By Phil Hecken, with Tim E. O’Brien
A few weeks back, I ran a nice set of NHL uniform concepts from one of our more talented graphic artists, Tim E. O’Brien. That was just a small portion of the NHL makeover Tim has planned, and we’ll be taking a look at the rest of the NHL concepts a little on down the road. But before we do that, one of the things Tim had discussed doing, almost off-handedly, was redoing some of the uniforms from defunct NHL teams. In fact, in the comments that day, just such a suggestion arose, and that was all the prodding Tim needed. So today, I’m pleased bring you more of Tim (yay!) and his concepts for teams who no longer call those uniforms or cities home. Here’s Tim:
While I wasn’t quite finished tweaking NHL teams, commenter Mike D (whom I have to assume is the Mike D from the Beastie Boys) gave me the idea to take a crack at teams of yesteryear.
With such a great idea, I immediately got to work and found four teams ripe for an update. So what follows is first, a new look for four former franchises.
“The Defunct Series”
The Seals – in their California incarnation in particular – had great colors and unis, but the logo reminded me more of a bird with a fish head than a seal. So I tried to remedy that with an updated logo and script.
The unis are basically just updates of previous unis. Though I had considered making the yellow jerseys the road uni and coming up with a different third, I figured this might go against NHL uni-policy.
This is the first team in the Defunct Series which I didn’t feel the need to edit their crest. I did edit the whale logo a bit and I considered moving the whale tail up a bit higher off of the W but decided against it.
The uniforms are fairly straightforward updates of classic Whaler unis, but it was hard to keep the bold striping patterns of the old team on the new edge cuts. I’m not thrilled with my third. I tried a gray alt but that looked forced and the blue alt – to me – starts to encroach A LOT on the Canucks’ identity (though, they seem to have just stolen a lot of good design ideas from the Whalers). If you have any better ideas for a third, let me hear ‘em.
With the North Stars, the first thing I tried to do was fix their logo. To me, a team named the North Stars should have a logo that points north (up), not northeast-ish (up and to the right). After that, these home and road are actually pretty similar to my Dallas Stars set (with notable and significant differences), which makes sense since those were partially based on old North Stars unis, but I give these unis their own flare (like the arrow and star on the pants).
I love the Third jersey here, which is a fauxback, and even considered making the home and road based off of this pattern, but decided to go with the more modern feel for the regular unis.
I think the old Nordiques logo is a train-wreck. Now, I understand that, design aside, people love the ‘Diques logo, so – just like the Seals – I tried to update the logo while improving the design.
From what I gather, the old logo was a mashup of an N, an igloo and a hockey stick and puck. First, I rid the logo of the hockey equipment (we know you play hockey) and I give the logo a much more balanced overall shape. The door to the igloo is framed by an N for Nordiques and also appears as an entrance to a stereotypical igloo.
I even flirted with a wordmark alternate logo, but decided that might be a bit much.
The home and road unis are pretty much just updates but the third is an homage to the flag of Quebec.
North Stars vs. Seals: Who ever said fantasy has to be realistic? In my world, the NHL would add more outdoor “classics” and this particular one would take place in Oakland California.
Whalers vs. Nordiques: The second classic I would add would be a return of the Heritage Classic – the Canadian team version of the Winter Classic.
Once again, both teams would be wearing throwbacks to 1975-76 but this time the unis would be dead on replications of the ’70s originals.
Well, that’s it for now, until next time, happy tweaking.
Thanks Tim! Man, I wish most of those teams not only never left their original homes, but would have kept a variation of their old unis in their new arenas. Great job.
OK readers. What say you?
Pickin’ The Playoffs, By Uni
Every year when the NFL playoffs roll around, I play a little game with myself where I pick the NFL playoffs by the spread, choosing the better uniform as my guide. Having tried this in the past with college ball, I realize it doesn’t work so well — but the pros? Different story.
Two years ago I went 7-4 (or was it 6-5) and last year I went 7-3-1, so clearly there is something to this. Now, I didn’t have a weekend post last weekend (wait, what?)…so I didn’t get to offer my choices — but trust me when I tell you I would have gone 2-2. Here’s how:
• Houston -4 v. Cincinnati: Clearly the Bengals (even wearing their least noxious all-whites) have the worst uniform in the league (at least IMHO), so there was no question I’d have simply selected Houston by process of elimination. Final score? Texans 31 – Bengals 10. Easily would have covered the 4 I would have given with Houston. W (1-0)
• New Orleans -10.5 v. Detroit: A little tougher, since the Saints have a propensity to wear all black leotards. I would have said, “If they go black-monotard, I’m picking the Lions.” Well, they did, and still cruised 45-28 (for a 17 point win). Getting 13.5 wouldn’t have covered that spread, so that would have been a loss. (1-1) [On a side note, I would have taken the Saints if they wore their gold pants, since that's a pretty kick-ass uni, and would have been better than the Lions. But they didn't, so my pick was Detroit]
• New York Giants -3 vs. Atlanta: Another easy one — the Giants home blues are one of the top 10 unis, and Atlanta, no matter what iteration they’re in, are always one of the worst. The final score was G-men 24, Falcons 2. Easy cover. (2-1)
• Pittsburgh -7.5 vs. Denver: Another easy pick, unfortunately
Jesus Tebow proved up to another challenge, guiding the Broncos to an overtime win. Those mono-blues are awful (even though they wore white pants), and while I’m not as big a fan of the Stillers roads, I surely would have picked them. So that would have been loss #2. (2-2)
So now we’re up to this week and it’s time to pick this weekend’s games:
• New Orleans -3.5 at San Francisco: Outdoors, on the grass at I’m Still Calling It Candlestick…and the Niners in one of the games nicest unis. No matter what pants the Saints wear, gold or black (which looks particularly heinous), I’d take the Niners. Getting 3 and a half? It’s always risky taking the home dog, but I’m gonna do it. Gimme the Niners and 3.5.
• New England -13.5 vs. Denver: I’m not particularly a fan of the Pats unis, but their homes are certainly better than their roads, and the Broncos are still caught in a time-warp with their once-trendy swooshified uni-set. Their white roads aren’t as bad as those awful mono-blue things they’ve been wearing recently, but still, no outfit is better than the Pats. So, I’ll give up almost 2 TDs in this one. Gimme the Pats minus 13.5.
• Baltimore -7.5 vs. Houston: It’s highly unlikely the Ravens will go purple over black, and I actually quite like their normal home uni (they definitely won’t have their black tops, since the no-alts-in-the-playoffs rule applies). The Texans usually go white over blue, but occasionally will break out the white trou. Still, I prefer the Ravens Purple over white, so that’s who I’m takin’. Gimme the Ravens and take the seven-point-five.
• Green Bay -7.5 vs. New York: While the Giants’ homes are pretty sweet, their roads, especially with the super-stretchies, are not. Plus, they’re going up against possibly the best-looking uniform in the game. While I hate to pick against the G-men, the uni dictates otherwise. Gimme the Pack and give up 7.5 points.
Well…there ya have it. Gotta improve on that 2-2 opening week to take at least three of four. How about you guys? If you’re *betting* men and women, how to you pick your games?
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
And so, lets begin:
We start with Jonathan Nisula, with some Iggles concepts:
I modernized the old “Randall Cunningham” era uniforms on DeSean Jackson. I eliminated most of the black trim and went with silver pants, along with tweaking the shade of green. Enjoy!
I sent you the away version yesterday, and now I will send you the home version
Next up is Bryan Brunsell, a yinzer with some Panther ideas:
I stumbled across your website in my own “design-related sports interests” – great job!
I’m a designer as well, 20 years in the biz and I love sports. I’m from Pittsburgh and obviously surrounded by the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins all the time, which is great. But I’m writing to you about Pitt Panther College Football… in particularly their uniforms.
Just like you, I am very sensitive to uniform design, etc… and in 2009 i submitted a proposal to the Detroit Lions to update their logo, uniform, etc… Well, my recent obsession is to update the Pitt Panther uniforms back to their Pitt “Script” logo and brighter color.
and my Facebook page:
I have stats and numbers to back up my claim to switch back – this info is listed on the Dedicated Facebook page. Is there any chance to write an article on your page about this or “Guest Blog?” Or can you write about what I’m doing? I’m trying to gain momentum online to pressure Peterson into the change and get local support. The fan base wants it….
Let me know!
All the best
And we close with Adam Triesler, who has several NFL concepts for us:
Chargers: Whenever I play Madden I always get a little out of hand with uniform combinations I use in games. I played recently as the chargers and paired the current helmet with the throwback powder blue jersey and old gold pants. I thought it was a very interesting but pleasing combination, so I ran with it.
Rams: I’m not a big fan of the Rams current color scheme, possibly because they seem to have a different combination for every game, but most likely because it will never compare to the royal blue and yellow. I chose to hark back to the short period when the Rams had neither gold or yellow, and used white for the horns. I love the old combo but I think using the navy helps it pop a little bit more.
Eagles: I have never understood why Philly strayed from using kelly green and gray, and I also have never understood why they chose to pair dark green with black. The colors are too similar and it just doesn’t work. I like the details and trim of the current uniform, but wanted to bring back a lighter green, and a set of gray pants.
Falcons: In my opinion, the Falcons have one of the best uniform histories of any NFL teams… until 2003. I think the new logo is great, but the uniforms just need so much work. I remember seeing a white prototype helmet from a few decades ago and always wished I could’ve seen it on the field. I love the old red and black helmets, and would be thrilled if they came back full time, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see a uniform with the white
Titans: I was devastated when the Oilers moved, as they had my favorite uniform ever. I don’t think the red trim would fit in with the Titans, so navy is fine, I just don’t like it as a main color. Also, the shoulder seems way too big, I think yokes are more for hockey sweaters than football jerseys.
Broncos: As all readers of this site know, the 1962 Broncos logo is a regular topic of discussion, and frequently a topic of arguments. I wanted to have a little fun with that idea, and this fauxback should put it all to rest: one side brown, one side blue. This would make for an interesting game to watch on tv, as the quarter changes, so does the color.
Thanks for viewing,
That’s it for today. Back with more next time.
by Rick Pearson
How does that “impact/velocity/distance thing” work again?…
And of course, the full-size.
That’s it for today everyone. Two great NFL games today, and then another two tomorrow. Hope everyone has a super Saturday.
“Press release boilerplate is obnoxious, but never more so than when they try to fellate the potential season-ticket buyers.” — Walter