As the identity of these teams change, is it possible that the look of some of those teams change as well? The Blues have already dropped some hints of a new jersey next year, could we see something new in Buffalo, Tampa Bay, or Vancouver? Probably not, at least just because of the trades, but it is possible.
Another thing to note, more relevant to us, is that people who use NHL names on their jerseys might have to remember who moves where, or use the old name and look like an old, obsolete concept. A Tampa jersey with St. Louis on the back is going to look strange in a matter of weeks, so designers need to be aware of this.
Stepping away from the Trade Deadline, there is one more thing I should mention before getting to today's posts. For those who have been procrastinating with your HJC Pairs Competition, you're in luck, because the due date has been moved to TONIGHT @ 11:59 ET. That is only a few hours away, so you better finish up. Personally, I can't wait to show off my team's concept, and to see everyone else's. In order for this competition to work, we'll have to get lots of participation from designers and readers to vote and give feedback on the concepts.
Anyways, without further ado, your voting reminders and today's concepts.
COTW vote Feb 24-Mar 2 (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Pittsburgh Penguins Concept - Tyler F.
Yay: We start today with a Penguins concept from Tyler. There's going to be more negatives than positives on this one, based on execution and the fact that these jerseys are nothing new. But it has to be said that, if this was their main set, it would be pretty cool.
Nay: First off, when a concept is basically taking replicas of old jerseys (two of these are Winter Classic uniforms), they better look great. These don't. There are pixelation issues all over, the numbers are placed a little too high, the stripe on the light blue jersey is grey instead of white, and there are no TV numbers.
Overall: Again, using pre-existing jersey designs isn't a great strategy for concept artists. And if you need to, then it better look just as good as the original. 4.7/10
Team Kazakhstan Concept - Joey F.
Yay: Here's the start of 4 international concepts, something I always like to see. This concept is for Team Kazakhstan, and is very different from what you'd usually see on a hockey jersey, but it works well for this team. I really like the ornate artwork on the "sash", as well as the style of the captain patch. Despite the sash, the jersey sticks with a classic hockey look, and overall it looks great.
Nay: I don't have too much to say, besides maybe hoping there would be some white somewhere on the jersey. I'd be concerned about a "white" or "yellow" version of the jersey, because it would be killer on the eyes. But as a standalone blue jersey, this one is okay.
Overall: It's original, but doesn't stretch far from the universally-accepted hockey look, plus it does look cool. 7.8/10
Team Argentina Concept - David P.
Yay: Now to a country that hasn't been on the ice as long, Team Argentina. They've played an exhibition series against Mexico some time ago, and I'd love to see it evolve the sport there, beyond roller hockey. Anyways, the relatively simple but wavy stripe style looks slick, especially on the dark blue and white jerseys. Solid hockey uniforms for any country.
Nay: On the concept, it looks like theres a weird gradient over the whole image, which makes the light blue and white concepts look weird. I doubt this was done on purpose, but whether it was or not, it doesn't look nice. On the dark blue jersey, one of the arms has the stripe order goofed up. The light blue jersey should keep the chest stripe idea, but the rest of the jersey pattern is way too plain.
Overall: The set looks nice, but a few execution errors hold this back. 7/10
Team Germany Concept - Stephen T.
Nay: This logo is a cool logo for a league, or jersey patch, but as a jersey logo it looks kinda lame. I'd stick with their current jersey logo, or make something new out of it. The outlines on the text are tricky to do here, and on the black jersey it looks alright. But on the white jersey, the yellow and red against white is very conflicting.
Overall: It's a neat look, but I'd make some changes before taking it to the worlds in Belarus this year. I'd like to hear what the arms are supposed to represent. 7.5/10
Team Switzerland Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Stephen doubles up today with a Switzerland concept. The white jersey isn't much different from their Sochi jerseys, besides the addition of a red yoke, and removal of their name on the arms. The red jersey follows the same pattern as the white one, and compared to their Sochi uniforms has much more white. The yoke is an okay addition, but the best part of the concept is the amped-up red jersey. Looks much more interesting than their current red set.
Nay: The Swiss regularly use black pants, so I guess it's acceptable, but I'd rather see them in red pants. There's also a very faint black outline on the name, which is pretty unnecessary in my opinion. I'd rather see the chest stripe go fully around the jersey, including under the arms.
Overall: The design is pretty simple, but it fits the Swiss look nicely, and is an improvement from their Sochi set. Good concept. 8/10
Team Saskatchewan Concept - Cole W.
Yay: I'm getting major WHA vibes from this concept (and the 'Alberta' one yesterday), and I love it. It definitely captures Saskatchewan's identity, and looks like it came straight out of the 70's. There is the perfect amount of yellow and green on both jerseys, and the striping pattern is as clean and classic as it should be. Nice touch adding Getzlaf and Marleau on the uniforms as well.
Nay: The green jersey needs some more white, somehow. The logo on the green jersey clashes a little and appears blurry right in the "SASK' section. On the white jersey, the yellow outline doesn't really show up well against the white background. Finally, while most of the equipment looks fine, the socks look way too modern to fit with a jersey like this. Stripes would be perfect.
Overall: From a strictly-design point of view, this concept isn't that spectacular. But it has a really cool retro vibe to it, and it gets me excited to see more from this series, so it must be pretty good. 7.7/10
Vancouver Canucks Concept - Caleb F.
Yay: Take last week's Sabre's concept, add an outline to the numbers, change the logo, and possibly (not to sure) change the shade of blue just a little bit, and bam! In this case, it looks may better because the colours match, and it fits with the heritage style that comes with the logo. The execution is pretty solid, and this could be a great twist on their Heritage Classic jerseys, in case the opportunity comes again.
I guess you could say...we started from Buffalo...(puts on sunglasses)... and now we're here. (YAAAAAA)
Nay: A Nay goes to that joke. That was straight awful. As for the jersey, there isn't much I can complain about. Maybe the white outline on the main number can be a pixel or two thicker, to give a little more separation between the blue outline and blue number. And maybe have more striping on the hem.
Overall: I really like this design. If the Canucks didn't have so many vintage jerseys to go with, this version of their classic would be perfect for outdoors. 8.3/10
Los Angeles Kings Concept - Caleb F.
Yay: Here's Caleb again with a monochrome concept, this time with the Kings. I really, really, really like how the old Kings logo looks in purple and white. Classy and original. Although I'm not sure I like how it looks, the arm stripes high and on top of the TV numbers is something pretty different. The Kings can go to this colour scheme anytime and I'd be happy.
Nay: Same thing with the number outline as before with the Vancouver concept, I just feel more separation between the number and outline would make the number clearer. While the previous jersey had a vintage feel to it, this doesn't, but it doesn't have a modern feel either. I can't really tell what era this jersey belongs in. As for the arm stripes, they're cool because they're placed differently than normal, but I'm just not sure if I like them like that.
Overall: Same approach as with the Canucks concept, but not as successful. 7.6/10
Anaheim Ducks Concept - Daniel L.
Yay: Daniel tries to get the best of both worlds with this Ducks Stadium Series concept. From a pure concept standpoint, I'd wear these over their actual SS jerseys any day of the week, and twice on Thursdays. The colours really look nice on the logo, striping pattern, and equipment. All in all, I love the idea that Daniel is going for here.
Nay: The downfall here is execution. There are stray white pixels around every logo on this concept. The stripes sometimes peak past the outlines of the jersey, or where the stripe should logically end (see white stripe, front hem), and if the socks are to match the arms better, the gold and white stripes should switch.
Overall: Love the direction this concept goes in, but the execution just isn't there. 6.9/10
NHIAA Stadium Series Concept - Brady S.
Yay: With a bit of research, I figured out that the NHIAA is New Hampshire's high school athletics association, and these are two schools from it (Manchester Central(Green) for sure, and Manchester Memorial(Blue)?). Correct me if that info is wrong Brady. Either way, this is a really cool concept based on the fact that we're seeing designs for teams that we hardly ever see. The jerseys themselves are pretty awesome too.
Nay: I'd make the collar on the blue jersey a different colour so it stands out against the yoke. And on the white jersey, those black TV numbers would be hard to see against dark green, so I'd change those to white. I'd get rid of the black/green fill inside the hole of the '4' on the main number, and I'd make the white part of the outline maybe 1px thicker for clarity.
Overall: Excellent concept, and very original. 8.4/10
Colorado Avalanche Concept - Bastian S.
Yay: For the finale of the post today, we have Bastian's Colorado concept. This doesn't stray too far from what we'd think of for Colorado, but it still is pretty original. The striping pattern is pretty cool, and I really like what you did for the shoulder patches. Not sure if I like the sublimated "COLORADO" on the jersey, but it doesn't look terrible, so thumbs up for originality.
Nay: I'd probably like the sublimated wordmark more, if I haven't seen people design sublimated mountain patterns on Avalanche jerseys before. Those always look cool. This is different, but lacks the same "wow" factor. The hem itself is really bare, and could use some stripes of its own I think.
Overall: This would be a really interesting 3rd jersey for Colorado. Not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate its design. 7.6/10
My COTW nomination today goes to Brady's NHIAA Stadium Series Concept. I really enjoy seeing concepts of teams that most designers never heard of, but look just as crisp, clean and awesome as pro teams' concepts. I really like Caleb's Canucks concept too, I hope someone nominates that as well.
To anyone working on the Pairs Competition, remember to get your concepts finished and submitted tonight. Anyone who thinks that their team won't make the deadline should notify Ryan, so he can adjust the presentation schedule as needed. I wish the best of luck to all competitors, and I look forward to seeing all of your work, as well as showcasing my team's work.
That does it for today. Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!