Predators Pride Night Jerseys a Celebration of Community, Inclusivity

Behind the Design: Predators Pride Night Jerseys a Celebration of Community, Inclusivity
Behind the Design: Predators Pride Night Jerseys a Celebration of Community, Inclusivity

Moving to the Music City almost three years ago, TPAC Senior Manager of Graphic Design Brad DeLeone never expected to become the hockey fan he is today.

At least, that was before the Philadelphia native attended his first Nashville Predators game and got to experience Smashville firsthand.

“The Predators have always been something that has kind of created a genuine sense of community with me and the friends I’ve made since being here,” DeLeone said. “There’s just such a sense of community, even in the arena, that it’s just become such a cool experience. And I try to go as often as I can.”

As Nashville’s ninth annual Pride Night arrives on Tuesday, DeLeone will help the Predators extend the same Smashville welcome and the same feeling of community to all their fans with a special jersey design.

After all, hockey has always been and will always be for everyone.

“I grew up playing some sports here and there, but I always was kind of a little bit of an outsider kid,” DeLeone said. “I was drawn to more of the theater and arts world, but that doesn’t mean I don’t put on a game at home… So, it’s really cool to be able to say, ‘Hey, I did that.’ And this is a community outside of the norm that is also going to not only promote something that I had my hands on, but also promote something that’s super important to me and the community. It’s more or less one of those ‘pinch me’ moments.”

DeLeone’s Pride Night logo fills the modern Pred Head crest with all the colors of the Progress Pride flag, the latest iteration of the iconic rainbow design that now includes hues representing marginalized people of color, transgender people and people lost during the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s.

Wanting to keep the iconic Preds Gold central to his design, DeLeone shifted each of the flag’s colors to match the hue of the original logo.

“When I’m designing, color is always at the top of mind,” DeLeone said. “So, we went through a lot of iterations of this design and the less traditional rainbow color palette just seemed to work the best with the Gold of the Predators logo. I wanted to keep that center stripe that’s in the original Gold Preds logo and I wanted to keep true to the original design, because it is so iconic. It’s so recognizable. And I really just tried to enhance that and work off of that.”

The swaths of color filling the iconic logo also happen to subtly bend in the arc of a rainbow, a happy design coincidence. Of course, the swirling bands of colors – found too within the jersey’s numbering – also serve as a visual representation of the ever-evolving nature and progress of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and movement.

“The curvature emphasized in the numbers is a hint back to the arc and curvature of what’s happening in the Pred Head,” DeLeone said. “But it really does also help emphasize that our community is ever-changing, it’s ever-moving and it’s basically like a river. It’s just going to keep going in any direction. [The design] is just emphasizing that constant movement and change that’s always happening within our community.”

Of course, playing a large role in spreading a message of love and inclusivity with one of Nashville’s most prominent organizations made the design process all the more special.

“It’s massively important,” he said. “I was just overjoyed to be asked to do this, because it really kind of emphasizes this inclusivity. And it just feels like [the Predators] really care about the community and who is coming to the games. They’re not catering to one audience, they’re trying to make sure everyone feels included and accepted.”

Fans can get their hands on DeLeone’s design by either purchasing a special Pride Night ticket package – each bundle includes a ticket to Thursday’s game and a Pride Night t-shirt – or by bidding on the player-signed jerseys in the Predators Foundation Silent Auction. Text PREDS to 76278 to place your bids now.

Click here to learn more about Nashville’s Pride Night activations and schedule.

Source: Nashville Predators
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