of time.
I hired fine artist/ cartoonist/sculptor Winter during the first San Jose Sharks season in 1991-2 and he continued through the 2009-10 season, having created the Fin Fun back-of -the book cartoon for every issue of Sharks Magazine and other cartoon features. A Philadelphia native, Air Force fighter pilot, former European resident and cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, he is clearly a man for all seasons.