By Phil Hecken
I’m back today for the second half of “Designing Minds, Volume V” featuring the NFL concepts of Jesse Alkire. If you missed the first installment, please click here. Jesse’s designs in the first half were very well-received, and I wanted to ask him a few follow-up questions.
Uni Watch: What program do use to create these concepts?
Jesse Alkire: I use the Adobe Creative Suite in both professional and personal projects, always have.
UW: I notice yoo didn’t really make any wholescale changes to the unis. Were you trying to keep the designs as close to current as possible (just “tweaking” them, as it were)? What was your goal here?
JA: The goal of this personal project was to do a realistic league-wide design. To me, this meant strictly sticking to making corrections where needed and not touching what was already working. A big fan of tradition in the NFL, I respected a team’s history if it was a proud history of good design. If the history was proud, but poorly designed, I erred on making the necessary design changes and leaving as much of the original brand in tact.
UW: So you wanted to keep the designs consistent with those already in place, but just “corrected” in places you thought the team had strayed? Any examples?
JA: I get that a lot of people feel certain elements of their favorite uniforms are “out of bounds” when it comes to redesign. But off the top of my head, take the 49ers helmet and pants stripe. It’s your traditional A/B/A stripe that is so ubiquitous in today’s NFL, and when combined with the 49ers more recognizable and ownable three stripe pattern they feature on their sleeves, their entire set becomes inconsistent — something that, if you were to start from scratch today, any good designer would most likely correct. So while the 49ers may have a long history of wearing two conflicting striping patterns, a fresh start would allow them to create an even longer history of better design.
UW: Myself (and others) were curious if you have (or are planning) on showing the side views, maybe the back views as well. Is that part of this project?
JA: You’re not missing much by not seeing side views of the helmet and pants, I assure you. For the most part, I didn’t mess with the logos on each team’s helmet as my goal was simply to fix inconsistent uniform elements, not do a complete rebrand of every team (thank God).
UW: OK, I can respect that. But there are some teams that, at least in my opinion, need a helmet view, even if you describe them in your comments. Can you tell us where you made changes?
JA: For Carolina, I did like the idea of an enlarged, blue version of their logo on the right side (a la Boise State’s helmet) and player numbers on the left side. For Houston I removed their helmet logo in favor of a design reminiscent of the St. Louis Rams helmet design, turning the player into a literal depiction of their primary logo with steer horns on both sides of the helmet. For Philadelphia, I thought a return to their simpler, whiter wings on either side of the helmet would fit with the clean aesthetics of my concept. For San Diego, I made some tweaks that I described in detail below. And for Washington, I would remove the Redskins logo in favor of the bunched feathers logo on the rear right side of the helmet, with player numbers on the left side.
UW: What about the pant stripes?
JA: As for the pants stripes, it should be reasonably easy for you guys to fill in the blanks. Whatever striping pattern you see elsewhere on the uniform will usually appear on the pants, and if not, then the pants are without a stripe. I know it may feel mysterious to not see these views, with any number of wild striping concoctions certainly a possibility in all your vivid imaginations, but I assure you whatever would be there would be completely consistent with the rest of the uniform.
UW: Is there any team you used as a “template” for others?
JA: To be honest, I kind of use the Kansas City Chiefs as a model for good uniform consistency. The way I see it, a team should get stripes in no more than three different areas on the uniform. I modeled many teams after the Chiefs, giving them stripes on the jersey, pants, and socks. With so many different types of helmets and all their different innovations, I kind of enjoy giving the dome a clean look, sans stripe. Stripes can often be clunky, so for a team to have striping patterns on every part of their uniform set would come across as too busy, I think, and leaving some blank real estate on certain areas makes for an overall sleeker look in a league where the appearance of speed is a must.
UW: Cool. Turning our attention to other sports/leagues, any plans to do say, baseball or hockey?
JA: It was a lot of fun to undertake this project, but I have no plans to design concepts for other leagues. My goal was simply to share them with the online uniform design community, maybe get my big design packet in the hands of some sports design agencies, and then find something else fun to occupy my time.
UW: Great stuff! OK, I want to get into Part II, so any final thoughts?
JA: The Uni Watch community is a hard one to please, and rightly so. I’m glad to see everyone’s been positive overall. Hope the second half goes over well.
UW: I am sure it will. Thanks again for sharing these designs.
And now, here is the second half of Jesse’s NFL redesign project (click on each image to enlarge):
• A nice clean, consistent uniform remains virtually untouched.
• White socks give the home uniform the complete “white-out” look, one of the better uniform trends in recent memory.
• Aqua pants an option on the road to achieve the classic white/color look.
• A nice clean, consistent uniform remains virtually untouched.
• Added the Vikings new unique striping pattern, previously featured on the sleeves and pants, to the socks.
New England Patriots
• The double red, flowing stripes from the team’s primary logo take over as the only instance of striping in set, featured on the sleeves, pants, and socks.
• The patriotic cherry red acts as a bright accent to the deep navy, similar to how the orange pops well for both the Broncos and Bears uniform sets.
• Removed superfluous number outlines for a clean, modern look.
New Orleans Saints
• The custom number type takes cues from the team’s letter type and features a saintly stained-glass effect, changing and reflecting colors in different lighting conditions.
• A simple stripe on the helmet and pants stays consistent with the simple, solid-color collar.
• Golden shoes add to the grand aesthetic overall, which is enhanced with glittery flashes when the players are in motion.
New York Giants
• The Giants use of the traditional “Northwestern stripe” is extended to all uniforms in the set, creating a consistent look throughout.
• A “giant” red stripe on the helmet and equally-sized blue stripe on the pants are derivative of the large center portion of the “Northwestern stripe”.
• A red jersey returns as an alternate option at home.
New York Jets
• Another strong, modern take on a traditional uniform remains virtually untouched.
• The lone stripe, previously only on the shoulders, is now used as the as the sole helmet stripe.
• The uniquely-Jets striping on the shoulders and sleeves is replicated on the socks.
• Another strong, proud uniform tradition remains virtually untouched.
• Solid-color socks and give one of the NFL’s most traditional uniforms a slick, modern feel.
• Alternate Black Hole uniform an option for marquee matchups, such as playoff games or rivalry games.
• A lighter, more nimble take on the Eagles look, leaving behind the clunky, heavy mix of dark green and black.
• Silver shoulders feature stitching representative of wings.
• An aerodynamic custom letter and number type, with strong edges and points reminiscent of an eagle’s tapered feathers.
• Another strong, proud uniform tradition remains virtually untouched.
• The Steelers’ distinctive striping pattern is added to the socks, reinforcing their most ownable uniform element.
• A heavier stripe is added to the helmet and pants, toughening up their overall look.
• Alternate Steelworks uniform an option for marquee matchups, such as playoff games or rivalry games.
San Diego Chargers
• Superfluous outlines are removed for a clean and modern take on their classic look, while the bolts are moved back to their long time position on the shoulders.
• Continuing the trend of teams in warmer climates, all-white becomes the regular home look.
• Classic gold pants make their return as an alternate look, pairing nicely with either the white or navy jersey.
• The numbers feel energized, as the gradient shifts when exposed to different lighting conditions.
• Golden shoes add to the electric aesthetic, which is enhanced with bright flashes when the players are in motion.
San Francisco 49ers
• One of the league’s best uniform sets is streamlined here for an ultimately traditional, yet modern look.
• The 49ers iconic sleeve stripes are moved higher so all three are visible, while the stripes now appear on the socks, as well.
• The secondary striping pattern on the helmet and pants is removed completely, giving way to the more ownable stripes on the sleeves and socks.
• A few small tweaks to an overall distinctive and very modern new look created by Nike.
• The unnecessary gray stripe across the upper chest is removed, while the feather icon is kept to stay consistent with it’s usage throughout the uniform.
• The Seahawks new distinguishing striping pattern, previously only on the pants and neck, is now added to the socks.
St. Louis Rams
• An adaptation to what many fans would say is their best look, using navy for a modern twist on one of the NFL’s most classic uniform sets.
• A bold custom number type with a strong base and hard edges, reminiscent of the mountains that a ram would call home.
• Solid-color socks and navy shoes gives this traditional uniform a slick, modern feel.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• An all-white home look for another of the NFL’s warm climate teams, with alternate pewter pants for either the white or dark jersey.
• The collar and pants feature stripes which are suggestive of a pirate’s blade.
• A swashbuckling custom number type, taking cues from the striping on the collar and pants.
• A surprisingly consistent and modern look remains virtually untouched.
• The contrasting belt loops and thick helmet stripe are meant to be derivative of the heavy shoulder stripe.
• Three pairs of pants and jerseys could be interchanged for a very pleasing look in any combination.
• A variety of different looks in the past are thrown out for a pro-combat style reimagining, taking cues from brave Indian warriors for these War Paint uniforms.
• War paint stripes are featured on the helmet, sleeves, and pants, and a paint-inspired letter type.
• A custom number type takes its paint-splattered cues from the feathers in the team’s primary logo.
• Alternate Black Out uniform an option for marquee matchups, such as playoff games or rivalry games.
And…Thanks again, Jesse! OK, readers — as with last week, I won’t make any comments on the designs themselves, as the floor is now yours. I hope you enjoyed these, and that you’ll continue to make comments on Jesse’s efforts.
More NBA Sleeved Uniforms Revealed
The above graphic shows 10 new NBA sleeved jerseys, in addition to those that have already been revealed (including those which will be worn on Christmas or during the season). That graphic comes from this tweet to myself, Paul and Darren Rovell, from Conrad Burry. Conrad confirms that these are legit (from the official NBA media site).
The graphic shows the NBA will be breaking out the sleeves for six teams for “Noche Latina” games (Knicks, Spurs, Lakers, Heat, Bulls and Suns). Whether they’d be worn against each other I haven’t been able to determine. But since three of them are white and three are dark, perhaps they will. It’s difficult to tell from that graphic, but it appears those six jerseys will all have a pattern on the back — wonder if it will be sublimated (a la Nike’s sweatbacks) or screenprinted.
Two of the other pictured jerseys are green and have “MARCH” and “17” on the back (Celtics and Bulls), so presumably those will be worn on St. Patrick’s Day. The Bulls play at home against the OKC Thunder on March 17, and the Celtics play at the Dallas Mavericks that day. Their closest home game is Wednesday the 19th.
The other two pictured jerseys are for the Nets and the Timberwolves, and neither seem like (or are for) anything special. But we did hear that at least five teams will have sleeved alts aside from the Christmas alts and special occasion alts, so it’s possible both of these will be seen as well.
Big thanks to Conrad for the tip!
Guess The Game…From The Scoreboard
This week should be pretty easy, since there is a giant clue right smack dab in the middle of the scoreboard. But hey, you never know.
If you solve it, as a courtesy to other readers, simply LINK (go to Baseball Reference) to the game and post that link in your comment — feel free to describe HOW you solved it, using any clues you may have gleaned from the Scoreboard.
OK? OK! Post your answer (in link form) in the comments section below. Good luck.
Last week’s scoreboard/answer: June 9, 1968.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 12 Update
By Rob Holecko
Hello everybody and welcome to the UWFFL section for Week 12.
Teams this week are participating in a throwback weekend, as many teams are throwing back to the 1999-2002 era of the TBFFL Fantasy Football League that many teams can trace their roots to. While some of the teams are throwing back to other eras, or employing other revisionist history, many teams are wearing uniforms that are fairly accurate representations of what was actually worn, and other teams’ regular uniforms already look like throwbacks.
From l. to r.: Atlanta, Seattle, Tampa and San Diego are among teams wearing throwbacks that harken back to the 1999-2001 nascent era of
…while Hartford is wearing a tribute to the Hartford’s only NFL team, the 1926 Hartford Blues; Vancouver is this time wearing the road version of their 1915 Stanley Cup Champion Millionaires throwbacks; and New Orleans is going all the way back to 1892 and honoring an early kit worn by the Aston Villa squad.
There are only three weeks left in the UWFFL major league schedule, and with New York (10-1) and Minnesota (9-2) already having wrapped up spots in the playoffs, this week Atlanta (8-3) can clinch a playoff spot while San Diego (7-4) can clinch the Western Division. The three division winners and three wild card teams will qualify for the playoffs, while the three last place teams will be relegated to the minor leagues. UWFFL Bowl XIV will take place January 5 and we still need a logo.
When the post-season does roll around, we’ll be presenting the voting for all the big playoff and championship games right here in Uni Watch, so in order to make sure we have all the tweaks out of the system, (and to give all those Vegas Insiders a chance to get acquainted with the kind of vote totals we’ll be seeing with a wider audience) we are going to go ahead and starting today, present one game each week here. This week we bring you a key minor league matchup:
The Rapid City Badlanders (BCS #3, 7-1, 9-1 overall) are in first place in the Central League and are taking on the Anchorage Orcas (BCS #4, 8-1-1, 10-1-1 overall), who are in third place in the Pacific Coast Conference, so this is a very important minor league game, both teams are fighting for position in both their conference as well as in the national title hunt. At the end of the minor league season, January 12, the top two teams in the UWFFL BCS will meet in the National Championship, while the remaining top four teams in each conference will compete in a two-round four-team playoff to decide the Conference Championship. You can check out all the standings and rankings on our website.
We’ll also be needing some logos for some of these minor league Championship Games as well.
For those of you who possess both the inquistiviness and necessary attention span to want to go to our website and vote on the rest of the games, thank you very much and you can visit the website at uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
If you’d like to find out even more about our fun little league, you shouldn’t miss This Week In The UWFFL with Drew Abernathy, a weekly rundown every Saturday of all of the league’s news and notes. It and other league-related programming, including ‘The Extended Line’ (expert handicapping by ‘The Line’ himself of the matchups, airing Fridays) and ‘UWFFL Scoreboard’ (a rundown of
highlights and results, airing Mondays) all air on The SportPuck Network.
We welcome ‘The Line’ to The SportPuck Network, and to get you acquainted with him here is a short 60-segment from ‘The Line’ (well, it’s closer to 2 1/2 minutes) as he went over last week’s picks:
I was told the other day that most people just scanning over the blurb way down in the Saturday Uni Watch probably don’t realize the depth that is involved with the Uni Watch Fantasy Football League, but once they do they are amazed. Well I hope that is the case, and if so, let’s keep it our little secret!
Be sure to follow along with all of these stories and vote for your favorite teams at uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
After Paul’s great interview in yesterday’s article, which dealt in part with wedding band wearing, Mike Raymer found an interesting photo: a rarely seen JOMA sponsored jersey with a giant “H” (Honduras) on the chest AND a taped ring finger. … Joseph Anderson found a “little tidbit of logo trickery by ESPN. He explains, “On their NFL Playoff Machine the Jaguars and Dolphins have two logos, when not selected to win it is the old logo, when selected to win it is the current logo.” … Dave Hamen sent along a picture in yesterday’s ticker from Kent State’s Dix Stadium that has a graphic representing the 1954 Refrigerator Bowl, which was the program’s first of now three bowl appearances (1972 Tangerine Bowl and the 2013 GoDaddy.com Bowl are the others), notes Jason Tirotta. “The Golden Flashes played Delaware in that game which was played in early December in Evansville (here’s a cover of the program). Anyway, here is the photograph that the graphic Dave sent in is based on, which has been used in printed guides, programs and online commemorating the program’s history.” … On Nov. 8, the high school football team covered by Matthew Girard, the Harker Heights Knights (Harker Heights, TX), honored the military during their final game of the season with special Military jerseys. The game was at Hood Stadium, which is a football field built on the base of Fort Hood, Texas. And normally there are no nameplates on jerseys, but across the nameplate it read “Fort Hood, TX.” … Looks like Bleacher Report still hasn’t gotten the message to please stop calling it “uniform watch”. … Two from Brinke: This New York Times article on The Return of the Logo Culture and one more up Paul’s alley: The art of the pizza box. … “Remember a few weeks back there was a mention in the ticker about how the Indians are phasing out Chief Wahoo in the Southwest because of the organization’s concern for the locals?” asks Josh Nolan. “Apparently nobody sent word to whoever designed the 2014 Spring Training logo.” … Russell Westbrook Adds Flashy Underwear Company To Endorsement Portfolio (from Tommy Turner). … More concussion discussion comes from this article by former NFLer Nate Jackson. Highly recommended. … France has revealed their new World Cup kit. … David Firestone notes, “Looks like we have a really devoted Bears fan” (pretty sure that’s the ‘Right to Bear Arms’-PH). … “I know you guys posted when Eddie Vedder wore a Padres helmet,” says Brady Phelps. “He grabbed a Chargers hat from a fan in the crowd (so I’m told) at the Pearl Jam show in SD (Thursday) night.” … Reebok also signed a new deal with the CFL and with that every team will get new third jerseys next season. … Jonathan Daniel was watching the JFK retrospectives yesterday and thought he saw Dan Rather wearing his wedding band on his middle finger. … San Diego Chargers safety, Eric Weddle, has his own twitter account but it is for his beard (thanks to Andrew Domingo). … Leo Strawn thinks ‘Bama just hit a new low with this one: a lawsuit against a mom-and-pop bakery selling elephant shaped cookies, with a script “A” iced on top, for $1.75 apiece. Also from Leo, “There’s been talk of this for years and years. Could it be that it’s finally coming to pass (pun intended)? London Jaguars.” … Here’s a a great promotional video for the 1975 Philadelphia Wings (lax team). “There is a lot to love in this clip,” says submitter James Ashby. “The helmets, the face masks, the jerseys, the referee uniforms, John Facenda’s voive, even the Flyers late, great play-by-play announcer Gene Hart with the game call.” … Great shot of JFK throwing out the first pitch at Griffith Stadium in 1961 (from Todd Radom). … The LA Clippers will wear their powder blue short sleeved unis Sunday. … And the Miami Heat will wear these red on red unis today, and are asking fans to wear red (and probably but a replica jersey) as well. … Of course, GIJoevember isn’t over yet, and FAU will wear these flag desecration helmets in their game today. … The Utah High School Activities Association Class 5A Football Championship game between Brighton High Bengals and Bingham High Miners contained three things wrong here (according to submitter Chad Hensley): “Not every player is wearing the Pinktober ribbon (the ones that are don’t even have it in the same place), it doesn’t look like all of the players are wearing the mandatory helmet safety sticker, and finally, some of the players have center striping that seems to be peeling off.” … Oooohhh. Check out this 1950’s Vintage hockey jacket (big thanks to Jeff Barak).
And that’s going to do it for today. Big thanks, of course, to Jesse, and all the contributors. I’ll be back tomorrow with the entire Sunday Morning Uni Watch crew, plus a very special “Grey Cup” (that’s like the Super Bowl for Canadians) preview from Mike Styczen, so be sure to check back then. OK? OK!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Canada demonstrates its superiority once again. We make foreigners leave with a fat stack of ones. Canada makes foreigners leaves with a pocket full of loonies.”
–R. Scott Rogers