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August 23, 2014

Saturday: Art Direction

Hello everyone! Today's post features some very unique concepts that you're sure to love. We've got a lot of alternates, in fact, only one of our concepts today features a full set.

When it comes to jersey design, sometimes you can tell who did what design simply by looking at it. Some designers use a specific template, others trend towards a certain design aesthetic.

You can always count on Ryan to have a concept that focuses on authentic realism. David K. primarily uses the old CCM template. Christian L. and Dylan W. usually have some outside-the-box design choices. S2uido makes some amazing templates. Bastian has some of the cleanest artwork out there. I could go on and on. Everyone has specific things that they tend to focus on. 

With my designs, I focus on Three C's:

Cleanliness: I get OCD about my concepts. I try to look my concepts over time and time again, checking them down to the pixel to make sure everything is executed as perfectly as I can make it. Sometimes it's best to sleep on a concept, and send it in after you've gotten up and can look at it with fresh eyes. What I mean is, sometimes it's easy to miss something if you get "tunnel vision."

Color Balance: Nothing throws a jersey off quite like poor color balance. The Ducks away jersey, and the Hurricanes home jersey are great examples of poor color balance. Even a well executed jersey will look bad if the colors aren't right. If a jersey is too light or too dark, it can make it unpleasant to look at.

Creativity: I am not a prolific concept artist. I've made three in the last year, and only 52 total (including the one in Friday's post) since I started doing this way back in the days before we had six writers and a ten-point rating scale. I don't have quite as much time as I used to (being married and being a high school teacher) but I simply do not make a concept unless I have something new to bring to the table. If it's not creative, I don't bother creating it. There are so many different things you can do with a jersey, that I don't feel like I have an excuse to not do something fresh and new, even if it's something relatively small.

What do you focus on as an artist, and what is your viewpoint about art direction in athletic concepts? We'd all love to see your opinions in our comments section!


Louisville Cardinals (NCAA) Concept - David P.



Positives: The home and away are simple and straight-forward, which fits Louisville. David pays attention to details with his sleeve numbers and helmet logos.

Negatives: I think that the home jersey would look better with a black helmet. I'm not feeling the black alternate. I would have loved to see a fauxback jersey using this logo for an alternate with this set. The alternate itself needs some white to set off some contrast. With presentation, the artist ID is simply too large. It's the largest element on the concept, which isn't needed, and distracts from the concept itself.

Overall: Not a bad set, but safe. Maybe too safe. (7/10)


Boston Bruins Alternate Jersey Concept - Connor J.


Positives: Boston could really rock a gold alternate. Their gold Winter Classic jersey from a few years ago is still my favorite WC jersey. Connor's placement of the sleeve numbers was a smart choice.

Negatives: You misspelled Bergeron's name. Those numbers make sense for the Manitoba Moose because they resemble moose antlers, but they don't work for a team called the Bruins. The black used in the logo is different from the black on the jersey. There are a lot of loose or colored over pixels around the collar. There a few areas where the striping bleeds off the template or the purple background overlaps the jersey.

Overall: A gold alternate would work well for the Bruins, but this concept needs more polish (5/10)


Arizona Coyotes Concept - Maxx B.


Positives: Striping looks good on this jersey. I really like the number font. I think that might be my favorite part of the jersey. Color balance is great. I'm not totally sold on the wordmark as a primary, but I don't hate it. I think it could potentially work on an alternate.

Negatives: Stitching overlaps the hem striping. Contrasting sand-colored hem and cuffs should be left black, to avoid making the look seem too busy. The jersey needs an NHL shield and Reebok branding to look authentic. The name on back needs to be spaced out a little more, too.

Overall: Some good elements here. A little more work will make this a great alternate. (7.8/10)


Binghampton Senators (AHL) Concept - Christian L.


Positives: Christian definitely thinks outside of the box here. The concept's colors and striping is eye-catching and not easily forgettable. The laurel pattern is used, but this concept doesn't beat you over the head with it. Execution and presentation are very good. This is a well-detailed concept.

Negatives: I've never liked light gold for a jersey color before. I'm still not a 100% sold on it, but it this is one of the best uses of the color I've seen. I'd like to see some AHL branding.

Overall: This is a very distinctive design, and one that will likely grow on me. (8.3/10)


Moncton Wildcats Special Event Jersey Concept - TG


Positives: This is a faithful recreation of a RCMP dress uniform. TG has executed the classic look very well. The jersey itself is very clean. The Moncton shooting didn't receive much press coverage in the US, but if you read up on it, the police response to the shooting was very impressive. They worked fast, were very thorough, and kept civilians safe.

Negatives: I could see some questioning the taste of a tribute jersey this overt. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. 

Overall: This could be a good way to remember the RCMP officers who lost their lives in the Moncton Shooting. (8.5/10)


Los Angeles Kings Concept - David K.


Positives: I really like that simplified crown design. It's similar to Tre Kronor, but not so much that you'd easily mistake them. The championship reference is well done. Sometimes I think it's a shame that the CCM jerseys aren't still used. I just don't see Reebok being able to make a jersey like this. The CCM jerseys just seemed to have more visual versatility. Though I will admit that the Reebok jerseys are more comfortable to wear. Anyway, the striping here is very striking and looks great. The LA monogram from the Stadium Series matchup doesn't look bad as a primary. The minimalist crown goes well with the monogram and makes a good shoulder patch. I see no flaws in execution and presentation. You can count on David to get the details right.

Negatives: The striping behind the monogram can make the center of the jersey seem cramped and busy.

Overall: I think this would make a wonderful alternate jersey for the Kings. It would definitely give a bland set more life. (8.8/10) COTW nomination from me!


That's all for today's artwork. If you saw something you liked, or disagreed with me, let your voice be heard in our comments section! We've gotten a lot of entries into the Grand Rapids Griffins contest, but there's still time to get yours in before the deadline! There's only a little more than a week left, though, so get to work!

For the responsible people you read the blog and send in their votes, your reward gif this week is the greatest hockey gif of all time. Now that the star of this gif in on the Predators, I look forward to seeing this often on Pred blogs.

On the other hand, if you didn't vote. Here's your shame gif. Just...go stand in the corner.

Speaking of voting, there's still some time to vote for the Nashville Predators your favorite hockey team and the Chicago Blackhawks Detroit Red Wings your most hated team here! As of the time I wrote this, we have 71 votes for favorite/hated teams. Imagine if we had that many votes for COTW. Voting via email doesn't take much more time than it takes to leave a comment, so get those emails in!

Stay tuned for Ryan's Sunday post to find out who won Concept of the Week, and more! See you all later!

4 comments:

Ryan said...

I feel like David's Kings concept deserves a chance in a COTW vote, so I will 2nd that nomination.

winnipegjets96 said...

I'll 3rd David. Also like TG's Wildcats jersey

Phil B. said...

TG's Mounties, I mean, Wildcats jersey for COTW

SportsUniformConcepts said...

What I focus on as an artist is color balance and out-there designs. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to stand in my corner. Forgot to vote. :(