NEWS: No news to report today beyond the relief of the article we shared on out Twitter account (@HockeyJC) from Yahoo's Puck Daddy regarding Bettman refusing to put advertisements on jerseys in the wake of the NBA doing it and now having 4 teams with jersey sponsors (Brooklyn became #4 last night, joining Boston, Sacramento and Philadelphia).
SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS: Avi has won Concept of the Year 2017!! Well done and well deserved, though I didn't think you had the best jersey on that day when I initially reviewed it. There were so many great concepts that day and this win proves it. Congratulations.
COMPS: The fabled PAIRS COMPETITION is back and this year we are designing an All-Star Game. We narrowed it down from last year, when we were tasked to design a hockey event of any kind, and Sunday writer Steve M and I created an All-Star Game in Brooklyn. Since reports are out there that there's no chance there's going to be hockey there long term, that plan is obsolete, but it was fun anyway. I recommend the pairs comp because each artist can learn a thing or two from the other while working together. Email Ryan with your partner and division ASAP.
VOTES: COTW and St. Louis Eagles Comp. Not many participated in the Eagles comp so we just need a top 1 this time instead of the usual top 5. A sad sight to see but understandable as the collegiate spring term had just started for many.
COTW Jan 27 - Feb 2 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
St Louis Eagles Competition vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
Please declare your Pairs Competition team and division
ON TO THE CONCEPTS
Jay S: Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) Concept
With the ECHL its easy to experiment with a more non-traditional look. Jay designs striping that flows well when the arms are up against the body of the jersey. The only thing about the main set is that I'd like to see grey a bit more because of how dominant it is in the logo, if only as a trim color. Now that alternate. That hem is gorgeous. The sleeves match it but a bit too much. The socks HAVE to go. I'm exceptionally more traditionalist when it comes to socks on a jersey. One horizontal white stripe and black below it, grey above it. Done.
Lucas D: Columbus Blue Jackets Concept
With one pattern, Lucas takes one existing jersey and makes it even better. The existing Jackets away uniform has the same sock pattern Lucas has here. Lucas takes that pattern and spreads it out across the jersey. Arms and hem get a much needed boost with those stripes. On the blue jersey he changes up the striping a bit to better match the flag of Ohio, which is the entire theme of the Blue Jackets primary logo. Absolute brilliance with such a simple fix. I'd love to see the backside though, however with the helmet numbers I can assume you're using the Jackets' alternate font. NHL 100 patch on the sleeve, please.
Mike F: Team Finland (IIHF) Concept
This concept hits you like a ton of bricks. Let's take it one at a time, starting with the top most jersey.
First, that primary logo is way too big. Second, I am not a fan of the logo on the sleeves as it clutters things up. Third, the upper left sleeve is not colored properly on the back view. Forth, hem stitching should stop at the striping pattern. I'm not a fan of three shades of blue here.
On the second jersey we get a bit crazy with a MASSIVE chest stripe that encompasses a logo that's moved down too much, and with the numbers on the back peeking up from the striping pattern there's no need for the logo to be that far down or the stripe to be that thick. I love how the yellow works with the double blue. Ditch the flag on the sleeves, because with that, the numbers and shoulder patch, you're falling down the Laval Rocket path of clutter I ripped apart last week. Template lines and stitching again is an issue.
The third jersey is much better and much more traditional. However, the two shades of blue are not distinct enough to stand out against each other, so the striping pattern of the chest stripe and the number on the back all get lost. Try white striping and a white outline on the outside of the number.
The fourth jersey is great with the exception of a small logo. Make that a bit bigger and we have a winner.
Ryan C: Florida Panthers Concept
I'll tell you, that crawling panther on the top of the alternate flag logo is begging to be a standalone logo, similar to what the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds did with their alternate. And the best look? Put it in a chest stripe. Absolutely gorgeous here. The lack of red actually works, though I'm no fan of it because it's the Panthers, but it really works. Blue gold and white. Enough space in the white to fit the logo and TV numbers. Only changes I'd make are the shoulder logos that need to be a tad smaller, and maybe use the newer font they made. Back view?
Zack H: Tampa Bay Lightning Concept
While simple, the Lightning have a rather bold jersey based solely on the shade of blue they use. Here Zack tones it down to a softer shade of blue, bordering on a dark teal, as well as a soft shade of black, bordering on a dark grey. I like the use of more black but I think that with these shades, the colors must be separated. However, you also may want to avoid this concept looking like the Islanders current set. This is a tough one though because of how clean it is.
Jay S: Indy Fuel (ECHL) Concept
Right off the bat I'll tell you I'm not a fan of the side panels combined with the hem pattern in the main set. Gives off too much of a Calgary Flames vibe in regards to doing too much on the bottom of the jersey. The yoke is beautiful on both of the jerseys in the main set. That alternate however is top notch. The name Fuel was chosen by Indy in order to relate to the history of auto racing in Indianapolis. The Indy 500 has been around for 100 years, with it's 101st edition scheduled for May 28, 2017. That's what makes this alternate so brilliant. As much as I hate these logo designs, this is a great job with what little you had to work with.
The Winner of my Concept of the Week Nomination is:
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS CONCEPT
34 Days until Raleigh. Once again, if there's anybody in the area around Raleigh that reads this, stop by on March 14th. I'll let you know my seat location as soon as possible, and maybe devise a meeting spot during the intermission. But before that happens, I have another post to write for next Wednesday. See you then!