By Phil Hecken
Denver versus Seattle. That’s the graphic you see above. It’s a representation of how the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks might be represented by soccer badges. Those (and many more) are all part of an incredible project known as Football as Football, which is, as the site describes, is “A design exploration of American Football logos redesigned as European Football (Soccer) Badges.” It’s the brainchild of six individuals (I originally thought just one), and I am pleased to bring you an interview with the creators today. I originally spoke with Garrick Willhite, one of the founders, and Alec Lindsey responded to most of my questions and then the rest of the team gave brief descriptions of some of their favorite crests. Let’s get started, shall we?
Uni Watch: How old are you and are you Uni Watch Readers (if so how long)?
Alec Lindsey: I am 28, and I’ve been a Uni Watch Reader since about 2009! Most of us all follow Uni Watch regularly.
Bill Gunter: Age 35
Eric Drommerhausen: Age 27
Garrick Willhite: Age 35
Josh Vadnais: Age 36
Nicole Meyer: Age 29
UW: Are you a designer by trade?
AL: I am, and everyone on the Football as Football team are designers (or in Josh’s case, a developer) at an ad agency in Minneapolis.
UW: Did you go to school for design?
AL: I studied Graphic Design at Iowa State University.
GW: University of Minnesota – Graphic Communications & Information Technology
BG: Brown College, Associates Degree in Visual Communication
ED: Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Bachelor of Science in Visualization
JV: Minnesota State, B.A. Graphic Communication
NM: University of Minnesota – B.A. Strategic Communication: Advertising & B.A. Art
UW: Is Football as Football your first/only project so far (and, if not, what are some others)?
AL: Nicole Meyer, one designer on this project, has a cool, ongoing independent rebranding exercise called Branding 10,000 Lakes. Other than that, we haven’t done anything comparable in the past, and haven’t collaborated on a project outside of the office until now.
UW: How did you come up with this idea? I think it’s genius!
AL: Thank you! About a year ago, I stumbled across a blog post entitled “What if all the NFL logos were British?” I clicked immediately, and thought I was about to see EPL-style crests. It ended up being a comedic illustration project on Dave’s Art locker, which was still cool, but it made me wonder why no one had done a complete design mashup of American and European football.
UW: And that is how it all started?
AL: Eric Drommerhausen (another designer on this project) and I started discussing the idea, and I ran the idea by him of doing each American team in the style of one of the four country styles (England, Italy, Spain, or Germany). We both loved that idea, but Eric thought we should do every team in all four styles. It sounded like a huge undertaking at first, but I’m really glad he suggested it.
UW: And it took off from there?
AL: Then we just ran it by some other co-designers at our agency, and they were on board immediately. We were all on the same page: It was NOT meant to be a “suggested rebrand” or anything, just a mashup of two awesome things that people are passionate about.
UW: Do you follow soccer or football more closely, and which is your favorite?
AL: I personally follow them about equally. I’m an AS Roma supporter, so I follow Serie A, as well as EPL and La Liga, so I might actually spend more time trying to keep up with the European game, just because there’s a lot to keep track of. That being said, I was born and raised in Western Colorado, during the Elway years, and I am unhealthily obsessed with Denver. I love both sports, but I’ll always be a Denver fan above all else.
UW: And the others…
AL: Other than myself, we have a Green Bay fan, a few Minnesota fans and one neutral on the Football as Football team. I know they all like soccer, but would still consider American football to be their favorite.
UW: I know you’ve done two sets so far, and have plans for two more, correct? When is the third set going to be ready (and is there one or two “sneak peeks” you could give the Uni Watch audience)?
AL: We do have two more sets to go. We originally wanted all 128 ready to go at launch…but that proved to be impossible for a lot of reasons. We’re currently trying to finish up Set 3, which has been slowed down a bit by our busy holiday schedules. We’ll have a preview up, as well as the full set, as soon as we can.
UW: Any projects besides this in the works?
AL: Not currently, I’m sure we’d all be happy to collaborate on something again, but we’ll discuss that once this project is finished.
UW: Awesome. OK — let’s take a look at some of these logos. From the first two sets, can you and your collaborators pick some favorite crests?
Readers, please click on any image to enlarge.
NM: Since the circle shape is pretty prevalent in the German style, it felt natural to utilize that and incorporate the Carolina “C” into it. The panther illustration is done in a more simple, German heraldry style, and creates a subtle “P” with its tail.
Tampa Bay Italian:
NM: The ship illustration on the Tampa Bay crest was inspired by the ship central to the Tampa Bay city seal. The rest of the crest, including typography, was kept simple, consistent with the aesthetic of many of the Italian designs. The colors represent a mix of old and new, drawing the orange from the old “creamsicle” uniforms and incorporating a variant of the current maroon.
AL: This crest was based on several different Spanish crests, Osasuna and Barcelona primarily. I wanted to give it the feel of Buffalo’s older identity system, which I felt was more in line with the Spanish style. The bottom Lightning and Star elements are drawn from the Buffalo city flag, which is a common trait in Spanish crests.
AL: The drawing of the bear is based on imagery I found from very old English heraldry. I wanted to have it feel old and unaltered, since Chicago is one of the older franchises. I also knew that Chicago had a very unique flag, and integrated the stars and stripes from that flag into the top of the crest.
Kansas City Spain:
AL: For this Crest, I thought it would be fun to model it after the Sporting Gijon and Sevilla crests, but turn the outer shield into a subtle arrowhead shape. The Repeating C forms made a perfect border for the K in the center. I toyed with the idea of doing a headdress instead of a crown on top, but thought it might be a little too on-the-nose.
New York Giants England:
AL: New York has a very unique city seal, and I wanted to use the shield shape in the center as the outer shield of the crest. The flourish on top is taken from the wreath border surrounding the city seal. Many people seem to think that the stylized building in the crest is the Empire State Building, but it’s actually 40 Wall Street. I wanted to choose something older, closer to the era of the founding of the team. The building idea was inspired by Everton’s crest.
BG: Because I actually like a lot of the elements of the Falcons brand I wanted to try and preserve as much as possible while adapting the look to fit with the prevalant Italian styles. I ultimately created this look, combining the clean, sharp shapes of the Atlanta Falcon icon with some crest inspiration from Palermo’s badge.
BG: This design uses two of the key patterns found in spanish football badges – crests divided by angular lines and ornate crowns. The bars in the upper left of the crest represent the sun rays from the AZ flag while the lower right of the crest is it nod to elements in the existing Cardinals icon of AZ. I kept the shape of the crown consistent with many spanish designs but simplified it, topping the whole thing off with the bird itself for good measure.
BG: I started with traditional english heraldry in mind and then found interesting and purposeful ways to weave in elements from the Cincinnati flag. The tails of each of the tigers are simplified version of the sword and scepter crossed on the flag, the wavy scratch marks scales and even the C were also pulled from the flag to fill out the crest.
Green Bay Spanish:
ED: The badge was made to reflect the history of the Green Bay organization. Spanish style elements were used to reflect Green Bay’s storied 13 championships, in the crown, while the circular shape and color choices paid homage to the teams old uniforms.
ED: Pittsburgh’s old uniforms were the inspiration for the black and yellow stripes and block P on this badge. The town’s history with steel informed the diamond shapes and points of the Spanish style crown while representing the club’s six championships.
GW: For the spanish style I thought Valencia had a really cool crest and wanted to incorporate the raven in a similar fashion. The Baltimore flag worked well within the shield shape to add interest and tie the crest and city together.
GW: The shield shape was selected to mimic a Viking’s actual shield and was also in a similar style of Roma’s crest. I wanted to create a Viking helmet with horns that was more simple and icon than illustrative. The colors selected are from the throwback uniforms with a darker purple, rich yellow and the gray is a nod to the gray face mask’s the team used to have on their helmets.
GW: In the Spanish style, they use a lot of crowns. For this crest I wanted to incorporate the horse shoe into the crown. So you can see the crown is made up of three horse shoes. The star and circle in the middle of the crown is from the Indianapolis flag. Instead of just relying on the horse shoe as the only nod to the team mascot, I’ve also place a horse as the focal point to the shield.
Awesome stuff, right? Big thanks to Alec, Garrick, Bill, Eric, Josh and Nicole for that. If you want to see these designs again or follow/friend/like Football As Football, here are some links:
On Twitter: @ftbl_as_ftbl
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/footballasfootball
Well, readers, what say you? How great is this project? Let all of the designers know how you feel in the comments below and make sure you bookmark, tweet and post at them too!
Paul Interviewed for NPR
Yesterday, Paul was interviewed for NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and the topic was Olympic unis. In case you missed it, he had a nice piece on ESPN on just that the other day.
Here’s how NPR described the interview:
In a few weeks, the best athletes in the U.S. will be walking the Sochi runway wearing quilted sweaters and peacoats — but will they win “Best Dressed”? The uniforms, unveiled this week by Ralph Lauren, have been received with a mixed reaction. Melissa Block checks in with ESPN blogger Paul Lukas about Winter Olympic fashion.
It’s a GREAT interview. Give a listen:
UWFFL All Star Game
By Rob Holecko
It’s time for the UWFFL All-Star game, while we’ll just have to see how successful the NFL’s fantasy-draft unconferenced format is going to work, in our UWFFL, we’re going a more traditional route. Since we had three divisions, East, West and Central, for our All-Star game we divvied up our best players bewteen the North and South teams and sent them to Puerto Rico for this exhibition. But you don’t care about imaginary non-existant players – we judge our games, of course, on the uniforms. It may seem ludicrous at first to choose between two All-Star uniforms of virtually the same style, but if it ends in a tie then, well, everyone’s a winner:
It’s also time for the second of two semifinals in each of our three minor league conferences. In the East, the Brooklyn Mariners and the Hartford Whalers will battle for the right to face Raleigh for the Championship. Swisshelm and Rapid City’s winner will take on Birmingham, and either Sacramento or Vancouver will meet Dallas in the PCC:
(4) Brooklyn at (1) Hartford
(4) Swisshelm at (1) Rapid City
(4) Sacramento at (1) Vancouver
After you vote on those games, head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com and vote on a few other Bowl games and international matchups, and we’ll be back next week (Super Bowl Weekend) with a few more matchups and then on February 8 with the Conference Championship, and after that on February 15, the Anchorage Orcas will battle the Florida Geckos for the UWFFL BCS Championship.
But first, we are also considering opening up a call for concepts for your fictional basketball, hockey and baseball teams. (Or even any other sports, soccer, lacrosse, heck why not wiffle ball, whatever you can think of) We aren’t definitely committing to running a UWFFL-style league yet in any of these other sports, and even if we do there’s no obligation to compete just by entering the design contest. But we are thinking of at least holding a design contest for your concepts, and if there isn’t enough interest for even that, at the very least Phil might still feature some entries in his regular Uni Watch Concepts feature. So discuss your interest in the comments below and start working up some concepts and send them in, either to me at RobHolecko@gmail.com or to Phil directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Nice list of Seattle Mariners’ promotions comes from Brad Iverson-Long: Per a team release, some notable items: *It’s the second straight year they’ll have a “beard hat night,” this year the beard will feature the 70s-era trident and blue/yellow colors; *There’s a “late 70s” turn-back-the-clock night with the Astros. That means Tridents v. Tequila Sunrises; *There’s a fedora night, likely in tribute to broadcaster Dave Sims, who wears hats often. The team has had a “hat club” night before; *The team, as per usual, has a “military night.” Fortunately they aren’t wearing camo, just giving away coins; and *There’s a Salute to Latin American Baseball Night a few days before Mexican Independence Day in September, which probably means Los Marineros v. Los Atleticos. … The Oregon State Beavers have a new set of orange baseball unis this spring. Here’s another look. … Speaking of new baseball unis, looks like Texas A&M will have a “tequila sunrise” motif to theirs. … No photos (yet), but Cal baseball will unveil new unis for 2014. … Here is a look at two of the three uniforms that Dominican women’s softball will sport this season. … BFBS returns: The REDS have reintroduced alternate black caps (h/t Andy Bentley). … “Saw this photo of a hitter wearing a helmet with what looks like it could be an old English ‘D’ like the Tigers, but in bright red, on the back of it,” says Leo Strawn who found that on this web page about facial fractures in children’s sports.
NFL News: If you didn’t already have enough reasons NOT to watch this year’s Pro Bowl, this should help. Those are the
Oregon Team Sanders unis. Still not convnced? Here’s Team Rice, in white. (Big h/t to Marcus Dilley for those). … If you didn’t already know it, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has really big hands, despite being less than 6 feet tall (thanks to Tommy Turner). … Check out this awesome photo of the Giants at Cleveland from the 1950 season, sent in by Mark Weinstein. Says Mark, “#45 is Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell. #49 is the great Tom Landry.” … Garrett Heller says “It’s always bothered me that the Patriots word mark logo Bill Belichick had on his jacket during Super Bowl XXXVIII never had the star in the head of the logo.” … Here’s a pretty cool gumball helmet buggy (from John Romero). More from John: “Neil Smith never wore 99 with the Broncos. To my knowledge he never wore it in the pros and only at Nebraska. This TV ’97 NFL preview has him with TD in a 99 jersey! My only guess is he hadn’t been assigned a number with the Broncos yet as he signed with them just before the ’97 season. Even weirder. I found this Logo Athletic Neil Smith jersey with 99. I wonder how often companies put out jerseys before the player’s number is finalized?” … “Who are the Bears?” (thanks to Chris Flinn).
NBA News: There are t-shirt cannons (cannon?) and then there is the t-shirt Gatling gun (Tommy Turner). … Here’s another look at the Brooklyn Nets “heritage” sleeved jerseys. … Nothing earth-shaking in this article about the NBA’s Vice President Of Global Merchandising who talked about NBA sleeved unis, except (as Paul said) he buried the lede (“plans to put ads on jerseys are not in the works”). Surprised there are no direct quotes from Sal LaRocca (said VP). … How bad will the ASG unis look on players? Pretty bad (unless he drops 62 on the West).
Hockey News: The Anaheim Ducks & Los Angeles Kings play their outdoor Stadium Series tonight, and one thing is for certain. There will be a LOT of orange. … I know we’ve covered this before, but Bruce Menard came across a program for the 1960 Buffalo Bisons (Eastern Hockey League) and “I was immediately struck by the familiarity of the bottle cap logo art they used for ‘Buffalo Hockey Club’.” Sure enough, it was clearly a well done co-opt of the Pepsi logo from that era. Bruce made a side-by-side graphic for comparison. … Steve Mason’s new mask features zombies — but not generic zombies. They’re his Philadelphia Flyers teammates (spotted by John Muir, John Dugan, and Eric Glickman). … Check out this picture of Mike Bossy after he scored 2 goals against Quebec to be the 2nd player to score 50 goals in 50 games. Says submitter Greg Netherwood, “Look at this crest!!! It looks like they gave a kindergartner some safety scissors and some fabric, and said ‘Cut out an I, S, L, A, N, D, E, R, and S. Then sew it on this circle here.’ It looks so rudimentary! And haphazard! And yet, I love it and want it!” … Comment and a question from T. Faust: The Golden Gophers wore these gorgeous retro-style unis for the recent Hockey City Classic, during which they notched a 1-0 victory over Ohio State in a game played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium. Unfortunately, he notes, “the official UofM athletics store said the “couldn’t buy them from Nike” and Nike was similarly unhelpful. Could it be that the public is unable to buy these beauties?” Anyone know? … Will Scheibler Just got the book “Canada’s Olympics Hockey Teams” which contains a passage about Ralph Hansch who wore the number zero (0) all through peewee and minors, and wanted to wear that number in the Olympics. The IOC frowned on the idea and asked him to switch to a “real” number. He refused, but the IOC put a rule in its books making the future wearing of this digit illegal. Here’s a couple of pics of him in action in the 1952 Olympics. … The North Star College Cup is a new tournament starting this year for the five Division 1 Hockey teams located in Minnesota. It’s a 4 team tournament so one school each year will not be involved, although the Univ of Minnesota Gophers are the permanent hosts (thanks to “Barry Brite”). … Apparently these camo/flag desecration unis for Robert Morris University will be auctioned off for charity.
Soccer News: Good stuff from Mike Lindquist: “I have been a ‘City fan’ since about 2004 when Claudio Reyna was playing for the club. Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) has always had fun videos and behind the scenes accounts. There are three links of a “day in the life of a kit man” videos that MCFC produced: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.”
College Hoops News: Due to the switch to UA from adidas, this is a ‘Crazy’ time for Notre Dame equipment staff. … No photo (alas), but the Creighton Blue Jays will wear special hoops jerseys with pink trim for their annual Coaches Vs. Cancer Pink Out game tonight. … The Ohio Bobcats are selling shirts with a basketball that says “Green Fever” on it (thanks to Leo Strawn).
Grab Bag: Yesterday, Paul did an interview for NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the Team USA Winter Olympics Outfits. You can listen to it here. … “True Story” says Brinke. When he first moved to San Francisco, “my first ever night trip on MUNI (San Fran’s public transit) — I get on, and there’s a guy that looks like this photo. Had a miners helmet with a lamp on it, dreadlocks, huge guy, some type of festive robes on. He looks at me and says WELCOME TO THE EARTHMAN. (or, welcome to Market Street at 6pm).” Why is any of that important? Well, because the MUNI has a new logo now. … “Gotta love this Royal Rumble pic — the caption on Fox Sports said it was 1988,” writes Chris Flinn. “Two guys with Islanders jerseys and helmets and one with a Jets jersey and helmet. I would’ve assumed it took place in NY or NJ but it took place in Ontario.” … “When I saw the USA opening ceremonies outfit for the Olympics,” says Brice Wallace, “I thought of this.” … Timothy Tryjankowski (and Dave Rakowski) received an E-mail from Mitchell and Ness for socks, which Tim thinks are both “kinda neat, and kinda pricey” and not enough team options. But, “I’d buy the Bills if they had them.” … Preston Feiler noticed caddies this week at the Farmer’s tournament are wearing their players college logo next to their names in the back of their aprons. Here are a few examples with Georgia for Bubba Watson, Stanford for Tiger Woods, and ASU for Mickelson. … Here’s a bunch of race car drivers in custom hockey jerseys (h/t/ @JayJayDean). … Flag desecration? Leo Strawn thinks this is a photo of the US Olympic Team in front of a 48 star flag. Anyone know? Paul wasn’t sure and the Leo’s e-mail to the USOC wasn’t returned. … Big air snowboarder Halldor Helgason had lights in his Nike boots (thanks to Drew Arnson). “It was weird to see the blue glow when he was going off jumps.” Turns out they have a power button and cost $500.
And that’s going top do it for today. You guys have a great Saturday.
Give a big hand to the folks at Football as Football, and let Rob or me know if you’re interested in any kind of design-a-fantasy-uni contest for Rob’s possible Fantasy Baseball, Hockey or Hoops league.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“I avoid cable news networks in general, including MSNBC, because I do not enjoy being propagandized at by anyone. Don’t assume that just because someone doesn’t like being lied to by Roger Ailes, he therefore drinks Rachel Maddow’s Kool-Aid. Not everything in life is a left/right struggle.”
–R. Scott Rogers