Montreal Canadiens Logo

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Montreal Canadiens Logo
The ice hockey team Montreal Canadiens has been remarkably consistent in its brand identity. Apart from minor updates, the Canadiens logo has preserved basically the same since 1917. Moreover, its core structure can already be seen on the 1910 logo.

Meaning and History logo

Montreal Canadiens Logo history

The team was established in late 1909 as a charter member of the National Hockey Association, which later became the National Hockey League (NHL).
The original logo was surprisingly simple – just a blue “C” with a decorative element on its top end. At that era, the number of hockey clubs was comparatively small, so even this emblem provided recognizability.
However, as soon as the following year the team replaced its emblem for a more memorable one. It featured a large “C” with a small “A” inside. The letters, which were given in an elaborate Old English script, stood for “Canadien Athletic”. The design was placed inside a green maple leaf, a long-time symbol of Canada.

Old logo

logo Montreal Canadiens old
In 1912, the leaf disappeared leaving the interlacing letters “C” and “A,” which now were red with a blue outline. The following season, the team returned to the maple leaf, but used it only as a thin red frame, inside of which the blue letters “CAC” (Club, Athletique and Canadiens) appeared.


Montreal Canadiens Symbol
The 1913/14 season marked the beginning of a completely new era in the logo history. It was then that the large modern red “C” became the core element of the emblem. The letter “A” could be seen inside. The emblem represented the same abbreviation “CAC” as the previous one.
The insignia was revisited in 1918 to reflect the new name of the franchise. The logo meaning was as follows: “Le club de Hockey Canadien.” In the original logo, the “H” was white with the blue outline, but the following year the team adopted an emblem where both the letters were red. This version didn’t last long either, as in 1922, the white “H” with the blue outline reappeared on the emblem.
Throughout the following four decades, the club experimented with the shape of the “C” and the thickness of the outline, until in 1957 it eventually came to the shape that has been used ever since.

The 1999 emblem

Montreal Canadiens emblem
The last time the Montreal Canadiens symbol was revisited has been before the 1999/2000 playing season. Again, that was just a minor alteration, which didn’t even touch the shape of the emblem or its elements – only the color scheme. Now, both red and blue grew darker making the emblem look somewhat nobler.


While it’s hardly reasonable to discuss the primary logo from the point of view of its typography, we can say a couple of words about the club’s wordmark. The double-lined insignia features a bold sans serif type without any features making it unique. It’s recognizable only due to the team’s icon included in the wordmark.
Taking into consideration that the wordmark is absolutely generic and not overloaded with additional decorative details, we could expect that it would be perfectly legible. But that’s not the case. There seems to be no breathing space for the letters; the glyphs stick to each other. The wordmark has been in use since 1957, which can partly explain these problems. However, the previous wordmark, which was introduced in 1953, is better legible, although it lacks recognizability as there’s no icon.


Montreal Canadiens Logo Color
The two main colors of the Montreal Canadiends logo are red (PMS 187 C) and blue (PMS 2758 C), while white is used as an additional one. All the three comprise the team’s official palette, which is also used for the wordmark, the kits, and secondary logos. Red, white, and blue have been used, with slight shifts in the shades, since 1911.