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Reasons For Colour Changes?


youcan'tseeme

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I was just reading an article about the New Jersey Devils and their uniform history and came across a part talking about the switch from green to black. It stated that they switched due to issues with the consistency of the shade of green with the different parts of the uniform.

So my first question would be is this true? Followed by what are some of the other reasons clubs have switched a major colour in the past? Why did the Canucks go black, orange, yellow and red? What was the reasoning for the Lakers to wear blue and white for half a decade in LA before going purple and gold?

I'm sure there is more as well, I always assumed the black with the Devils was simply the 90's thing to do, so that article just has me wondering what could be other reasons teams have swap colours?

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Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Certainly the above points cover 99.9% of the color overhauls, but manufacturing issues are probably responsible for the various color tweaks. (As mentioned re: the Devils.)

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Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Nowadays for sure, but was merchandise as prevelent in the 60's, 70's and 80's as it was/is in the 90's to present? I can't see the flying V uniform being done to sell more uniforms, although I guess styles were much different back then.

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i cant say a lot about the NHL teams, im not a big follower, but if the Devils say they changed due to production issues then that is a legit reason. the Eagles are going through it now and the Seahawks had to change colors because of a similar reason where Reebok owned the color (i believe it was both the Pantone and fabric but maybe ColorWerx can expand on that)

other reasons for just changing color would be to become more modern (St Louis Rams), more vintage (Indy Colts), to better express their personality/brand, or simply own a color or palette that no one else does.

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But what does "be more modern" or "be more vintage" mean, other than catering to merchandising tastes (real or perceived) or reviving interest in a flagging brand?

Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Nowadays for sure, but was merchandise as prevelent in the 60's, 70's and 80's as it was/is in the 90's to present? I can't see the flying V uniform being done to sell more uniforms, although I guess styles were much different back then.

No, it wasn't. Didn't really take off until around 1993.

But that's where the second one comes in.

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But what does "be more modern" or "be more vintage" mean, other than catering to merchandising tastes (real or perceived) or reviving interest in a flagging brand?

Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Nowadays for sure, but was merchandise as prevelent in the 60's, 70's and 80's as it was/is in the 90's to present? I can't see the flying V uniform being done to sell more uniforms, although I guess styles were much different back then.

No, it wasn't. Didn't really take off until around 1993.

But that's where the second one comes in.

in the case of the Rams, when they changed colors they were one of the best teams in the NFL. the brand and interest in the team was huge. the change in colors made them appear modern and prestigious. you might argue they changed to navy because its a more desirable color (sell more items) but they didnt have to change the gold for that. and they didnt have to do it to for attention. it was the right time to reflect who they were.

for the Colts, they shifted to a darker blue, put stripes on the socks, and added a gray face mask to the helmet. they were completing a vintage look in 2004 just as the NFL was starting to really notice the team. so thats a move where there was much more than a shift in color, but it was required to complete the reflection of the brand they wanted.

it's easy to say "well they change colors to become trendy" but i don't believe thats the case most of the time because its so short sighted. you do an alternate jersey to be trendy but you dont change a primary color for that reason. vintage is easy to do because you're throwing back to what was, where becoming modern is harder because what modern is, is always in flux. BUT, its more than "trend". trend is something with a short life that appeals to a smaller group, but what we define as modern is something that appeals to the majority of your audience, will have a much longer shelf life, and is something your competitors are probably doing too.

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But what does "be more modern" or "be more vintage" mean, other than catering to merchandising tastes (real or perceived) or reviving interest in a flagging brand?

Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Nowadays for sure, but was merchandise as prevelent in the 60's, 70's and 80's as it was/is in the 90's to present? I can't see the flying V uniform being done to sell more uniforms, although I guess styles were much different back then.

No, it wasn't. Didn't really take off until around 1993.

But that's where the second one comes in.

in the case of the Rams, when they changed colors they were one of the best teams in the NFL. the brand and interest in the team was huge. the change in colors made them appear modern and prestigious. you might argue they changed to navy because its a more desirable color (sell more items) but they didnt have to change the gold for that. and they didnt have to do it to for attention. it was the right time to reflect who they were.

for the Colts, they shifted to a darker blue, put stripes on the socks, and added a gray face mask to the helmet. they were completing a vintage look in 2004 just as the NFL was starting to really notice the team. so thats a move where there was much more than a shift in color, but it was required to complete the reflection of the brand they wanted.

it's easy to say "well they change colors to become trendy" but i don't believe thats the case most of the time because its so short sighted. you do an alternate jersey to be trendy but you dont change a primary color for that reason. vintage is easy to do because you're throwing back to what was, where becoming modern is harder because what modern is, is always in flux. BUT, its more than "trend". trend is something with a short life that appeals to a smaller group, but what we define as modern is something that appeals to the majority of your audience, will have a much longer shelf life, and is something your competitors are probably doing too.

With the Rams I think you're overlooking the fact that the development process likely started as a result of the move to stl combined with nearly a decade of consecutive losing seasons. These two factors were likely the most significant and while there was initial the buzz/new team in town interest locally, interest in their brand in the late 90's on a national scale was next to nothing. The sb win and subsequent wins definitely increased their relevance and put them back on a national stage but the fact that the redesign happened at at the same time is a pure coincidence.

The colts made some minor tweaks that it should barely even be mentioned even as a design tweak. Yes they had a press conference/unveiling but tweaking the shade slightly of the primary is pretty negligible, I doubt the vast majority of the fan base even noticed the color difference nor would anyone feel compelled to purchase a new jersey. The striped socks lasted only 2 seasons. The gray mask was a trendy add on that a handful of teams incorporated. These tweaks were so minor and did not translate to any major visual differences (no new jersey design, no new logo to put on merch, no alt to sell) that I doubt there was any tangible effect of the changes.

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I'm pretty sure the Canucks dropped blue, green, and white in 1978 because they felt it wasn't "aggressive" enough.

Yep. Such a dumb reason to switch colours. Nothing about the players, it's all about the uniforms. They also had to tweak their colours a bit later on for production reasons for the last variation of the skate jersey. Orange became red and the yellow became a lighter shade..

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I was just reading an article about the New Jersey Devils and their uniform history and came across a part talking about the switch from green to black. It stated that they switched due to issues with the consistency of the shade of green with the different parts of the uniform.

So my first question would be is this true? Followed by what are some of the other reasons clubs have switched a major colour in the past? Why did the Canucks go black, orange, yellow and red? What was the reasoning for the Lakers to wear blue and white for half a decade in LA before going purple and gold?

I'm sure there is more as well, I always assumed the black with the Devils was simply the 90's thing to do, so that article just has me wondering what could be other reasons teams have swap colours?

I'm pretty sure the Canucks dropped blue, green, and white in 1978 because they felt it wasn't "aggressive" enough.

Both very poor decisions.

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I'm pretty sure the Canucks dropped blue, green, and white in 1978 because they felt it wasn't "aggressive" enough.

Yep. Such a dumb reason to switch colours. Nothing about the players, it's all about the uniforms. They also had to tweak their colours a bit later on for production reasons for the last variation of the skate jersey. Orange became red and the yellow became a lighter shade..

Pantone-wise, only the Red was changed...I believe the Yellow only changed for fabrics.

VancouverCanucks_FRC_1992_SCC_SRGB.png

VancouverCanucks_FRC_1997_SCC_SRGB.png

...and yes, they never actually called that original color "Orange"...it was always Red.

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Sometimes a new owner will come in and change the color scheme to mark the start of a new era. The Astros were a navy and orange team for over 30 years despite all the uniform variations and a name change when Drayton McLane bought them and changed the colors to midnight blue and gold. He also changed them to brick and black (same color as his company) when they moved to the new park. The new owner may not be popular in Houston but I'm glad he brought navy and orange back.

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But what does "be more modern" or "be more vintage" mean, other than catering to merchandising tastes (real or perceived) or reviving interest in a flagging brand?

Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Nowadays for sure, but was merchandise as prevelent in the 60's, 70's and 80's as it was/is in the 90's to present? I can't see the flying V uniform being done to sell more uniforms, although I guess styles were much different back then.

No, it wasn't. Didn't really take off until around 1993.

But that's where the second one comes in.

in the case of the Rams, when they changed colors they were one of the best teams in the NFL. the brand and interest in the team was huge. the change in colors made them appear modern and prestigious. you might argue they changed to navy because its a more desirable color (sell more items) but they didnt have to change the gold for that. and they didnt have to do it to for attention. it was the right time to reflect who they were.

for the Colts, they shifted to a darker blue, put stripes on the socks, and added a gray face mask to the helmet. they were completing a vintage look in 2004 just as the NFL was starting to really notice the team. so thats a move where there was much more than a shift in color, but it was required to complete the reflection of the brand they wanted.

it's easy to say "well they change colors to become trendy" but i don't believe thats the case most of the time because its so short sighted. you do an alternate jersey to be trendy but you dont change a primary color for that reason. vintage is easy to do because you're throwing back to what was, where becoming modern is harder because what modern is, is always in flux. BUT, its more than "trend". trend is something with a short life that appeals to a smaller group, but what we define as modern is something that appeals to the majority of your audience, will have a much longer shelf life, and is something your competitors are probably doing too.

With the Rams I think you're overlooking the fact that the development process likely started as a result of the move to stl combined with nearly a decade of consecutive losing seasons. These two factors were likely the most significant and while there was initial the buzz/new team in town interest locally, interest in their brand in the late 90's on a national scale was next to nothing. The sb win and subsequent wins definitely increased their relevance and put them back on a national stage but the fact that the redesign happened at at the same time is a pure coincidence.

The colts made some minor tweaks that it should barely even be mentioned even as a design tweak. Yes they had a press conference/unveiling but tweaking the shade slightly of the primary is pretty negligible, I doubt the vast majority of the fan base even noticed the color difference nor would anyone feel compelled to purchase a new jersey. The striped socks lasted only 2 seasons. The gray mask was a trendy add on that a handful of teams incorporated. These tweaks were so minor and did not translate to any major visual differences (no new jersey design, no new logo to put on merch, no alt to sell) that I doubt there was any tangible effect of the changes.

the Rams moved in 1995 and won that SB in 2000 (1999 season) i think, the year they also changed the colors and started using their current logos. no way they took 5+ years to change the colors and add 3 logos. if they didnt change to reflect their winning brand, then i would say they were changing due to the turn of the century, and it was the right time to do something new, which happened to be the time they were the Greatest Show on Turf. but i think we have a good year there where the changes could have been developed and better reflected the new Rams. either way, it worked out for them. the colors and logos definitely became a visual representation of that team

Yes the change in the Colts blue was slight, but it answers the OP's question and is a great example of when a team made a change that could no way be to only move product. it may have been a more consistent color across manufacturers, but it completed the concept of throwing back to the Baltimore look. yea throwback alternates were big and growing at that time, but in 2004, gray masks were not yet a trend. the Giants were the first and changed in 2000 and the Browns 1 year after Indy in 2005 (maybe 2006?). its a shame the socks only lasted a couple of seasons, but these were all details that happened at the same time. they were small that not many fans noticed all of them, so if they were not done to drive merch sales of an already successful team, then WHY? . . it was done to make their identity truer to their vintage roots. these were changes that this board especially should love because it was done with the goal of reflecting who they wanted to be as a brand, not as a cash grab, and improving the uniform without going all Nike on it.

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I'm pretty sure the Canucks dropped blue, green, and white in 1978 because they felt it wasn't "aggressive" enough.

Yep. Such a dumb reason to switch colours. Nothing about the players, it's all about the uniforms. They also had to tweak their colours a bit later on for production reasons for the last variation of the skate jersey. Orange became red and the yellow became a lighter shade..

Pantone-wise, only the Red was changed...I believe the Yellow only changed for fabrics.

VancouverCanucks_FRC_1992_SCC_SRGB.png

VancouverCanucks_FRC_1997_SCC_SRGB.png

...and yes, they never actually called that original color "Orange"...it was always Red.

Wow. Those flying v jerseys always looked orange to me. Didn't know it wasn't actually considered red.

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But what does "be more modern" or "be more vintage" mean, other than catering to merchandising tastes (real or perceived) or reviving interest in a flagging brand?

Sell more merchandise.

Generate interest in a flagging brand.

Those two usually cover it.

Nowadays for sure, but was merchandise as prevelent in the 60's, 70's and 80's as it was/is in the 90's to present? I can't see the flying V uniform being done to sell more uniforms, although I guess styles were much different back then.
No, it wasn't. Didn't really take off until around 1993.

But that's where the second one comes in.

in the case of the Rams, when they changed colors they were one of the best teams in the NFL. the brand and interest in the team was huge. the change in colors made them appear modern and prestigious. you might argue they changed to navy because its a more desirable color (sell more items) but they didnt have to change the gold for that. and they didnt have to do it to for attention. it was the right time to reflect who they were.

for the Colts, they shifted to a darker blue, put stripes on the socks, and added a gray face mask to the helmet. they were completing a vintage look in 2004 just as the NFL was starting to really notice the team. so thats a move where there was much more than a shift in color, but it was required to complete the reflection of the brand they wanted.

it's easy to say "well they change colors to become trendy" but i don't believe thats the case most of the time because its so short sighted. you do an alternate jersey to be trendy but you dont change a primary color for that reason. vintage is easy to do because you're throwing back to what was, where becoming modern is harder because what modern is, is always in flux. BUT, its more than "trend". trend is something with a short life that appeals to a smaller group, but what we define as modern is something that appeals to the majority of your audience, will have a much longer shelf life, and is something your competitors are probably doing too.

With the Rams I think you're overlooking the fact that the development process likely started as a result of the move to stl combined with nearly a decade of consecutive losing seasons. These two factors were likely the most significant and while there was initial the buzz/new team in town interest locally, interest in their brand in the late 90's on a national scale was next to nothing. The sb win and subsequent wins definitely increased their relevance and put them back on a national stage but the fact that the redesign happened at at the same time is a pure coincidence.

The colts made some minor tweaks that it should barely even be mentioned even as a design tweak. Yes they had a press conference/unveiling but tweaking the shade slightly of the primary is pretty negligible, I doubt the vast majority of the fan base even noticed the color difference nor would anyone feel compelled to purchase a new jersey. The striped socks lasted only 2 seasons. The gray mask was a trendy add on that a handful of teams incorporated. These tweaks were so minor and did not translate to any major visual differences (no new jersey design, no new logo to put on merch, no alt to sell) that I doubt there was any tangible effect of the changes.

the Rams moved in 1995 and won that SB in 2000 (1999 season) i think, the year they also changed the colors and started using their current logos. no way they took 5+ years to change the colors and add 3 logos. if they didnt change to reflect their winning brand, then i would say they were changing due to the turn of the century, and it was the right time to do something new, which happened to be the time they were the Greatest Show on Turf. but i think we have a good year there where the changes could have been developed and better reflected the new Rams. either way, it worked out for them. the colors and logos definitely became a visual representation of that team

Yes the change in the Colts blue was slight, but it answers the OP's question and is a great example of when a team made a change that could no way be to only move product. it may have been a more consistent color across manufacturers, but it completed the concept of throwing back to the Baltimore look. yea throwback alternates were big and growing at that time, but in 2004, gray masks were not yet a trend. the Giants were the first and changed in 2000 and the Browns 1 year after Indy in 2005 (maybe 2006?). its a shame the socks only lasted a couple of seasons, but these were all details that happened at the same time. they were small that not many fans noticed all of them, so if they were not done to drive merch sales of an already successful team, then WHY? . . it was done to make their identity truer to their vintage roots. these were changes that this board especially should love because it was done with the goal of reflecting who they wanted to be as a brand, not as a cash grab, and improving the uniform without going all Nike on it.

Your timeline is off. The changes were already set for 2000 when Kurt Warner came out of nowhere to lead the 1999 Rams to the Super Bowl win. There was no "winning brand" when the decision was made. No one expected it. Even ESPN magazine made a "joke" cover about the Rams being champs after Trent Green went down. This wasn't a move intended to coincide with expected "good years." Like the Oilers in Tennessee, it was likely just a late attempt to give the new city some "ownership."

EDIT: Because I was curious...

cJp3Rpa.jpg

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Isn't that original red similar to the red that the WHA Jets used? An almost orange, which went well with the damn-near-purple blue that they used...

NHL '94 and NHL '95 for SNES were under the impression that Winnipeg's colors were red and purple and that Calgary's were yellow and orange. Also, the NHL shield was red.
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Isn't that original red similar to the red that the WHA Jets used? An almost orange, which went well with the damn-near-purple blue that they used...

NHL '94 and NHL '95 for SNES were under the impression that Winnipeg's colors were red and purple and that Calgary's were yellow and orange. Also, the NHL shield was red.

Isn't that original red similar to the red that the WHA Jets used? An almost orange, which went well with the damn-near-purple blue that they used...

Yep - got these colors from an official logosheet from the WHA days:

WinnipegJets_FRC_1979_SCC_SRGB.png

...and, there's this really "off" one:

VancouverCanucks_FRC_1978_SCC_SRGB.png

Weird, I know. But, I believe a number of these odd color choices can be understood due to the CMYK breakdowns of these colors in the '70s.

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