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December 19, 2013

Thursday: Twas A Few Nights Before Christmas

Alright, some bad news.  This week, I was going to be doing this post with a Christmas-movie rating system, as suggested by one of the commenters a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I've been sick the last few days and have slept all of my prep and research time away, leaving me with very little time to do the whole post.  Since I don't have enough time to do enough research to make this post as fun as it should be, I'm going back to the number-rating system we all know and love, bah-hummbug.  Hopefully this will just be for this week, unless you guys tell me otherwise.

But before I get one with todays post, I have another announcement to make.  For anyone who was enjoying my Rival Colours series, it may be a while until more of them are made.  There should be one more in the HJC pipeline and will be released soon, but the rest will have to wait.  I goofed and deleted my template for the set, and I can't find the logos I used anywhere either.  I will get back to it, but it might be a while.

Last thing:

T'was a night before Christmas
And as William would quote;
Not a reader was sending
Enough of their votes

The reminders were hung
On this post with care
In hopes that more voters
Soon would be there.

COTW Dec 9-15 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
NCAA Outdoors Top 5 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

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Colorado Avalanche Concept - Matt M.

Yay: We'll start today's post with a hat-trick from Matt.  His first concept is for the Colorado Avalanche, and finally they have some mountains back on their jersey.  A jersey feature which should have never left their main set, Matt brings them back a little more subtly, which works for a jersey like this.  The mountains, combined with the style of the arms here, makes this jersey look similar to a Nike concept, a good one though.  Everything here is executed perfectly, and this is a great concept.

Nay: If I had to change one thing, I would change the pants colour to blue.  That would create more contrast and would make the jersey (especially the mountains) stand out more.  At least it's not black, as their current set is.

Overall: This concept is fantastic.  Anything I'd change would be just for my personal preference. Execution is brilliant. 9/10




 Chicago Blackhawks Concept - Matt M.


Yay: Next for Matt, we have a new look of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Not too many teams could pull off a vintage white primary colour for their jerseys, but Chicago could.  The logo is a cool modern representation of their classic logo, and it still feels like it belongs on a jersey like this.  The colours look great, execution is good*, and a perfect blend of modern and classic.

Nay: Execution is good, but not perfect.  On the light jersey, the collar on the front should be red, I assume.  I like the idea of the chest stripe on these jerseys, but it just looks way to busy with the numbers, on the dark jersey it clashes with the number, and on the light jersey the thin black lines are harder to notice.

Overall: The idea is even better than the Avalanche concept, but the execution wasn't quite there. Still a great concept. 8.2/10




Columbus Blue Jackets Concept - Matt M.


Yay: Finally, we have a Blue Jackets jersey, as American as I've ever seen one. We have stars, stripes, the classic canon logo and the red, white grey and blue.  The striping pattern looks good, the equipment looks simple yet perfect, the recoloured logo looks great, and the overall theme is spot on.  Execution here is pretty much spot on as well.

Nay: I just don't like the grey used here. With the stars, red stripes, and the general Blue Jackets look, the jersey should look patriotically American, but I feel you lose a bit of that by using a grey jersey instead of white.  I also think the laces on the grey jersey should be blue, to match the collar, just like on the blue jersey.

Overall:  It's another great concept, but I think I'd rather see a white jersey than a grey one.  It's a good look for something different though. 8/10




Portland Pirates Concept - Kyle N.


Yay: Onto our next designer, Kyle, with his Portland Pirates concept from the AHL.  He used the short-lived secondary logo of the late 90's, but it looks good enough for these jerseys.  What I love most about these are the arms.  The striping works really well here. The colours are well balanced, and overall this is a fairly well executed concept

Nay: The name text should be bigger, as it's extremely hard to read.  I think there should be something more with the hem design, as the front of the jersey looks too plain.  The design of the jersey is pretty simple, and while it works, and teams are leaning towards plain-looking jerseys, I still think this looks pretty plain and boring, outside of the arms.

Overall:  Execution is good besides the name.  Except for the arms, there really isn't anything that "wows" me about this concept.  It's still a good effort though. 7.5/10




Team Canada Concept - Joey F.


Yay:  Joey is up next, with a Canada jersey that uses a 3rd colour which isn't black.  I think this looks like a flamboyant 80's jersey, which for Team Canada is a good look for them.  The logo works well with this jersey, and the design for the jersey is simple but perfect for what it needs to be.  

Nay: There's a few things here.  The font choice isn't good. The name and number should be easily visible, and any letter/number that goes skinny would be hard to see, that is why almost every sports jersey uses a really blocky font.  The main number doesn't look bad here, but I don't think a gradient on a jersey is ever a good idea (looking at you, Vancouver).  And finally, you fell into the trap that most novice designers fall for; switching the TV numbers and yokes around.  Your right shoulder has two bottom-leaves and an '88', well the left shoulder has two top-leaves and '77'.  Lastly, the logo on the front looks too big.

Overall:  There's a few things that need to be fixed before this is a great concept, but this is a good start.  6/10




Buffalo Sabres Concept - Dylan W.


Yay:  I can't say that I ever understood this logo for Buffalo, but the reality is that it's a very classic logo for Buffalo hockey, and would be perfect for a Winter Classic game.  For those that don't know, this logo is from the "new" Buffalo Bisons of the AHL, playing from 1940-1970.  The text from this logo was the basis of the text logo the Sabres introduced in 2010.  After that history lesson, I'll conclude that this jersey looks fantastic, and would be great for a WC game next time Buffalo gets one.

Nay: The striping pattern is okay, but I'm not sure if I'm a fan of it or not.  I see no historical reference to it, and looks more like a modern Nike style rather than a classic style this jersey should have. I can't put my finger on how to change it, but I'm sure there's a better way to keep this jersey classic.  

Overall: Other than my personal opinion on the striping pattern, this concept is great, and I'd love to see these worn at a Winter Classic, or even as their current 3rds, would be a huge improvement.  8.5/10.




Portland Winterhawks Concept - Ryan D.


Yay: Ryan, who mauled through the entire OHL redesign, is back for more.  Today he has 3 WHL concepts to show.  The first is for Portland.  Currently, they wear almost exactly what Chicago wears, so a black main jersey with different striping would more more than acceptable.  The logo looks well sized, the shoulder patches are a good touch, and the TV numbers are almost at right size (a little small, and should be on both jerseys). 

Nay: The logo might be a little big, and is a little low. It should also have some sort of an outline, since the black of the logo matches the black of the jersey.  The name is bigger than your other concepts, but still needs to be bigger yet, and the number needs to be smaller.  The shoulder patches and TV numbers should be bigger as well.  And while the striping is close to matching, there are still stripe-size issues, especially on the back arm, or comparing the two hem stripes.

Overall:  I'm seeing an improvement in Ryan's work, which is great.  There still needs to be some execution fix-ups before they look like serious concepts, but he's getting close. 5/10




Prince George Cougars Concept - Ryan D.


Yay: His next one takes us to Prince George.  I'm not a fan of their new logo at all, even though their old one was terribly outdated.  There isn't much different with this concept from his last, besides the different arm style (looks good), and the colour. The colour is something I can't recall seeing on a jersey before, and it looks good with red and black.

Nay: Same as above.  The hem stripe sizes aren't constant, and almost everything needs resized. Although the logo looks perfect, and the name/number are just a tiny bit off of the size they should be.  Whatever you had behind the collar on the back is just a few random pixels now, which definitely needs fixing.

Overall:  Execution is still the death of this concept, but it's so close to being a good concept. 5.4/10




Prince Albert Raiders Concept - Ryan D.


Yay: Last from Ryan is a Prince Albert Raiders concept.  They too just changed their looks recently, and I'm not a huge fan of it.  I loved their traditional look and logo, and while the logo was outdated, it had a hint of tradition to it.  Anyways, this jersey uses a striping pattern not too far off from their previous look, and combined with the full yoke style, it's easy to see Ryan put a bit more effort into this concept than the others, probably his best one yet.

Nay:  Everything said above applies, including the front logo needing to be resized.  The main number looks off-centered, and both that and the name should be white or gold instead of black, because it's a pretty dark shade of green being used.

Overall: One step forward, but one step backwards as well.  The ideas are surely there, but with better execution comes better concepts.  5.6/10



LA Galaxy Concept - Phil B.


Yay:  Time for some footy.  Phil shows us his LA Galaxy uniform.  I love the colour scheme used here, double blue + yellow, from the logo.  Everything looks well executed, and will sized, and the font choice for the letters and numbers is something modern yet blocky enough for a hockey jersey.

Nay: When I first saw this, I thought "is the light blue necessary?", and after looking at their main soccer kit, it's not. I'm not a fan of the shoulders contrasting that much to the rest of the jersey, and would look a little weird on the ice.  So I'd say keep the hem stripe and sock pattern as is, put those stripes on the arms in some traditional way that doesn't use the whole shoulder, make the yoke yellow and the collar any other colour.  I also think those stripes could be used on the pants to make them less boring.

Overall:  I offered my suggestion for this jersey, but there's probably other ways to fix it.  It's well done, I just don't think the light-blue should be that prevalent, and the yellow should take up the whole shoulders.  Solid concept otherwise.  7.8/10




Houston Dynamo Concept - Phil B.


Yay: Next, Phil shows us his next soccer-hockey remix, with a Houston Dynamo concept. The overall look of the jersey is a clean, classic version of something you might see in the WHA days.  The striping pattern in general is nicely done.  The execution on the jersey is good, and what we have here is another solid MLS-hockey mash-up that works.

Nay: Again, something more should be done with the pants.  The thin orange stripe is a good start, but it needs to be thicker or have more stripes with it.  For the jersey striping pattern, I like the idea, but with so many skinny orange stripes on a black background, from a distance is just looks like a thick brown stripe, which isn't good for an orange jersey like this.  Less, thicker stripes are key here, unless the number of stripes means something.  Finally, I'm not really a fan of the name bar behind the name text, and the text should be bigger anyways.

Overall: A good-looking hockey jersey for an MLS team, but needs work before it can look great. 7.2/10.




Pittsburgh Penguins Concept - Wings98


Yay: Here, Wings98 gives us a late-80's looking Penguins concept.  The concept isn't too far off of what they would have worn in that era, but with a few changes to their striping. The arm striping looks pretty much exactly what they wore for their arms from 1986-92, but the hem striping is something I don't recognize, besides the jersey fills the bottom with yellow, which they always did in that era too.  The font choice is pretty accurate to their look as well.  If this concept is supposed to be retro, then it it works as advertised.  

Nay:  I'm not seeing any reference to history in the hem stripes, so if you're going to go that route, I suggest having something that matches the arms more.  The hem stripe is something entirely different than what is done with the arms, and personally I prefer when the arms and hems match. The Pens never did this either in that era, but they had the top hem stripe yellow, which looked closer to their arm style. I'd normally say the numbers are too close to the collar, but they did that in the early 80's, so its not inaccurate. 

Overall: It's retro, as advertised, but it's not much more than a copy from their old look; and anything that's changed isn't exactly a change for the better. Its works, and it looks retro enough. 7.5/10.




Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Wings98


Yay: It's hard looking at Carolina and thinking "Retro", but here we are.  Again, this is a look almost identical to the look they entered the league with (and kept until this season).  The only major difference, again, is the hem stripe.  The TV numbers are in the right place, the font choice and size is accurate, and execution of the jersey is pretty much spot on.

Nay: The only thing that doesn't belong is also the only thing that wasn't on the original, the hem stripe. I like how the warning-flag design is kept, but it doesn't look as clean as the original. I also think the grey stripes used in the hem are unnecessary and just make the hem look busier.

Overall: Same as above, it works as advertised, but it's pretty much a replica.  And anything that is changed didn't really work.  Execution is pretty solid though. 7.3/10




Belleville Bulls Concept - Kaner88


Yay: The last concept of the day comes from Kaner88, who I believe is a newcomer here at HJC.  If so, welcome aboard.  His concept is from the Belleville Bulls of the OHL. The striping pattern here is well done, and the colours look great for this jersey.  The font choice with the drop shadow looks perfect for the Bulls as well. 

Nay: The logo looks really big, and the name text looks a little big as well.  The spacing between the stripes on the hem should match similar to the arms, or at very least not look as close together as they are.  Since the colour scheme really doesn't contain white, the collar should be coloured something other than white as well. The 'B' shoulder patch should be seen on both sides, and there should be some TV numbers on the arms. Finally, be sure to have your name or ID on the concept somewhere. I know you have it on your jersey as the name and number, but that won't stop people from stealing it if they wanted.

Overall: There are quite a few execution errors to fix here, but the overall look is great.  A little bit of polish and you'll be making COTW-worthy concepts in no time.  6.6/10

And while we're talking about Kaner88, let's check out his HJC Artist Card:


Judging by his artist name, his nickname, his favourite teams, player, and number, I'm going to assume he's a Jonathan Toews fan. Who can blame him? Best player in Chicago by far.

I'm joking of course. I love seeing these Artist Cards, it's cool seeing how everyone got into hockey and what they love about it.  Hopefully we see more from Kaner88.


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For my COTW nomination, it'll go to the first concept of the day: Matt M.'s Colorado Avalanche Concept. It's not just a lamp, it's a major award!

Thanks everyone for reading, hope you enjoyed my post and found my ratings fair and interesting, even if I had to go back to numbers.  I'd like to go back to doing other rating scales, but I've had few, mixed reviews on them, so I'd really like to know what you'd like to see.

Have a good weekend, and Happy Holidays!

8 comments:

Rosy said...

I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but whatever. GREAT JOB WILLIAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Jake88 wasn't ripped off at all! (Sarcastic tone of voice)

Avi said...

Matt's CBJ concept is almost there....

ditch the gray because it wouldn't make any sense for a team named after the union army to wear gray since their opponent in war (the confederates) wore gray. stick to the simple union blue, red and white and I like it. Also, I think the striping is a little too thick and takes away from the rest of the uniform. Good ideas are here tho!

Alan John Herbert said...

Matt M.'s Colorado Avalanche Concept got my COTW nom!

Joey Fryd said...

Can someone please help me get the shoulder patches and TV numbers right please??

Austin E. said...

I'm really appalled by Matt Mc. today. He usually has amazing concepts but today's concepts are way below par and I really expect better out of him. Hopefully this is just a minor blip he's going through.

Matt McElroy said...

@Austin,

I'm Curious to hear what you think puts todays stuff below my normal work? And you must think they are pretty bad because "appalled" is a rather colorful word to use in this context.

winnipegjets96 said...

@Matt M. I really like your concepts today, especially the Blue Jackets concept, gray is so underused in teh league right now as a primary colour it needs a use Eeven though I agree w/ Avi about the whole confederate thing. COTW for Dylan W.'s Buffalo Bisonish concept, looks amazing!