Hello HJC readers! It's the start of a new year here at HJC. Today marks the first official 2015 post for the blog, as January 1-3 featured concepts that were still grouped together with the December artwork. Soon, we will pick who will win the much-coveted Concept of the Year trophy for 2014! From here on out, all entries are in competition for COTY 2015.
Today's post features some fresh designs. We have a concept for a Las Vegas Expansion franchise, a hockey jersey using lime green, a redesign of the still-new Winnipeg Jets, a Buffalo Sabres alternate that hopes to right the wrongs of the nastiness they currently wear, and much more!
Before I get to the concepts, I have a topic I want to propose to our readers: How do you feel about the Winter Classic? (rant ahead)
Personally, I'm conflicted. It gives us jersey nerds something to discuss, conceptualize, and refine during the year, but the game itself does't resonate deeply with me. My failure to connect on an deeper emotional level to the game than I do any other NHL game could be because I never grew playing hockey, watching hockey, or even skating. There's no well of nostalgia to draw upon. That could be the whole appeal of the game, and if so, It'll never mean as much to me as it will others.
Beyond that, I just want to see some new teams in the game. I was happy that Barry Trotz finally got some national media exposure. Trotz is an even greater man than he is a coach. He deserves more recognition than what he gets. However, the ratings for this year's Winter Classic were at an all-time low. That doesn't mean the bottom has fallen out, and the game needs to be abandoned, but it could be the start of a trend of diminishing returns for the league. What the game needs is some new teams. Yes, teams like Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Philadelphia have star-power and large fanbases to draw ratings from, but the league can't keep rotating these same teams in the game and expect to draw the same buzz.
I would love to see Nashville in a Winter Classic contest with St. Louis, but I know it's not likely to happen. There are a lot of other teams who are deserving to be in an event game, that aren't getting the chance. If the league really wants to grow it's fanbases, why not get these teams some national exposure by putting them in a nationally televised event game? (if not the Winter Classic, then a Stadium Series match, or Heritage Classic game for the Canadian teams)
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!
Also, don't forget that our World Cup of Hockey logo contest is ongoing! You have until Friday, January 9th to get your entries in!
Check out these sweet, sweet reminders
COTW Dec 28-Jan 3 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
World Cup logo entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Las Vegas "Black Knights" Concept - Grant G.
Positives: I think something on the darker, or edgier side would work for a Las Vegas team.
Negatives: There's a lot of empty white space at the bottom of the image file. That's not me leaving an unusual amount of space. The logo is too large, and needs a thicker white outline to make it stand out better. I don't think the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign works as a shoulder patch. The striping is mostly just fill-tool work. Using black/silver/white is LA's thing.
Overall: If this was an ECHL team, I wouldn't bat an eye, but this concept doesn't seem to have an NHL-level feel. If that makes sense. (6.5/10)
Nashville Predators Concept - Mario A.
Positives: Mario is trending in the right direction as an artist, which is all you can ask for, really. Issues of pixelation and overall quality are getting better. More originality is helping.
Negatives: No one wants that old Preds logo back. I love them, but that logo is horrific. The shade of gold here looks sickly, and leave silver to the Sabres. On the white jersey, one sleeve reads "66" and the other reads "69" because the 6's were inverted. The name is too close to the yoke, and spaced too far away from the numbers. There are loose pixels around the logo, and pixels that were never colored-in around the collars. Black is used on the collars and collar inserts for some reason. You want to avoid using colors that aren't used anywhere else on the jersey.
Overall: Trending up, but more miles left to cover. (6/10)
Seattle Sounders (MLS) Concept - Daniel L.
Positives: Should Seattle ever be granted an NHL team, I believe that the expansion franchise should look to the Sounders for inspiration. I don't know a great deal about soccer, MLS, their jerseys, etc. but I believe that this set is what Daniel used for inspiration.
Negatives: The black jersey needs more blue, and the gradient effect featured on the black jersey (see link above) has been lost in translation. Executing an effect like that is difficult, though. This set needs a dark jersey, though. The green jersey doesn't work as a light sweater; just not enough contrast. Daniel misspelled "HOCKEY" twice here. Heavy pixelation makes the details difficult to discern.
Overall: Some tweaks are necessary for a natural translation. A light jersey chief among them. (6/10)
Buffalo Sabres Concept - Alexander D.
Positives: If you had told me the premise of the logo design here, combining these two logos, I wouldn't have thought that would work on any level, but I am surprised it doesn't look terrible. I respect Alexander trying to create a more organic striping pattern.
Negatives: The name font is just a standard serif font, which may look okay for the text you're reading now, but doesn't work for athletic wear in general. The logo is far too large. There are some irregularities in the striping pattern. Organic designs need to feel fluid. The red stripe definitely interrupts the flow. The background is too busy. If you're going to use a logo as a background, you need to make it more opaque.
Overall: Organic shapes agree with the logo used, but needs more refinement. (6.75/10)
Quebec Nordiques Concept - Griffin B.
Positives: There's not much to this set, but what is there isn't done poorly.
Negatives: Nothing about this really says "Quebec" or the "Nordiques" in a way that is overt enough for anything more than a dedicated fan of hockey to recognize. The Fleur-de-lis is not a Nordiques logo, it's a decorative flower symbol used for a lot of things. It's not automatically identified with the team. That's part of the reason why the Nordiques never used one as a primary logo. There aren't any sleeve numbers. On a Nike jersey, the name is placed in the yoke. This could use some hem striping, or anything to liven it up.
Overall: Sins of omission. There just isn't much here. (5.5/10)
Philadelphia Flyers Concept - Tyler F.
Positives: Execution on the design itself isn't bad. It's fairly clean. Designs like this are always going to be appealing. They look good, but they're also very safe. Not a ground-breaker. No contrasting namebar! (full disclosure: I liked that design element a lot when the Flyers debuted it, but now it's gotten old on me and feels pointless)
Negatives: The black used on the logo is a different shade from the rest of the jersey. There are some loose pixels around the logo outlines. The jersey reminds me of a conglomeration of the Rangers and Bruins, something I'd be willing to bet Philly would like to avoid. The Flyers logo is an organic design. Building a linear and geometric jersey design around it puts the two aesthetics at odds with each other. Yes, I am aware how picky and obsessive that sounds. It's just a thing with me.
Overall: It's neither great, nor terrible. Solid, but safe. (7.25/10)
Winnipeg Jets Concept - Dylan N.
Positives: I would love to have an inaugural-season Jets jersey, but the thing is, I've never had great love for the Jets jerseys. They aren't bad, but they just aren't that memorable. Dylan "Man of the Year" Nowak (see last week's post) seeks to fix that here. It's definitely more memorable. Side panel striping normally doesn't go down smooth, but this is a case where it works. Silver is used more effectively here; my main complaint with the Jets' current set. Everything is executed perfectly.
Negatives: There's a lot of color on the white jersey. It's a little too much for me. The yoke would be better left white, in my opinion.
Overall: The white jersey, sans blue yoke, would be one I would put in my collection. (8.5/10)
Buffalo Sabres Concept - Christian L.
Negatives: I don't care for the thick gray outline around the whole set, especially with so many silver elements in the jersey.
Overall: If only this the jersey Buffalo came with...(9/10) COTW nomination from me!
That's all for this week! Give us your opinions on today's artwork, thoughts on my Winter Classic rant above, and anything else on your mind. No personal stuff, though. Just keep that inside, man. Here's looking forward to another great year on HJC!