The group working on the special Winnipeg Jets logo for Filipino Heritage Night had a big challenge.
Graphic designers – and Filipino Canadians – Marc Gomez and Jonato Dalayoan had to find a way to represent all the different aspects of a region that spans over 300,000 square kilometers and the diverse traditions found there.
“We had to take a bird’s-eye view of the symbols reflecting the Philippines,” said Gomez, chief creative officer of True North Sports + Entertainment, Hockey Branding. “There’s a Chinese influence, there’s a lot of American influence, there’s a Japanese influence. Similar to Canada, it’s a mosaic of cultures.”
It was a challenge they took up with joy. Dalayoan – whose resume spans 20 years in the graphic design field and whose work can be seen in murals all over the city of Winnipeg – got to work and came back with a few options.
One logo in particular stood out from the start, and it was the one that won.
“I tried to make sure it represented our people and the energy that we have – so something bold, something fun, something proud,” said Dalayoan, the owner of 4two. Design Inc. “It was obvious to use the Filipino flag because it’s an automatic flag, something the community can connect to.”
With the tricolor and sun cleverly woven into the Jets logo anchoring the design, there are other little details to appreciate.
“I was inspired by different designs such as textiles, tribal patterns and tattoos – things that represent our culture,” Dalayoan said. “I just want to make sure that when people look at it – not just Filipino culture, but when people look at it – they know it’s a positive aesthetic and a proud aesthetic.”
Gomez is thrilled with how it turned out. The process was also rewarding as he struggled to reconnect with his Filipino roots.
“I had conversations with my parents, uncles and aunts about the Philippines and what it was like for them to immigrate here,” Gomez said. “A family dinner, I had my parents, my uncles, my aunts, and we brought the computer and we searched Google Earth for their house, where they grew up and what it was like to live there. “
He remembers being enrolled in classes to learn Tagalog, the official language of the Philippines, and being part of traditional dance classes as well. But, he admits to being more focused on the Canadian side of his heritage back then.
“I started playing sports and I wanted to eat burgers, just be more grounded in being Canadian. I kind of lost sight of that side of me,” Gomez said. “It was literally only when I moved out of my parents’ house, stopped eating the things they normally did for me, that I started to realize this is something I want back.”
Dalayoan has his own kids, so seeing a logo he worked on worn by a National Hockey League team in his town is important to him.
“The sacrifices my parents made to come here and make sure their kids had a better life. I was born here, but I’m basically first generation Filipinos,” he said. “We are also the pioneers for future children. To be able to have this platform and to be able to share with my own children, and be an example for other children, knowing that you can use your gifts to succeed doing what you love – that means It means a lot to contribute positively to the city.
As he puts it, the project is “super cool,” but the lasting impact it will have on not just the Filipino community, but the entire city and beyond, is something he doesn’t take at face value. light.
“I don’t want people to think it’s just for Filipinos. I wanted it to be cool enough for everyone to wear,” Dalayoan said with a laugh. “Whether you’re Filipino or not, I wanted to make sure people wear it proudly and feel good about it.”
If the design process was any indication, the logo already does just that.
“The fact that I worked with Jonato and talked specifically about being Filipino is something I’ve never done professionally,” Gomez said. “Going to see him, finding out what our commonalities are, not just as Filipinos but as sports fans, Canadians and Winnipeggers, is something a lot of people fail to do.”