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September 19, 2013

Thursday: Rookie Debut

Hello everyone.  If you haven't already heard, I'm William, and I'm the new Thursday writer for HJC.  First I want to I want to say thanks to Ryan and the other HJC writers for their support in me getting here, and to all of you readers for making this such a cool community of hockey fans and designers to be a part of.  Hopefully I'll stick around for a while, and you guys will get to know me a bit more.

For an extremely brief background, I'm currently a multimedia production student at Lethbridge College, and I've played/been a fan of hockey for most of my life.  I've always been interested in jersey design, but have only been regularly making concepts and blogging for a few months now. So if you have any comments about my writing style, or my own designs, don't hesitate.

And as a little bit of shameless self-promotion, I have my own blog that I update daily-ish.  It's more about hockey rants, opinions, power rankings, etc, than about jerseys, but there's some jersey talk on it too.  If you wanna check it out, go to http://wbhockeytalk.blogspot.ca.

Alright, enough jibber jabber, lets talk concepts!


COTW Sept 9-15 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Soviet Union entries (due by Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)



Today's Soviet Union contest entries:

Adam Hainsfurther


Rob Coulter


Eric Westhaver



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Team Canada Olympic Concept - J3


My first jersey review is this dandy set from J3.  The crest is from the 2006 Olympic jerseys, and while I think the logo then was really cool, those jerseys were kind of bland, besides the black alternate.  This fresh design is a fairly accurate prediction, given both Canada's traditional style and Nike's apparent take on the 2014 jerseys.  If the leaked jerseys are correct, I'd much prefer this set honestly.  To nitpick, the crest looks a little big, and I'd rather see the number and name on the back of the jersey.  Plus whether it's a bad resize issue or poor font choice, "Crosby" doesn't exactly look like jersey-quality lettering.  I think the "C" should be lower, off of the yoke, and the Nike logo should be on here like the other Olympic jerseys shown so far.  Other than that, great set.  7.5/10.



Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Jack Homes


I didn't really like the new Cane's jerseys unveiled this summer, but this steers them back into the right direction.  Their new jerseys are too plain for my liking, but this is unique.  It's clean, it keeps the general look of the old Hurricane's jerseys, the execution and details are pretty spot on, I like it.  My only complaint is on the hem stripe.  The pattern stays the same on both jerseys, and that looks great.  But the red portion on the white jersey is bigger than on the red jersey.  The jersey, although cool, looks pretty bare, so I think to perfect it, the striping patterns should take up a bit more space.  If you could fix those little execution hiccups, this is a fantastic looking set.  7.7/10



Calgary Flames Concept - Jack Homes


We double-dip on Jack's concepts today, this time looking at a Flames concept.  The Flames are one of the teams that seem to have troubles coming up with new jerseys that are a) unique and b) actually look good.  This isn't a bad attempt by any means.  The retro colours look pretty cool on these jerseys, the name and numbers look great in style and placement, and the design on the equipment is well done.  I just don't know how good the straight-diagonal line design looks here.  It screams the letter "V", and I'm sure Calgary fans don't need another reminder of their B.C. rivals out west.  Its a solid effort though. 7.5/10



Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk Concept - Jake88


Jake88 gives us a pretty cool design for a KHL club that I couldn't pronounce if my life depended on it.    This design reminds me of the new Dallas jerseys, which is a good thing in my opinion.  European jerseys have a tendency to have designs that are much flashier than in North America, but this design manages to be flashy yet clean.  The colour balance is good, the attention to detail is very good, and the font choice is really cool.  I'm wondering if the white stitching in the dark jersey is really necessary, it might be, but that's the only thing that strikes me odd about this set.  9/10



Buffalo Sabres Concept - Kyle Nicol


To avoid beating a dead horse, I won't rant about the new Buffalo alts.  I'll leave it with this: they're bad, and should feel bad.  This attempt is much more pleasant to the eye, and actually looks like a hockey jersey.  But there are a few things I'd like to point out.  The sliver stroke lines on the jersey are really unnecessary.  It makes the blue stripes really hard to look at, and silver isn't really a colour needed on a classic Sabres jersey anyway.  The yoke outline is alright to keep silver on, and the logo could maybe use a sliver outline, but the arm and hem stripes should lose their stroke and stick with blue.  The rest of the jersey looks nice, but I feel there really needs to be some white somewhere. Where? Up to you, but it belongs on the jersey more than silver does.  7/10



Syracuse Crunch Concept - Kyle Nicol


Kyle is back for round two with this AHL redesign.  The white jersey keeps the full-length arms while giving the front a more traditional look, while the dark jersey goes without the full arms and keeps a very traditional look.  I feel as though you should keep one style or the other, and not mix and match.  Personally, I like the traditional dark jerseys more, but the white jerseys look sharp too.  Is it just me, or are is the blue on either jersey two different colours?  My eyes say yes, but I could be mistaken.  Now to the 3rds: I get the whole university theme here, but I've never been a fan of this colour scheme. It's a Creamsicle with blue accents. The execution on this (and the regular) jerseys is well done, but I don't like how the hem style doesn't match the arms. But overall, this is a pretty decent set. 7.5/10



Hamilton Tigers Concept - Matt Ruck


Now this one is a beauty.  Matt gives the classic Tigers some new life with this set, and it looks great.  The traditional striping looks great, no colour looks out of place, and the attention to detail is extraordinary. It's easy to design for any team called the "Tigers", get black and orange, throw on some stripes, and you're good to go.  But this set looks clean, original, and NHL ready. My favourite is probably the throwback 3rd. The arms and hem is done perfectly, and the old logo looks as slick as ever in these designs.  9.5/10 and COTW nomination from me.



AHL Winter Classic Concept - Matt Ruck


Matt returns for an encore performance with his 2014 AHL Winter Classic piece, between Grand Rapids and Toronto.  This game will certainly be overshadowed by the NHL Winter Classic, but these are two great franchises and this should prove to be a good game.  Once again, the attention to detail is very well done.  But I have to say I'm not as much of a fan of this concept than the last.  The Grand Rapids jersey doesn't really connect with any jersey in franchise history, apart from the one off jersey in 2010. That version was a little cleaner, and didn't have the chest stripe as does here, which I think should go lower and go right around the jersey.  I think the crest ring looks cool, but for how dark the jersey is, the numbers should probably be white, makes it easier to see.  The Marlies jerseys themselves are pretty cool, but again doesn't really connect with anything in Leafs or Marlies history.  The vintage white is cool on most vintage jerseys, but Toronto has always been blue and white, and should stay that way.  Very good effort, but doesn't look like a good vintage matchup. 7.3/10



Utah Grizzlies Concept - Mike Sweezey


At first, when I only seen the thumbnail, I really didn't like this jersey.  The arms are totally decked out, and there's nothing on the bottom.  Then I looked closer and discovered the grey mountain design, which is unique and perfect for a team such as the Grizzlies.  I think that they should be recoloured so they're darker, easier to see, and match the rest of the jersey.  Dark green foreground, light green background? Just a thought.  The rest of the jersey looks pretty solid, and with a bit of fixing this could be a killer concept. 7.9/10



Dallas Stars Concept - Stephen Truman


Nothing too mind-blowing here, but its a cool idea.  Stephen put the old Stars logo on the new jerseys.  Coincidently, these are the two best eras in Dallas' jersey history, in my opinion of course.  I like the concept, but the only thing that bugs me is the gold on the logo.  Yes, that is how the logo was. But the new jerseys were meant to give Dallas a new era of colour, eliminating every colour but black, silver, white, and "Victory Green".  The gold, being on the logo and nothing else on the jersey, seems out of place.  Try experimenting with recolouring the logo, and I think you have a good idea on your hands.  But seeing as there really isn't anything new here besides that, I'm going to give this a 6/10 for now, with room for improvement with a few tweaks.



Congratulations, you all passed the test of being better than the Nike and Buffalo Sabres' designers (is that too harsh? Probably not.) As for me, there goes my first post in what will hopefully be many more. Thanks again to the writers of HJC for having me on board, and thank you to the readers and designers who make this site what it is.  See you again next Thursday.

3 comments:

TG said...

Good job on your first time, William. I liked your comments on all of the jerseys.

Ryan said...

Great first post William. Also a tip of the cap to all concepts today for very good execution.

Andrew G. said...

Great job on the post William. I liked the way you critiqued the concepts: Fair and Honest. Hope to hear more from you next Thursday. Also, Jake88's KHL concept for COTW.