There's an old saying that goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Everybody knows that saying. I use it all the time. And in a lot of senses, the Islanders' visual identity is very much not broken. Their jerseys are classics, their colors are beautiful, and their logo is an icon. The team has a lot of history, and has codified it into a wonderful visual brand. But at the same point, I was going through old pictures of the Isles' navy look from the early 2000s as well as their current Reverse Retros, and I had the realization that even though their identity isn't broken, I could still fix it.
So that's what I did. I spent an afternoon throwing together a cobble of the Isles' scattered identity into one coherent set of uniforms. I made new home, road, alternate, and Reverse Retro jerseys using a mishmash of past color schemes, logos, fonts, and jersey designs. To put it in generic branding speak, these designs are inspired by the past, built for the future.
Anyways, without further ado, here are the designs I came up with.
Now, before you say anything, I can already hear you typing "Hey, that home jersey is basically just the Reverse Retro with a different collar!" And that's only partially true. Putting the orange on the bottom of the striping wasn't inspired by the RR jerseys, but rather by the team's dynasty uniforms that they wore during their insane playoff runs in the '80s. On top of that, the orange numbers are taken from the team's inaugural sweaters from 1972, the lighthouse shoulder logo from the much-maligned fisherman jerseys, and the "WE'RE ALL ISLANDERS" hanger effect from the team's early 2010s slogan that was emblazoned on signs welcoming fans to the Nassau Coliseum and even on the building itself.
Unlike the home uniform, I don't have a giant paragraph to write about my road uniform design. It's got the same influences and touches as the original, but this one has a more modern touch. It would be the first Islanders primary jersey to utilize a shoulder yoke, other than the aforementioned fisherman uniforms, as well as the first white Isles jersey to use orange numbering.
The Isles like to be crazy with their alternate uniforms. They have a knack for making their third jerseys some of the worst hockey uniforms ever, with unnecessary angular striping, weird color palettes, and stupidly minimalist striping adorning their many alternate jerseys. Rather than pushing the envelope like their alternates usually do, this jersey capitalizes on the past. I called this design the "Dynasty Uniform" rather than a generic alternate uniform, since it's almost entirely inspired by the Isles' 1980s dynasty. People like to rag on the Isles for putting four stripes into their logos and jerseys to symbolize their four Stanley Cups, but screw 'em! I think the Isles should go balls-to-the-walls when it comes to honoring their past. This jersey uses a new striping pattern and an unused wordmark as its primary influences, and toes the line between being a fauxback and a modern style of jersey. The inside of the collar reads "DYNASTY FOREVER," in a nod to the fact that the Islanders hold the title for one of hockey's most dominant dynasties, even if they haven't had much success since. All in all, I'm honestly pretty proud of this design.
And lastly, here's the Reverse Retro design I came up with. When the NHL announced the Reverse Retro program, the Isles were one of the teams that received the most hype, since everybody wanted to see the fishsticks jerseys make a return. However, Islanders are gonna Islander, and we ended up with one of the most boring possible designs instead. This jersey goes right where the Isles went wrong, putting the Isles' infamous fisherman jersey in a teal colorway instead of the navy it originally utilized. The hanger effect reads "WEATHER THE STORM," in a little reference to the frequent hurricanes and storms that batter Long Island, as well as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fans weathering the storm of awful play on the ice during the Fisherman jerseys' initial debut.
And there it is, I reinvented the wheel. That was my attempt at giving one of the best dressed teams in the league a new wardrobe. What do you think? Is it good? Is it bad? Are there any little things I should tweak to fix these jerseys? Let me know!