IceHL Artist Makes Mark in ACHA

Neat story to share today. It's about one of the artists who contributed his work to the IceHL Project and what he's been up to these days.

Back in 2008, Nick Matarese created just one entry for the IceHL logo design contest. It was for the North Carolina Nighthawks. And it won. Nick's black and neon green bird struck apparently a chord with Icethetics voters. Even today, it remains one of the league's best logos.

But that was then. What's he been doing since? Well if you've ever heard of the Fightin' Blue Hens, you might recognize elements of the logo above. Currently, Nick is the goalie coach for the men's ice hockey team at the University of Delaware — where he actually tended goal for four years. The team is a Division 1 member of the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association).

This season, Nick tells me the organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary. So he pitched in with a logo and jersey design to help mark the occasion. You've seen the logo, so how about the uniforms?

Photo by Tisa Della-Volpe

Nick says the original design he pitched was a little more intricate and not so much of a Montreal Canadiens knock-off, but the cost of such a custom jersey would've been a bit high for a college team.

"I am kind of over the old school look throughout hockey design," Nick tells me, "but it is a big anniversary year and we are playing in an outdoor game in a month so I am ok with it."

Photo by Tisa Della-Volpe

The crest is actually a retired logo no longer in use by the University of Delaware. Nick said he "had to jump through a million hoops" to be able to use it. But it definitely adds to the retro theme of the sweater. Certainly better than just running text across the front as well.

When Nick's not coaching the Fightin' Blue Hens' goalies or designing their anniversary sweaters, he's running his own design firm, Matarese Designs. Right now, he caters to mostly corporate clients, but is hoping to make a run at some minor league hockey or baseball teams in need of a rebrand over the coming year.

It's great hearing from Nick and getting to see what he's up to. With any luck, maybe he'll join us in the first round of IceHL rebranding that will be starting soon.