By Phil Hecken
The depth and breadth of the Uni Watch readership talents and expertise never cease to amaze me. This past summer, when I ran the “Design-An-MLB-Jersey” contest, there were dozens of outstanding submissions, one of which I’ll never forget. It was for the San Diego Padres, and it came from Mark Peterson. Although he mentioned it at the time, I didn’t connect that name with Mark’s screen name, “concealed78,” who is just one of UW’s stellar commenters. More recently, he noted in the comments that he had in his possession something like 29,000 logos saved on his hard drive. And last weekend, I featured some of Mark’s stellar work in the tweaks’ section.
Once I heard about the 29K logos, I said, “I gotta interview this guy.” I have a ton of questions for the artist, but today, we’ll just take a quick peek under the hood of Mark’s car. So sit back and join me we learn a bit about the man, and how he got this way:
Uni Watch: Who are you and where do you live?
Mark Peterson: My name is Mark Peterson, I’m 32 years old and I live in the Chicago southwestern suburbs.
UW: And how did you end up with “concealed78” for a screen name?
MP: The “concealed78” screen name was something done out of haste. From 1998 to about 2003 for all things I went by the handle “mp34” (my initials and Walter Payton’s number; a tribute to “Sweetness” in every post) but due to some very heated arguments on the defunct Fanhome site, thinking I was going to get banned, I changed my s/n to “concealed” to conceal my identity & a reference to Bob Dylan’s immortal “Like A Rolling Stone”, and I stuck a “78” (my birth year) on there because I thought it looked cool, and there’s something with my generation of pairing letters with numbers, which I’m aware of the stigma.
UW: How did you get into logos and unis?
MP: This is actually a sad story. After primarily following the Chicago Bears in the 1980s I started following baseball in 1987, which I settled on the White Sox. Well I didn’t know much about baseball and in 1988, I started collecting baseball cards (Donruss specifically) and started trading them with my friends. One day I was hanging out with this one little bastard (who will remain nameless though we called him “Eee-Wee”) and I noticed on a 1987 Topps Frank Viola card a Twins cap & logo I had never seen before, and wondered what it was since it looked nothing like the one I had. I asked about the card and why it was different, so this little bastard decides he’s going to “let me” buy that special ‘87 Topps Viola for like $3, which in those days, was like 3 weeks of allowance and a 15-card pack was like 45 cents. Collecting and trading for older cards later in that year, I soon realized to my surprise that teams actually changed logos & uniforms, and I made a vow that I would try to know as much about team histories & their uniforms to avoid getting ripped-off again. I still have that ‘87 Viola as a constant reminder, and the few hundred cards and logo stickers I have left which were kept as pre-Internet references after purging my basically thousands of worthless 1988-1991 cards into the trash about 13 years ago.
UW: Ah…”Sweet Music.” At least he was until he joined the Mets. But I digress. Would that be why you commented once that you have over 29,000 logo files?
MP: Yeah. I started drawing logos from scratch on my first PC in 1994, and once I got the Internet in 1998, I started saving and collecting logos, pics and uni graphics of MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL teams so I would have some examples for every team. That’s one thing they taught us in Graphic Arts classes, is “never throw anything away”. The pack rat in me held up to that standard and I’m always constantly and randomly looking for better quality images of everything, and it’s all organized by leagues and teams, and if it’s a really big folder, then by logos, stadium pics, uniforms, years, souvenirs or general.
UW: And you went to college for Graphic Design?
MP: Actually I went for something else, and took a few graphic design classes along the way, which I didn’t really learn anything technical about design or the design process — either you have the ability and knack for it, or you don’t. I always had the ability to draw, though not much better than Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes-style and why is a now-buff “Kalvin” approaching his mother with an axe? — ‘roid rage of course. They told us in design class that “graphic designers are a dime a dozen”, so I eventually took up Printing Press Operation.
UW: Jeebus. That’s not quite “Benchies” but I love it in its own way.
So, anyway, uh…how did that work out for you?
MP: Well, at the time there was this new thing called “the Internet” that was catching on and that basically made catalogs, newspapers, fliers and greeting cards absolutely worthless and basically made the printing press machine irrelevant. Thanks, Internet!
UW: Meh…it’ll never catch on. So tell me about this Boston Celtics button. What was the plan with that?
MP: Well for fun I wanted to make for example, a World Series teams chart and then a NBA finals chart, and I noticed some of the logo resources I had were not very good in quality or non-existent. So I did some research, using ebay, sports auctions, online stores or random searches, hoping to find a large or decent pic of a logo or uniform that I need.
UW: And if you do?
MP: I’ll alter it if I need to, then using MS-Paint in 24-bit BMP format (which is important) and blow it up 200% to 500% or more bigger than what they will eventually be and then shrunk back down to create smoothness and hide minor errors. From here with mostly the line tool (sometimes the brush or ellipse tool) using bright colors, I’ll draw an outline. Then I’ll reduce the color quality (16-color in BMP or Save for Web custom colors GIF in Photoshop) so I can either flood the non-outline colors away or gauge them to background-white leaving only the outline colors. From here, I’ll save it back to 24-bit BMP, and start doing color & edge touch-up, fixing errors and doing pixel guesswork.
UW: I’m guessing this is fairly time-consuming?
MP: This whole process can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the complexity & difficulty of the logo or script. Then finally it’s applied into the application. Or maybe a grid version of either one would be better. Or not. Since I’m not doing this to sell shirts or make bootleg material, this is all as a hobby for fun. Some people do woodworking projects, some paint, some build ships in bottles or shake a stick. I make logos & wordmarks.
And stay the hell off my lawn.
Thanks Mark. As I recently found out, Mark tends to keep a low-profile, but unfortunately after this article appears, Mark will again (a la Ron LeFlore) be arrested for failure to pay child support.
Around the horn…
… for Opening Day.
There really isn’t anything better than Opening Day in baseball. Truly, it should be the first Monday in April, and it should be a National Holiday. So when MLB pushed the season back to Thursday this year, it just didn’t seem, or feel, the same. Still, no league does Opening Day better than Major League Baseball, and for the most part, the National Pasttime gets it right. Lets take a quick rundown of a few things you may have missed in 2011:
• There is a reason baseball is not meant to be played in March. OK, that was actually the day before Opening Day, but still…the boys of summer shouldn’t be playing in wet flakes. Ever.
• One of the things MLB does wrong is allowing teams to wear their alternates on Opening Day. Seriously. They make every team wear “42” on (or around) April 15, so why not force teams to wear their official home and road jersey, and not the softball tops? Several teams were guilty of this: Texas, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago (AL), and the Rockies, who broke out their purple for the first time since, I believe, 2006.
• My father always said I should be a ball player. I think the Mets can use a lefty reliever … think Hobbs is available?
• There is at least one reason to watch SNB with the sound on this year.
• This shit should be outlawed. Only official caps please.
• I’m pretty sure this is offensive. I’m also pretty sure that guy doesn’t care.
• We got our first look at the Indians new red cap. I like it! Now just dump Wahoo and we’re good to go.
• There may not be a better baseball town than St. Looie. Aint that purdy? And I like the “Opening Day” painted onto the grass. On the other hand…
• … this Opening Week crap has to go.
• Now we know why there’s a ban on Yankee facial hair. Did Mike Mussina get really old looking with that goat?
• How many screw-ups, uniform and otherwise, will the Nats have this year? OK, that didn’t really happen, did it?
• I don’t keep track of these things, because I really don’t care that much, and they’ve gotten completely out of hand…but this has got to set some kind of record for memorial patches at the beginning of the season, right?
At last count, we have:
• There aren’t a whole lot of new uniforms this year. But we did get our first look at the Padres new road grays. I’m not in love with these, but they are better than what they replaced. Barely. Of course, we still have yet to see the new camo in action. Without the tan road pants, I guess they’ll wear this with the home whites? That’ll look good.
• I hate the alternate/softball top, but two teams (who faced each other last night) who both have new ones didn’t wear them: The Oakland A’s, who hope to channel the ghosts of World Series past. I grew up with the A’s wearing gold jerseys. I think I will like this one — despite my disdain for the alternate, that’s one team who should wear green & gold. The Seattle Mariners are bringing back the “teal.” It’s not really teal and they’re not calling it teal. But c’mon. That’s what everyone calls it. I am 99.9% positive they’ll wear that one at home, so we wouldn’t have seen it in Oakland anyway. Good.
by Rick Pearson
Finally. Getting back outdoors for a Saturday softball scrimmage. About time. Then again…
And, as always, the full-size.
Just one more day… to enter Ricko’s “Design an outfit for Mick” contest — Here’s A Template. Just give the Mick a nice golf outfit (you can enter as many as you’d like) and the “winner” will receive either a signed original “Benchies” or be written into a future strip — possibly both. For full details, you can refer back to the contest. Remember, the deadline is April 3, 2011.
We have another great of tweaks today.
If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
And so, lets begin:
Once again, batting lead-off is Jerry Reuss, with a new twist on his MLB tweaks:
Because of the number of excellent tweaks of the Sox current uniform that have already been posted, I decided to tweak the uniform I wore in 1988. I used the red (RGB 218, 38, 75) as the dominant color to draw the focus to the center of the uniform. The dark blue (RGB 0, 28, 67) is used to highlight, frame and balance the tweak.
I made some changes to an already classically styled uniform.
1) The colors of the White Sox script and the number on the back have been inverted.
2) The front number colors have been inverted and moved from the upper part of the left pants leg to the uniform top below the script.
3) The name of the player has been added to the back of the uniform.
4) Dark blue piping has been added to each sleeve and to the outer seam on the pants.
5) The hat, belt and stirrups remain the original colors.
6) Not shown are the dark blue sleeves and the black shoes.
Next up is Jesse Genningen, a first time tweaker with some Pro Combat efforts:
Got a couple Pro Combat style uni designs for a couple of NFL teams. These are some of my first attempts at this, so go easy UniWatch readers!
First we have a New England Patriots design. It’s my opinion that their red throwback is the best uniform going in the NFL right now. Even with Pat the Patriot. So, for the Pats design I decided to return to that old color scheme and design, while incorporating their modern logo. The reds and blues in the logo are a bit brighter, while the uniform is essentially a Nikeized version of their throwback, with blue numbers instead of white.
Second I have a Jacksonville Jaguars design. The helmet still changes colors. I’m not particularly a fan of that, but Nike will be. But I feel that the black and teal play off each other well in this design.
Anyways, thanks for reading!
Up next is Coleman Mullins, who is another first-timer, with a WVU tweak:
I like to think I’m a traditionalist, so here is my first shot at a uniform concept. It’s a new look for WVU with homage to their old white helmet days.
Like I said, this is my first design, be gentle!
Coleman W. Mullins
Closing down the tweak show is Ryan Mallady, who has a Seahawks & Jaguars concept for us:
1. Blue, green, and gray are The Colors of Seattle: The water, the forests, and the rainy days. Bring back the gray, including the helmet, which makes the snarling Seahawk stand out more than the blue.
2. Change the neon green to a more appropriate forest green, and feature it more prominently.
3. The alternate forest green jersey isn’t so bad now.
1. Get rid of the black, and bring back the gold. This is, after all, the color of a Jaguar.
2. The roaring cat on the helmet looks good, but gets lost on teal or (worse) black. Make the helmet white.
3. I like the lighter look this results in. More like a bright sunshine/Florida team (ala the Dolphins).
Ryan in Seattle
Great stuff from everyone today. Back tomorrow with more.
That’s gonna wrap it up for today.
• I do want to remind everyone to check with your cable/satellite provider — MLB’s “Extra Innings” is offering it’s annual beginning-of-season free preview. With a full slate of games for this weekend, this should be gravy.
• There’s still that college hoop thing going on for those who care. Two games today — the “Final Four” — and if you had VCU, Butler, Kentucky and Connecticut in your bracket…well, you’re probably a rich man, or about to be. Of course, I made the mistake of picking three #1s to reach the Final Four. The only non-#1 I picked was UConn, so I’m technically still “alive” in the UW pool. Although, I ran the “scenario generator” and the best I could do is finish fourth if UConn wins it all. Go Huskies!
• Hey Tweakers — why not give Ricko’s contest a shot? Won’t take you very long and you might come up with something great. Or really, really bad. Either way, it’s a win.
Have a great Saturday folks, and I’ll catch you all on the morrow.
Rules. We need rules. None of this “I’m doing this today in honor of this, and then I’m going to do this, and then I’m wearing a lavender undershirt in memory of Liz Taylor!” — “Pushbutton”