If you haven't noticed by now (by living under a rock), the HJC Open competition is underway. In fact, today is the first day to send in your votes. You, the reader, get to step in the writers' shoes and rate each participating concept. Your job is crucial, you'll determine who moves on to the Quarter Finals, and who gets eliminated. No pressure, though. Just click on the HJC banner at the top to read all of the voting rules, and contribute to the biggest HJC competition of the year.
From what I could tell so far, this competition is going to be very close. There are many good concepts and simply picking my 8 favourites is way too difficult, so it should be interesting to see who moves on. I can really tell everyone stepped their game up for this, which is great to see.
And in other important blog-related news, we have 2 big votes going on this week. First is the usual COTW vote, and second is the COTY 2nd Quarter vote. The winner of the latter moves on to the COTY Final 4 vote at the end of the year. Yeah, it's kind of a big deal.
Anyways, that about does it for my intro blurb, let's just head straight into the concepts.
2nd Quarter Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW July 7-13 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Round 1 Vote (due Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Washington Capitals Concept - Phil B.
Yay: Let's start today with a few interesting 3rds from Phil, this one being for the Capitals. I'm really not a fan of their current look, and something like this would be a great step forward. I really like how the different colours of the logo work with the chest stripe, so it still pops out enough without the need for a big outline. Getting chest stripes to work with the logo is one of the more difficult things to do, so well done.
Nay: While almost everything else looks fine, I'm going to go back to the logo and chest stripe. The logo itself looks a little small, but making it and the chest stripe bigger would make the chest stripe too big and awkward, or ruin the flow the stripes and logo has going for it. A little logo alteration may be required. Other than that, the pants stripe doesn't really match with anything, so it looks a little out of place.
Overall: Great start to the post. I really like the chest stripe and logo combo, but finding a way to make the logo bigger without changing the design too much would make this perfect. 8.5/10
Florida Panthers Concept - Phil B.
Yay: Phil's encore gives us a really cool Panthers concept. Florida used to have cool jerseys, much like Washington, but have since looked modern and plain. This looks like an awesome 90's throwback kind of jersey, with a stripe pattern similar in effect to the old Coyotes' jerseys. This uniform has "Florida" written all over it, and is the perfect mix between crazy and classy. I love it!
Nay: I don't like the white outline on the yellow text. Even with the red in between, it still has an unappealing effect to the eye. I'd also make the gap between the stripe and the triangles just a little thicker. Something else on the pants would be nice too, even a simple singular stripe.
Overall: Another great concept. Phil definitely nailed it today. 8.8/10
Portland Pioneers Concept - s2dio
Aside: At first, I was really surprised when s2dio's original template was made available for everyone else. That template is one of the best I've ever seen, and definitely gave his concepts an advantage. Presentation is almost if not just as important as the design itself, and presentation has been s2dio's strong point for a while now...
Yay: And then this happened. I don't know how much work has gone on to this template, or the previous ones we seen this week, but these templates are a game-changer for sure. The design itself is very well done too, with an interesting striping pattern that works beautifully with these colours. If Portland got a team, I'd be very happy if they used this design.
Nay: Not a huge fan of having the yoke outline with the yoke being orange anyways. It doesn't look too bad in this case, but it's always been something that's bugged me. My other complaint continues from Alex's comment yesterday. As beautiful as this template is, it makes it difficult to get the "big picture" of what this jersey looks like, and see all of the details.
Overall: Great looking concept, as usual. This new team idea has my approval. 8.8/10
New Jersey Devils Concept - Mario A.
Yay: Alright, before we get to Mario's newest concept, he's invited us to check out his FIRST EVER concept. It's always awesome and humbling to see these kinds of concepts, because most of us started at this sort of level. It's awesome to look back at this, and see your concepts now, and notice how far you've come. Thank you for sharing this with us today!
Nay: Obviously, there is quite a bit wrong with this jersey, and seeing that Mario knows how bad this is, I won't dwell on the mistakes too much. As far as the design goes, grey is a colour I never want to see with the Devils, and if you're going to use green, there should be more than just very thin piping (not including the name bar, that's just plain ugly).
Overall: I don't think it would be fair giving this concept a score, since most everyone (including Mario) knows there's lots to be fixed here. But I'm really glad I got to see this, and excited to compare this with how he's improved.
Chicago Blackhawks Concept - Mario A.
Yay: So we'll start with Mario for the first of 3 Blackhawks concepts we have today. Comparing to above, the logo looks about the right size (a tad small on the dark jersey), the numbers and name looks to be the right size, and this concept is really pushing the boundaries of hockey design while still respecting the traditional hockey looks. The fact that he added "gold?" to the colour scheme is very odd, but makes for a neat design overall.
Nay: For whatever reason, the chest stripe on the two jerseys are different sizes. On the dark jersey, it's smaller, which in turn makes the logo smaller and the back numbers stick out, while on the white jersey the stripe is bigger, the logo is about right, and the numbers stay inside the chest stripe. This makes for two different looking patterns. The upper arm patterns don't match as well. Personally, if everything from the arm/hem stripes-out was left alone, and the chest was made one solid colour (besides the yoke possibly), this could be a great concept, except, I'd stick with using white TV numbers on both jerseys.
Overall: This is close to being great, but not quite there. Regardless, happy to see Mario's improvement, and his creativity in his work. 7/10
Chicago Blackhawks Concept - Tristan M.
Yay: Our next Chicago concept is one for the Winter Classic, which they will play in against Washington, for some reason. If Chicago wants a new uniform for this event, their next logical choice is recreating their black and white uniforms, but that's not too desirable. Instead, this "hybrid" of their older jerseys, with a modern feel to it, would be the perfect fauxback for them to wear.
Nay: I'm not a fan of how high the black hem pattern goes. There should be a black hem, just not as much to take away from the rest of the jersey. The number outline on the back should be a touch thicker, and the TV numbers look really big.
Overall: Looks sharp, and I like the design in principle, but a few things stop this from being perfect. Close, though. 7.9/10
Chicago Blackhawks Concept - Jamie R.
Yay: Our last concept for today is from Jamie, who gives us a different sort of Blackhawks jersey. The Blackhawks, like the other Original 6 teams, are pretty untouchable when it comes to their designs, but this slight change would be a fresh, tolerable new look for them. These "vintage" colours help this concept look ready for their next Winter Classic.
Nay: The skinny stripes are fine for the most part, but I think it makes the chest look too dark and busy. The main number looks too far down, making a weird non-symmetrical look vertically. The main number also doesn't have enough of an outline to let it stand out against the chest stripe.
Overall: It's a simple, classy design that Chicago could work with, but it's not quite there yet. 7.5/10
This is the 2nd week in a row where I've had a bunch of COTW worthy concepts, so I hope this time a bunch of these concepts go through to the final weekly vote. I had a tough decision today, with the polish of s2dio's being very tough to resist nominating, but I did. Instead, I'll nominate Phil B's Florida Panthers concept as my nominee. Maybe not quite as polished and sharp, but that concept stands out the most for me today. Disagree? Throw in your nomination in the comment section!
Remember, you have work to do. You have votes to vote for, a competition to review for, and hockey to
As always, thanks for reading, and have a good weekend! Good luck to everyone participating in the HJC Open!