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"Bad Design" that actually works

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We've had several semi-random threads discussing things such as "biggest downgrades" and "one tweak you'd make to an existing uniform..", etc.. 

So, I thought it would be interesting to discuss which uniform design elements sound bad on paper, but actually worked in reality..

Some of these may be general bad design concepts, while others may be just typically-unpopular design features, but one team implemented it perfectly, and we love it!

 

I'll start with the first example that came to mind:

The 1997-2013 Buccaneers uniforms, which used double-outlines on everything.. Commonly heralded as "modern classics" on these boards, but featured the often criticised and rarely preferred double-outlines prominently on the team's bold numerals. 

BONUS: the addition of black to the team's color palette, which is usually not a very popular move here on the boards.

These two design elements combined to create what many (myself included) consider one of the better looks in league history, even though we - as a group - aren't usually fans of them..

 

What "bad" design elements really worked for you guys?

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piping on football uniforms. i never understood why that was supposed to be a bad thing. it works well with the Falcons and Cardinals

 

i guess this is Unpopular Opinions 2.0?

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It seems like many here dislike the Seahawks feather pattern (specifically on the helmet). I like it. 

 

Maybe that is too specific an example compared to the others noted so far though.

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13 minutes ago, BrandMooreArt said:

piping on football uniforms. i never understood why that was supposed to be a bad thing. it works well with the Falcons and Cardinals

 

i guess this is Unpopular Opinions 2.0?

Definitely related to unpopular opinions, but I would say this is more for situations where you agree with the general "popular opinion", but a specific example is the exception..

 

For instance: I'm actually a fan of double-outlines and drop-shadows, but I realize the majority of folks here aren't.. However, most folks here DO like the Bucs 97-13 set (double-outlines), as well as the "Showtime" Lakers (drop-shadow).. 

So I'd say those are examples of "bad" design that worked..

 

So, to your example, I'd say I agree that piping shouldn't be inherently bad, but I think in practice, it is.. However, I think the Falcons are one of very few teams that got it right with piping, and it works for them..

So "piping in general" belongs in Unpopular Opinions, but "Falcons' piping" belongs here..

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19 minutes ago, Notupinhere said:

It seems like many here dislike the Seahawks feather pattern (specifically on the helmet). I like it. 

 

Maybe that is too specific an example compared to the others noted so far though.

I think it works on the helmets and the pants. The problem with the sleeves is the way it bleeds over the sleeve caps.

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6 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

I think it works on the helmets and the pants. The problem with the sleeves is the way it bleeds over the sleeve caps.

Fair comment on it.

 

I actually don't mind that design either. Is the main issue that it seems like as spotlight for the Nike logo? Or, beyond that? I guess it does border on overkill. 

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2 hours ago, BrandMooreArt said:

piping on football uniforms. i never understood why that was supposed to be a bad thing. it works well with the Falcons and Cardinals

 

i guess this is Unpopular Opinions 2.0?

 

I think piping can work if it has a purpose and works into the rest of the design. The problem is that during the piping craze of the early- to mid-2000s, teams slapped piping thoughtlessly all over their uniforms.

 

I think the Falcons are an example of how it can work. Their entire design (both logo and uniform) is based on vertical lines and thin wedges of color getting wider, and the piping on their uniforms reflect that - it's vertical, and widens into a wedge on the pants that mimics the falcon's wing.

901982958.jpg.0.jpg

 

On the other hand, I think the Cardinals are a great example of how it doesn't work when it's just applied randomly. They have piping going randomly over the shoulder that broadens into a stripe going under the shoulder and down the side of the uniform, with a random white armpit blotch. And that's supposed to connect into a pants stripe that narrows for some reason. The somewhat swoopy effect of the whole thing clashes with the plain, bold, blocky logo and helmet.

arizona-cardinals-players.jpg

 

And then there was college football in this era, which introduced completely pointless piping on virtually every uniform for no particular reason.

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I though the fake shoulders on these looked good.

 

Islanders25.png

 

Wild06.png

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When they first began using their current logos, the Tulsa Drillers wore sleeveless jerseys that had both pinstripes and armhole piping.  Shouldn't have worked, but IMO it looked pretty good.

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Sublimated printed hockey jerseys ruled and they were phased out because manufacturers got cheap, not because they were ugly or bad

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22 hours ago, whitedawg22 said:

 

I think piping can work if it has a purpose and works into the rest of the design. The problem is that during the piping craze of the early- to mid-2000s, teams slapped piping thoughtlessly all over their uniforms.

 

I think the Falcons are an example of how it can work. Their entire design (both logo and uniform) is based on vertical lines and thin wedges of color getting wider, and the piping on their uniforms reflect that - it's vertical, and widens into a wedge on the pants that mimics the falcon's wing.

901982958.jpg.0.jpg

 

I just noticed that a couple years ago, how the jersey and pants piping connect. That part works. But those sleeve caps are so distracting and make the whole outfit feel unnecessarily busy.

 

Side note: why is Matt Ryan wearing socks that are almost completely red? Why is Devonta Freeman wearing socks that are almost completely white? Not to mention the different-colored shoes. My OCD is getting triggered here. 

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The random red front number is the all-time "mistake" that works;

 

7f271ba15b2a2352588bb926ddbc6f43--dodger

 

Likewise, the mismatch between home and road is what makes this one of the best looks in the NFL;

 

giants.jpg

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13 minutes ago, MCM0313 said:

But those sleeve caps are so distracting and make the whole outfit feel unnecessarily busy.

 

I think they work better if you see them as a macro image of the falcon's wing. They're complex, for sure, but they're also the only significant design element on the jersey, so I don't think they're too busy.

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I still can't believe that Falcons uniform is hanging on... especially when these beauties are hanging in a closet somewhere;

 

photos.medleyphoto.2352059.jpg

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4 hours ago, oldschoolvikings said:

 

Likewise, the mismatch between home and road is what makes this one of the best looks in the NFL;

 

giants.jpg

I've grown to hate this look. I sound like a broken record because I've brought it up before, but red needs to be present on the home jersey and blue need to be present on the away jersey.

 

4 hours ago, oldschoolvikings said:

I still can't believe that Falcons uniform is hanging on... especially when these beauties are hanging in a closet somewhere;

 

photos.medleyphoto.2352059.jpg

Those paired with these

usa_today_10465054.jpg

as the home or alternate look with a white jersey as away to match would be a beautiful set. 

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See I actually really like the falcons current look. I prefer it to the old honestly. Too many teams are trending back to the basics. If they went red helmets I wouldnt be opposed, id want the black versions of the jerseys back, but theyre doing a great job with their brand. 

 

Also, the giants set was one of my favorites, until they switched from grey to white pants. Now they just feel Meh.

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I should have really hated this design. 

BFBS? Check.
Logo rather than wordmark? Check.

Sublimated pattern that doesn't appear on any other uniform? Check.
Jersey ad? Check.

Combining navy and black in one uniform? Check.

Yet. I really like it. I cannot explain why exactly I think it works but somehow it leaves a favorable impression.

 

lebron-james.jpg?w=1000

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Can anyone provide me with a reason why I shouldn’t merge this with “Unpopular Opinions”?

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