By Phil Hecken
You fine readers may recall that back in November of last year, I ran a series of interviews and concepts from Jesse Alkire (Part I is here and Part II is here). Those featured uniform concepts for all 32 teams.
The designs (whether you agreed or disagreed with them) were outstanding in their thought process and execution, and if there could be any criticism of them at all, it was that Jesse only showed “straight on” views of each uni. Well, that’s all about to change, since Jesse is now back, and he’s got views of the side(s) of the helmet, back of the uniform, and the pants (particularly stripes). The result (with the additions) is really, really outstanding. Today we’re going to look at the first 16 of those additions (including the original straight-on views) complete with descriptions.
Jesse prefaces the set with the following:
Team uniforms in the NFL are, generally speaking, cluttered. Two, sometimes three distinct striping patterns appear on a single uniform. Color palettes are often inconsistent. Poor design, by modern standards, is considered hallowed and classic simply because of age and heritage.
I set out to give every NFL team a more cohesive, simplified uniform set. Factors such as history, uniqueness, and brand integration helped to decide which particular uniform elements were ownable for each team and how that could help give them their own distinct look and feel.
And now, the first 16 teams, alphabetically by city (click on any image to enlarge):
• Limited the use of black to an accent color.
• Numbers inspired by the team’s custom type.
• Cues from the primary logo influence the sleeve design.
• Feather/sunburst stitching on the shoulders and helmet, taking cues from the Arizona flag and cardinal feathers.
• Used a brighter red, which pops brighter on solid black and conveys a fiercer, piercing image.
• Numbers inspired by the team’s custom type.
• Sharp points on the color and sleeves resemble talons, taking cues from the primary logo.
• More menacing, darker design to match the macabre of Edgar Allen Poe.
• Purple to black gradient throughout takes cues from the raven’s glossy feathers, changing shades when activated by light and movement.
• The number and letter type plays off the idea of color and light refraction.
• Feather design on shoulders, updated logo.
• A team without a consistent striping pattern in their history, a simplified stripe here takes it’s cue from the singular stripe in the team’s primary logo.
• The number type is italicized and has both rounded and pointed edges, taking cues again from the primary logo.
• Helmet features oversized “knock-out” version of the team’s primary logo on the right side, with player number on left side.
• Numbers inspired by the team’s custom type.
• Striping pattern takes cues from the panther’s whiskers on the team’s primary logo.
• All-black home alternate uniform a more literal interpretation of the sleek, black panther featured as the team’s primary logo.
• A strong, proud uniform tradition remains virtually untouched.
• Removed outline on road jersey numbers to stay consistent with sleeve striping.
• Horizontal pant stripes add modern flare to a historic look, keeps consistent with one striping pattern throughout.
• White, Navy, and orange pants an option with either home or road jersey.
• Orange takes over as the primary color, as the team’s namesake animal and primary logo are predominantly orange.
• Black tiger striping on shoulders continues onto the chest and pants as a sublimation.
• Numbers inspired by the team’s custom type.
• As the Browns are in a unique position of being without a primary logo, this re-design allows them to completely own their most prominent uniform element — the color brown.
• With this minimalist sensibility in mind, color blocking stands as the main uniform element. Even the stripes act as large blocks of solid color.
• The custom letter and number type gives the set a retro feel, keeping it from becoming too modern with a small wink toward the traditional.
• A single shade of silver, — blue-tinted — is paired with a single shade of blue — navy — for a consistent look that fixes one of the NFL’s most egregious uniform errors.
• The 2-stripe pattern, a Cowboys signature element, is applied to the helmet, jersey, and pants.
• White pants provide a clean, crisp, and classic alternative to silver, with either the home or road jersey.
• Hard to believe this uniform is nearly 20 years old, but the initial design was strong and holds up well today, needing only minimal tweaks.
• Player names changed to now match the number outline color. Number colors on road jersey changed to make road uniform a proper inverse of home uniform.
• Solid color socks and bright shoes give this now classic uniform a modern touch.
• Consolidated striping into one consistent pattern that is unique to the Lions, applied throughout to both home and road uniforms.
• Tweaked number colors to stay consistent with striping.
Green Bay Packers:
• Consolidated striping into two consistent elements that are unique to the Packers, applied throughout to both home and road uniforms.
• Rugged number type inspired by the team’s wordmark.
• New helmet a manifestation of the team’s primary logo — horns on the left and right, heavy red stripe down the center.
• More cues from the team’s primary logo throughout, with stars on the sleeves and a horned stripe on the pants.
• Alternate “Battle Red” uniform an option for marquee matchups, such as playoff games or rivalry games.
* Another strong, proud uniform tradition remains virtually untouched.
* Pants stripe modified to remain consistent with entire set.
* Blue pants an option on the road to achieve the classic white/color look.
• Sublimated jaguar gradient pattern on the shoulders and pants feature holographic effect when activated by light and movement. A similar gradient appears on the helmet, as well.
• The gradient pattern allows for use of the jaguar’s signature element without feeling too gaudy, as animal print often can.
• Alternate “Jungle Night” uniform an option for marquee matchups, such as playoff games or rivalry games.
Kansas City Chiefs:
• Another strong, proud uniform tradition remains virtually untouched.
• Solid-color socks and red shoes give one of the NFL’s most traditional uniforms a slick, modern feel.
And there you have it — the first 16 redesigned teams, by Jesse Alkire. Back soon with the second set. Readers? How great are these? Make sure you express your thoughts (good, bad or indifferent) down in the comments section below. OK? OK!
Today we’ll be taking a look at the second set of uniform submissions for the Lewis & Clark Design-a-Uniform Contest, for the team known as the “Diplomats.” If you’re not familiar with the contest, please give that a read. The contest’s creator, W. Ross Clites will be asking readers to design uniforms for all of the teams in the Lewis & Clark League, and thus far we’ve asked for submissions for a total of four teams. Last weekend we looked at the first team, the Captains, and today we have the submissions for the second team, the “Diplomats.”
Two other teams have been put to readers for concepts, the Explorers and the Governors. If you’d like to submit your concept for either team, the deadline for submissions for the Explorers is Wednesday, March 12, and the deadline for submissions for the Governors is Wednesday, March 19. Tomorrow, Ross will have a short write-up for the fifth team, so make sure you check back then!
At this point I’ll turn it over to Ross, who will go over the guidelines for voting, and then I’ll be back with some final words before we take a look at the entries from our contestants. Here’s Ross (these guidelines will likely accompany each set of voting):
Alright boys and girls, here is how the voting is going to go for each Lewis & Clark Baseball League team:
1. The hierarchy of importance goes primary logo, then uniform design, and then all rest (i.e. hat design, secondary logos, etc.) Cast a vote for the design with your favorite primary logo, first and foremost. Do not fault someone for going outside the design guidelines. Changing a wordmark or adding a third color is not a disqualifier for good thought process.
2. Your votes will take the field of applicants down to a final two per team.
3. We, the LCBL Executive Board will make the final decision on the winning proposal. However — and this is big — design is never complete and collaboration is paramount to success. We will likely settle on a combination of the final two submissions. We might love the logo of one, but prefer the jersey scheme of the other. In this, you will both be winners with full prizes to ensue. The possibility does exist for a total victory, of sorts. One designer could present the best looking jersey, logo, hat, and all the rest. Do not get offended when your submission gets handed back to you with redlined edits. We hate to hand out homework to the winning look, but tweaks may be requested. It is a studio project and not a math equation; the “right” answer takes some massaging of details.
4. With permission from both finalists, our graphics department will meld the two submissions together (if necessary) and place it in our common platform. This is done as a common denominator showcase for all twelve to look uniform when the contest has reached its end.
5. Someone, not even in the top two, could see an element (such as an awesome secondary logo) appear in the final iteration. We would never select the winner based solely on a minor design element, but we will also not let it go to waste. In this, all submissions could be part of a bigger design team. This contest — and frankly this site — was created to identify the best possible combinations of logos and materials in the sports world. This rarely comes from one person’s mind; we will reward any of those that play a part in making our on-field product the best it can be.
Thanks, Ross. A few words about the submissions below:
Some of the contestants sent one single image, others sent multiple images. Some contestants sent descriptions (in some cases, very lengthy ones), others had little or no description. In an effort to make the voting as fair as possible, I have put those who sent multiple images into one single image, and no descriptions of the uniforms will follow. If you’d like to see all the entries for the Diplomats and their write-ups/descriptions, I have hosted the entire set on Flickr. Keeping in mind Ross’ rules for voting, you may use these as an additional guide in determining which submission(s) you think are the best.
The submissions will be in alphabetical order and voting will follow. You may vote for any three of the concepts below. You may click on any image to enlarge. OK? OK. Here we go:
OK, readers. That’s quite an impressive set of contributions! Now it’s time for you to vote. You’ll be allowed to vote for up to THREE (3) submissions. You may wish to scroll up for one more viewing, and write down your favorites.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 27
By Rob Holecko
Well we have finally made it to the final week of the inaugural UWWFL 2013-14 season. (“This was longer than we thought it would be. That’s what she said”.)
Congratulations again to all of our champions, the Minnesota Mustangs, who won UWFFL Bowl XIV, the Anchorage Orcas, who won the minor league national championship game and will be promoted to the UWFFL next season, as well as the three conference champions, Hartford, Birmingham and Vancouver, who will also be promoted to the big league this fall. Now it is Week 27 and this week we will crown one last champion as we present the championship of our international section, the La Lega Internaztionale di Uni Watchers Fantacalcio, World Bowl XVI in Sao Paolo, Brazil, along with a few exhibition games.
In the World Bowl, we have a matchup which some may find an analog to in current events. Since, however, this is all just made up anyway, don’t read too much into that when picking a winner. Try to focus more on the team’s uniforms than on which country is invading the other. For the Utopian Power from Kiev, they have eschewed their normal red and blue colors and are wearing a new World Bowl version of their away kit in the Ukrainian flag colors of blue and yellow, and which featurs the Ukrainian Tryzub (or, Trident), a symbol more than a millennium old and a part of the Ukrainian heraldic history since the very beginning of the 20th century. The “home” team, Spartak Russia from Moscow, is
dressed like an angry aggressor wearing their black third kit.
Our first post-season exhibition matchup is a memorial/benefit game in Copenhagen, Denmark, in honor of the unfortunate giraffe, Marius, who was euthanized and then fed to the lions in front of schoolchildren last month at a Copenhagen Zoo because he “wasn’t needed”. Our minor league team from Virginia, the Roanoke Giraffes are wearing a special uniform for this matchup against one of the international teams, the Stockholm Lutekvist, who are also debuting an updated look for this matchup. Both teams are wearing special patches and helmet decals to honor Marius, and any imaginary money than may be raised by this game, were it to have been real, would have been donated to some sort of fund which seeks to stop zoos from mistreating animals.
Sadly, our two other exhibition matchups to wrap up the season have fallen through. First there was The Rob Ford Classic, which was supposed to be held in Toronto, however everybody involved apparently was smoking crack or something because no teams showed up, and no one involved can even remember which teams were invited, or if any teams even were invited at all.
…and then finally, there was also supposed to be a game played in either Tijuana or Mexico City involving two teams that had found themselves at odds with league management, (and in one case, on the lam from the law), however that game was being organized without the league’s blessing and outside of the league’s jurisdiction, so we can’t really tell you anything about it or if it is even taking place at all. (Don’t ask what FTV stands for.)
Well that’s about all we have for you this season, we’ll be back next week with Week 1 of the Spring 2014 Developmental League where fifty teams will begin to fight for placement in UWFFL’s various leagues in the fall. From the commissioner’s podium, we bid you adieu.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: “Seeing this old picture of my boyhood hero Willie Stargell in the Bucs 60s sleeveless era (happy birthday, Willie!!),” writes John Dankosky, “I wondered why MLB teams haven’t tried to replicate the true flannel pattern of that era in modern fabrics. I know Maryland hoops did that throwback last year, and they looked pretty good.” … There is so much going on in this photo (thanks Brady Phelps). He asks, “is that a metallic Starter logo hanging off the zipper?” … This “7 Epic Baseball Manager Ejections to celebrate instant replay” comes from Brinke, who adds, “Look! A transcription of the Weaver one — the best tirade ever!” … Yesterday Dice-K was back to wearing socks with a swoosh and his uni # (16). He wore them in 2013 but not for 1st spring start (thanks Paul). … Looks like the Padres have a 10th anniversary logo for Petco Park, as seen on these tickets for season ticket holders (from Bryan Spangenberg). … Interesting article about the construction of the Angels’ stadium in Anaheim, which is now MLB’s 4th-oldest stadium. The article is accompanied by some cool photos, including one of Goofy sporting stirrups! (great find by Hugh McBride). … Looks like the Astros and Mariners will be throwing back to 1979 this year. Sweet. … Gonzaga baseball has a new red jersey and a new black BP top (h/t Ethan @Edillon7). … Auburn Baseball wore some gorgeous throwbacks last night (h/t Clint Richardson). But, “I started looking closely at it and noticed that the two players in the picture were wearing two different uniforms. The back guy was wearing the same jersey as always. The guy in front, #7 Keegan Thompson, was wearing a completely different top.” … Nice stirrup matchup last night, with UCF and Central Michigan hooking up (pic from Mike Bonfanti).
NFL News: Since his “friend Chris sent in his rendition of what the Browns new helmet should look like (if they are indeed putting a logo on the side, that is),” writes Leo Strawn, “It got me to thinking about what the Browns organizational powers could actually be considering, aside from the Otto Graham era white lids. Then it hit me. What helmet could they use that would ‘link back to our history’ (as Alec Scheiner stated) and be part of a whole new look that Browns fans would look favorably upon? My money is on a Nike re-design of the mysterious ‘CB’ logo.” … This article has some great pictures of older (90s) NFL uniform designs. Says submitter Jason Charles Franklin, “Oh how I miss many of them.That Falcons throwback. Jags, Oilers.” … The 49ers have installed the NFL’s first collapsible field goal posts (thanks, Brinke). Here’s more on that. … Do you want a 360º view of Levi’s Stadium? Well, you’re getting one anyway.
College Football News: Here are two helmet designs being considered for Southern Miss for the 2014 season. There were released by the Southern Miss equipment staff yesterday morning (thanks to Landon Howell). … Clemson has been installing mini-cameras in QB helmets. … Although, they’re not the only team with helmet cams.
Basketball News: It wasn’t just LeBron James who hated the sleeved “Noche Latina” sleeved hoops jerseys almost everyone did. Time for the NBA to face facts: despite the brisk sales (or whatever Adam Silver has used to deem them successful), they really need to ditch these. … Interestingly, however, this article says FG percentage is not harmed by sleeved jerseys. … Fortunately (thanks to Paul’s quick research) these Hornet’s sleeved jerseys are NOT legit. … The Bulls are wearing a patch for David Reinsdorf, Jerry Reinsdorf’s son, who died on Monday. The patch has his initials, DJR, and it will remain on their jerseys through the end of the season. … Late last evening, Andrew Bogut’s nike sneaker ripped apart just like Manu Giniboli’s nike sneaker did the other day. Just sew it?
Hockey News: The Florida Everblades will be doing the “Pink In The Rink” thing this weekend. Welcome to Pinkarch. … At Thursday’s Red Wings game, all of the players wore a Lidstrom jersey with the commemorative patch on the left chest. However, when they came out for the game, all of the jerseys had the patch on the right chest, which as Tom Riesing points out, seemed to work better with the way the Wings logo is situated. “However,” he adds, “this positioning causes a bit of a traffic jam with the captains and assistants.” Tom’s just curious why they had the patch in different locations. … Marc Aune had never seen a team with Quebec Nordiques knockoffs before last night. This is Lakeville North at the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. Here’s another shot (this one from Joe Schmeltzer) … Last night, the Calgary Flames wore Joe Nieuwendyk jerseys in warmups and retired his number. … “The Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello is back in action tonight after being out with a broken left hand,” writes Luke Rosnick. “Here is a good shot of some extra padding on his left glove. Notice that it’s been painted to match the panels of his Bauer gloves. Extra glove padding is popular on the Rangers, but this is taking it to the next level.”
Soccer News: All of the MLS jersey designs have now been released, according to Sean Dennison of MLS. And here’s a look at ALL the MLS unis (thanks to Sean, again). … Here’s heart for all of you who think Soccer is a major sport: A new poll by released by ESPN claims that MLS is just as popular among 12-17 year olds as Major League Baseball. … It appears that the USMNT ‘away’ jersey has leaked and is legit.
Grab Bag: Tokyo is hosting the 2014 World Table Tennis Championships and here are the new uniforms for the Japanese national team. “Red for the Japanese flag, Tokyo purple and blue for the Sumida River (in Tokyo),” says submitter Jeremy Brahm. … Here’s a vexillology lesson (from John Muir) that he hopes is not “too political.” … Not uni-related, but two readers (Kyle Martinek and Jack Nicolas) sent in this really good article detailing Nike’s influence over track and field (worth the read!). … Kane Click came across this Krazy Kat hat while hunting for a new spring cap and felt compelled to bring it to our attention. Nice! … There’s an actual fashion line that is inspired by Mickey D’s uniforms (thanks, Brinke).
And there you have it. Pretty chock-full post today. Big (huge) thanks to Jesse for sharing all of his designs and of course good luck to all the submitters for the Diplomats. Ross will be back tomorrow with the next uniform design contest, and will announce the “winners” of the “Captains” submissions from last weekend. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to cast your votes on today’s designs!
Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll catch you fine folks tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“‘adidas’ is no more pretentious than ‘ee cummings.’ I say that the true anti-pretension stance is simply to call everyone what they wish to be called. The other guy calling himself something silly is just as pretentious either way, but arguing the point is a form of pretension. On the other hand, capitalizing more than one letter inside a word with no spaces? Fuck that, and yes, I’m talking to you, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and I don’t care how pretentious it makes me to say so.”
–R. Scott Rogers