Did you know there's a recall out on Clif Bars? Neither did I! This post comes to you from my couch, where my stomach feels like what Brent Burns' beard looks like.
Doubtless you have read the news of the Florida Panthers' new jersey set and logos, and read a myriad of reviews about the same. The rumored appearance was pretty spot-on. The rumors and concepts over the last few months in a way served to cushion the blow of a radically different redesign.
Overall, I very much liked the new direction. It's greatest strength is the feel of intention and cohesion. It's a great look, which I feel could stand the test of time.
Not all clean sheet redesigns go well. You could look at Carolina as a warning, seeing that a lack of clear identity and detail in a design leaves you feeling dissatisfied in its generic malaise. Nashville did it right, with clear intention, an eye to a brand marketing vision, and cohesive detailing. Florida, I believe, rivals Nashville in terms of it's rebrand's success. One of their new jerseys will hopefully find its way into my collection very soon.
Now let's get it on.
Buffalo Sabres Concept - Ryan C.
Positives: Color balance is great. I really like the white jersey here. It reminds me of the Sabres old fauxback third, which I liked. Execution is perfect.
Negatives: The crest used is okay for a third jersey, but it doesn't work as well in this capacity. The problem is that the logo doesn't have any element that even hints to you what the name of the team is. There's nothing that says "Sabres."
Overall: I'd love to see that white jersey as an alternate. We don't have enough light alternates in the league, and that's the stronger of the two jerseys here. (8/10)
LA Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks Winter Classic Concept - Josiah B.
Positives: I really like the striping on the Kings jersey here; especially the pants stripes. I'm always in favor of diagonal striping and bringing back the old Ducks logo.
Negatives: No sleeve numbers? Come on. That's essential. Typeface can make or break a jersey. The Ducks jersey is too dark. The shoulder yoke isn't necessary. The arm stripes and sock stripes should be moved down. There's just not enough white space. It would be interesting to see what the backs of the jerseys look like.
Overall: The Kings jersey has potential, but the Ducks jersey needs work. No sleeve numbers is a disappointment. (6.6/10)
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers Winter Classic Concept - Josiah B.
Positives: Using more black would appease some Lightning fans. I can take it or leave it. Colors are balanced well on that jersey, though. The amount of white is more appropriate on the Panthers jersey here than the Ducks jersey above. I like the use of the brighter gold.
Negatives: Again, no sleeve numbers. Typeface is important to the cohesion and realism of a concept. The roundel logos just aren't as good as both team's primaries, especially the Panthers'. Neither design is ground breaking or exciting in any way.
What is "modern style Stanley Cup color options?"
Overall: Lack of imagination. No sleeve numbers. You can do better. (6/10)
Calgary Flames Concept - Ti N.
Positives: This biggest thing this concept improves one over the Flames current set is what it omits: the flag shoulder patches and black. The typeface looks good. Colors are balanced well. The red and yellow are muted a little, which I think actually looks better. It's not as overwhelming. Including numbers on the helmets is a nice detail.
Negatives: The pant stripes probably aren't necessary, especially as the pattern doesn't match the rest of the set.
Overall: Calgary could introduce these tomorrow and it would be an improvement. (8.5/10)
Minnesota Wild Concept - Lucas D.
Positives: The main problem the Wild have (and have had for years) is that their home, away, and alternate jerseys look like jerseys for three different teams. They don't match at all. They use three different logos! It drives me crazy. Lucas gives them a more cohesive look here. Colors are balanced well. Execution looks good. It's clear that the starting point of Lucas's inspiration was the Wild's current away jersey, which is the right direction to take the team. Their white jersey is their strongest design.
Negatives: Other than the $200 million "family man?" I wouldn't mind if Minnesota dropped the wheat color entirely. Their away jersey looks cleaner, more modern, and more crisp and concise without using it prominently.
Overall: While I prefer the Wild's current away jersey to what Lucas proposes, the overall set is an improvement. (8.5/10)
EHC Red Bull Munchen (Munich) Concept - Jay S.
Positives: The typeface looks great on the home/away. I like the italicized effect here. Colors are balanced well. Execution looks good. The direction of the alternate is interesting.
Negatives: With the alternate, I wouldn't keep the same yoke on. It needs something different. The numbers interrupt the diagonal stripes awkwardly. Maybe going with just white for the letters and numbers might work better here. It would increase legibility. In my opinion, chest stripe jerseys look top-heavy when you include a yoke.
Overall: Some good ideas here. The alternate needs refinement. (7.5/10)
Nurnberg (Nuremberg) Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers Concept - Jay S.
Positives: Isn't it annoying how Euro teams not only sell ads, but will include corporate sponsorship in their team name? Anyway, the white jersey looks like what would happen if you combined the Rangers and Bruins. The result looks good, though. Execution is good.
Negatives: Must every team and every jersey have a Bruins-esque yoke? The alternate here is essentially the Munich jersey above. My opinion on chest stripes with yokes still holds.
Overall: When creating concepts for a league, it's best to consider how that team will look in the context of your conceptual world. Here, there is too much uniformity, just with these two concepts. That logo is far too aggressive for the highly traditional designs here. (7/10)
Calgary Flames Concept - Zack R.
Positives: Well, there's no flag patches. I like that Zack is trying to think outside the box here. Using their new alternate logo is a good choice.
Negatives: The design reminds me of a practice jersey. Piping, like "fetch," was never a thing. Reebok tried to make it a thing, but it never caught on. Show me a jersey with piping, and I'll show you a jersey I can improve by removing the piping. The home jersey is too dark. It needs some white to give you eyes some relief. The sleeve numbers are tiny, meaning they wouldn't be legible from the stands, or on camera during game action, which defeats their purpose.
Overall: The main issue here is that the designs are behind trends. It feels like something from 2007. Problem is, that was nearly a decade ago. (6/10)
Minnesota Wild Concept - Tyler M.
Positives: As I mentioned above with Lucas's concept, Minnesota has a continuity problem. All three of their jerseys are different and use different logos. Giving them a more cohesive look is Tyler's main mission here. He does succeed in that the home and away look like they belong to the same team.
Negatives: Not using the bear-head logo is a huge mistake, as that is one of the best logos in sports. Phantom yokes and piping came from the era of MySpace, and need to go the way of MySpace. Using red on the collar insert just isn't enough. It's ok to do that on an alternate, but less excusable for a home/away set. The alternate also has issues. Doing a North Stars throwback is a good idea. I'm not wholly opposed to recoloring the bear-head logo, but keeping the wheat outline was a bad decision. Having the bear-head on the shoulders in the normal color scheme makes no sense at all. It's not cohesive. Also, presentation style leaves a lot of dead space on the concept image.
Overall: A myriad of style issues here. I'd just take this back to the drawing board. (6/10)
Montreal Maroons Concept - Tyler M.
Positives: The numbers look excellent against the chest stripe. The outline around the numbers was done perfectly. I love that. It's simple, but very crisp and aesthetically pleasing.
Negatives: The socks don' match the jersey. The jersey says "light" but the socks say "dark." Can't have both. Which is it? Also, I don't think the Candiens patch is necessary. The red clashes with the maroon of the jersey.
Overall: Needs some minor refinements. (7/10)
Buffalo Beauts Concept - Fernando M.
Positives: I've really been enjoying Fernando's NWHL concepts. The sock design is really cool. The yoke is traditional, but just different enough to be interesting. Execution and presentation is very professional.
Negatives: I could use a little white on the dark jersey. I could take or leave the contrasting nameplate on the white jersey.
Overall: Another high-quality NWHL concept from Fernando. (8.75/10)
Edmonton Oilers Concept - Steven G.
Positives: The idea behind this series is very interesting: presenting a concept with minor fixes and a concept with more radical changes side-by-side. Execution on both designs is very good. Steven shows the flexibility of his template (of which I am a huge fan) with these designs. The changes on the "ideal" concept are very, very minor. The key difference is the yoke/collar outline. I think it's an improvement. I really like the creativity behind the "new look" concept as well. It further connects the jersey to the logo and name of the team by using an extended oil drop for an elongated shoulder yoke. The typeface becomes more organic to fit the new aesthetic direction. The horizontal stripes at the cuff and hem help ground the whole look. I like both designs.
Negatives: The pant detail (can you call it a stripe even?) is so small, it doesn't add anything. It would be better left without it.
Overall: Steven shows an ability to refine an already outstanding design, and the courage and creativity to completely redesign it. I love it. (9/10) COTW nomination from me!
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COTW May 27 - June 2 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
HJC Open Logo entries (due Friday @ noon Eastern)