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Saturday: Stars and Habs all over the place

First of all, I’d like to thank WinnipegJets96, Steven, Dylan, Tyler, Colin and most of all Ryan for giving me this opportunity to write for HJC. Sports uniform design (not just hockey) is a real big hobby of mine and the chance to write about it is something I couldn’t pass up.

I’m an expat Chicagoan living in California, though I admit that I was not a lifelong Blackhawks fan. I didn’t grow up supporting the team mainly because of Dollar Bill Wirtz’ poor management of the team and I jumped on the bandwagon when he passed and his son took over. Since becoming a hardcore Blackhawks fan, though, I’ve had a hell of a ride and I’m here to stay. Unfortunately, living in California means I don’t get to see nearly as many Hawks games as I want, but c’est la vie.

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Before I begin with the concepts, I need the readers' help with something. As you might have seen in the past few weeks, I've been doing a concept series featuring every NHL team converted over to Nike. I think the current setup with Reebok has a lot of problems and I wouldn't mind Nike taking a shot at the NHL when Reebok's contract expires in 2016. I know Reebok will have some competition since Bauer has said they're going to bid for the contract, so we'll see what happens in three years' time.

Anyway, I got about a third of the way through the league before I realized that I wanted to use a different template. I don't like the arms-out-straight Nike template and I don't care for the bent arms template either, so I decided to work on converting the NHLuniforms.com template to a Nike version instead. It's still very much a work in progress, so I haven't restarted my concept series yet, but I would like as much input from the HJC readers to improve it. Unfortunately, I don't have any Nike jerseys to look at in person and looking at pictures can only do so much. Here are the two templates so far:

Any and all critiques you have, please post them. Be as critical as you feel necessary. I want to make this template as good as possible.

Anyway, onto the concepts.

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Düsseldorfer EG (by Bastian)

Personally, I'm a fan of teams having two color jerseys when possible. While I am a big hockey fan, soccer is one of my other favorite sports and a lot of soccer teams don't always have a white jersey as part of their repertoire. These two jerseys here provide a good enough contrast that either one could easily fill the role of the home or away jersey. The colors really pop and work well together on both jerseys. Also, the fact that the jerseys aren't covered in sponsor logos like real European hockey uniforms tend to be is a plus in this concept. After all, soccer jerseys usually only have one sponsor logo, so I have my limits.

I do have a few nitpicks, though. First, the Reebok logo on the back of the jerseys is missing. Also, the pants seem too plain. Adding the stripe from the red jersey/socks would definitely help. Finally, the sleeve number trim isn't distinct enough, which is a common problem when shrinking outlined numbers down to that size. Making them larger would help.

Overall, I'll give it a 7/10.

Dallas Stars (by Brady)

I definitely like the idea here. I'm not too big of a fan of the Minnesota North Stars' late look with the black added, but black has always been a Dallas Stars color so it's here to stay. The design may not win too many fans in Minnesota since it's reminiscent of a team that they were robbed of, but it definitely works for me.

I do have an issue with the striping. Specifically, the hem stripes on the home and alternate. On the road jersey, it goes three stripes-solid color, while the home and alternate are two stripes-solid color. I'd change the stripes so they match their respective sleeves/socks, or change the striping pattern on the road jersey. The striping disconnect is holding this concept back a bit.

Overall, I'll give it a 7/10.

Montreal Canadiens (by Brian)

This is Brian's entry into the Untouchables contest. What he's done here is take a variant of the Calgary Flames' 95-00 jerseys and shifted it a couple of time zones eastward to Quebec. If I was asked to judge this outside of the fact that it's an entry into a contest to redesign an Untouchable jersey, I wouldn't like it. I think that the Canadiens are exactly that - untouchable. There are a few teams in every sport who have uniforms that you just don't change - the Canadiens, the Yankees, the Packers, the Dodgers, the Blackhawks, etc. etc. However, since the point of the contest was to be radically different, I like it. It's not too crazy of a design, and you couldn't expect the Canadiens to ever adopt something that wasn't conservative, but the design works. The silver really adds to the design and the striping pattern is good.

My complaints about this concept are in the execution. The pixelation on the logo, the numbers and Reebok wordmark drag down the design. Using an image editing program that would allow for cleaner logos and numbers would help the concept greatly. Also, I'd make the pants stripe bigger. It's way too thin right now.

Overall, I'll give it a 7.5/10.

Dallas Stars (by Dave)

Here we have another Dallas Stars concept, using the same logos. Dave has also chosen to reach back into the past and like Brady's concept, I like it. The home and road are both solid looks. I admit I got a little excited when I saw the white jersey first on the concept since I think the NHL should go back to white jerseys at home and I was ready to congratulate Dave on sharing my sentiments, but I won't fault him for getting my hopes up.

However, this concept suffers from some of the same execution issues that the Canadiens concept does. Cleaning it up will greatly improve your concept. Also, I don't like the wordmark+logo on the alternate jersey. It's a look I can't stand in hockey. See the Canucks concept I did here. It's just not a look that belongs in hockey. Finally, while I do understand your point about the truncated stripes having history in Dallas, it's just not a look I can get behind. It didn't look good back then and it doesn't look good now. Sorry.

Overall, I'll give it a 7/10.

St. Louis Blues (by Derek)

Yes. Yes. One thousand times yes. I HATE what the Blues look like now. The Bettman Apron, the interrupted yoke, those weird horn things... the Blues' look is just not good. Derek has taken the Blues and put them back in a better design where they belong. I love it. I'm a sucker for teams returning back to traditional looks. Basically, if you design something like this and I get assigned to write about it on Saturdays, chances are I'll give it a good grade.

The concept is not without its flaws, though. First of all, the red is unnecessary. The numbers and wordmark would stand out just fine on the blue jersey without an outline, and you could improve the design by changing the red outline on the white jersey to blue. Also, I just don't know if I can get behind making the logo that small and moving it off to the side. It just doesn't say "Blues" to me without that note front and center. Lastly, it'd definitely help your concept if you saved it as a PNG instead of a JPG.

Overall, I'll give it an 8.5/10.

Washington Capitals (by Kyle)

This is a solid concept. There isn't all that much wrong with it. The Caps have a great color scheme and a good logo, and it's hard to screw them up. The simple stripe style does wonders for this design and overall I like the design.

I could do without the sleeve piping and the Bettman Apron, though. They're two parts of the Reebok Edge era that need to be sent back into the history books never to see the light of day again. They don't look good on RL teams and I don't think they look good here. Also, the pants are too plain. While I know that some teams do wear plain pants IRL, I don't care for that style. I think the pants should always have some kind of stripe.

Overall, I'll give it an 8/10.

Colorado Avalanche (by Snow Monster)

Kudos for bringing back the mountain striping design. I wish that was something that could have survived the Reebok Edge transition and not being a Reebok or NHL executive, I don't know if they were telling the truth when they said that pattern wasn't compatible with the Edge template, but I digress. I like the idea.

Once again, the pants could use some kind of stripe. It's a simple change that would make the concept complete. Secondly, I'm not a fan of alternates that are the same color as the primary. It seems superfluous to me. Either change it to black or blue, or just get rid of it.

Overall, I'll give it a 9/10. This one gets a COTW nomination from me.

Dallas Stars #1 (by Steven)

Here's the first of two Stars concepts for Steven today. His first one remakes the Stars into a simple design. I really don't have too many complaints about this one. It's not gaudy but it's not too plain. The Stars' current RL design is too college hockey-esque but when they redesign their jerseys, I hope they don't change them into some gaudy mess. This design would be great for them.

It's not perfect, though. The pants need stripes and the stripes on the jersey and the socks are too thin. I feel like those wouldn't even be visible from the camera angles they use to broadcast on TV. Stripes are supposed to be a design element so they should be visible. Also, the logo on the jersey doesn't stand out as well as it should. That's not your fault since it's a dull shade of gold against a dark shade of green but it's nothing that a white outline couldn't solve.

Overall, I'll give it an 8/10.

Dallas Stars #2 (by Steven)

On this concept, Steven has reached even further back in the history books and given the Stars a fauxback look by changing the colors and eliminating the black. It's not a design the North Stars ever actually wore, but I like it a lot. Changing the colors of the logo really solves the problems of the previous design in a great way and the color scheme is excellent. I would love it if the Stars adopted something like this because (even though I hate the Oregon Ducks, who use it) the yellow and green is a really good color scheme that pops well.

My problems with this one are minor. Clean up the numbers/name and make the striping patterns and it'd be all set. The issues are small and easily fixable.

Overall, I'll give it a 9/10.

Montreal Canadiens (by Tyler)

And so we come to the final concept of my first post. This is another Untouchables entry. Once again, I'm willing to give it the fair shake I wouldn't otherwise since it's the point of the concept, and this one is pretty good. Fundamentally, there's nothing terrible about this design. Keeping it relatively conservative worked pretty well here, and while IRL the Habs' sweaters not matching should never change, the matching designs here look real good. Well done.

As I've said before, I don't like the vertical sleeve piping. The half-color sleeves are unnecessary too. I think you could have taken those out and just had normal stripes, the design would be even better.

Overall, I'll give it a 7/10.
Saturday: Stars and Habs all over the place Reviewed by Kevin W. on February 16, 2013 Rating: 5

7 comments:

winnipegjets96 said...

Great debut post! I'll 2nd Snow Monster, I do like the alternate, but their current is great IMO!

Snow Monster said...

Thanks guys.
I previously had the home jersey mostly steel blue with burgundy, but many of the fans didn't like the change. I tried to make the alternate a different color, but it came out so well, I didn't want to change it. Funny thing is, I really don't like two jerseys being the same color either.

Tyler Gross said...

I'll third Snow Monster for COTW

Anonymous said...

Really like your Nike templates..I'm going to switch over to those maybe for my series!

Kevin W. said...

While I do appreciate the endorsement, Anon, I'd hold off on that for now since the template isn't finished yet. It's still a work-in-progress. I'm hoping that someone who owns a Nike jersey (national team jerseys, specifically) can give me pointers since I don't own any myself and can only go off of pictures online which can only do so much.

DBro Alexander said...

So... with Kevin joining the team does that mean 3 of 6 writers are Blackhawks fans? HJC is being taken over by the Indian head.

Also, great first post. I love how in depth you get with your analysis of each design.

Kevin W. said...

You know, now that you mention it, there are 3 Blackhawks fans and 2 Canucks fans writing here. This should be fun come Wednesday morning.

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