Hello everyone! Today we've got a quality post full of great artwork! We've got alternates, redesigns, All-Star game concepts, fauxbacks, and concepts for the NHA, WHL, and even Swedish Tier 2.
By now, if you haven't heard about HJC hosting the Grand Rapids Griffins alternate jersey contest, then you've been living under a rock, or in Arkansas...which is probably the same thing. Unlike our usual contests, you have a lot more time to get your concepts in. Final entries are not due in until August 31st, so you have more than enough time to polish and perfect your concepts! You really shouldn't pass up this opportunity to send a concept that could become the new Griffins alternate. You don't get many opportunities as a concept artist to see your creation on the ice. You'd be crazy not to! Be sure to read the rules of the contest, and send in your best work. Good luck to everyone, but I plan on sending in my own, so not too much luck.
Let's get down to business. You came here for concepts, and we've got some excellent stuff today.
Anaheim Ducks Concept - Coby S.
Positives: Coby has improved his concepts lately. Taking on a a more advanced template shows a real desire to improve, which I appreciate. I like the diagonal arm stripes matched with the horizontal hem and sock stripes. Coby does a great job with some of the details here, especially with his secondary logos and sleeve numbers.
Negatives: The number on back is too big. As a rule of thumb, the numbers shouldn't bleed into the side panels. There is gold featured on the secondary logo, but none on the jersey itself, and even though I believe the gold clashes with the orange on most concepts, I think there should be some here. I would have used it between the black and white stripes, personally. Also, I think a black helmet would work better, helping balance the colors.
Overall: There are some great elements here. A little more polish will take it to the next level. (7.5/10)
Pittsburgh Penguins Concept - Stephen T.
Positives: I can't say that I've ever seen a checkerboard striping pattern on a Penguins jersey, so Stephen is being creative here. The choice of a flat yoke is interesting. I think it matches the checkerboard stripes well. Stephen shows some attention to detail with his sleeve striping and the consistency of his shoulder patch placing...
Negatives: ...but still needs to put the left arm sleeve numbers on the backs of his jerseys, and place logos on the helmets. Even our newer artists include those details, so it's frustrating to constantly have to mention that to someone who's been doing this for several years. Gold away jerseys are interesting, but with the Preds adopting it as a dark jersey, it'll never happen in today's NHL.
Overall: Could one of these jerseys make an intriguing alternate? Maybe, but not a full set. (7/10)
Buffalo Sabres Concept - Nick L.
Positives: This is a bit self-serving, but I do enjoy seeing someone use the template I modified. I don't see it often, so I'm glad to see it put to some use. Shoulder patches and sleeve numbers are done well, and Nick took the time to put a logo and numbers on his helmet here. That's great attention to small details, and that kind of work always makes a concept look better and more professional.
Negatives: The striping isn't very interesting, and the arm stripes vary in thickness. Uniformity is very important in...well, uniforms. I can't say I've ever wanted that old Sabres logo back. It just has a really odd silhouette in my opinion.
Overall: Nick's got his details down, a little more creative flair and we could be seeing great stuff from Nick very soon. (7.5/10)
Cobalt Silver Kings (AHL) Concept - Nick L.
Positives: It's not often we see concepts for the Cobalt Silver Kings, except during our NHA contest a few months back. The arched text is a good idea. I like using a gray for an away jersey; I think that could work. Nick includes a recolored version of the Cobalt Silver Kings logo on the helmet, which is a nice addition.
Negatives: I can't say I like the LA Kings logo here. I don't even think it's a good crown logo, it's just really over-wrought. A cleaner, simplified crown logo, along with smaller arched text might work. Striping is ok, but nothing particularly interesting. When doing a concept for a team that is not in the NHL, you should take the NHL shield off the jersey. Also, the Reebok logo should be swapped out for the wordmark that is currently used on Reebok's jerseys.
Overall: The set has some potential, but needs work before it's ready to rule. (6.5/10)
NHL All-Star Game Concepts - Christian L.
Modern: One thing that really shocked me about the modern jerseys is that I actually like the colors, and Christian used gradient, and I don't hate it. That's a big deal for me. In fact, I like it. The striping on those modern jerseys is excellent as well. There's something almost 80s-futuristic about it, and I love that. The subtle use of stars with sublimation is a great detail as well. This set gets a greater emotional reaction from me than the classic look.
Classic: Those jerseys are so clean. They look great together and ooze class. The striping looks great, and I think the use of stars is good as well. The NHL shield looks great in white against both those colors.
Modern: The jerseys lack captain's patches, which I am assuming all these jerseys represent team captains. The NHL is problematic. Basically, I hate the chrome look. It needs some color. I think if you used the gradient silver with a little bit of green/black thrown in for contrast, then you're really in business here. I want to love everything about the modern set, but I can't get behind that logo.
Classic: I would remove the outline from the number on back. It's not really necessary, and would match the outline-less sleeve numbers. The modern set is more striking, and although more will hate it than this set, those who love the modern set will love it more intensely.
Overall: This is a very interesting concept. Here we have two contrasting visual styles and aesthetic directions to choose from. This is a really great comparison, and Christian does a wonderful job bringing both ends of the spectrum to life. Christian has sent in some good concepts in the past, but I think this is his best work so far. Modern - (8.5/10) Classic - (8.8/10) COTW nomination from me!
Pittsburgh Penguins "Fauxback" Concept - Ryan H.
Positives: Ryan doesn't post quite as often as he used to, so it's always great to see his work. I am a sucker for a gold jersey, and it looks so striking against that flat black color. Logo choice here is perfect. I like the penguin with the scarf. It's just different enough to set it apart from the regular logo. That wordmark is so excellent, too. Ryan breaks the mold here by making a "fauxback" without a lace-up collar! Ryan also ensures that we see every detail of his concept by presenting it with three different templates. That's seriously impressive work. Presentation and execution are, well...I even need to say it?
Negatives: Those shoulders...it's not an ugly look, but I'm not wild about it.
Overall: I love the work Ryan puts into his concepts. (8.8/10)
HC Vita Hästen (HockeyAllvenskan - Swedish Tier 2) Concept - TG
Positives: The striping pattern is very creative, and TG does a good job continuing the pattern throughout the jersey set, equipment, etc. It's definitely a memorable set. Execution is really good. TG 's sleeve numbers are done perfect.
Negatives: Many people hate the modern, Stadium Series-style lace-up collar, but I don't mind it here. The primary logo isn't great, but of course, that's nothing against TG. The only problem I could see with this set is there wouldn't be much room for advertisements, which the team would undoubtedly want.
Overall: If the team could get by without advertisements on its jersey, they would look good in this. (8.5/10)
Washington Capitals Concept - TG
Positives: That unused Capitals logo...it's downright sexy. Every now and then someone will use it, and it's like a fast track to a COTW nomination. We first saw this concept in round 1 of the HJC Open (still going on! Go vote while you can!) and I rated it highly then. The striping used here is just great. The stripes on the the yoke are really what does it for me. Execution is very clean.
Negatives: With the cuff stripes, stars, sleeve numbers, yoke stripes, and secondary logos, the arms are very crowded. I would recommend losing the shoulder patches. I think that might help relieve the logjam there. There's just a lot on the arms that competes for your attention.
Overall: This would make an awesome alternate for Washington. I really wish they used that logo as a full-time primary. (8.8/10)
Vancouver Giants (WHL) Concept - Steven G.
Positives: The Giants' current alternate uses a template similar to the old Flyers jerseys before the Reebok redesign in 2007. This set uses a similar design, but incorporates much more color, and hem striping to help balance out the look. Steven's execution is solid, as we have come to expect from him.
Negatives: There's not much to dislike here. The template isn't my favorite, but Steven uses it well here.
Overall: The Giants could improve on their current set with this. (8.5/10)
That's all for today. We've seen some good concepts this week, but today's artwork was on point. The last five concepts could all have gotten my COTW nomination. It was difficult to choose between them, but since I only have one I can nominate, I'm expecting the rest of you to take the rest. Speaking of nominations, let's talk about voting. Tomorrow Ryan is going to put up new concepts for voting. When you see them, why not just vote then? It takes me about 10 seconds to email my vote to Ryan. Here's the weekly gifs:
See you all back here tomorrow for Ryan's post!