We've got some great concepts today for the upcoming Las Vegas expansion, a concept for Nashville that doesn't suck, and another concept from Ryan H!
Speaking of Ryan, his computer is down at the moment, so until further notice, HJC competitions and other functions of HJC are on hold. There will still be some articles next week, we just can't guarantee much beyond that. I've already read the articles, and I can tell you now that you're definitely going to want to give them a read.
Yes, today is my last post. I'm not burned out. The demands of being a high school teacher have simply become too consuming for me to be able to create posts that are of the quality I expect from myself. Last year I was able to make it work well, but this year I was given two new classes. Let's not focus on that right now, though. I'm saving my article for the end. Let's focus on today's concepts.
Las Vegas Knights Concept - Spencer R.
Positives: It just makes sense to use "Vegas Gold." It's named after the city, and Pittsburgh doesn't use it any more. Using Vegas Gold for an away jersey is interesting. I'm not diametrically opposed to it, but gold vs. Vegas Gold would look terrible in Nashville. The name itself is probably the best for the new Las Vegas team, but the word is the London Knights are blocking the name. The hem striping reminds of Christian Legault's Quebec Nordiques redesign from a couple years ago. Execution and presentation are phenomenal. Creating your own logos is hard. Much respect for that.
Negatives: I respect creating your own logo, but the lines are a little too soft for me. It doesn't communicate the resolute conviction that you associate a knight. I'd like to see the back of the jersey. The arm stripes are boilerplate.
Overall: It's a really well executed introductory set. (8.75/10)
Tampa Bay Lightning Concept - Jared L.
Positives: Asymmetry. I think the Bolts could really pull it off.
Negatives: No sleeve numbers. It's so blurry I can hardly make it out. Unreadable nameplate. The file name says this is "Euro style" but I can't recall seeing many Euro jerseys with numbers on the front and back that are the same size. Phantom yokes add nothing. That's a trend Reebok tried to get going almost 10 years ago, and it's well out of vogue now. The original file is so small I can't really make anything else out other than that.
Overall: I'm not going to rate it. A rating's not going to help you. Just read the above comments, and refine.
St. Louis Blues Concept - Ryan H.
Positives: You see a jersey: traditional striping, colors balanced, execution like a like scalpel in the hands of jeweler. By god, that's Ryan Haslett's music. Two concepts in two weeks. #blessed
The yellow is downplayed, but I've never thought it made sense for team named the "Blues" anyway. What yellow there is pops. Does it look too old? No, having lived around Missourians for three years, they never tire of feeling steeped in tradition and heritage. Picture this paired with a '47 brand cleanup hat that has a St. Louis Browns logo in Cardinals colors on it. They eat that stuff up. I can't say anything though because I have one of those hats, and I wish I had this jersey to pair it with.
Negatives: It could be panned for being too similar to the Canadiens. What would Chicago wear? A dark jersey?
Overall: A bit safe, but the elements come together so well. Execution is like Michael Phelps a pool turn. You've seen it a few times, but you still know it's better than anything your could hope to throw together. (9/10) Concept of the Week nomination from me!
*Side note* This year's Winter Classic horrifies me. It combines the two most hard-drinking visiting fanbases I've ever seen. If you so much as walk within a mile of that stadium on game day your blood alcohol level is going to raise by at least a few points. The only people who are going to remember this game are going to be the people who watch at home. There's going to be enough angry drunk midwestern white men to put a Trump rally to shame. Do not want.
Nashville Predators Concept - Tyler M-S.
Positives: I'm glad the last concept I review is for Nashville. Feels poetic. Keeping the gold is the only way to go. Colors are balanced well, a difficult thing when working with this shade of gold. It's so often misused. Execution (with the exception of one thing mentioned below) is good. The gold jersey is sharp, even if it is too traditional. Good use of Steven's template, which is my template of choice.
Negatives: I don't think the Bruins-esque design fits the team's personality or marketing aesthetic. It feels derivative. I think you almost have to go organic with the Preds. The guitar string stripes on the numbers has a string missing. There are five instead of six.
Overall: I think one of these could work as an alternate, but not in love with set as a whole enough to want to see this come to fruition. (8/10)
It's that time of year again. The day when I look at the weather as I leave work, and the high is below 80. Some of you Canadians and northerners probably would still hate that, but below 80 in the South is practically fall. This means my hockey jersey collection makes a return. It's that time of year where the guy who bags my groceries asks me what Suomi means, when a coworker tells me about the one time he went to a hockey game and saw a fight, or ask me how the Preds are doing.
Why do I love jersey design so much? Why hockey jerseys?
Sometimes I wonder if it's simply color combinations. Other times I think its the patterns and clear organization. Possibly it's the act of wearing something that represents something beyond myself, that it implies inclusion in a selective tribe of fandom. Maybe it's functional art, which has been obsession as mine for as long as I can remember.
My room when I was a kid was baseball-style pinstripes trimmed in a pattern that prominently featured the Tennessee Volunteers' old Davy Crockett logo. I wore my Eddie George and Reggie White jerseys so often that my mother had to wash them twice a week. I wore a sports jersey almost every day of the week during the warmer months, when PE and recess were just extensions of the same endless football game we'd been playing for years. We used my football. I still have it.
In recent years I have felt alienated with the world of football I grew up in, though. Make no mistake, I will never not love the Tennessee Vols. However, NFL feels more like a cold empire now than ever. I look around the league and see little to no names I recognize. My heroes are gone, and I know the grinding game I grew up watching is too.
But hockey. Hockey I chose. Hockey embraces. Hockey is action, unrelenting. There's detail in this game. I could feel it the first time I stepped in Bridgestone. I could hear it in the comments raining down from Section 303. There was a depth and emotion in this game if one took the time to see it and learn it.
The biggest thing on a football jersey is the numbers. After that, the name. Without those things, there's nothing really on it. Hockey jerseys are much more. It says something about the team, the place where you are from. A hockey jersey is like wrapping yourself in the flag of your chosen tribe.
You say are a member of a family, one that chooses to look deeper.
Being here, you know that. Even if you've never realized.