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Entries in Graphic Design (23)

Saturday
Jun092012

Meet My BUD

Some of you may have been wondering, "Why hasn't Tim posted anything here in a while?"

Well, this is why: The Basketball Uniform Database.

Over the past few weeks and months, I've been working on something big. I volunteered to to work with some of my fellow uni-nerds on creating a database of NBA uniforms. The goal is to go back to the '40s but as of today, our coming out party, we have 2011-2012 finished and are beginning to work our way backward in time.

In my position as the graphic designer, it has been my job to create the templates, recreate the jerseys and do anything else graphically I can for the project. I've been working with tons of images, logos and color swatches to try and come up with as accurate a depiction of NBA jerseys as I can, no matter if it's the '60s, '80s or the tweens.

Now, I'm not perfect (though I'm damn close...). That being the case, if you ever see something on there that's a glaring error, feel free to drop me an email (See: sidebar) and let me know.

And it turns out, NBA uniforms aren't perfect either.

In my personal research I've discovered two bizarre uni-quirks that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else (though, perhaps I just haven't looked hard enough...). Let's start off with the quick one.

Philadelphia, before this season, introduced a brand new alternate uniform. It was pretty standard fair, a blue version of their current jersey template. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia never wore it.

You can do - as I did - and go through all of daylife's 76ers images, it doesn't appear once. Or you can go to their team website and watch game recaps. No sight of it. Or go to ESPN. I think you know what you'll find.

It's truly bizarre. The Sixers don't even sell the jersey in their online store. What makes it even more bizarre is that fans seem to love the blue jersey.

So the phantom alt of Philadelphia remains a uni-mystery. Who killed it? Why was it killed? Will it ever make it on court? We may never know.

Finally, we come to a case of, "Wait, why wouldn't they just change that?"

The New York Knickerbockers broke out new unis - their current unis - for the 2001-2002 season. Other than a collar change, the uniforms have remained unchanged for more than a decade.

Except for on thing.

Look at these pictures from the Stephon Marbury era of the nicks: Home Road and St. Paddy's Alt. See how the Knicks logo on the shorts is on the right short leg, placing the NBA logo on the left pant leg? Well, at some point during the Starbury era, the Knicks switched their logo to the left leg (where it remains today).

Except on the St. Paddy's Day alts.

For some reason, the Knicks have never switched the shorts patch on their green alternates. Never. It's very bizarre.

The Knicks changed the logo location years ago, so it's not like these are jerseys created before the change and they just never got around to it. The materials and cuts of the jerseys have changed over the years and most - if not all - of the current players on the Knicks roster have never worn the old home and road unis with the logo on the right pant leg.

It doesn't matter the occasion (Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, dunk contests, etc.), the patch is on the other pant leg. It's a very strange uni quirk that I would love to hear the rationale behind.

Though, I suspect the the explanation will be less than satisfactory.

"It's just a logo on a uniform, who cares?"

Wednesday
Jan042012

What Was Old Is New Again

A few weeks back, over at Uni-Watch.com, I ran a feature piece on my take for NHL uniforms. While I wasn't quite finished tweaking NHL teams, commenter Mike D (whom I have to assume is the Mike D from the Beastie Boys) gave me the idea to take a crack at teams of yesteryear.

With such a great idea, I immediately got to work and found four teams ripe for an update. So what follows is first, a new look for four former franchises followed by a continuation of my take on current NHL teams.

The Defunct Series

California Seals: LOGO | CREST | HOME | ROAD | THIRD

The Seals - in their California incarnation in particular - had great colors and unis, but the logo reminded me more of a bird with a fish head than a seal. So I tried to remedy that with an updated logo and script.

The unis are basically just updates of previous unis. Though I had considered making the yellow jerseys the road uni and coming up with a different third, I figured this might go against NHL uni-policy.

Hartford Whalers: CREST | LOGO | HOME | ROAD | THIRD

This is the first team in the Defunct Series which I didn't feel the need to edit their crest. I did edit the whale logo a bit and I considered moving the whale tail up a bit higher off of the W but decided against it.

The uniforms are fairly straightforward updates of classic Whaler unis, but it was hard to keep the bold striping patterns of the old team on the new edge cuts. I'm not thrilled with my third. I tried a gray alt but that looked forced and the blue alt - to me - starts to encroach A LOT on the Canucks' identity (though, they seem to have just stolen a lot of good design ideas from the Whalers). If you have any better ideas for a third, let me hear 'em.

Minnesota North Stars: CREST | LOGO | HOME | ROAD | THIRD

With the North Stars, the first thing I tried to do was fix their logo. To me, a team named the North Stars should have a logo that points north (up), not northeast-ish (up and to the right). After that, these home and road are actually pretty similar to my Dallas Stars set (with notable and significant differences), which makes sense since those were partially based on old North Stars unis, but I give these unis their own flare (like the arrow and star on the pants).

I love the Third jersey here, which is a fauxback, and even considered making the home and road based off of this pattern, but decided to go with the more modern feel for the regular unis.

Quebec Nordiques: CREST | HOME | ROAD | THIRD

I think the old Nordiques logo is a train-wreck. Now, I understand that, design aside, people love the 'Diques logo, so - just like the Seals - I tried to update the logo while improving the design.

From what I gather, the old logo was a mashup of an N, an igloo and a hockey stick and puck. First, I rid the logo of the hockey equipment (we know you play hockey) and I give the logo a much more balanced overall shape. The door to the igloo is framed by an N for Nordiques and also appears as an entrance to a stereotypical igloo.

I even flirted with a wordmark alternate logo, but decided that might be a bit much.

The home and road unis are pretty much just updates but the third is an homage to the flag of Quebec.

The American Classic:

Who ever said fantasy has to be realistic? In my world, the NHL would add more outdoor "classics" and this particular one would take place in Oakland California.

Pitting the Minnesota North Stars vs the California Seals, both teams would wear throwbacks to 1975-76 with their current (Tim E.-created) logos and slightly altered pants stripes.

The Heritage Classic:

The second classic I would add would be a return of the Heritage Classic - the Canadian team version of the Winter Classic.

Quebec would host this Canadian outdoor game and face an old WHA rival, the Hartford Whalers.

Once again, both teams would be wearing throwbacks to 1975-76 but this time the unis would be dead on replications of the '70s originals.

Hockey TimE

Calgary: HOME | ROAD | THIRD

These unis are a combo of throwback and current designs. All the unis feature some black but the main striping patterns come from the era of the Flames singular Cup win.

For the captaincy patch, I use the Calgary Flaming C logo and for the alternate captains, I use the Atlanta Flames Flaming A logo.

Colorado: HOME | ROAD | THIRD

A more mountainous feel on the unis (and pants) that evokes earlier, happier times in Colorado. I also removed the black helmet and pants and eliminated gray except for on the crest.

The third is inverted Home colors, which some have said is almost indistinguishable from the Home uni, but I say, what's so wrong with that?

Detroit: HOME | ROAD | THIRD

No change, home or road. The Third is a 'heritage' design that honors elements of past uniforms while incorporating some modern and all new elements.

I've always really enjoyed the Red Wing's wordmarks, so I tried to highlight them in the Third jersey.

New Jersey: HOME | ROAD | THIRD

The Devils don't need too many changes. I did very minor stuff on the home and road, but I bring back the old green jersey from Jersey's first 11 seasons and bring it back as the permanent third. It's classic uni that deserves to be seen at least a few times a year.

New York Islanders: HOME | ROAD | THIRD

Well, the Islanders decided to shit all over good design with their third jersey so I decided it was time to work on the Isles.

With the home and road, I return the look that won four Stanley Cups, a classic and simple uni.

As for the third, I used the current home uni striping and add my new secondary logo (inspired from the Whalers' old logo) to the chest.

 _____

Well, that's it for now, until next time, happy tweaking.

Friday
Sep302011

B1G Rivalries

This weekend, BigTen conference football returns and so do BigTen rivalry games.

Earlier this month, I posted my concepts and tweaks for all 12 BigTen teams here and on the wonderful SportsLogos.net, showing what I thought the schools should wear every game. Some people over at SportsLogos noticed that many of my designs a fairly traditional and/or pretty close to what most BigTen teams currently wear.

Heeding this criticism, I decided to create what I referred to as a 'Rivalry Series' (although inspiration credit goes to this guy here). What follows are six rivalry games, their special uniforms and descriptions. Enjoy:

The Bucket Game - IU vs PU

Indiana: I bring back my much beloved candy-striped pants but pair them with (a variation of) their actual 2011 jersey. The helmet matches their current lid and features the iconic interlocking 'IU'.

Now, originally, my design showed a candy striped helmet and that the compression shirt sleeves and the socks not matching, but that was because each individual player could either wear vertical or horizontal stripes - so long as they wear all matching - allowing for fun customization while still being 'uniform'.

However, I scrapped both those ideas and returned the standard helmet and unified all the stripes.

Purdue: As this years visitors, Purdue comes to The Rock wearing all old gold. The 'P' logos; helmet, shoulder and pants stripes; and numbers all sink up to match: Black trimming White. The numbers are a modern variation of classic varsity block. Finally, the compression shirt and socks are Boiler black.

The Land of Lincoln Game - U of I vs NU

Illinois: The Illini host this year's Sweet Sioux Tomahawk game Land of Lincoln game, and they come onto (a) Memorial Stadium* wearing fauxbacks to a simpler time. Three simple stripes grace the shoulders and pants. A rounded version of the state name appears on the helmet (as opposed to "Illini" which has appeared on the lid in the past). Only blue and orange grace the uni (except the shoes), just like it was back in the day.

Northwestern: The Wildcats are also donning a fauxback of sorts. The white helmet is inspired by this helmet from NU history. The jersey is basically their current road uni with the addition of the 'N-Cat' logo while the pants have a purple double stripe that give the 'Cats a sleek, clean look.

The Heroes Game - NU vs UI - There isn't much history in this 'rivalry' game so I manufacture some from the uniforms:

Nebraska: As the home team, Nebraska comes out in a uniform that honors many of their best teams from their long, storied history. While the helmet design is the same as the one's they've worn since 1970, the red facemask harkens back to 1982. The jersey focuses on both those eras as well. The shoulder numbers are from the 1970 unis while the sleeve 'N's are from the 1983 team.

The pants are from both eras but the red belt screams 1983. The black shoes and white socks go through many generations of Huskers.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes come into (a) Memorial Stadium wearing fauxbacks to their 1958 National Championship team. While Iowa has worn fauxbacks to this era before, they've never worn the road version of these before. That's a shame, because those were some beautious unis. The moving of the stripes from the sleeves to the shoulders is just for player continuity (no lost stripes due to lack of undershirt).

Also, the facemask is unapologetically black.

Paul Bunyan's Ax Game - UW vs Minn - One of the Best rivalry trophies in all of sports deserves some great unis:

Wisconsin: The home team in 2011 comes out wearing something like nothing you've ever seen take the field at Camp Randall. The helmet is a variation of the current helmet that rids the flying W of it's unnecessary drop shaddow. This harkens back to most of Wisconsin's history, when the helmets were only white and red.

The Jersey is simple yet completely original. The shoulders are adorned with stripes that will quickly remind any UW fan of Bucky Badger. While the pants are almost identical to their current set, the socks pick up on the Bucky Badger theme and run with it all the way to victory.

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers have a tough task winning in Camp Randall. This Fauxback set calls upon the predecessors of this Minnesota football squad to lead them back to the path of victory and BigTen supremacy. The undershirt features Goldy Gopher's double stripe (just like my other concepts) and gold become predominant to remind the team of their victorious and glorious past.

The Land Grant Game - PSU vs MSU

Penn State: The home team for this game will march into Happy Valley with a uniform that will be very recognizable to it's fans and opponents. While there are some design changes (many of them have a fauxback feel) the biggest difference may be the color on the uniform.

The Blue on these unis are more royal blue than the current navy blue unis the Nittany Lions currently wear. This is a throwback to an earlier era. Combine that with helmet numbers, the return of white jersey accents and a singular, thin blue stripe on the pants and Penn State has a modern update of a classic uniform.

Michigan State: The Spartans recently unveiled a new Nike Pro Combat uniform for 2011. However, I disagree with Nike's use of Bronze and Black on MSU's uniforms, particularly since MSU is named after a group of people who are famous for wearing red. But Michigan State's colors are green and white and as such, those are the only colors I use on this uni.

The shoulders of jersey pop thanks to a green field that adorns them which flows nicely into the optional green compression with an updated version of MSU's 'S' logo. While the jersey numbers revert to a more traditional font, the university mark is updated to match the 'S' logo font. Thick white stripes grace both the helmet, pants and socks and help unify this uniform.

The Big Game - UM vs OSU

Michigan: As a BigTen alumnus, it's very hard for me to conceive Michigan wearing anything but their normal helmets, blue jerseys and maze pants at The Big House. I actually liked the fauxback they wore against Notre Dame, but I didn't want to re-tread the ground Adidas already walked. Instead, I made minor changes to the current home uni and left one of the best lids in all of sports untouched.

The jersey gets an 'M' logo sewn onto the shoulder as sort of a 'pride-patch'. While a player's name and number are usually the only thing to grace a Wolverine uni, I wanted the 'M' to be on there to remind the players that the glory of the game should go to Michigan.

While I added a blue belt to the pants, I removed the 'M' logo from them just to simplify the uni even more. The shoes and compression shirt are team colors but I'm not sure how much even I am digging the maze sleeves.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are Nike Pro Combat veterans at this point. With the theme of most of their NPC unis being 'fauxback' I continue this trend with a look back to the late '60s (just on the cusp of one of their greatest eras like hopefully this will be).

While I could not find the exact specifics of the road uniform that matches this helmet, these jerseys, pants and socks probably approximate the jersey pretty well. The differing color TV numbers are a signature part of OSU's look from this era and the Northwestern stripes that adorn the helmet, jersey, pants and socks unify this set as a world class Ohio State uniform.

Well, that about wraps that up. You may have noticed the two new templates I was using. I'm proud to say that I created both of them and the one that features both the front and back of the uni has been improved even since I created these B1G concepts.

I'm currently working on doing some ACC and SEC stuff in this new template which I'll bring to you as soon as I can.

Happy tweakin'...

*With Nebraska now in the B1G, there are three Memorial Stadiums in the conference (U of I, IU and OU).

Tuesday
Sep062011

B1G Revisions

The air is cooling while the spicy sweet smell of processed meat and charcoal wafts through the air - it must be fall BigTen football season.

While my Wildcats and Hoosier are back on the gridiron, I'm back in the workshop fine-tuning the BigTen concepts I came up with a few months back.

Now, unlike my Pac-12 concepts, most of the BigTen's teams have well established uniform tradition that I don't want to mess with. Never the less, I found at least one thing to tweak on almost every uniform. So Let's get right to it:

Illinois - Home, Road, Road Alt:

A pretty serious overhaul here. I go back to much more classical striping and a reduction of the Oregon-esque innumerable amount of uni combinations. Orange pants are my go-to road pants but I like the blue pants as a secondary option.

Indiana - Home, Road, Bucket Game Alt:

This was almost how the Hoosiers looked a few years back. Now, they're back to their best Oklahoma impression (including white pants on the road if the Ball State game is any sign. Sigh.) I go back to the double stripe helmet, add double stripes to the shoulders and keep the double stripe pants (white at home, red on the road).

And I am one of the many Hoosiers who thinks that the Bucket game should feature special unis whenever possible, so I bring back my candy-striped pants for the occasion.

Iowa - Home, Road:

Here is my first use of the stripes on the compression shirt. These Steeler inspired uniforms just look better when the stripes are in full bloom. The Hawkeyes are also the first team with full length socks, but this is not a change from the norm for them, they've bean wearing socks like these for years.

Michigan - Home, Road:

No real change for the Home (although I changed the socks to blue) but the Road eliminates and superfluous yellow piping.

Michigan State - Home, Road, Home Alt, Road Alt 1, Road Alt 2:

Michigan State's current uniform set has all the accoutrement of a hastily done 'modern' uniform: Stupid font, useless stripes and colors out of the color scheme. I go back to only green and white. I do like the idea of very wide stripes on the helmets and pants so I added those (although the Home Alt gets rid of those for a more traditional look).

The Road Alts are fairly similar to the regular Road uni but the first is based off of this image and the other just uses green pants.

Minnesota - Home, Road, Home Alt, Road Alt:

Minnesota's current unis are terrible. I return the Golden Gophers to a much more traditional look and give them a unique asymmetrical sleeve stripe based on their mascot.

Nebraska - Home, Road, Home D Alt, Road D Alt:

Nebraska hardly changes, although their current sleeve stripes appear much larger than my version. And if you're gunna call the defense the Blackshirts, they might as well wear black (under)shirts.

Northwestern - Home, Road, Home Alt:

I ditch black pants, recolor the Northwestern sleeve stripes (which are now on the compression shirt) and return the logo to the shoulders. The pants are double striped and while I bring back the BFBS Home Alt, I would keep its use to a minimum.

Ohio State - Home, Road:

Basically all I did to the Buckeyes was keep the pants stripe more in line with the helmet and sleeve and replace the gray on the current road sleeve stripe with white.

Penn State - Home, Road:

I return the trim the collar and sleeve, other than that, you can't improve on perfection.

Purdue - Home, Road, Road Alt:

Purdue's new uni's stink and I go back to a more traditional look for the fools from West Lafayette. The numbers on the Home and Road Alt are gold, which I think is a really nice look.

Wisconsin - Home, Road:

Almost no change here, the only thing I do with them is insist that they never wear red pants. At Home there's just too much red and with the Road, it makes them look even more like Nebraska (something they don't need any help doing).

Those are my new BigTen concepts. I know most are pretty traditional but hopefully people will like them.

Until next time.

Sunday
Aug212011

Pac-ing It In

Football season is tantalizingly close. With high hopes for the new season come all new looks for your favorite teams - players, coaches and (of course) uniforms.

In this spirit, I've decided to get back to my roots and start coming up with some new football uni concepts. Now, since I've started doing concepts, I've gotten many requests from people out West asking me to take a crack at the Pac-12 the same way I did the BigTen a few months back.

Well, I couldn't think of a better way to get back into the swing of all things football than to tweak on of the nations' finest conferences. So, without further adieu, I give you my take on the the Pac-12:

Arizona - Home, Road, Red Alt, Blue Alt:

While I'm sorta known as a stripe-classicist, I love the fading stripe of Zona's. Granted, I wouldn't want it on every team (or even many) but it reminds me of a mirage in a desert and I think it works very nicely for the Wildcats. I kept the fading stripes on the pants and helmet and added them to the compression sleeves. I also reduced the role of the red jersey because I think ASU should be the red Arizona state school (that's also why there's no red pants). Oh, and no blue helmet, one UA helmet is enough.

Arizona State - Home, Road, Home Alt:

I created a few ASU unis a while back but looking back on them, I don't actually like my own designs too much. While my new designs draw from the new Sun Devils uniforms Nike came up with, I still like the classic look of the old Sparty-helmeted unis. I do like the gradient number font a lot, so much so I added it to the Alternate's pants. To me, that just screams 'heat'.

California - Home, Road, Yellow Alt, All Blue Alt, Yellow Alt Two:

Here is my first real departure from the norm. With two-tone numbers, a modern font and a variation of Georgia's shoulder stripes, these new Cal uniforms are anything but your daddy's Cal uniforms. I kept the classic lid and colors but that's about all that didn't change.

Colorado - Home, Road:

Back to a more classical look (but only briefly, look who's up next...). No stripes. Just numbers and the word 'Colorado' in bold italics font. No black pants. No gold alternate. Just how it should be.

Oregon - Regular Home, Road; White Pants Home, Road; White and Green Home, Road; Green Helmet Alt; Yellow Alt:

Listen, everyone needs an Oregon. For every Alabama, there has to be an Oregon. I did limit the Ducks, however. My rule: You can only wear green, white or yellow. Even with those restrictions, I gave them three helmets, five jerseys and three pairs of pants. That's 45 possible combinations. I narrowed that down to the combos I think look best. I actually like the Oregon Wings and the design of the current jerseys and helmets don't bother me, what does bother me is all the out of scheme colors. I faux-back to the days of yellow helmets and pants and Kelly green jerseys with the modern accoutrements.

As for the all yellow uni? Ducks are yellow.

Oregon State - Home, Road, Home Alt, All Black Alt:

The Beavers may have started the whole, "stripes on the compression shirt," fad, but they looked so good, I decided to bring that look along with modern numbers and logos. To differentiate OSU even more, I made orange the Home uni and left the black jersey as the alternate. I downplay the cartoon beaver logo and this is the only Pac-12 design in which I use full length socks. This could become an iconic look for the Beavers.

Stanford - Home, Road:

The Cardinal (sic) have flirted with black recently. I stop that shit.

Washington - Home, Road, Road Alt:

With the Huskies, I removed any black or modern stripes. Instead, I put the Huskies' alternate logo on the shoulders and their TV numbers on the compression sleeves. I also gave them a unique and thin number font and gold pants as the go-to road pants.

Washington State - Home, Road:

The Cougars recently announced new unis and I was rather unimpressed. Instead I take some elements from those unis and add them to WSU's tradition of alternating Home and Road helmets.

UCLA - Home, Road:

There shouldn't be much to change to UCLA but adidas has made this untrue. Instead I return the UCLA stripes to a reasonable length (though they still could be longer) and remove all dark blue from the stripes (though I keep it around the numbers).

USC - Home, Road:

No Change. Perfection.

Utah - Home, Road:

To be honest, I kinda phoned this one in. It's basically what they wear these days (though slightly different) but it was the last set I was doing and I have no idea about Utah's history, what a 'Ute' is or where to go with their unis. So I made them the only solid red team in the Pac-12.

Well, that's my take, feel free to leave yours in the comments. Until next time...