So the weather here in Lethbridge has been pretty darn cold the last couple of days. I've been trying to look for a nice, ugly Christmas sweater to start wearing around, warm me up and spread some premature Christmas spirit. But thanks to the ECHL's Reading Royals, my search is over:
(Image From Sportslogos.net)
Can you say, ho-ho-horrible? These jerseys are so incredibly hideous, that they're beautiful and I want one. The point of an ugly Christmas sweater is to be obnoxiously ugly, and this perfectly shows that. Instead of scoring goals and fighting goons, this jersey makes me want to sit by a fire with some hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols. This is one of the rare examples in jersey design that it's so terrible that it's brilliant. I love it!
Now, it's a little far from Christmas yet, but that doesn't mean you can't give the greatest gift of all right now, which is your COTW and Milwaukee Contest votes!
COTW Nov. 11-17 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Milwaukee Admirals ReDesign Top 5 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
And to those who don't vote, ba-humbug. Now it's time for concepts!
Montreal Canadiens Concept - Willie W.
Yay- We start with a Montreal Canadiens concept from Willie. Willie takes what is my favourite part of the main jersey: the red,white, and blue stripe on the hem, and flaunts it all over the jersey on the arms and the yoke. Of course Montreal did have their full barber pole alternate in 2009, which just looked way too busy, but the barber pole design on the yoke is just subtle enough to be a cool feature here.
Nay- First things first, always have your name or some ID on your concepts. Makes our lives easier, and makes it harder for people just to steal your concepts. Back to the design, I like how the hem striping pattern influences the arms, but I don't like it doubled like that. I think if you just made the red-white-blue stripes on the arms wider, but only had one set of them, it would look better. I also don't like the arcing nameplate, its not a typical hockey look, and it looks to t-shirt ready to start that trend now.
Overall- It's a cool design, but less stripes means more of a good design here. 7.4/10
Yay- This is a neat look at a new alternate for the Blackhawks. It's pretty plain, which is different from a traditional 'Hawks jersey, so it's fresh. It also makes black a lot more prevalent than white, something different from their main set, and definitely welcomed by me. This reminds me somewhat of the Sabre's red and black 3rd jerseys in 2001, a jersey I loved at the time. It's also really cool that you recoloured the logo to fit the jersey. While the logo is an untouchable part of hockey history, it's cool to see a different take on it.
Nay- I said before that the jersey is really plain, which is a good thing in some ways. But it just looks too wide open and straight up to be a cool design, especially for an alternate. I'd also say that the name font could be a little bigger.
Overall- I love the logo, and how there's more black on the jersey, but maybe some more striping or design could make this a wickedly cool concept. 7.5/10
Yay- The Hurricanes' season isn't going too great this year, and a few players have already asked to be traded. It's a shame, but if their jerseys were cooler, like these, they might not be so quick to trade their's in. I love the look of the dark jersey, it's been a while since Lethbridge had a dark jersey that wasn't Capitals Red, and I'd greatly welcome the change. The double stripes here are a cool, clean design. Everything on this jersey looks great and is executed very well.
Nay- Nothing to nag about, but just a suggestion (and feel free to disagree with me here), but personally, since your last hem stripe fills out to the bottom, I'd like to see the outside arm stripe fill out to the end of the arm as well. Makes everything match. But this is just a suggestion, and the jersey looks great as is. A little basic of a striping pattern, but still pretty original.
Overall- There might be some bias here, since I like any Hurricane's jersey they aren't currently wearing, but this is genuinely a great design, and I'd love to see them in action. 8.8/10
Yay- I've never seen a "Brooklyn-ized" black and white Islanders jersey that I liked, until now. This has everything a classic looking jersey needs, and looks great in black and white. This looks like any great jersey on and old TV set. I like how the striping pattern is simple and college-like, somehow even more traditional than the Islanders' current look. While most everyone has failed at a black and white Islander's jersey, you have succeeded.
Nay- The only thing I really don't like is the grey used as the main colour on the Away jersey. Yes, no other team has a grey Home jersey, so it won't cause issues, but it's still dark enough to be it's own home jersey. I'd much rather see a white Home jersey, or at least a lighter grey.
Overall- I love this jersey, and even the traditionalist in me wouldn't mind seeing the blue and orange go in place of this. 8.7/10
Detroit Falcons Concept - Rob C.
Yay- Rob returns with his Defunct Teams series, this time with the Detroit Falcons. It's weird seeing any Detroit jersey with a different colour scheme, even if the only difference is the addition of yellow. With the logo and colours, I have a tough time seeing this as a team from the 30's, but instead I see a team from the WHA days, which isn't an easy look to pull off.
Nay- Same as the Chicago concept above, these jerseys are really plain and there isn't too much to look at besides the logo. Also, the logo could be lowered a little on the front of the jersey, as it looks too high and close to the captain patch, while leaving too much empty space on the bottom.
Overall- This isn't your great-grandmother's Detroit Falcons of the 30's, this is your father's Detroit Falcons of the 70's. It looks very WHA-ready, which can be a good thing if that's what you intended. 7/10
Yay- A tale of two eras. Here we see Wings98 dish out a combination of the old Jets and new Jets. The striping pattern matches the pre-90's NHL look for the Jets, and complements well with the colours of the logo. I love the collar design on here as well, very different but fits well on a hockey jersey. I think this is what every old Jets fan or hockey traditionalist wanted to see when the jerseys were unveiled, myself included.
Nay- To make this concept go from good to COTW material, first you'll want to lower the logo just a little bit, closer to the center of the jersey. Then you'll want to think about doing some logo recolouring. Yes, it'll kill the combination of old and new, but the logo looks very modern with 5 colours, while the jersey looks traditional WHA-style with only 3 colours. Depending on the look you want to go for, either simplifying the logo colours, or adding some silver to the jersey, could make this design amazing.
Overall- Not amazing, but oh so close. 8.2/10
Yay- This doesn't look like a hockey concept, this looks like a work of art I'd frame on my wall. The look of the concept, without even getting into the jersey design, is amazing. The Islanders jersey shows that they can look great in orange. The jersey looks clean, traditional, and orange, totally believable for the Islanders. The Rangers is also pretty believable for their own look, but their logo is changed, which is a cool new change.
Nay- The only big Nay here is that the hem stripe on the Rangers jersey looks way too big, and it forces the logo to be squished closer to the top of the jersey. Lower that hem stripe and you have yourself a perfect concept.
Overall- It's a shame that the Stadium Series isn't going to be as tradition-friendly as the Winter Classic, because these two jerseys would create the perfect aesthetic matchup. 8.8/10
Dallas Stars Concept - Scott D.
Yay- You guys are killing me today. I've already had a number of COTW worthy concepts, and Scott has to add one more to the pile. I liked the green and black look for Dallas, but I absolutely love the green and gold. This jersey set still has an original colour scheme, keeps the simple striping pattens (actually makes them more matching than the current ones), is a perfect blend of the new logo and old look, and doesn't make me want to get a Starbucks every time I see it.
Nay- I like how the jersey has some knitting mesh on it, which many designers (myself included) don't bother with. But it shouldn't take up the back of the jersey near as much, especially where the numbers and names are. But as I said, I don't put mesh on my designs like that, so I really don't know what works and doesn't work. I just personally don't like how it looks on here. Also, you can see the grey layout lines where the name bar is, and just like the rest of the layout boxes, it looks nicer if you take those out.
Overall- Green and gold is a great look for Dallas, and I would have loved to see these instead of their current set, which I like anyways, so the bar was set pretty high. 8.4/10
Yay- The first of two concepts from Dylan today. These jerseys have the same look as anything the Bruins should have, so it's an entirely believable set. The biggest difference in this concept are the stripes, which are a little simplified. That makes the jerseys look just slightly more traditional than the already classic Bruins set. As always, Dylan shows his mastery of Photoshop's Burn Tool (or equivalent if not using Photoshop) to give the jerseys a cool 3D look. It's a hard tool to use well, but Dylan always does a great job making his 2D concepts look more 3D.
Nay- Execution is always strong in Dylan's work, and it's the case here. The only thing I have to mention is that the TV numbers to me look a little large. Not enough to distract my attention, but just enough to look a bit off. Maybe it's just my eyes though.
Overall- Design: great. Execution: near perfect. 8.5/10
Yay- And now for something completely different. Caden brings us a Team Sweden jersey, with black? While this concept has more than a few problems, I really want to look at the positives here. No one really ever tries to give Sweden any other colour than blue or yellow, rightfully so. I personally think white could work, but I've never thought of black. I don't know how I feel about a black Swedish jersey, but it's really cool that Caden tried it.
Nay- I'll keep this nice and short. No name, no number, no TV numbers, and missing the yellow hem stripe in the back. All of these things are needed to give this concept any sort of merit.
Overall- Again, this needs lots of work, but I really like the idea he has going so far. 5/10
Montreal Canadiens Concept - Stephen T.
Yay- Stephen takes what we love about the home jersey, and applies it to the road jersey. It's a look I really like for the away jersey, and I'm always a fan of matching designs on a main set. The striping looks really nice on both jerseys. The equipment is also nicely detailed.
Nay- I don't like how the TV numbers on the home jersey are red, against the blue background. Even with the white outline, it looks really hard to see. The main number and chest stripe on the home jerseys look really low compared to the away set. The name on the home jersey also looks smaller. On the away jersey, I don't think using white numbers on a white jersey is ever a good idea, even if there's a background chest stripe. The red cuffs also seem entirely unnecessary.
Overall- Alright, so there are a few flaws, but I do like the look of the concept, and believe this could be a fantastic set if executed perfectly. 7.2/10
Yay- We end today with another concept from Dylan W. This time, we get to see a blues jersey that takes a wonderful trip down memory lane. Blue and yellow, sans-red, is the best look for the Blues, and it definitely shows in Dylan's work here. The yoke style here is really cool, and it works well with the striping pattern. I really love the modern look of the yoke, because it doesn't conflict at all with the traditional look of the rest of the jersey.
Nay- The striping pattern is really cool, and it all matches, except on the Away hem. I think the simple fix is adding a yellow stripe at the bottom of everything, between the white and the blue. Either way, it looks a little busy and messy, compared to how the striping looks on the Home jersey.
Overall- I love the modern approach to a retro look, but the striping is busy and discombobulated (word of the day) in spots. Still a great look. 8/10
I'm going to do something different and name my COTW nominee at the end of my post, building up some suspense. As I said earlier, there are a few great concepts today and I could have named a few as my nominee, but I'm going to give it to Antonio C.'s Stadium Series concept. Delivery of the concept is sometimes just as important as the concept itself, and his concept shows both perfectly.
As for everyone else, have a good weekend, and don't forget to vote for your favourite concepts.