Although the changes taking place outside First Niagara Center are evident, there is also a visible transformation going on inside. There are nearly 200 new signs around the building, which reflect a more uniform look to align with the Buffalo Sabres brand.
Everything from the Sabres Store marquee to the wayfinding signage throughout the building has been revamped. This is all part of a redesign that has been a work in progress over the last few years.
“We started with the locker room, then we did Alumni Plaza. We designed each space with a similar look and typography treatment,” said graphic designer Melissa Gebhardt.
The former red and blue color scheme in the hallways and throughout the arena is now blue and gold, signifying the roots of the organization. The occasionally unrelated design elements within the building have been replaced with a streamlined uniform design.
The goal was to make First Niagara Center more reflective of the Sabres theme by incorporating the logo and traditional colors throughout the building.
The work and changes are not finished yet. The main level security entrance will be getting new signage and there is still some painting and other work to be done. Other changes are coming to different departments this year as well. The continued effort will allow the Sabres’ colors to be the focal point throughout the entire building.
“This has been a work in progress over the last four seasons,” said Gebhardt. “The building was built in 1996 and the signage has been the same. Those color schemes didn’t match with the brand of the Sabres.”
No matter where fans are in First Niagara Center, the changes will be apparent. All of the section numbers in the bowl have been changed, as well as overhead signage in the 100 and 300 levels. Visitors to the suite level will see new 3-D signage.
It is the work of the creative design team to use a “critical lens” to evaluate the entire venue, making sure no detail is overlooked. From graphic designers to painters, a great deal of hard work has gone into the transformation to create a uniform look at First Niagara Center.
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