CJworks

The UFL Project – #3 Motor City Mustangs

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Hey everyone,

 

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted on these boards, largely in part because life has a way of getting in the way, but I’ve been quietly lurking. Some of you have probably seen me active on Dribbble and Instagram, and probably know that I’ve been working on my personal football league redesign, a thread that I received a lot of positive feedback on in 2011.

 

Yes, I’m resurrecting it (although it wasn’t really dead in the first place). As we’re learning and developing our skills as designers, we tend to become better than the work we produce yesterday. I've been working on developing identities for each team on and off for the past 6 years. That being said, I’m excited to bring to you “The UFL Project”, a 2.0 if you will, a reimagining of 32 fictional football teams I created when I was 11. Named the “Ultimate Football League”, my goal for this project is to bring the brand to life through visuals, custom logos and typefaces, and to make each individual team a brand of their own.

 

I have been running the Ultimate Football League for the past 25 seasons (which equates to about 10-ish years), with complete rosters and histories. I’ve ran the league through the Franchise Modes of Madden 06, 09, and now 12.

 

Feedback is always appreciated, but I’m not looking for critiques of league alignment, storylines, etc. Most of these decisions are based off of the history of the league and the original teams 32 that I started with.

 

I have a lot that I’m excited to share, but for now, here’s the league logo.

 

EDIT: If anyone knows of a solution for the quality loss in the embedded image, let me know!

 

 

ufl_logo_800x600.jpg

 

RATIONALE

Think of the UFL as this alternate-universe football league that takes the place of the NFL in the football world. Other popular leagues still exist, but the entire football lineage from the NCAA to the pros has been completely redirected towards the Ultimate Football League. Major entities like Nike and ESPN are very much alive, while some smaller companies that may hold sponsorships and naming rights are completely fictional to fit with the storyline and lineage of the league and its owners.

The timeline of the league is also based on seasons, not years, due to the fact that multiple seasons may be simulated within a year. However, based on the 25 seasons to the date, we can infer that this league started somewhere between 1991-92.

 

Currently, the league is simulated in the Madden 12 Franchise Mode (previously Madden 08, 09), which means it isn’t uncommon for ridiculous scores and stats to pop up (CPU users don’t tend to show sportsmanship in blowout games). It also ins’t uncommon for dynasties to win 4 championships in a row, or appear in 8 consecutively. When instances like these happen, I try and incorporate it into the storyline as much as possible. It’s more fun that way.

 

STORYLINE

The Ultimate Football League is an American football league made up of 32 teams spread out across the United States. The league is split up into two conferences – The Great West conference and The Great East conference – and each conference has four division of four teams each.

 

The regular season is 17 weeks long, with 16 games and a bye week, and is concluded with a tournament-style playoff structure in which the four division winners and two wildcard teams in each conference play in a single-elimination game format, with the final two teams playing in the UFL Championship. The team with the most UFL Championship wins is the Chicago Dragons (11), and the most recent champion is the Los Angeles Aztecs, defeating the Cincinnati Vultures 30-7 in UFL Championship 24. There are still 13 teams that have yet to reach the championship.

 

 

 

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HE RETURNS

 

I missed this the first time. Absolutely making sure to follow it now.

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I already know I'm going to love this thread. 

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7990cd9383553767ca805c3f4b5c17a8.jpg

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This looks interesting, there hasn't been any major new fictional league in awhile

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When can we expect the first concept to come out? I'm totally psyched for this series.

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#1 FRESNO BOBCATS

Pacific Division, Great West Conference

 

bobcats_pres2_100517.jpg

 

RATIONALE 

Fresno, with a population of roughly 500,000, sits in the center part of the San Joaquin Valley. The name “Bobcats” is derived from the lynx rufus californicus species populating the nearby Sierra Nevada. Fresno is known for its mild winters and dry summers, and notorious for thick “tule fog” that settles in that area. Being the “raisin capital of the world”, the Fresno team is dressed in a deep purple, paired with a sky blue as a nod to the city’s flag.

 

The primary Bobcat logo is brandished on the helmet, sleeves of the uniform, midfield, and other places for brand recognition. The custom-crafted typeface, "UFL Bobcat", is paired with "Industry" to create a bold look that is simple and strong. The "Fresno" typography is arched to mimic the welcome sign over Van Ness avenue.

 

bobcats_pres1_092817.jpg

 

STORYLINE

The Fresno Bobcats are an American football team based in Fresno, CA. They compete in the Pacific Division in the Great West Conference of the Ultimate Football League. The Bobcats have played their home games in Fresno, CA since the 16th UFL season.

 

The Bobcats franchise is one of the original 32 UFL teams. They played their first 15 seasons in San Francisco as the San Francisco Bobcats, until being bought out by businessman Blaine Rinehardt and relocated to Fresno after season 15. The move was made in hopes of rejuvenating a failing franchise in a crowded market and establishing success in a new one in Fresno.

 

SAN FRANCISCO ERA (seasons 1-15)

The Bobcats first 9 seasons were relatively unsuccessful, with 0 playoff appearances and only one season with a winning record (9-7 in season 1). The team posted back-to-back 13-3 records in season 11 and 12 with the emergence of QB David Beale and WR Sheldon Shaw, though the following 3 seasons would fall short of team expectations. Despite their regular-season accomplishments, the team was not able to escape the Divisional Round in the playoffs. After season 15, days after the announced transaction and relocation, Beale was released. Shaw would later be traded to the Dallas Talons. The team hasn’t matched this success since.

 

FRESNO ERA (seasons 16-present)

During the Bobcats’ first 2 seasons in Fresno, the team juggled starting quarterbacks Darryl Goodman (received in the Shaw trade), Lyle BennettSeth Lowe, who each started at least 3 games, and failed to achieve more than 6 wins in each season. The most pivotal moment for the franchise was the 18th UFL Draft in which the Bobcats selected QB Larry Randolph (Georgia Tech) with the 4th overall pick. Randolph would go on to set many franchise passing records for years to come.

 

RANDOLPH ERA (seasons 18-present)

The Bobcats entered season 18 with Randolph starting at quarterback over Goodman and Lowe. Though the team struggled posting another 6-10 record, Randolph was impressive and showed potential as a high-caliber quarterback with his exceptional decision-making and accuracy. The Bobcats would draft wide receivers in the first round in 3 consecutive seasons: Freddie Spencer (20th UFL Draft), Denard Byham (21st UFL Draft) and Jevan Muhammad (22nd UFL Draft) in an effort to help Randolph and the passing game. Over the next five seasons, the offense would blossom into a dangerous and explosive passing attack.

 

It wasn’t until season 22 that the Bobcats, with a record of 10-6, would reach the playoffs, their first appearance since season 12. In a classic game, the Bobcats lost on a last-second field goal 52-49 against the San Diego Wildcats in the Wildcard Round. The following season, the Bobcats would again post a 10-6 record, and again lose in the Wildcard Round, this time to the Phoenix Skyhawks, 26-31. In the first game of the 24th season, wide receiver Freddie Spencer suffered a torn ACL in his left knee while attempting a catch and was lost for the season. Despite the loss, the Bobcats were able to reach the playoffs for the third straight year with a record of 12-4. They would fall short again, losing 14-35 to the San Diego Wildcats in the Wildcard Round.

 

NOTE: The logos and designs used in this presentation are property of CJ Zilligen and MUST NOT be repurposed under any circumstance.

 

bobcats_pres3-05-05.jpg

bobcats_typeface_100517-01.jpg

bobcats_field_pres_100117.jpg.e067449e904243c92180ea6491d29b04.jpg

bobcats_home_uniform.jpg

bobcats_road_uniform.jpg

bobcats_spirit_uniform.jpg

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Definitely going to be following this thread, as the original was one of my favorite concept series on the boards.

 

Loving the Bobcats identity (although I'm not too sure what I think about that light blue alt) and story. Interesting they'd leave SF for Fresno. Nice work.

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Been watching you tease this on dribbble. Completely stoked to see this thread return and you come out of CCSLC “retirement”. Honestly amazed with how much you’ve grown and progressed as a designer. Seriously your font work is fantastic! Very cohesive identity. Couple questions:

 

1. How do you simulate your games?

2. Will we see more custom uniform cuts like UFL 1.0? Or will they all use the NFL Elite 51?

 

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Excellent work with the San Francisco Fresno Bobcats. Considering Purple and Light Blue is pretty underused in professional sports, it's a good color combination for Fresno.

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Now that is an awesome design. I will say that I'm having issues determining if it's purple or navy at first glance, but that shade of purple makes sense considering it's a reference to raisins.

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