Hat Comp

January 18, 2015

Sunday: My Best of 2014

Hello everyone! Today's Sunday post features several quality concepts, a lot of red, and Batman! 

Now that 2014 has ended here at HJC, and we get closer to crowning the Concept of the Year, I've been thinking about what the best concepts from the last year have been. I limited those I went back over to those that won a Concept of the Week this year. After much deliberation, here are five concepts that I think stand out this year:


5. TG - Cleveland Barons


I really appreciated the thought put into this concepts. TG even did some redistributed the districts in the league to accommodate the theoretical return of the Barons. The yoke design and classic collar look great. The hardest part of working with the Barons is their logos. TG owned the old English script, and even made it work with the number and name font as well. 

4. TG - New York Rangers


Anything with the Lady Liberty logo gets my interest, but TG seamlessly integrates the modern logo into a very classic jersey style. Could you imagine if this got made? People would just be throwing money at the Rangers, myself included.

3. Jake88 - Washington Captials


The Capitals have some of the most boring jerseys in hockey, but Jake88's set would change that. I appreciate that Jake88 makes the home and away just different enough to make the light set more than just a white version of the home jersey, as many concepts do. The Caps script looks surprisingly good on chest striping. This one got a lot of praises earlier this year, and it deserved it.

2. Dylan N. - Pittsburgh Penguins


This is my ideal Penguins jersey. It's gold, uses the tapered yoke seen on Pens jerseys from 1992-2002, and the hem/side panel striping from the 2002-2007 jerseys. I would love to own this, and I wouldn't change a thing about it. Presentation was very clever, too.

1. Christian L. - Quebec Nordiques


Christian has made a few versions of this look, trying to find something that best fits the logo he designed. This version really hits the mark dead-on for me. I've seen a lot of great jerseys on this website, enough to make me believe that many of the artists that have contributed here could be some of the best athletic wear designers out there. This set, though, is one of my all-time favorites. Christian's logo is superb, as is the rest of the set. I love the sublimated effect hidden in the striping pattern, and how he downplays the fleur-de-lis without omitting it entirely. It represents Quebec well, but doesn't lean on the previous Nordiques identity. A lot of time and care was taken in the making of this set, and it really shows.

Got a few more favorites you'd like to discuss? Tell us about it in the comments!

Here are the voting reminders for this week. Also, don't forget to send in jerseys for the World Cup of Hockey competition!

4th Quarter Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 11-17 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Binghampton Senators Concept - Ryan C.


Positives: I like the striping pattern for these jerseys. It really is easy to make a set that looks great from the Senators (even if this is the B-Sens, instead of Ottawa) identity. It makes you wonder why everyone can do it but the Senators themselves. Execution is pretty good. 

Negatives: There's really no difference between the light and dark jerseys other than the white and black dominant colors. On the dark jersey, the black used on the logo is a different shade from the jersey. With black, it's easy to see if it's even slightly off. The white jersey could use a little more black, even if to just differentiate it more from the dark jersey. 

Overall: Another solid Senators set, but a few minor issues. (7.75/10)


Calgary Flames Concept - MP


Positives: I'm no fan of the Flames current set, and I appreciate MP using more than one template to illustrate his design.

Negatives: No sleeve numbers or secondary logos. All three jerseys use the same pattern. Third jerseys need to be more different than just switching out colors. Speaking of colors, I'm not sure what to call the dark color used on the equipment, amongst a few other things here. It almost looks like a really dark red. I'm not a fan of it. All three jerseys could use a touch more black.

Overall: This is headed in the right direction, but needs tighter execution. I would do away with the third. If the third doesn't make a statement, you're better off without it. (6.5/10)


Ottawa Senators Concept - Jack H.


Positives: The unused, modernized, side-facing Senator logo is actually one of my favorites. I'll never understand why it isn't their current primary. The striping pays tribute to the original Ottawa Senators organization of the 1910s-1930s. Execution is good; no complaints there.

Negatives: It needs some gold. It's used heavily in the logo, but is non-existent on the jersey. There are several teams that use red and black in the league. Why wouldn't you want to set yourself apart with some gold?

Overall: Not bad, but a lack of gold holds this set back. (8/10)


Washington Capitals Third Jersey Concept - Matt Mc.


Positives: I really like matching the yoke and sock striping. The cuffs add some interest to the arms. The thin numbers look great. Execution is flawless. Colors are balanced well, which was my complaint against the Caps' Winter Classic jersey. 

Negatives: I'm not a big fan of this Capitals logo. It's huge. I'm not saying Matt made the logo too big, it's just a large mark as it is. It's a bit busy. 

Overall: This would make a good alternate, and a break from the conservative jerseys they wear now. (9/10) COTW nomination from me


Team Canada Concept - Christian L.


Positives: I really like the white jersey. Keeping the sublimated leafs from the 2014 jerseys was a good choice. The stripes under the yoke look great on the white jersey. The logo looks good as well. No pointless gold or black. No execution flaws.

Negatives: The red jersey. The yoke, and the stripes underneath, are too much. I would leave the yoke red. I prefer the simple double-stripe pattern underneath the yoke. I think if you used that on the red jersey as well, you wouldn't have to worry about the striping interfering with the numbers.

Overall: This is a near-perfect Canada set. I think one small change would do it. (8.25/10)


St. Louis Blues Concept - Dylan N.


Positives: The Blues redesign was one of my favorite in recent years. It wasn't splashy, but did what was necessary. Execution is wonderful. The stitching in Dylan's concepts lately has a been a nice detail to pay attention to. 

Negatives: I haven't minded the side panel striping on most all of Dylan's series, but this one isn't as successful. The yoke doesn't agree with the rest of the jersey. I would like the see the arm and side panel striping with a more organic style, similar to the yoke. 

Overall: Side paneling is hard to do right. Dylan's done a great job using that with this series, but this one doesn't hit the mark for me. (8.25/10)


Batman Concept - Tristan M.


Positives: Really good use of the faux-cape styling of the Buffalo Sabres' alternate jersey. It's not exactly the same, but it's close. This is better. There are some good references to the original batman as well. The yellow stands out well enough to make the name and number readable on the back. 

Negatives: I don't think a lace-up collar fits Batman look. The "Fat Bat" logo.

Overall: A more classic Batman logo (there are many) and a different collar (I'm thinking something like what the Preds wear) would really put some extra punch in this concept. (8.25/10)


That's all for today! Let us know what you think about today's artwork, as it's always helpful to hear more than one opinion. Come back here tomorrow at the same time for Dylan's Monday post!

4 comments:

Zach Wist said...

Cristian L's Canada for COTW

Taylor Roy said...

Second Matt for COTW

Ted Noakes said...

I'll second Cristian's Canada concept for COTW.

Scott Garland said...

Jake 88's Capitals concept is still probably my favorite of 2014. Everything about it looks so nice. I would buy that jersey.

I'll second Matt McElroy's Caps concept for COTW.