Hat Comp

March 31, 2016

Thursday: In My Opinion...

As most of the regular readers of this site know, us writers review these concepts based on nothing more than our opinions. The reason for that? There really isn't a way to review them any other way.

Thinking about it the other day, I realized there's only one thing that is truly objective to a hockey jersey - the execution. For those who don't know, the execution has to do with the technical aspects of a concept - the way the stitching is arranged, and in general, just having things in the right place. You can understand how that aspect is objective, since otherwise the jersey will not be constructed properly. The rest of it is truly subjective, based on nothing more than one's opinion.

However, there are many features of designs that myself, along with many others, would say makes a jersey better almost every time. Those types of features I would consider "objective" to a jersey design - things like hem stripes or jerseys that are colorful, to name a few examples. At least in my opinion, and a lot of other people's as well, that'll almost always improve a jersey design, but take note that I still said "in my opinion".

So for those of you who send concepts in, just keep this in mind, because even if we disagree with a design choice you make, that doesn't make us right and you wrong. Of course, that doesn't mean to outright ignore us either, because we do these reviews in order to help you make your concepts better, and we still know what makes a good hockey jersey more often than not.

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So that's my little "rant" for today. I was honestly expecting it to be a bit longer, but I suppose it's quality, not quantity, that counts.

Voting is pretty simple this week, with only the COTW vote. Like Phil said yesterday, the minimum amount of work for this is two clicks, since you're already here reading this.

COTW March 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern) 

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We can't move on to the daily concepts quite yet though. The pairs competition is not over yet, and today's presentations belong to Dylan A. & Matt M., who have created a Winter Classic concept; and Brooks F. & Ben S., who have created a Turn Back The Clock event. You can find their presentations on the HJC Design Blog, right HERE.

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And now we move on to the concepts!


Alan H. - Milwaukee Admirals
+I like the obvious Nordiques reference/inspiration, although I'm not sure I understand it for Milwaukee.
+The font fits perfectly with this concept.
-There's a bit of an overload of anchors on this concept, I'd sub another logo in on the shoulders at least.
-The arms are still quite plain, they could use a bit more of a design.
Overall: 8.5/10 and my COTW Nomination


Lucas D. - Carolina Hurricanes
+The Canes have a pretty plain design currently, a new and more unique one wouldn't hurt.
+Good color balance and it plays off of the current design well.
+The font fits well - but the name could use some spacing
-The warning flag pattern would be perfect in the red of the hem stripe 
-The arm design feels disconnected from the hem design to me, but I definitely do see how you arranged it and it works.
Overall: 8/10


Ryan C. - Boston Bruins
+Yellow as the primary color looks great.
+The black "outline" around the thin stripe looks perfect and keeps the yellow and white from conflicting with each other.
+The font fits really well.
+I think the conflicting nameplates actually work here
-Not a fan of the front numbers.
-I see what you're going for, but I think the logo is too plain for a jersey set.
-I think the name on the white jersey would look better in white. The numbers are fine though.
Overall: 8/10


Tyler K. - Sudbury Wolves
+Simple, solid design
+Good logo choice. Their current one definitely needs replaced and keeping it on the alternate is a smart idea since it's the only one they've ever really used.
+Great job getting the name, captain's patch, and OHL patch to contrast well on the fauxback without it looking awkward or out of place.
-The striping pattern may be a bit too simple, not evoking any sort of identity for the team.
-The gray has some conflict issues with the blue when they touch.
-The fauxback is way too busy. I'd lose the shoulder stripes and full arm yoke, and then just extend the arm stripes to take up the full arm.
Overall: 7.5/10


Vaughn R. - Victoria Grizzlies
+It's hard for me to tell, but the Grizzlies appear to have very plain jerseys and are in need of a redesign. You took care of that here.
+I like the prominence of white on the away jersey, and it balances out the colors well.
+In most places, the yellow and white contrast pretty well. The only questionable area would be the the numbers on the away jersey and only the TV numbers on the home.
-The hem stripes should come higher up, and the gold stripe should be thicker.
-I think either the logo you used on the next concept, or the one that's inside of the roundel, would look better than the roundel itself.
Overall: 8/10

+Usually I would prefer a fresh design for an alternate, but this one is different enough to work.
+As I mentioned, I like this logo better than the roundel.
+The numbers contrast well on this concept.
+/-Same things apply to this concept as the last, such as the prominence of white and the hem stripe issue.
Overall: 8/10

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And that's all! I hope you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading, and I'll see you all again next week.

March 30, 2016

Wednesday: Double Trouble

Welcome back to HJC for another Wednesday With Phil!

The Pairs Competition is finished and the presentations are rolling along. Today we have presentations from the Double J's in the advanced division (JJ and J3), and the Double Writers in the intermediate division (Steven M and myself).

Here's the teaser from JJ and J3 again. They are going global here.


And here's Steven and I presenting the All Star Game in New York City. But not at the World's Most Famous (Overrated) Arena.


Full presentations will be posted on the HJC Design Blog, which you can access here:

http://www.hjcdesignblog.blogspot.ca/2016/03/phil-steve-j3-jj.html

Here's your voting reminder. It's just one vote. It's not that hard. Scroll up. Click literally 2 buttons, one for the concept you want and one to submit the first click. Do it.

COTW March 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern) 

And here we go! On to the Concepts!


Jay S: Utah Jazz (NBA) Concept


Jay loves crossovers almost as much as I do clearly as he continues his NBA crossover series. The Jazz are a team that fortunately has a distinct enough shade of yellow to not blend in with the white. A simple and clean concept good enough for a team in a major league. Yet the angle stripes provide a look suitable for Utah. Only gripes I have are the lack of white on the pants, lack of green on the gloves and the small nameplate.

Music to my ears: 83%

Ryan C: Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) Concept


Clean execution as usual from Ryan. Now with Hamilton going to the black and gold like the TigerCats, this is a look that definitely separates itself from the Penguins look alike that they will don next year. And my is this unique. Beautiful balance of the black and gold. The shoulder striping here is a fantastic look. I just want to see how this would look with a hem stripe.

Major league look for junior hockey: 93%


Steven G: Los Angeles Kings concept


Steven sends us two concepts, one with the classic Forum Blue (purple) and yellow, the other with deep purple and silver, ditching the black from 1998-2011. We start with the latter. Steven uses the collar from this past Winter Classic, providing a nice throwback touch to these. The main problem here is the silver on white. I feel like using black as a trim would help this concept out significantly. If not, then add a trim of the purple used here. The striping itself is magnificent, going back to the Gretzky-era look of the numbers in the striping. Maybe we could make the logo slightly bigger?

I'm done with Royal jokes on these: 80%


Steven M: Los Angeles Kings concept II


Same thing here except with the classic colors. Yellow as the primary jersey color works here, as it did back in 1967. Yellow on white is a problem here. Not much else to say. I do like the other color set better though.

Remember what I said about Kings jokes? 78%


Vaughn R: Vernon Vipers Concept


Vernon currently wears Atlanta Thrashers lookalikes, although its easier to own that look now since the Thrashers don't exist anymore. The home jersey looks spectacular from a striping standpoint. I think navy blue numbers would look better, with a double outline of gold and then navy again It would look more consistent with the striping. The away jersey is interesting to say the least, as while the striping is identical, the colors are quite different. The gold stripes get lost against the yellow. The logo and number choice is interesting to say the least. It works with that logo and I think it's a decent look overall. Again, separate the yoke nameplate and numbers.

Snake-bitten with your execution: 65%


Vaughn R: Vernon Vipers (BCHL) Alternate Concept


This one looks just lazy. Paint-bucket fill on the arms and the unnecessary phantom yoke. It's a cool font used from the Lightning, but it doesn't fit here, especially since the white and black around the numbers and nowhere else beyond the logo. This needs a lot of work. The Lakers (as this concept provides a throwback from the Vipers) used to wear Edmonton Oilers replicas, and those were a better look for them than this, though only slightly lazier. Separate the yoke, nameplate and numbers.

Glass half full or half empty? 50%


The winner of my COTW nomination is  Ryan C  and his  Hamilton Bulldogs Concept .

Actually now that I think of it, "Wednesday With Phil" sounds like the worst TV show ever. If anyone wants to come up with ideas about what that show is about, comment below. Best joke gets valuable/meaningless points. See you next week!

March 29, 2016

Tuesday: Jerseypalosa!

Hi everybody. Steve tapping in for another glorious Tuesday post. Sorry but the title doesn't mean anything fun or different. It was just to grab your attention.

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Anyways, today is the first day of the Pairs Competition postings. First up in this shootout between designers are Dylan G & Zeke G in the intermediate division and William B and Vaughn R in the advanced division. Good luck to both teams today.
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We also have the COTW voting as well people. I'm hoping that us repeating that on a daily basis will make you guys do it because remember, the people who designed these worked hard to get a nomination and showing them support will only help them and you in the future.

COTW March 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern) 

To the Concepts!

Jay Schreyer- Washington Wizards 3rd
Positives: Using the classic color scheme was a good idea for a third. The wide hem stripe is also a nice touch to this.
Negatives: The placement of the numbers look a little low. they almost reach the elbow, which could cause issues with bending. Also, the golden finger tips on the gloves just don't go well with the overall glove design. Perhaps tone the gold down on the glove to an accent color.
Overall: 6/10
  
 Jay Schreyer- Washington Wizards
Positives: The design is very traditional but effective for the color scheme and logo. Using the silver has an accent was nice touch to the jersey as well. Overall, this jersey looks cleaner than the alternate.
Negatives: It would have been nice to see the silver accent stripe moved onto the pants to have total uniformity. That and please change the red jersey's letters to white or add a white outline for a better contrast.
Overall: 7.5/10

Lucas Daitchman- Toronto Maple Leafs 
Positives: I'll admit that this is the first Leafs concept I've seen where I like the silver having a bigger part in the color scheme. The design is traditional, but unique enough to the NHL that it can be seen as it's own design. Also, the "T" in the maple leaf using the silver to give it a beveled look turned out really well.
Negatives: I don't really have anything bad to say about the design itself. My suggestion is that you could lose the white cuffs and the jersey would still look effective. The white cuffs are just really sticking out to me and drawing me away from the overall design, but that's just me.
Overall: 8.5/10 COTW NOMINEE

Ryan Christensen- Owensboro Icemen 
Positives: Very clean execution Ryan. The hem and sleeve stripes with the double accents are a nice touch to this jesey and adding the long cuffs to the white jersey was a nice touch.
Negatives: the Blues-looking yoke isn't really necessary. A "less is more" approach could be taken with this yoke because the stripping on the jersey itself is so effective. And, same as your Penguins design, the TV numbers are just a little bit too small.
Overall: 7.75/10 

Vaughn Roberts- Trail Smoke Eaters
Positives: The Orange and white design works pretty well overall here. The three equal stripes works is something not really seen on any jersey because it usually doesn't work, but here it does so good job on that.
Negatives: Lose the different color name plates. They aren't working on this jersey. Other than that you have a pretty solid design.
Overall: 7.5/10

Positives: Same as above, just in a black and orange color scheme. Really nice job.
Negatives: That nameplate! also, a little white wouldn't hurt your design either.
Overall: 7.5/10

Well, we've come to the end of the line for the concepts today kiddies. Come back tomorrow to read Phil B's post as well as our Pairs Competition entry. Once again, good luck to all who entered into the Pairs competition and I hope everybody has a good rest of the week. Steve M tapping out.
  

March 28, 2016

Monday: Memories of the Playoff Variety

Welcome to another Monday post!

Remember to get your Podcast Questions in, as it will be happening soon!

With the playoffs coming up, I thought I'd discuss my favourite playoff series in recent memory. Obviously these are going to be limited to 2000-2015 since anything older I was in preschool and I can't predict the future (yet). What does make a good playoff series? It doesn't necessarily mean your team wins, but it's one that is competitive, notorious, and perhaps best of all, good looking jerseys. Some of these may call back to playoff pain, but others may call back to glory.

Let's take a look!

Toronto v. Philadelphia, 2004 Eastern Conference SF


One of the first playoff series I can remember following the entire, glued to the newspaper and tv, watching my Maple Leafs try to take on those pesky Flyers. To call that Flyers team memorable would be an understatement and for all the wrong reasons. Esche, LeClair, Desjardins, Amonte, Roenick, and others, this team were the bad guys to the Sundin led Leafs. Of course the jerseys are classic 2000s, that TML patch has a soft spot to me. That heartbreaking 3-2 OT loss at the ACC was hard enough to watch on TV, I can't imagine being there. To this day I still like playing Leafs v. Flyers in these jerseys in NHL15 and try to get that series back, even if it is just pixels.

Chicago V. Philadelphia, 2010 SCF

Photo from bigmouthsports.com
Amazing a difference 6 years makes, the Flyers go from the villains to the heroes. The Blackhawks were the stacked young team almost destined to win the cup, why the Flyers were this scrappy young team filled with likeable players, and of course the "greatest" goalie tandem in NHL history. The jerseys were two ends of the Reebok spectrum, templated/cookie cutter thing and exactly the same as pre-edge. The two teams were opposite of the spectrum in terms of their journeys to the Cup Finals, but the Flyers certainly made it interesting. I remember biking to the convince store to get groceries only to come back, book it to the basement and right as I turn the corner, Patrick Kane wins the Blackhawks the Cup. Not the way I had hoped it would go, but one I'll always remember.

Winnipeg v. Anaheim, 2015 Western Conference QF


While waiting for the Jets to return, I was a Leafs, Canucks and then Flyers fan, but once the Jets came back, I was dedicated to them fully. It was hard to first watch the Jets struggle with the Thrashers mess and playing in a division the team certainly shouldn't have been in, but they came close twice in the East. Once they went to the West though, the Jets were ready for some playoff action. Being in Halifax, and having games be at least 2 hours ahead of 7pm, it was sometimes hard to catch the games while beginning finals season, but I was out there in my Jets gear and watching every game I could. Sure it was a pipe dream to think the team would actually win, but finally seeing a White Out not in an era of Pogs was something else. I look forward to the next time the Jets make the playoffs and I can get some whiteout gear myself. Oh and Anaheim, get bent and knocked out in the QF this year by SJ or NSH.

Vancouver v. Dallas, 2007 Western Conference QF


FINALLY, ONE WHERE THE GOOD GUYS WIN (I have this problem in every sport, don't worry).  The Canucks won me over after the lockout, and while I was in reccentre basketball one night, Vancouver was beating the Stars. Sadly, being 11 and STILL having a bedtime meant you'd have to get up to watch Sportscentre a little earlier in the morning to see if the Canucks could do it, and yes, they did. Of course the Ducks would later beat the Canucks in the SF, but hey, a victory over the Stars is a victory of the Stars, at a time where they were the team to beat.

I'm sure you the reader have some playoff memories, hopefully one with a better than 25% winning percentage (I know Caz and the Blackhawks Brigade have some Ws to cheer about). Tell me about them next to your podcast question.

Hey, you know what you should check out after you read this post...or pause here to look at this. Today's Pairs competition entry! Check it out here! Don't worry, I'll wait until you've read it.

Also don't forget your weekly COTW voting duty, can't forget about that eh?

COTW March 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

On to the concepts!

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Pittsburgh Penguins Concepts (By: Ryan C.)


+ Beautiful colours that all pop! It's funny how this colour scheme can work when balanced perfectly without looking Bruins-esque
+ The 'Canes yoke shape works pretty well
+ I'm getting a Pirates vibe from the yellow jersey which certainly would be nice to see from the Pens
+ Ryan's execution is always good!

- This concept is good, but not exciting; Realistic, but there could be so much more to it
- TV numbers are too small, only slightly
- The Pens logo in all white doesn't look bad, but it needs some yellow on it to work

Rating: 8/10

Philadelphia Flyers Concepts (By: Jay S.)


+ It'd be awesome to see a Flyers team attempt a full set based around their alternate, and to use an actual
+ Colours are well balanced to an extent, but we'll get on how I'd improve it
+ The Liberty Bell logo, even in a roundel, really works and it'd be great to see something like that used full time
+ Good execution

- This is one of those cases where the colours aren't balanced but both jerseys work. it would be nice to see how the white jersey would looks with the black and orange flipped, but to me, it looks like 2 separate jerseys, not part of a set
- The Keystone patch should be on all the jerseys

Rating: 8.5/10

Lehigh Valley Phantoms AHL Concepts (By: Bradley D.)


+ I enjoy the Phantoms using the flyers colours (+purple) and with unique striping, and Bradley is doing this pretty well on the home and road
+ The orange jersey is classic and good enough for an alternate
+ Good execution

- The shade of orange on the alternate is this really nice shade or burnt orange that works well with purple and black, but its neon looking on the home and road, I would have gone for that shade
- The socks on the home and road need more colour to match the jersey more
- The white jersey should have an orange and black hem stripe on it like on the black jersey

Rating: 7.5/10

Surrey Eagles BCHL Concepts (By: Vaughn R.)


+ I like the copious amounts of green, it makes the logo pop more
+ The old Caps numbers work for this jersey

- Blue numbers are harder to read on the green jersey than white numbers would be
- The jerseys are REALLY plain. A shoulder patch would help that a lot!
- The green jersey looks really out of place with the white yoke without the blue outline
- The way the patches are laid out is odd the SP patch under collar makes no sense since it's a Reebok template, and like in the OHL, anniversary patches tend to go under the Captain's C/A, putting in on the shoulder would work better

Rating: 5.5/10

Surrey Eagles BCHL Concept (By: Vaughn R.)


+ I dig the hem striping, it works with the arm striping on the logo

- The same problem with the SP patch under the collar
- The green numbers on a blue jersey REALLY clash hard, and aren't lined up properly
- The arms are very paint-buckety, The arms would look great if they resembled the Eagle's jersey a  little more and vertical version of the hem stripe
- Needs a shoulder patch again

Rating: 5/10

St. Louis Blues Concept (By: Lucas D.)


+ Now this is quote the striping pattern, it's very similar to the Blues jerseys now...but if you used the yoke as the base for the entire striping
+ Colours are balanced perfectly!
+ Great execution
+ It's funny how a jersey can be both modern and would fit in in almost every era in the past 60 years

- This jersey screams it needs a double blue trumpet shoulder patch

Rating: 9/10 COTW Nom. from me!

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That's the post!
Don't forget to vote for COTW 
Also don't forget to check out today's Pairs Competition on the Design Blog!
Have a great week! 
Go Jets, Moose & Mooseheads 

March 27, 2016

Trending

This season marks the middle of our current decade in the NHL. Usually by this point you can get a feel of an extended trend in hockey design. Let's take a look at each decade and see what trends come to light:

(Note: I am summarizing each decade based on each 5-6 year. Not all references will refer to a specific year.  The purpose is merely finding over-arching trends rather than a historical summary of league aesthetic.That means don't comment saying that I said Nashville entered the league in 2005. I simply mean it's the first decade they appear.)

Image Credit: Thirdstringgoalie.blogspot.com
1925-1926Barber pole striping is the order of the day. Check out the New York Americans and Ottawa Senators. Understatement is not a concern. Only Boston uses a mascot in their logo branding. Ottawa has no logo at all. Every team uses a ringed sweater collar, except for the New York Americans, who use a turtleneck collar. All teams use the same jersey at home and on the road.


Image Credit: BetweenthePosts
1935-1936: Only one team (Boston) doesn't use some shade of blue or red. Chest stripes are used by five of the eight teams. Turtleneck-style collars are gone. Three teams use a mascot in their branding (Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto) but only Detroit does not have an accompanying script declaring their team location/name. Ottawa and Pittsburgh are gone, and Toronto is now the Maple Leafs. Chicago, Detroit, and the New York Rangers enter the league. Four teams now have a white alternate jersey that they use on the road.


Image Credit: Taken from Flickr user leswill. Image is of Dutch Hiller (1946)
1945-1946: Barber pole striping has been gone for awhile, and chest stripes are fading from hockey as well. Chicago has not gotten the memo yet, though. One third of the league has a jersey with no logo. Only one team uses no red in their jersey set. Contrasting shoulder yokes have become a thing. The Montreal Maroons and New York Americans are no more. Only the Bruins and Rangers have a solitary jersey used at home and on the road.


Image Credit: blackhawks.nhl.com
1955-1956: A trend towards clean lines and simplicity is nearing it's peak. Boston remains resolute in a league completely dominated by red and blue. Boston and the NHL All-Star game jersey bring back barber pole striping. Pre-war nostalgia? Half the league now uses tie-down collars instead of traditional sweater-style collars. The Rangers introduce drop-shadow effect in the league. Chicago switches to a mascot-only logo, joining Detroit in that regard. Every team now has a home/away jersey. Boston goes from one jersey only, to three. Chicago is the only team in the league with a shoulder/arm patch.


Image Credit: Sportslogos.net
1965-1966: The trend of clean lines, color balance, and simplicity reaches its zenith. You could argue the league never looked as good as it did during this era, and has never looked as good since. You could say the same of car design, advertising, and men's fashion accessories. It's a golden age of design. Chicago has begun using a V-neck collar. Only Boston and Detroit still use the old style sweater collar. The rest of the league, and the ASG jersey, uses tie-down collars. Maybe the biggest change of all: every team now uses sleeve numbers. 


Image Credit: found via delphiforums from user SealsFan1. No idea who the original photographer is.
1975-1976: The first wave of major expansion; Buffalo, Atlanta, California Golden Seals, LA, Kansas City, Minnesota, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Vancouver, and Washington are introduced. The predominant trend is bright colors. Only one team (Boston) uses a black jersey. Only three of eighteen teams use any black at all. Only Detroit continues soldiering on with an old-style sweater collar. V-necks are the most popular collar of the day, which have enabled the introduction of layered collar stripes. Tie-downs are only used by three teams. Two teams (Philly and Toronto) use striping that extends the entire arm span of the jersey. Teams have begun putting player names on the backs of jerseys, though only on the road.


Image Credit: canucks.nhl.com
1985-1986: The Kansas City Scouts, California Golden Seals, and Atlanta Flames are gone. The Calgary Flames, Hartford Whalers, New Jersey Devils, Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets are introduced. The trend of brighter colors continues. Eight teams now use "Athletic Gold" (AKA yellow) in their branding. Two teams (Vancouver and LA) use it for their light jerseys. Four teams now use full-length arm striping (Toronto, LA, Philly, and Winnipeg). The All-Star Game jerseys follow that trend. Every team now uses a V-neck collar, with Detroit finally making the switch. All jerseys now include player names. Helmets are used league-wide, with dark and light helmets for home and away games.


Image Credit: TheRoyalHalf (can you have a more 90s screenshot?)
1995-1996: Minnesota has moved to Dallas, and the Nordiques are now the Colorado Avalanche. Ottawa returns, and the Lightning, Sharks, and Panthers emerge. This is the single strangest year in NHL jersey history. This is the year of the Burger King jersey, the Wild Wing, the Winnie-the-Pooh jersey, The Robo-Penguin, the infamous Fishsticks jerseys, Vancouver's gradient alternate, and the star-shaped alternate. Angular striping and organic patterns are the trend of the era. Twelve teams have a jersey that doesn't use horizontal stripes. Three teams have incorporated teal in their branding. The V-neck collar celebrates two decades of complete dominance. Four teams now use arched nameplates. Fifteen teams now include logos on their helmets, with Winnipeg using different helmet logos for home and road games. Five teams now include alternate jerseys in their sets.


Image Credit: ducks.nhl.com
2005-2006: Reebok takes over. The NHL returns to Minnesota. Carolina replaces Hartford, Winnipeg moves to Arizona, and league expands to Columbus and Nashville. The decade is dominated by one trend: Black For Black's Sake, now infamously and derisively known as BFBS. Five teams now have a black alternate, with two more including alternates that introduce black as a trim color. Sixteen teams have now incorporated black into their team branding. Twenty-one teams now have an alternate jersey in their rotation. Darker, "edgier" colors are the order of the day. The tie-down collar makes a comeback, with twelve teams now using them on at least one of their jerseys. Vancouver and Montreal wear vintage jerseys for a select few games. Minnesota introduces "Fauxback" into the jersey lexicon with their alternate jersey incorporating a roundel logo. Edgy black jerseys are the trend, but a trend towards vintage design is already starting. This is one of the last years before Reebok introduces it's template designs.


Image Credit: bluejackets.nhl.com
2015-2016: Reebok's last year as manufacturer. Atlanta moves to Winnipeg. Nineteen teams have an alternate jersey. Six teams now have a black alternate. Two are latecomers to a party that died awhile ago, and three have overstayed their welcome. Ottawa gets a pass. Six teams have brought back old jerseys as alternates. Five alternates are what have become known as "fauxbacks." This decade so far shows the tail end of the BFBS trend, and the beginning of trend towards emphasizing brighter colors, simplicity, and cultivating a cohesive and easily recognizable team brand; something the BFBS era had damaged. You see this with Nashville changing their whole brand emphasis towards all gold everything, and Dallas going with a distinctive shade of green. Tampa and Carolina use less black in their home jerseys. Outdoor event jerseys for the Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, and Stadium Series are now the catalysts behind jersey design trends. The short-lived Reebok template designs are already being phased out. The vintage trend extends towards the 1990s, with Anaheim, Arizona, and Vancouver introducing special event jerseys that apply 90s designs to modern Reebok jerseys. The Winter Classic and Stadium Series jerseys introduce a modern take on the old-style sweater collar.

In summary, we can pinpoint a few pervasive trends in hockey design:
  • 1910s-1940s: Barberpole striping and monogram logos. Sweater collars. One jersey at home and on the road.
  • 1950s-1960s: Clean lines, color balance, simplicity. Tie-down collars. When you think classic, this is what you're thinking about. Sleeve numbers, but no names.
  • 1970s-1980s: An era of attention grabbing colors and struggling new franchises. Helmets and names on the backs of jerseys.
  • 1990s: The Third Jersey program. Angular stripes, organic patterns, gradients loud colors, and action-oriented designs meant to convey motion. It's brash, it's bold, and you either love it or hate it. This era captured the attention of fans it never had before. Branding extend to popularizing helmet logos, pants logos, and shoulder patches. So much happened.
  • 2000s: Darker, "edgier" jerseys. Radar couldn't have detected the league during this decade. More teams have alternate jerseys than don't. Reebok happens. A short-lived attempt at homogenizing the league with template designs that is already dying.
  • 2010s: A return to more classic design. Colors get brighter. BFBS is on the way out. Team marketing departments have realized that promoting team colors is key to having a cohesive, recognizable team brand. Alternate jerseys persist, and event jerseys become more prolific.
In further summary, we can see that change in athletic design occurs at a much faster in the recent decades than it did in the first half of the 20th century, but that design trends themselves are cyclical.

What developing trends do you see in today's athletic design? What past trends could one day return, and which ones will stay in the past? Tell us your thoughts.

**********  Edit by Ryan  **************** 

TEASERS for the 2016 Pairs Competition have now been posted on the HJC Design Blog!

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Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) Home/Away Concept - Vaughn R.


Positives: The set has an air of fortitude and aggression about it that a BCHL player would likely appreciate. I like subtle cuff stripes. League branding is used appropriately. Execution is good and Vaughn's presentation has been improving as well recently. 

Negatives: Purple and black are difficult colors to work with. They are both darker colors, so you need a healthy amount of a lighter color for contrast and balance. Most areas are fine, but the sleeve numbers and the primary logo on the white jersey need a sliver outline to make them more legible. The white jersey is the stronger of the two here in terms of color balance. I would move the shoulder patches to the shoulders. The arms - with striping, numbers, and logos - seem crowded.

Overall: Color balance is the main issue. Use white like a car designer uses chrome or a cook uses strawberries in a salad. (7/10)


Salmon Arm Silverbacks (BCHL) Alternate Concept - Vaughn R.


Positives: It's amazing what color contrast can do. The shield logo pops off the jersey here because of the white in the edges. Your eye goes right to the white in the crest because the rest of the jersey is dark. Purple is an underutilized color in hockey, so of Vaughn's set, this is the one to own if you'd want to stand out. 

Negatives: Curious as to why the shoulder patch that is pictured on the concept background is not actually used on the jersey. Without that patch, there's not really a reason for the sleeve numbers to be placed where the are. If I were a player, I'd want the numbers closer to the shoulder for greater ease of elbow flexibility.

Overall: A wonderful shade of purple used here, making for a very respectable alternate. (7.5/10)


Team Sweden Logo Concept - Jay S.


Positives: The Swedish flag can make some great logos. Photographically, their flag falls perfectly in the "thirds." It's just very pleasing to the eye. Off-setting the Tre Kronar logo was a good choice. The shield plays well here. It communicates strength and prestige. 

Negatives: The banner isn't necessary. Almost everyone but the most American of teenagers is going to know that's Sweden without the banner announcing it. Also, the banner is a little too "ClipArt" for me. That, and the Algerian font doesn't jive well with the "strength and prestige" of the shield. Also, you need to put your ID on your logo concepts, too.

Overall: For working off a stock ClipArt image, it's not bad. (6/10)


Team Sweden Concept - Jay S.


Positives: Colors are balanced very well. Execution is pretty good, with one minor detail.

Negatives: The striping is bland, and disappointingly lacking in references to Swedish nationalism or beloved designs of the past. Outlining a number in the same color as the number serves no purpose, as it does not make the number more legible. It exists to exist, much like an appendix. There are also some loose pixels leftover from the blue outline of the shield that blends into the jersey.

Overall: The jersey itself isn't blazing any trails. More creativity and feeling is needed. Design it like you mean to make a statement. Come into it with that purpose in mind. (6/10)


Hartford Whalers Concept - Lucas D.


Positives: The Whalers are currently at the top of my list for wanted jerseys. The grey is an interesting choice, setting this concept apart from other Whaler jerseys. I tried it once in 2012; results were mixed if mixed was a synonym for bad. Results here are much more palatable. Execution is solid.

Negatives: With the striping, I'd make the area between the blue and green stripes white. That would be more consistent with the collar, numbers, name, and logo. Cuff stitching is missing. The sleeve number on the left arm would be visible on the view of the back of the jersey. That's a small complaint, but small details make great concepts. The name is near impossible to read unless you zoom in. A contrasting name bar may actually be a necessity here. 

Overall: A little more white here could make the jersey stand out a little better. (8/10)


San Jose Sharks Concept - Ryan C.


Positives: The angular arm stripes are sublime. Teal is used prominently as you do. The black yoke helps with color balance. The colors and contrasting outline chosen for the numbers help them pop off both jerseys. Both are effortless to read. The font chosen for the diagonal wordmark works well. I have no execution complaints. I'd like to see Ryan take the next step in his presentation. Take the Dylans and Taylor R. as examples they do it better than just about anyone.

Negatives: The shoulders are cramped. The yoke is a bit small, so when you put a primary logo on the shoulders, they just look crowded. I'm not sure how I feel about the wordmark. The name "Sharks" implies so much action that a primary logo without action just doesn't feel right.

Overall: This set has some creative ideas, and there is much to love about Ryan C's eye for color balance and execution. (8.5/10)


Team USA Logo Concept - Jay S.


Positives: Essentially, this is a modified version of "The Great Seal of the United States of America." It is easily recognizable as American.

Negatives: This would be a nightmare to stitch on a jersey; all those feathers and arrows. It would be very difficult to recreate. Again, you should probably put an ID on your logo concepts.

Overall: The Seal is very patriotic, but I would argue that it doesn't work well for athletics. (6/10)


Team USA Concept - Jay S.


Positives: Even without the logo, you could pretty well guess what country this represents. It is similar to the old Capitals jerseys, but not too much so. Colors are balanced well.

Negatives: There are no sleeve numbers. There's a shoulder patch, which basically looks like one of the stars that has had stars and stripes added to it. It's difficult to really tell what it is exactly. Providing an enlarged version of the logo would help.

Overall: I think taking off the top two stars and adding sleeve numbers would help. The Seal still doesn't look quite right to me on a jersey. It's like seeing Frank Sinatra in sweatpants. (6.5/10)

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That's all for this week. Don't forget to use our convenient voting polls to vote this week and give your own opinions on today's artwork. That's much more valuable than simply nominating a concept and leaving it at that. It's always helpful to get more than one opinion.

COTW March 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

March 26, 2016

Saturday: Old News, New News

If anyone reading this blog has children you'll understand how turbulent a night can be when your 18 month old is teething and running a fever. It certainly was a challenge to get this post up on time.



Matt M. won the March 13-19 COTW!

Full Results
Matt M. (DET) - 18
Chris W. (ARGO) - 17
Ryan H. (BUF) - 11

 
The new COTW nominees for March 20-26 have been listed on the side of the page in the black poll. Click the link in the poll to see the concepts or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Voting is open to anyone logged into their Google account and ends on Friday at 11:59pm Eastern.

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Pairs Comp entries are in and teasers will be posted either tonight or tomorrow. All teasers and presentations will be held on the HJC Design Blog. Links will be provided each day. You can visit the somewhat dormant blog at http://www.hjcdesignblog.blogspot.ca/

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Back in November the Grand Rapids Griffins again asked HJC to host a competition for their fans and jersey designers to submit their best idea for a Griffins jersey. Scott G. was picked by the Griffins as the winner of that competition.

The Griffins wore Scott's jersey on January 23.

Scott sent in some pictures to share here on the blog.

Well done Scott. It's always awesome to see your ideas come to life.

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COTW March 20-26 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)