British Columbia

'I was just pinching myself': Graphic designer reflects on fan-favourite Canucks jersey he designed

Jeremie White was 20-years-old when he decided that he was the graphic designer who could offer the Canucks the updated jersey they didn't even know they wanted.

The jersey, which premiered in 1989, will reappear throughout a number of games during the 2019/2020 season

Jeremie White was 20 when he helped redesign the jersey the Canucks wore until 1997. (Jeremie White)

Jeremie White was 20 when he decided he was the graphic designer who could offer the Canucks the updated jersey they didn't even know they wanted.

The next step was convincing Brian Burke, who, in 1989, was the director of hockey operations for the Canucks. White contacted Burke's secretary and for the next few weeks begged for a five-minute meeting.

Eventually Burke caved and White went on to help design the uniforms that were recently voted the most popular vintage Canucks jersey by fans. 

His design was the team's official jersey from 1989-1997.

Now, as part of the team's 50th anniversary, that jersey will make its triumphant return to the ice for a number of games during the 2019-2020 season.

"It's awesome to hear that the fans still love it after all these years," said Burke to All Points West host, Jason D'Souza.

Divisive colour

White, who now lives in Victoria, originally got the idea to pitch a new jersey design after listening to Burke complain on the radio about his team's "puke-yellow" jerseys.

"Didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they were open to new designs," said White.

In 1989, the uniforms still had the classic flying V on the shoulders. The team's away jersey was predominantly black, while the home jersey maintained its yellow hue, which was first introduced in 1978.

On the chest was the team's logo, the flying skate.

The original redesigns White presented included all new colours and a different logo. And while White says Burke liked it, the team had spent too much money to secure the black, red and yellow colour scheme.

As for the flying skate? It had to stay.

White took the feedback and went back to the drawing board. He was eventually paired up with Canucks general manager, Pat Quinn, to help nail down the look.

"At the time, I was just pinching myself," said White.

 "I was only 20-years-old and he was listening to my opinion."

Over the next two days they removed the flying V from the uniform, minimized the yellow and altered the horizontal stripes and stitching. 

And voilà, the now-beloved new jerseys were created.

Jeremie White's jersey were recently voted as the fan-favourite vintage Canucks jersey and will appear in a number of games during the Vancouver team's 50th anniversary. (Jeremie White)

'He really knew how to show trust' 

White says working with Quinn gave him a special insight into the type of coach he was.

"I was just blown away by how disarming he was. He really knew how to show trust and he knew how to pull the best out of someone's talents."

White can still remember the goosebumps on his skin when he first watched the Canucks skate onto the ice wearing his designs.

And if another re-design is ever needed for the current blue, white and green jersey, White says he would do it for free.

After the last game of the Sedin twin's careers, they thank the crowd while sporting the team's current jersey. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

You can listen to the full interview below;

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