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Everything posted by andrewharrington

  1. That’s one of adidas’ brand fonts (though it shouldn’t be horizontally squashed like that). I bet there’s something with a similar look out there, but I’m not sure what.
  2. The fabric is vibrant. It’s the helmet that’s washed out!
  3. I’m not sure. It could be a league thing, or it could be a design preference to keep the toolbox tidy and concise for the factory who makes the garments. I like to do custom nameplate lettering, but there’s no doubt it’s less efficient than having a small set of league-wide standards. Think of trim elements on uniforms like separate SKUs in a store’s inventory. Every single thing (graphic, patch, team lettering, player lettering, numbers, etc.) that has to be printed on or otherwise attached to anyone’s uniform is catalogued so that it can be generated (or ordered from another supplier) when the time comes to create or decorate the jersey.
  4. The coaches typically have carte blanche when it comes to “custom” stock uniforms like this. Technically, they’re not supposed to be using gold as a fill color for numbers and type, either (only the W), but there’s not always a process in place to make sure these things follow the rules, so to speak.
  5. The Bills immediately come to mind, but I could be wrong.
  6. The main italic wordmarks will remain for media, marketing, environmental graphics, and merchandise. Even at a full eleven or twelve inches wide, you can only get those wordmarks about an inch and a half tall on a jersey, and the typeface itself doesn’t take trim very well (lots of fill-in and clumsy intersections). On top of that, each sport had freewheeled its own versions, with varying degrees of success (standard italic for women’s basketball, arched/non-italic for softball and baseball, a taller version for men’s basketball, etc.). They lack versatility and frankly just aren’t well-suited for uniforms. The new uniform wordmarks were designed to maximize the height and presence on a jersey, taking signature design cues from the existing wordmarks and fusing those with classic block letter characteristics (and the structure of the W) to create something sharper, more traditional, and flexible across all sports.
  7. I think that’s a bit of a stretch. The lettering around the logo is maybe a lateral move (it’s a more appropriate typeface, but the monospace-style I is pretty weird in the context, there are a couple clunky letters, and it’s not set on the arc very well). The numbers, however, are much better, as is the illustration of the bridge, and while the nameplate lettering may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a better stylistic complement to the rest of the identity and more functional for long names.
  8. Block numbers aren’t exactly a good match to the rest of the team identity or the style of the uniform. They only “work” because they’re ubiquitous and generic, which is good if your team has the same “classic sport Americana” look and not much else (like the Celtics or Giants, for example), but otherwise tends to look a bit default and/or undercooked. Personally, I think the Jazz bring a little more polish and personality to the table with their identity, and a block number feels a bit antiquated in the context. Their identity pieces are a mix of curves, high contrast forms, angled terminals, and a support typeface for the word UTAH. The numbers match the support typeface, bringing a little roundness to the corners and angled terminals to support the graphic elements in the ball, the note, and the Zs, respectively. Distinctive type is one of the best ways to increase the versatility and potential of your identity, though you have be careful not to overdo it because it can quickly turn into a disaster. I think the Jazz are toeing the line quite well with their pieces (thanks to our very own Ben Barnes, who is the creative director in Utah).
  9. Believe it or not, that was a request from the university.
  10. I definitely don’t prefer shorthand city names on jerseys, but Phila has such a history as the Sixers’ “thing” that I don’t mind it. I actually kinda like it because it feels less forced than many of the other shorthand jerseys (ATL, Motor City, The Land, etc.). Philadelphia is pretty cumbersome on a jersey because of its length, and there’s something charmingly quirky in having shorthand forms on both jerseys (Phila and Sixers).
  11. A team called the Patriots, whose identity is inspired by symbols of the American Revolution and whose home region was the epicenter for said event, should not wear a red jersey. I thought we established this like 15 years ago.
  12. It’s essentially the Jaguars’ number set with a few modifications made to simplify it. The 4 looks way too heavy and compact compared to the other numbers, though. That’s a shame.
  13. It still is done that way, to a degree. It’s funny you used Montréal as an example; the reason they’re the only team currently wearing a two-eyelet lace up instead of the standard version is because they insisted on it. Same with Dallas’ “cowboy cut” shoulder yoke. The challenge is always balancing form, function, efficiency, and versatility that works for as many teams as possible. Even given the challenging base design, I still contend there exists a good solution to coloring up every team’s collar. For example, I think the contrasting center tab creates the problem for a team like Chicago (the dress shirt look). A white center tab would have looked a lot better in my opinion (I’m not a fan at all of half-colored collars).
  14. I definitely understand where you’re coming from (and agree for the most part), but I also think that team identity and brand positioning are important to the discussion. Not every team is the Giants, Bears, or Packers, and I think the vibe that some newer teams are cultivating make monochrome uniforms more appropriate in that context. I think there’s also something to be said for variety. A homogeneous look among 16 teams is a lot different than a homogeneous look among 32, like we have today. Do the Seahawks look great in blue over white or grey? Yes, but I don’t think they look odd in all blue. They pull it off because of their identity and the brand they’ve built with it, and there are a handful of teams that can pull it off for the same reasons. It obviously goes wrong when heritage brands are forced into something like Color Rush, but ultimately, I think the debate should focus more on brand context than a very subjective blanket statement like all professional teams should wear contrasting pants because that’s how they’ve always done it. Some teams have no interest in the past and their brand strategy reflects that. It would be just as silly to arbitrarily force those teams into historically conventional aesthetics “just because.” If I were shopping for car, I’d expect the “professional” employees at a midwestern Cadillac dealer to dress and present themselves differently (more traditional, white shirts and ties, etc.) than the employees at a Subaru dealer in Seattle (more casual, outdoorsy, etc.), and that’s simply because of branding and regional culture. I don’t see why sports teams have to be any different.
  15. I know people aren’t happy they’re moving across the bay, but they’d be pretty stupid to completely eliminate Oakland from their identity. That said, keeping this jersey around comes across (to me) as a fairly hollow attempt to stay in the good graces of their former town. They’re basically in a no-win situation with all that.
  16. Not hinting, just explaining that a reactionary aesthetic fix isn’t realistic. Once these things are designed, they’re developed for mass production and integrated into an elaborate schedule, often involving coordination between multiple suppliers and locations. Short of a complete performance emergency like the NBA jerseys bursting open or the drippy soccer fabric from a few years ago, the earliest you’ll ever see a change is the next redesign cycle.
  17. For reference, I never really loved the standing version, so I updated the “stiff arm” one: Let’s just say I’ll be livid if they botch this again.
  18. There’s not much you can do with that helmet. The giant ridge and the snap placement are so obtrusive that it’s almost comical; in my opinion a very transparent example of corporate ego seizing control of the design. It’s “form over function” (essentially a backward approach) at its finest, going overboard on a distinctive, disruptive look and completely inhibiting the ability to decorate the helmet in a conventional way.
  19. By the time a base uniform style hits the field/ice/court, the next one is typically already in the early stages of design. Basically, petitioning would be a waste, as the uniform wheel can only turn so fast.
  20. To expand for those curious, a natural fiber like cotton is naturally hydrophilic (absorbs water) but that water doesn’t have anywhere to go because the evaporation rate (drying time) is slower than the absorption rate, thus the cotton becomes soaked and stays wet until the evaporation can catch up (essentially not until you’re done sweating or it stops raining or whatever the case is. As mentioned, though, Cotton can be blended with other fibers and/or treated to become more hydrophobic (repels water). Essentially what happens is the treatment doesn’t allow the cotton to absorb as much water, resulting in a cotton that dries faster. Similarly, a cotton blended with a synthetic contains less cotton and therefore also absorbs less water. Cotton blends are softer than their full synthetic counterparts. Synthetic fibers are naturally hydrophobic and absorb very little water compared to natural fibers, but that’s not ideal either because they don’t naturally absorb the water off the skin and as a result you end up very drippy underneath the fabric. Synthetic fibers are often treated with a hydrophilic coating to help pull the water off the skin, and because they’re naturally hydrophobic, the water tends to sit on the outside of the fiber where the sun and air can evaporate it. Wool is by far the most interesting. As a natural fiber, it’s hydrophilic (even more absorbent than cotton), but because it’s essentially a hair, it’s not hollow and it’s able to hold the extra moisture in the center of the fiber. The outside of the fiber is actually quite hydrophobic (that’s why a wool hat or jacket takes much longer to become soaked, and why sheep and goats are well-adapted to rainy environments). Because the fibers hold water in the center, wool is also very fire resistant. The structure of the fibers combined with the hybrid moisture control give wool unique thermal properties as well. The fibers are crimped so they don’t lay flat against one another. Rather, they create tiny air pockets throughout the fabric. Wool is a good insulator because these air pockets can trap heat very well. Conversely, the air pockets can also keep you cool in warm weather because as you sweat, the wool absorbs the sweat (but because the water is stored in the center, the wool doesn’t feel as wet on your skin as cotton), and the airflow through the pockets is cooled by the moisture in the fibers.
  21. Well, there’s your problem. You keep saying “abandon the button down” when it’s really just making the button down better. Try looking at the glass half full sometimes. I’m going to number this not to be facetious, but to keep it all straight without having to wrestle with formatting. 1. It’s not exaggerating anything. It’s eliminating the problems while keeping the look unchanged. You can’t tell me that Auburn jersey looks noticeably different from one that has an open front. 2. It is a reason, but it’s not a good one because there’s no way to support it other than saying, “It’s always been that way and I like it that way.” Aesthetics come after function in the hierarchy. If you can integrate the function without changing the aesthetics, then great (see Auburn’s jersey). If not, you have a bit of a challenge on your hands, but in that situation, I’d still prioritize the function and find a way to minimize the aesthetic disruption. 3. Buttons, zippers, and laces were a part of other sports’ traditions, too. They wised up when they found a better way. If the appearance of buttons all the way down the shirt is that important, then there’s still room to make them softer, less intrusive, flush to the jersey, more durable, etc. The design of the Auburn jersey still offers players the ability to open the collar or button it up. I’m going to disagree that on-field jerseys should be designed as if they are commercial products, though. Commercial interests driving the on-field product is kinda toxic in my opinion (not to mention counter to the most basic goal of design). A jersey should be designed for its primary use, which is on the field. In my opinion, if it works for a baseball player, it’s probably going to work fine for a fan. If not, then leave the commercial version “fan-friendly” with the open front and functional buttons, but either way, the commercial side should be the one conceding in that situation, not the other way around. 4. I’m unclear what you mean by “unbuttoned jerseys on the field.” If you’re talking about a completely open button down on the field, I’ve never seen it and I don’t think it should be a thing (y’know, traditional aesthetics and all ). If you’re talking about leaving the top few buttons open, you can still do that with a henley. 5. We’re talking sub-professional for sure (anywhere from college to youth), but all professionals start as sub-professionals, so I’d expect a lot of the same feedback going up the ladder. I wouldn’t characterize it as a problem in the sense that it’s putting players in imminent danger, but it’s very clearly an annoyance. I don’t have a tally of how many people I’ve talked to, but this is definitely the thing that pops up most often (I’d estimate roughly half of the people I talk to). It’s easy to dismiss it as “not a problem from where we’re standing,” but I think that proves the point. We’re the ones standing, they’re the ones playing and saying, “This could be better.” 6. It sounds easy, but “a bit of extra time” is more like several hours figuring out where to best split it, measuring it, positioning it, clipping the art, overlapping it, figuring out the best way to instruct someone how to line it up properly, etc. Then, in production, you have to produce and sew two pieces down instead of one, make sure they line up, are positioned correctly, etc. I wouldn’t say it takes twice as long as sewing down a non-split script, but it’s close. In addition to the extra time, there’s more waste because it’s easier to mess up. 7. I’m still not grasping this point. It is most definitely not a huge aesthetic overhaul, as evidenced by the Auburn jersey above. 8. I’m hoping this is just worded funny and you mean arrogance on the part of the sportswear industry, not arrogance on my part. At any rate, if there’s a tangible benefit (especially with little to no aesthetic disruption), I don’t see it as a change for its own sake. It is, in the most literal sense, a change for the sake of making a baseball jersey that’s better suited for the players who wear it. We were fine with cars for ages before rear view cameras, lane assist technology, and adaptive cruise control, but all those things (while technically not “necessary”) make the practical experience of driving a car better. This is no different. Just some food for thought...
  22. Here’s a good example: imagine this, but ideally without the lower (non-functional) buttons. Same look, better function.
  23. The Mets’ look there isn’t quite what I’m describing. That’s more like a traditional crew-style henley, where I’m talking more just stopping the standard placket above the lettering. A henley placket with full-length piping would look exactly the same as a button front with full-length piping while eliminating all the unnecessary negatives that come with buttons and a split front. I’ve yet to hear a *good* reason for the persistence of buttons and/or a split front. I think the fact that lots of players have them sewn shut speaks for itself. It’s an antifunctional relic, and one that could easily be remedied with no aesthetic sacrifice (I’d even argue the jerseys would look better). I’m not sure where one would find “data” on that. All I can offer is practical evidence (other than that of MLB players having their plackets sewn shut). I talk to a lot of athletes. No one has ever told me they prefer wearing a button front jersey, but several have told me that they love not having buttons on the front because it hurts when they slide or dive (mainly baserunners and infielders). Two people told me they broke fingers on their throwing hand because they got caught in the placket, and equipment managers often tell me it’s an annoyance to repair buttons every day. From a production standpoint, individual letters aren’t too bad, other than the fact that you often have to purposefully set the wordmark off-center and/or flub the kerning due to the split. Scripts are actually quite a bit more work to adapt to a split-front in both design and production. To me, it still comes down to a common sense solution that makes the product better without changing the traditional look.
  24. They completely trampled on the traditional aesthetics of the sport once already (twice if you want to count the colored top/every team needs at least four jerseys/take advantage of every summer holiday revolution that’s been happening for the past 20+ years). This would pale in comparison to either of those things. The henley placket is very much a traditional baseball look I definitely didn’t imply that front piping should go away, either. You can can still have placket trim on a henley, either stopping it at the end of the placket or continuing it all the way down the front if you please (still kinda faux, but at least the unnecessary flap and buttons are gone). Collar trim like what the Giants wear would remain completely unchanged. Aren’t comfort and the elimination of unnecessary aesthetic compromises both objective improvements, no to mention how much easier it would be to apply the lettering?
  25. Isn’t metallic gold a common motif for pretty much every 50th anniversary?