Until 1986 the All Blacks silver fern had changed many times, but had no trademark protection. What the New Zealand Rugby Union needed was a unique device that would brand the team and give it new merchandising opportunities. Enter Dave Clark, stage left. Dave played club rugby with All Blacks legend Andy Haden. And Andy was in charge of the aforementioned marketing contract.
Dave got to work with pencil and paper, producing hundreds of fern renderings in his quest for the perfect logo. There was the curved frond, the almond-shaped frond, fronds with wedge endings, fronds with curved stems… but none came close to the perfect geometric shape. All seemed lost until Dave woke in the middle of the night with the answer: a series of elongated triangles that make up the abstract shape of the fern.