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Entries in Hockey (5)

Saturday
Jul072012

Bobby Lu Likes Deep Dish?

Does it make me a bad 'Hawks fan if I kinda want to see this next season?

I mean, come on, how great would this playoff series be?

And no, BobbyLu can't wear #1 in Chicago, that's been retired for Glenn Hall since the '80s.

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.

Saturday
Jul232011

Tim E. And the Jets

On Friday, the Winnipeg Jets unveiled their new logos and - fitting the theme of other recent logo/uni announcements - I was underwhelmed.

While I don't hate anything specifically in the new iconography (maybe except for the new wordmark), I was once again surprised by True North's lack of originality.

One of the most surprising features of the designs is the prominence of the maple leaf. Uh, you're not the only Canadian team and there's already this one team who uses that same leaf.

So lets get into my critiques:

The Primary Logo: I love the roundel that is clearly based off of the Royal Canadian Air Force's roundel but I could easily live without the maple leaf. Also, the compass point representing True North is a bit intrusive and egotistical but I can live with it because it reminds me of the J/hockey stick in this.

Grade: B+ | Uni-Watch.com Scale: Good, close to Great

The Secondary Logo: Once again, the maple leaf is way too prominent. It's a good looking logo, but in a league with a team already known as the leaves and a team already known as the wings, do you really feel the need to combine those images when talking about the Jets?

Grade: B | Uni-Watch.com Scale: Good

The Wordmark: In one word? Hideous. In two words? Train wreck.

Other than being ugly and having terrible fonts, the leaf - yet again - dominates the design and actually looks like an apostrophe, making them the Jet's.

On their website, the Jets show a few different designs featuring a stencil font. That font fits in with the fighter jet motif, in that it looks like something that could be sprayed in the side of a fighter. But yet they didn't use that as a wordmark, go figure.

Grade: F | Uni-Watch.com Scale: Stupid

OVERALL: Grade: C+ but should've been better and more original.

So, while still a passing grade, I figured I could make some improvements - and maybe create some unis while I'm at it.

Logos:

I take my idea of removing the maple leaf but trade in the gray jet for a red one.

Next up, the secondary gets the jet trade in, too.

Uniforms:

For the home and road unis, I took inspiration from the roundel and went for a classic look mixed in with some modern/jet themed flare (hence the stencil uni numbers and captain's C). I also included the jet on the pants with the stripes looking like a planes' contrail.

For the Third Jersey, I made the helmet, jersey and socks gray to mimic a fighter jet (and so it can easily be worn at home or on the road). The numbers and captain's C are now in a darker gray to, once again, imitate the stencils used on planes.

Well, those are my ideas and hopefully you like them. As usual, until next time, happy tweaking.

Wednesday
Jun152011

Soaring High

Recently, the people over at Uni-Watch.com and ESPN.com announced a contest to rebrand the Atlanta Thrashers for their move to Winnipeg. While I came up with a pair of concepts, my design of the "Manitoba Falcons" made it to the reader voting level.

What follows is an in-depth look at my design of the Manitoba Falcons:

I based my primary logo design on art styles from the indigenous Haida people of Canada and specifically on their depictions of raptors (eagles, hawks, Falcons, etc.).

With my falcon logo, I tried to convey an image that is uniquely Canadian. This falcon is meant to appear in flight - which is why we do not see its face - to represent both the freedom of the Great White North and the fluidity and constant movement in hockey.

Its wings and body vaguely form the shape of an M - for Manitoba - and also have smaller, traditional designs that resemble Ms. In the center of the falcon is a red puck. The symbolism here is clear: Hockey is the lifeblood of Canada and at the heart of Canadian culture. On either side of the puck is a hockey stick.

As for the Secondary logo, the red puck makes a return with addition of feathers from the primary design. Not too much symbolism behind the flying puck...

Before I get to the uniforms, I'd first like to explain that the design (bird motif) and color scheme (blue and red) are an homage to both Atlanta and Winnipeg. The gold should remind Winnipeggers of their once beloved Moose without hitting them over their head.

The Home Uniform: A classic red - almost burgundy - jersey is contrasted with blue pants and helmet. The socks are also burgundy and feature the same classic striping that graces the jersey.

The Road Uniform: The road white jersey is paired up with matching socks but the blue helmet and pants are here to stay. I added a thin gold stripe to the outside of the jersey and socks striping to incorporate the gold onto the road uni. Other than that, the roadies look good.

...And MTS Centre is gunna look good, too.

If you like my design, go here and vote for my submission to win the Uni Watch contest.

Friday
Dec312010

Best Of

At my 'day job' over at JVBackups.com, the site's owner and operator, Brendan 'Booz' Langen, decided to do highlight some of his favorites from 2010. Being that imitation is a form a flattery, allow me to flatter my boss.

Best Of 2010:


Albums (in no particular order):

The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens: Sufjan Stevens has fairly and unfairly been compared to Bob Dylan. The new age master of Hipster Folk pulled a Dylan in 2010 and plugged in. Some synths, some auto tuning and a song that includes the audio definition of cacophony later and Stevens proves folk can can be more than a banjo and whispered lyrics.

This Is Happening - LCD Soundsystem: James Murphy proves yet again that dance music can have a soul. Murphy's third try at perfecting his electro sound takes a So-Cal feel and dances it's way through a range of emotions while remaining pertinent, poetic and irreverent.

 

False Priest - Of Montreal: If it weren't for Kevin Barnes, James Murphy or Sufjan Stevens would be my favorite musician. Barnes latest record shows his willingness to evolve his sound from record to record. His two collaborations with soulful sistas Solange Knowles and Janelle Monae take this already outrageously funky pop fiesta to a new level. The dude is a mad genius and creates the most innovative psychedelic dance pop this side of 1976.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West: Say what you will about ol' fish-sticks, he makes the best hip hop albums of his generation. After a very poor showing in a depression laced and over-auto tuned fourth album, Kanye got back to doing what he does best: innovating rather than imitating. It is rare that the louder and closer you listen to a hip hop album, the better it gets but that is precisely the case with the arrangements that sprinkle MBDTF. Only Kanye can make such layered hip hop with such amazing hooks, lyrics and guest artists.

Odd Blood - Yeasayer: Not everything on this album is great, but the best is amazing and the worst still shows signs of untapped potential. It's danceable, complex and unique all while maintaining a feel that something greater should be coming down the pipe from this young band. I hope they can keep together for a while, their upside is up there with Hockey and MGMT (whose 2010 release, Congratulations, was good but just a little too intentionally inaccessible for my tastes).

Concerts (in order):

Phoenix - Lollapalooza: Finally consummated my French love affair. This band is one of my favorites and meant a lot to me in college. After waiting almost a year and a half to finally see them, I was able to catch my French Connection at my yearly excursion to Grant Park.

Cyprus Hill - Lollapalooza: Because of this cloud of smoke and this amazing kid. That's all you need to know. That and they kicked out the mother fucking jams...

Of Montreal / Janelle Monae - The Riv: An Of concert is always a great concert, they try to play as many songs in their allotted time possible and it's always a dance party, but the Michael Jackson medley featuring all of Of and all of Janelle Monae and her band as the encore was A.MAZE.ING.

Best part: the 40 year old guy in front of me who tried to Shazam PYT. Dude, you're twice my age, you should know what PYT is... idiot.

Hockey - Lollapalooza: It was just a super fun, super chill concert for one of the best bands I discovered in 2010.

LCD Soundsystem - Pitchfork: I didn't stay for more than a handful of songs, but I danced to my heart's content for the the 30-45 minutes I stayed for.

•Flaming Lips - IU Auditorium: Best concert I payed for and never went to. Hawks win, Hawks win...

Songs (in no particular order):

All Of The Lights    - Kanye West: Talk about your all star anthem... Just a well layered hip hop jam with a great hook and a really cool horn fanfare.

Runaway   - Kanye West: This is what Kanye does that no one can emulate. Watching Kanye perform this surprisingly simple, yet wonderfully complex song at the MTV music awards was amazing. Listening to it at full volume with headphones on makes it better.

All I Want   - LCD Soundsystem: James Murphy does sincere well because he maintains vitality and fun. Even when he's at his least exciting and fun, he's still danceable and/or masterful. 

I Can Change   - LCD Soundsystem: He's also one of my favorite lyricists.

ONE   - Yeasayer: If the chorus don't move you (pun sort-of intended), the bubbly dance beat will. It's like some bizarre combo of Afrocentricity and electronica and I want more

Tighten Up   - The Black Keys: The best thing to come out of Akron since... well, let's not talk about that. 

Enemy Gene   - Of Montreal: Kevin Barnes + low end base + Janelle Monae = the best moody, funky soul jam in decades.

Sex Karma   - Of Montreal: This is a love song only Barnes could write:

"I know that you want to scream / Run and touch my everything / Because I look like a playground to you, playa / Close your eyes and count to three / I'll kiss you where I shouldn't be / Because you look like a playground to me, playa"

I Want To Be Well   - Sufjan Stevens: It's pretty rare to hear the somewhat overtly-religious Stevens say the f word, which is why hearing him repeat it like 16 times is a bit of a shock to the system. Something tells me he's not fucking around...

Get Real Get Right   - Sufjan Stevens: As said before, Stevens' foray into the electric goes very well, and this song brings his compositional prowess to the forefront of Adz. And Sufjan is seems to be learning himself somethin' fierce.

"I must do myself a favor and get real / Get right with the Lord"

Cousins   - Vampire Weekend: Close to the top 10 but the single was released in 2009 while the album was released in 2010. Still, it's just too much fun. This is dance-pop I want from VW.

Music video:

This isn't even a competition. This is the best music video in years. I have no idea what's happening or why, and I'm not sure anyone else does either: