By Phil Hecken
In my capacity as the weekend guy at Uni Watch, and a lover of not just uniforms, but uniform concepts — I get a lot of them sent my way. I try to post every single one, no matter how good, bad, amateurish, professional, etc. Most of them are found in the “Uni Tweaks” section (should I rename that? several readers, and an Algonquin Round Table-esque panel featuring Conn, Paul & Chance, have suggested the majority of them are more “concepts” than “tweaks”). And sometimes, some of the submissions I receive are just too good to be placed “just” in the tweaks’ section. Today is one of those days.
Now, and on a somewhat related note, recently *my* NHL team, the team I grew up with, the team I would see sometimes 20 times a season, the team for whom I can only accept wearing white at home,
have sucked for 20 years have fallen upon some hard times. Not just on the ice — I can accept that — but sartorially.
I speak of course, of this. It is quite possibly the worst sweater (and overall uniform) in the history of ever. And, it’s not like the team hasn’t thrown some doozies at its fanbase over the years. Even through the Reebok redux, the team started to get it right with a proper third, finally returning to this almost perfect uni last season. And then, they give us this. Between their horrid play and these thirds, I’m almost contemplating changing my allegiance — I may need a new NHL team for which to root. Maybe you can talk me off the ledge. More on that in a minute.
Almost coincidentally to my team introducing that pathetic attempt at a third jersey, I received a set of
tweaks concepts that were so good, the third jersey for my team got me to thinking that if they could just switch to that…I could love them once again. You know of which team I speak — and now I want to introduce you to Elliott Strauss, who has six concepts for NHL teams I’d like to share with you today. Here’s Elliott:
By Elliot Strauss
Hello, my name is Elliott, and I’m a college student at UGA who used to do a lot of uniform concepts for Chris Creamer’s uniform forum back in the day, and I continue to do hockey designs (and other sports) for fun. I have a lot more concepts on my computer, but I’d love to get a little bit of exposure on the Uni Watch website. So I figured I’d send you a few now and there will be more in the future. I’m not a huge fan of many of the RBK edge modern elements such as apron piping and numbers on the front, but I do believe that modern designs can be done correctly in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.
• Colors: Black and white are still prominently used, but the current vegas gold is replaced by the familiar yellow of most of the Lemieux era.
• Logos: The primary uses the triangle element of multiple Pens logos combined with a 3/4 view of an all-new angry penguin. The shoulder logo is the front view of the same penguin in a circle.
• Jerseys: The angled design of the pre-edge jersey returns with a modern variation. I thought that a pinstripe design would make an interesting hockey concept and you’ll notice a slight gradiented fade at the end of each pinstripe. Faux-triangular shoulders are also used. The roads bring back the diagonal wordmark with the city name, and the alternates are dominated by yellow with some chest striping.
• Colors: Gone is the retro royal and orange, replaced instead by a modern scheme of navy, light blue, and two-tone orange with the hopes of proving that a non-traditional, non-90s-fisherman scheme for the Islanders can work.
• Logos: The primary juxtaposes a lighthouse/capital ‘I’ with hockey stick shadowing, swirling Atlantic waters, and an abstract skyscraper backdrop. The secondary is a shield combined with an abstract anchor, hockey stick, and water detail. Look hard for the ‘N’ and ‘Y’ in the orange outer shapes.
• Jerseys: I wanted a clean, modern design inspired by some of Nike’s dot matrix soccer patterns. The number font was sort of a non-traditional creation of mind with an inner outline in either tonal blue/orange, also somewhat inspired by soccer jerseys. Crest stays the same on the orange alts, more tonal orange/blue used here with white accents.
• Colors: No change besides the elimination of the lighter gold used in their crest and the alternate light blue.
• Logos: More of a tweak to the primary, I wanted to make the panther sleeker and less 90s. Dropped the palm tree secondary, instead replacing it with a circular logo using a new font.
• Jerseys: Heavily draws upon the pre-edge jerseys (which in my mind are Panthers uni perfection) with some modern twists and the elimination of the triangular shoulders. New font is used for the numbers. Alternate cuts back the use of white to really focus on the contrasting yellow, navy, and red shades.
San Jose Sharks:
• Colors: Teal and black remain, but their orangish yellow is replaced by silver/gray of the pre-Edge sharks.
• Logos: I attempted to modernize the current incarnation of the sharks logo by eliminating some of the more cartoony aspects to it. I think the shark comes out looking more aggresive here and less like an anime cartoon. The triangle now goes straight at the top, I took out the inward curve. Broken stick is gone and the shark now has silver accents instead of a mostly teal shark. Secondary is the leaping full-body shark.
• Jerseys: Okay, I’ll admit that I hate apron stripes normally, but I wanted to try to improve upon the EDGE system’s frequent apron-ization (see: old panthers, old predators, avalanche, blues). I made the sleeve stripes curve with the piping and made them continue seamlessly on to the breezers. The overall home and away is inspired by the look of the current black alternates, which I’m a fan of. Notice the fin shapes in the striping (white shape on the black jersey). The alternate is primarily teal with a distinctive shark tooth striping pattern and a “bite” taken out of the black regions. I flipped the striping pattern on the socks to create an interesting color balance.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
• Colors: I’ll admit that the current Bolts set introduced this year has grown on me, but I feel that only being blue and white (with a miniscule amount of black) makes them look too much like the Leafs. I introduced a light silver as the only secondary color.
• Logos: Back to the drawing board here, eliminated the “clip-art” look of the current logo by creating a new lightning bolt and making it emerge from a circle / sun. The sun shape acknowledges the team’s balmy home state; although the Panthers use a sun currently, I felt it worked here after scrapping that theme in my Panthers mockup. Stylized TB is the secondary.
• Jerseys: Modern template here, created large white shoulders on the home jersey which remain the same on the roads, so it creates an “empty” yoke effect on the white jerseys. Font matches the TB mark. Sharp angles and abrupt cut-offs on the stripes are supposed to align with the sharp edges used with the angles of the lightning bolt. Bolt shape on the pants remains. “victory stripes” make a comeback as well. No alternate, I didn’t like the look of a gray jersey.
• Colors: For my former hometown team, I dropped silver, brightened the shade of navy, added way more red to the overall look, including maroon for tonal red effect.
• Logos: Got rid of the “overlap” effect that they have now with the gray jet and red leaf for the primary. Kept the shading effect on the Jet, but made it red to align it more with the Canadian Air Force roundel. Kept the notch on the circle, I love that subtle nod to True North group. Secondary is a modified version of their tonal leaf. Tertiary is essentially the Roundel alone, with the same leaf.
• Jerseys: Busy, stripe-heavy design for the home and away, features a lot of alternating light blue and white stripes on the home. I came up with a different slanted font and made the home and away numbers red. Tonal-red is used on the collar and pants stripe. Alternate is red with maroon chest stripes and the Roundel as a crest.
Thanks Elliott. Now, I may not agree with all of your concepts (really, those number fonts could use a bit less modernization), but clearly an amazing amount of time and energy went into those. And, I absolutely LOVE your Islander lighthouse logo and third — now, if only the team would consider dumping that black piece of crap and consider a good orange third. I think I could love the team again.
What say you, uni watchers? And, should I give the team that plays a mere five minutes from my home, the team I grew up with, the team who won back-to-back-to-back-to-back cups (and would have won five in a row, if not for those pesky Oilers), another chance, despite their foibles? Or is it time to break my loyalty and settle upon a new team. I’m open to suggestions, but don’t even think of suggesting the Flyers, Rangers, Penguins or Bruins…everyone else is fair game.
50 Years Ago…This Weekend
Back again with Rick Pearson who is here to bring us his look at the featured ABC television college football matchup from 50 years ago. As always, Rick documented the game via his “kid cards”. Here’s Rick to tell us about it.
Dec. 2, 1961…Navy “at” Army
Army-Navy at Philadelphia is our one and only viewing choice this Saturday in 1961, see President John F. Kennedy toss the coin before the game. …Seriously weird-looking game program cover, though. …Army and Navy used to get a lot more attention because, well, their teams were better owing to college football being less about dreams of playing pro football and more about, oh, I dunno, going to college. …How big? Well, in those years even the cover of comic book about a spy-catching Naval Intelligence office took note of it. …Recent Army legends included “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside”, “Lonesome End” Bill Carpenter and Pete Dawkins, whose military career was delayed while he studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. …Blanchard (’45), Davis (’46) and Dawkins (’58) all won the Heisman Trophy. …The year before this game, Joe Bellino had won it for Navy. …The unis? My first experience with “special game” gear. …Navy had one-off jerseys whose changes included using a sans serif more rounded numeral font in navy on gold (they had a gold set with navy full block numbers edged in white), and patches on the shoulders reading “Beat Army”. …And, in a bit of visual magic, ends and backs wore early DayGlo orange helmets to make them easier to spot (photo from Helmet Hut, so I can’t attest to the accuracy of the shade of orange). …Didn’t exactly turn them into Air Coryell, though. …They won, but only 13-7.
Thanks Rick. I normally let Ricko’s writeup speak for itself, but I had to point out, in case it wasn’t completely legible 50 years later, that Rick’s “kid card,” in the lower left, read, “Normal Navy helmets were metallic gold but special orange phosphorous helmets were worn to make it easier for the quarterback to spot his receivers. Only ends and backs wore the helmets. ‘Beat Army’ on shoulders was special for this game.”. Pretty amazing detail for any uni watcher of any age, but absolutely amazing for a 15 year old back in 1961. Kudos to Rick for helping up continually keep up our historical record and for sharing his amazingly vast knowledge of uniform history. Of course, the college season is just a bit longer these days, so the traditional, end-of-season Army/Navy game for 2011 isn’t until next weekend. But 50 years ago this week, this was the only game in town.
See more concepts…help a brother Uni Watcher
Instead of a full uni
tweaks concepts section today, I’m just going to put up a pretty sweet set, for the Junior Circuit’s newest team, from one of Uni Watch’s more erudite members, R. Scott Rogers. First, his concepts:
Houston Astros redesign. I drew inspiration from the Shooting Star and Star Trek eras of Astros uni history, as well as from NASA’s “Meatball” and “Worm” logos. Prominent use of glow-in-the-dark accents. I had wanted to move decisively away from the current Astros unis, but once I settled on a black/red/glowing color scheme, something like Houston’s current aesthetic asserted itself. I do think brightening the red from brick to crimson improves things.
In the light, glow-in-the-dark uniform elements would appear as a very light pastel yellow, but I think if I were adopting this for an actual team, I might depict the glowing elements with a bright pale green in print/screen applications to have stronger differentiation of color scheme. Call the team colors Rocket Red, Orbital Black, and Moonglow. Primary logo, which is based on NASA’s Meatball, hints at the constellation Orion, which in the original Greek means “the strike-zone diagram.” The tertiary logo exists mainly to maximize the glowing area for the alt, but it let me include the Sea of Tranquility roughly where the red A makes an x-marks-the-spot cross.
Thanks, Scott. Great stuff. But Arr Scott isn’t just a dedicated Uni Watcher, he’s also a great humanitarian and sadly, he’s afflicted with an all-too-common disease, which, unlike a certain (mostly female) condition that seems to get a lot of attention, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. To quote Scott, “Watch me talk about managing diabetes with ABC’s Lisa Fletcher.” Great PSA. And is it “worth $5 to see me make a fool of myself on TV for a good cause?” Donate to support diabetes education & research. (And check out those socks — or are they stirrups? — either way, they’re sweet.)
So there ya go — let’s see if a few of us UWers can’t help Scott reach his goal of $2,400 and put a few more donors on that honor roll!
by Rick Pearson
Hurry! ACT NOW! Also available, Bowling Pins…
And, as always, the full-size.
That’s just about it for today. Last night, for those who weren’t watching, the Ducks won the inaugural Pac12 Championship, destroying UCLA in the process — not much uni news, as Oregon’s finest went green/green/black/black, but LaMichael James appeared to be wearing shin guards built into his socks. Is this something new? Say what you will about that combo, but at least the Ducks know how to wear their pants properly.
Also, what the hell is this? Well, it’s actually some new
corporate whoring profit-making move by Sevilla’s football team, which is allowing its fans to “pay to have a tiny picture of themselves worn by the player of their choice.” At least they didn’t use Bellotti Bold, right Jim Vilk?
And finally, what the hell is this? If you guessed “the special helmet being worn by a team whose school colors are brown and gold,” well, you win a gold star. Look, we all know the hydra phenomenon is (fortunately) only endemic to the college game, but it’s really reaching pandemic proportions — at least most teams who wear a special helmet do so in a color that matches their uniform. I’d like so see how the Cowboys will dress to match that. Or maybe I don’t.
Everyone have a fine Saturday. And whatever you do, don’t be that guy.
“Wow, they outdid Maryland for bad use of a good state flag.” — Joe Dreyfuss