By Phil Hecken
Today we have a very special lede, and if you’re a uni concepter/designer, today is your day. I’m pleased to bring back W. Ross Clites, who has appeared on Uni Watch previously, sharing his own designs and concepts. Today — today he’s looking for yours!
I’ll be brief, as Ross has a fairly detailed description of what he is looking for — but suffice it to say that this is part contest/part competition, with reader submissions to be voted upon and multiple winners to be selected. Unlike most of my contests, this one will have nice prizes (see below), and in addition to having a design selected, it will be PRODUCED and WORN this coming season. Pretty cool, eh?
OK. With that, I’ll turn this over to Ross. Once you’ve read his piece, if you have any questions, please post them in the comments and Ross will answer them. You can also contact me or Ross directly. You’ll be sending your concepts in to me, and they’ll appear on Uni Watch as the contest progresses. Ross hasn’t mentioned a deadline (yet) but please do try to get them in as soon as possible. Towards the end of Ross’ section, you’ll see a template you can download — you don’t have to use it, but it is strongly encouraged. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE.
I realize the Olympics are in (almost) full-swing, but I wanted to get this contest off the ground BEFORE the Olympics are over. And with pitchers and catchers reporting soon (or in the case of the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, already there), our thoughts will soon be turning towards baseball. So put your thinking caps on and
sharpen your pencils fire up your Photoshop, because this contest will be great. Here’s Ross:
Design A Lewis & Clark League Uniform
By W. Ross Clites
See Your Work Finally Come to Fruition
As many of you know, I have contributed to this site with several tweaks and lede concepts in the past. There are countless more – including a Q&A – in the works, but they will not grace Uni Watch for some time. Alas, we all have a day job to keep. Mine is currently the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Lewis & Clark Baseball League. It is a fancy way of saying a college coaching colleague and I started up a summer league (like the Cape Cod League, Valley League, NECBL, et. al) in 2013.
It was a lot of fun taking “fantasy baseball” and making it reality. I used to think coming up with the re-branding proposals for one team was exhilarating; try creating 12 teams from scratch. What would they be called? What would their colors be? It was overwhelmingly awesome. But in a lot of ways I was like a thirsty man who gets sick from drinking too much water too fast. None of the concepts got enough attention and so the inaugural season saw us roll out generic uni’s. It was cheaper and made more sense than go crazy customized with a half-assed message.
But now, ladies and gentlemen, the year is 2014. The LCBL has grown to ten teams, with eyes set on 12 by 2015. We have polished wordmarks and we are ready to put something bigger together for on-field aesthetics. With this, I want readers of this site to help with our league.
My frustration has always been that concepts I create rarely get physically produced (unless it is DIY). This league is poised to change that; to become the voice of Uni Watch Nation. Thanks to the relationship I have with Paul and Phil, they are graciously going to host design competitions here, have readers vote, and we’ll actually create the winning submission. Treat the Lewis & Clark Baseball League as the vessel to take your work across the nation – on our recruiting trips, website, and national conventions. Sure beats sitting in a portfolio collecting dust. We can’t pay you much, but hopefully this is a step above what Mark Cuban has been doing recently. We’ll try to keep our end of the bargain (i.e. future MLB sponsorship) to make it worth your hard work.
The caveat: all the team names are derivatives of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s various job titles. The many hats they wore are the hats that we wear. When, let’s say, the NFL’s Lions play the Eagles, it is easy for even a child to differentiate the logos – one is a cat, one is a bird. When you have a league of 12 teams that all describe the same two historical figures, it takes some thinking outside the box to forge unique visual identities.
It seemed like a fun challenge to throw to Uni Watch contributors; certainly a crowd-sourcing opportunity that other teams have done, but rare for an entire league to present. It is like the UWFFL with a tangible outcome.
Our brand is visually tethered by an & (ampersand) graphic. The current home caps are New Era 59/50 with the same front logo and unique team-specific color schemes.
We love that we are setting a trend (so we think) in using murky punctuation as a logo – it is a conversation starter in every airport; much more than a random cartoon animal holding a baseball bat. Those are typically assumed to belong to Minor League franchises and no one asks more. We also aim to keep the “league is greater than team” continuity with all players wearing the same logo on primary caps. There is never a doubt what league this hat belongs to. The identity is on the back of the cap and in the coloration.
The wordmarks are the only thing truly set in stone. Concepts will have to use them in some capacity, even if it is just the tertiary logo (first letter in each nickname). Commissioner Nicholas Mahrt and I do not want to see vests or anything comparably kitschy/busy. Bonus points for high-cuffs and stirrups. Do your best to stay historically accurate and play up the throwback nature of the league’s name. Full rules and regulations will follow.
• The top two vote-getters will go into a final executive board committee vote. Retired Cardinals greats Lou Brock and Chris Carpenter, honorary board members, are tentatively slated to participate in this decision.
• Winners will get some fresh apparel.
• If possible, we will invite all 12 to St. Louis on July 3 for the All-Star Game at Busch Stadium.
• Submissions will be sent to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com.
• Visit our website at lewisclarkbaseball.com or check out our Wikipedia site for more inspiration.
O Captain, My Captain
We will continue to use the ampersand, but are looking to create unique iconography for merchandise, player apparel, jerseys, and alternate hats. This is where teams will branch out and form their own individualities. Designers will provide a theme, primary logo, one alternate hat (going with an O.C. Sports batting practice model), and one solid color jersey (using Paul’s friend at Garb Athletics). We do not enjoy the current model of every game being color vs. color, but it is more economical. If it is in the cards, we will do a home (white) jersey, too. Submissions with multiple configurations of the same “look” are encouraged. One stipulation is that any hat designs should have the colors arranged in a different way than the on-field home cap shown.
The long and the short of it: we love history, we love St. Louis (despite overriding Phillies and Indians allegiances, respectively), and we love baseball. Our creation, the Lewis & Clark Baseball League, was obviously named for the famous explorers that departed for the Pacific Ocean from our lovely city. The Lewis Conference plays on the weekends only, Clark on the weekdays. The goal was to give student-athletes option; freeing them up, should they choose to work/intern/take summer courses.
The annual All-Star Game and interconference championship (Corps of Discovery Cup) are both held at Busch Stadium. In two seasons we have already a national draw and pro scouting interest. Winners of these competitions will truly be on the ground floor of something big.
For now the teams are just nicknames without locations. Eventually they will be the Alton Pioneers, but for now just the “Pioneers.”
The way this will go down: one team will run each SUNDAY below the lede. The current primary cap, color palette, and wordmark will be shown; treat them as your main ingredients a la Iron Chef. Historical accuracy is clutch – a history lesson tethered to the league sets us apart.
We will move alphabetically through the league, beginning with today’s first open competition: the Captains
This one in particular possesses a deeper tribute than any other in the LCBL. We subtly honored the accomplishments of the less-heralded William Clark in naming this team. The Lieutenant’s role in the expedition had always taken a historical backseat to that of Captain Meriwether Lewis. However, in 2001, president Bill Clinton promoted Clark to the military rank of Captain of the Regular Army; posthumously placing Clark on equal standing as Lewis. Recognizing the significance of this gesture, we called the Captains and purposely placed them in the Clark Conference.
I was initially thinking of a right shoulder epaulette and chapeau de bras.
Remember, these men were not naval captains and the military uniform has evolved from their time. Anything nautical or modern need not apply. Go in a different direction with an animal or inanimate object, even.
Thanks, Ross, for bringing us this contest! Remember, if you have any questions, please post them in the comments below (or contact me or Ross Clites directly. Over the next several weekends, below the lede, there will be additional teams and templates, so keep coming back. We’ve only just begun.
To clarify anything that might not have been clear. There are a total of 12 teams (each team will have its own design contest): Captains, Lookouts, Navigators, River Men, Diplomats, Settlers, Travelers, Explorers, Governors, Pathfinders, Pioneers and Voyagers. Each design winner will win a jersey & cap (and possibly more!), and each designer can enter a design for each team. After all submissions are received, they will be voted on by the UW readership, with the top two vote getters going to a final vote by the L&C Executive Committee to select the winner. Any other questions can be posted below and please visit Ross’ website for more information/instructions!
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.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Danny Garrison, who has redesgned the NFL Europe teams:
We close today with Stephen Scheffel, and who has four “European Concepts” as he calls them, for football:
I got four concepts for you. I originally wanted to do one for a London team and when I finished them I thought it would be fun to do a theoretical European division. I did a team for Berlin, Paris, London, as well as Rome. I tried to do names that had something to do with the city instead of the usual fierce jungle cat.
I wanted to do a London team that was not called the Royals so I looked to the most famous detective across the pond. (Batman being the most famous here) I chose the navy, maroon, and forest green color scheme because I wanted the uniforms to appear classy and elegant. I think the creme helps with that as well. Most of you will probably hate the horizontal pant stripe and I understand that. I have been doing a lot of concepts recently and I’m always looking for ways to keep the classic look while still being fresh and modern.
The name Valkyrie comes from the name of the assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler. I wanted to go with a simple and minimalist design for this team. The black on white contrast looks good and there is not a team in the NFL that uses this scheme. (The Raiders being the closest with black and grey) My goal was to use the red as little as possible.
The name obviously came from Rome’s close ties to Roman Catholicism. I really think the color scheme of royal blue and yellow is vastly underused. The tip of the logo gave me the idea for the circles in the strips and on the collar. This uniform may come across as a little loud, but I think its unique and not too over the top.
The French Resistance:
This is one of my favorite uniforms I’ve ever done. I thought the name was very appropriate. I designed the logo myself. The cross like symbol is the symbol on the flag of the French Resistance. I used the exclamation point at the end of viva! for an alternate logo. I love when teams use something different like that as an alternate logo like the the Rays Batting Practice hats. I thought adding gold would make it a little different than the Bills uniforms.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail from Will Scheibler, and it’s a little too long (and far too good) to just be relegated to the ticker. Click on any images to enlarge. Here’s Will:
Saw your entry on curling today and have been looking at old Winter Olympic reports online. Recently discovered something that isn’t curling but is related to it.
Apparently in the 1936 Winter Olympics (and also in the 1964 Winter Olympics) ‘EisschieBen’ [also have seen it as EisstockschieBen ??] or ‘Ice Stock sport’ aka ‘Bavarian Curling’ was a demonstration sport. Maybe one of your readers has some first hand knowledge of the sport.
From what I can tell the 1936 Olympic competition had an event where an individual had to shoot for greatest distance and also where you have to get closest to the target for individual and team.
Got some pics from the 1936 Olympics from the official report and elsewhere online. The last pic is also in a German cigarette card for the 1936 Olympics; cards were produced to be put in 2 volumes of photo books for the 1936 Summer and Winter Olympics. You can find them on Ebay and elsewhere. Front of cards have a picture and the backs have a description (in German language).
And the front of the card.
Thanks, Will! Great stuff. OK, now onto the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Yesterday there was a VERY small number of reader ticker submissions (about the smallest I’ve seen in some time), so today it’s back to Old School Style Ticker.
By now, I hope most of you have seen those NFL/Star Wars helmet mashups (which are awesome). Reader Dave Vocale found this Sporcle quiz very creative. Hope everyone nails all 32. … It’s Pinkuary in the NCAA hoops & puck again (a lot of it is Kay Yow fund stuff, some is not), and here’s a small sampling: Elon hoops; LA Kings affiliate Monarchs; OSU Beavers (here’s another); Fordham Rams; and, MTSU (there were probably more too). … Putin on the Ritz. … A U.S. Skeleton rider is asking fans to choose her helmet. … In yesterday’s ticker, I picked a few teams to be called out (good or bad) for their opening ceremony outfits. One I forgot was The Cayman Islands, which submitter murph1019 noted, “The Cayman Island’s team took their shorts to the next level by wearing flip flops as well.” … In between winning his silver medal and accepting it, Norwegian snowboarder Staale Sandbech went & got a haircut. … Sochi continues to have problems. US Bobsledder Johnny Quinn got stuck in a bathroom, and to get out, took matters into his own hands. … Will Scheibler found a picture of George Hicks of NBC wearing a NBC jacket and holding a NBC microphone. That photo was in the official report for the 1932 Winter Olympics. … “Looks as if the Red Sox Truck Day truck is getting in on the uni fun,” writes Tom Adjemian. “A little spin on the Sox 80s away grays. My question – are those buttons uniform authentic or did they simply use clip art?” Anyone? … The LEGO Movie opened this week. Did this Arizona Cardinals helmet scene make the final cut? … This was in yesterday’s ticker, but not with the Deadspin Twist: “Terrible Hijacker Arrested Wearing Canadiens Sweater” (thanks to Chris Flinn). … Ooohhh, check out the “Irish Jerseys” Plattsburgh State wore last night auction to benefit Hockey Coaches Care (h/t NESCAC Hockey). … The SF 49ers will have some ugly sweaters for your holiday pleasure next season (h/t Sam Lam). … In yesterday’s comments, a comment was made that needs clarification: “As happens often with rumors and message boards, somebody was misunderstood,” writes David Haberman. “The render we saw IS the final home kit.” … Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs wore their Winter Classic unis for the last time this season (h/t Chris Creamer). … The Islanders wore their Stadium Series’ jerseys last night as well, but they put a patch over the Stadium Series patch (h/t Brian Erni and Chris LaBella, respectively). Lame. … And finally, Sports Illustrated has a really good Olympics webpage. Some great photos on there!
That’s it for today. I’m not entirely certain what happened to me yesterday, as I awoke feeling fine, but by the late afternoon, something (I hope it’s not the flu, because I’m achy all over) really kicked my ass. So this is it.
Big thanks to Ross for beginning this uni design contest (with neato prizes and stuff!). Remember to post your questions BELOW in the comments (based on the way I felt when I put this post to bed last evening, I may not even log on the Interwebs today). You can also e-mail Ross or visit his website for more information. OK? OK! Thanks for your patience.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Hey, curling is my favorite Olympic sport, too. :) I’ve been on here a few years, yet I just learned about UniWatch’s favorite Olympic sport. Heh, learn something new every day.”