So last week I mentioned that HJC is going through some big changes, especially with our two Dylans leaving the blog. I also teased a few other changes going on, which I'll get to (kind of) today.
You might want to sit down for this one...
Next Sunday, January 17, I'm going to be vacating my position as a weekly writer for HJC.
It's been a good run, I've been writing for nearly 2 1/2 years, and I had an awesome time doing it. My posts weren't always great, and you didn't always agree with my critiques, but I felt that I brought some freshness and creativity to the blog throughout my time. I'll never forget how much fun I had writing my Jerseymania post last year, and all of the huge competitions and amazing concepts I got to see and review.
But I've been feeling stale as a writer lately, and I think my critiques are a little out of touch sometimes, thanks to the fact I haven't made my own concept and got it reviewed in months. I want to start designing again, and doing some things other than writing. It's just time to do something different for me.
Now this isn't exactly a goodbye from the blog entirely. I've talked with Ryan and basically whenever I have the itch to write anything hockey-related, I'll put it on the HJC Design Blog. And after a month of two of resting, designing and preparation, I have another surprise for the blog that is going to change everything! Well, that might be dramatic, but it's going to be awesome once it's ready.
In the meantime, I have one more post to write (after this one), I'll be moving to another house, I'll be working on some concepts and my personal website, and hopefully taking a few weekends off to relax before working on "the big thing". And at some point, depending how certain things go, I'd love to get back into writing for the blog full time, when the time is right.
And by the way, my Sunday writing replacement is a writer I think you guys are really going to like, and I'm really excited for him to get into the fold.
That's my story for today, now let's get to some other news:
So....how about them All-Star jerseys?
(image from NHL.com)
Well... Alright I can't hold back. These are atrocious! The ONLY redeeming thing this jersey has is the collar insert to match Nashville's star design. The rest of the jersey is terribly lazy, and the two-toned NHL logo looks really amateurish. I didn't think they could do worse than last year's set, but at least that set was semi-creative. This is a glorified practice jersey, or something you'd see at stores like Walmart for $20. Remove the yellow, and this becomes at least a reasonable set for when the Islanders host the ASG next, but the yellow is just terribly out of place from everything else on the jerseys.
Here's a funny idea, why not use yellow and blue? Or have yellow, blue, white and dark grey, one for each division? More jerseys to sell right? But apparently the NHL isn't interested in selling ASG jerseys; they can't be, or else they wouldn't use this. Lazy, ugly, and a huge letdown from all the possibilities for the new ASG format. 3/10
Alright, that's my rant for today, let's get to some concepts!
COTY-December vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Jan 3-9 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
St. Cloud St. - Ben S.
This set can get away with using two different primary logos, they both look good and work well on hockey jerseys.
Using a black primary instead of red is a good choice.
Colours are well balanced.
Numbers and namebars are well executed.
The "St. Cloud" wordmark looks too high up on the jersey.
While I like the two different logos being used, I don't like the change in arm style.
White jersey is basically what they wear currently.
Overall: Not a bad concept at all, but nothing to get too excited about. 7.4/10
University of North Dakota - Ben S.
Green and white would be a fresh new look with an old throwback feel.
Numbers and names are well executed.
Diamond stripe pattern is interesting and cool.
Stripes support fauxback-ness of set.
Logo too high up.
Diamonds should continue on sides of jersey.
Number on green jersey looks smaller or higher up than white jersey.
As much as I like the green/white combo, I think having black in the design would be better.
Overall: Pretty good, but needs better execution and maybe more black. 7.7/10
Chicago Cougars - Brian B.
Logo is approximately 200x better than the WHA version.
Colours are nicely balanced.
Execution is fantastic.
Modern enough to be relevant today, but still traditional enough to stick to its WHA roots.
You should have something stating what team you're designing for. If I wasn't told what this was, I'd probably guess it was the Cougars, but it's generic enough to be for anything really.
I'd also credit whoever designed the logo, even if you designed it yourself.
On the concept itself, the only thing I'd change is the white numbers. I'd probably use green.
Overall: A beautiful modernization of a gone-and-almost-forgotten team. 8.2/10
Anaheim Ducks - Brooks F.
Most people take the old Ducks jerseys and add the new colours. Brooks does the opposite. The result is bold and very colourful, and very very 90's.
The green logo on a white background looks awesome.
The stripe pattern, including the contrasting arms, looks good.
That alternate jersey is easily the best part, and should be part of Anaheim's actual set.
The green logo on a purple background doesn't look as nice. A white logo may be better, or at least have a white outline instead of purple.
I still think inversing the arms so that green is on the cuffs and the shoulders stay white/purple would look better.
Overall: The alternate is a beauty and I'd love to see it happen. The main set is a bit hard to look at and could use work, but its a cool idea. 8/10
Oregon Ducks - Mario A.
I love the use of grey on this concept.
The colours, including grey, are well balanced.
The wings on the shoulders are a nice touch.
Nice simple, Whalers-esque design.
Consistency. There's no grey on the back of the white jersey.
The font is just plain awful. For a traditional-looking set like this, that font just doesn't cut it.
The logo is pretty pixelated.
The yellow "O" on the white jersey should be a different colour or have a much thicker outline.
Overall: How about... No-regan? Sorry, that was bad. This concept looks okay but needs a lot of work. 6.6/10
University of North Dakota - Taylor R.
This is a very underrated logo, and looks awesome on a hockey jersey.
Much better looking set than their current one.
The amount of black in this concept is perfect, and the other colours are well balanced.
Stripes support a very basic, traditional set, which fits UND nicely.
A newly renamed team could have an opportunity at a totally new logo. This concept is fine without one, but it would be interesting to see a more complete rebrand.
Overall: Beauty set, and a major improvement to their current one, which is pretty good to begin with. 9.5/10
So my COTW nominee for today is Taylor R's University of North Dakota concept!
So that's my post for today. Don't forget to vote for COTW & COTY-December, as well as weep for your departing Sunday writer.
Just kidding, no weeping required. That would be kind of weird.
Anyways, thanks for reading, and see you next week!