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Future of NFL "Color Rush"


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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:


Unpopular opinion: this is by far the best they've ever looked. 


3 hours ago, CS85 said:



What a disaster.  The Dolphins aren't far behind these two, but the great thing is that Tampa & Miami have obvious and wonderful directions they should go with/adapt in making their uniforms right again:









The Jags are a tricky thing, since there's SOME good things about the new set, but the main thing is getting their helmet right and stripping the uniforms of some of the fluff. 




This wasn't such a terrible look, it just needed a pinch of flavor.  The sparkle-helmets weren't downright terrible but this franchise is in desperate need of an iconic helmet to use as a foundation of their branding.  There's so much potential with the color scheme and Jaguar inspiration - always has been - it just needs the right execution.  In their attempts to be bold, modern, and youth-driven, they've missed the point of how to best utilize the elements that makes a look iconic.  



The way I see it, the 1995 NFL expansion teams stand in such stark contrast to one another:








It's not the first time I've said this (and won't be the last, until Jacksonville comes to their senses), but I'd rather be a team that sticks to what is basically its original template than trying to play catch-up with the times and effectively becomes unrecognizable. Granted, I feel the Panthers can use a few tweaks here and there* and do look a little like they're stuck aesthetically in the mid-to-late 1990s, but then again, being stuck aesthetically in the mid-to-late 1990s kind of what all 3 North Carolina-based pro teams have done well IMO (what with the Panthers'/Hornets' identities, colors included and the Hurricanes' general design, color scheme notwithstanding).


As for the quintessential Jacksonville Jaguars look, the uniforms should essentially be the pre-2009 uniforms, the 2009-12 teal-flaked helmet, and the current logo (with an updated full-bodied jaguar logo to match the jaguar head). If the NFL ever allows an alternate-colored helmet again, may I suggest a full gold helmet (with matching metallic gold pants in the same general 1995-2008 template--get on it, Nike), a solid black helmet, or even a gold-flaked helmet. Or use the solid black helmet as the primary with the teal flake as the alternate.


*Go w/silver pants full-time or drop silver entirely from the color pallette and wear all-black or all-blue--with contrasting socks, of course--every now and again.

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29 minutes ago, 4_tattoos said:

Honestly prefer Tampa's previous jolly roger logo over the current one

I actually prefer the skull to "Bruce" but love the red/orange look. And from the beginning I wished they'd just use the skull sans flag on the helmet as it would be cleaner and more impactful.



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19 hours ago, ColeJ said:

change that helmet to a solid black, like they used to wear, and that'd be a great look.


True 50%, but I didn't make that concept. I would make one similar to this though. I think the creator wanted to try gold helmets using the other guy's templates.

However, I see the uniforms look clean. Just make the teal a little more blue in hue and it will work with gold helmets. I can get a shot at it, just need to get the Jaguars logo in svg since I use illustrator to do uniform designs. I have to reinstall illustrator though.

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1 hour ago, hawk36 said:

I actually prefer the skull to "Bruce" but love the red/orange look. And from the beginning I wished they'd just use the skull sans flag on the helmet as it would be cleaner and more impactful.




Maybe the helmet needs this what I found also,

Image result for skull bucco bruce



There is the link too. I think the Buccaneers need this with the old colors!

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Their old logo set was starting to look a tad bit dated. Especially the wordmark, which I think they updated perfectly in the recent rebrand.


I agree that the new flag logo looks a little "too clean" for the Bucs. The update should have probably just been cleaning up the old logo. 

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1 hour ago, Rockstar Matt said:

That old Jaguars teal-flaked Black helmet would work much better on a team like the Ravens, but utilizing a dark purple instead. 

Yes! Do both!


The Jaguars are an interesting branding case. Jacksonville is sort of an abstraction to most people: it's in Florida, but not of Florida the way we think of Tampa and Miami, nor is it a place that we think of as having much Local Flavor or relevance on a national stage, so you can pretty much do anything you want with them. I think we all sort of appreciated the 1997-2008 Jags set because it was vaguely modern without being garish, but also because the Jaguars as a competitive entity were so low-stakes to anyone outside of I guess maybe Nashville and Indianapolis that you could assess them from a remove that you couldn't with teams or locales that have in some way been a pain in your ass. The same seemed to be the case 'round here for the Titans around their Super Bowl season: they were new-ish and didn't pose an immediate threat to anyone in what's Packers/Bears country for miles. Now they're both over-tinkered messes, go fig.

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The new Bucs logo is a serious downgrade from the old one. It's too clean, the terminator skull is a terrible fit, and everything has this updated, but worse feel to it. It's like something you'd see on a set of plates and napkins at a party supply store. The old one looks like something lifted off of a treasure map. It's rough edges and sketchy look lend themselves to the team's nickname. It was perfect and they took the logo and made an exact copy except it's sterilized and without any of the character or charm of the original. 


Its the "Mean Girls 2" of NFL logos. 

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To really get what's happening here in my mind (and I'm sorry - this is utterly off the goddamn rails, subject-wise), you have to look at the other rebrands around the NFL and how it's rippled around the league.  It all starts with the Seahawks and Bills.

FYI this is going to be a long, rambling, and potentially incoherent journey over the last 3 years, so uniform savants and design masters, please feel free to tear it to pieces and slap your dicks onto my shoulder with gracious aplomb.







2012:  Seahawks & Bills


For awhile Seattle was stuck in this weird place where they had block numbers and tidbits of modern design, but Rebook didn't stray too far from the path.  It left them in a lonely, strangely half-pretty area, much like the 2009-2012 Jags.  Nike did a pretty swell job building off of what was already there and splashing neon green (a color already present in their color scheme) more prominently into their look.  Textures, patterns, goofy uniform elements - it all worked out into what reads like a hot mess but ultimately doesn't insult the eyes or ruin the dignity of the franchise:




The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, were exiting uniform hell and desperately needed to be reborn but did it with incredible restraint, channeling their popular throwback jerseys and treating their fans/uniform pundits alike with what could be called a "modern classic," when really it's a simple scaling back of what was a horrific NFNS uniform abomination and modernizing their former getup:




So essentially Nike's branders er rather, NFL teams looking to rebrand in years ahead observed two schools of thought that resulted in two very impressive new looks for teams that were in need.  Many teams likely looked very hard at both of these, and in some cases tried to unfortunately merge them.


2013:  Vikings, Dolphins, & Jaguars


Minnesota brilliantly redid their uniforms in what is easily a triumph of welding the wonderful iconic helmet into a more stripped down, modern look that still champions designs of the past.  The font may not sit well with everyone, but I found it more awkward than awful.  It's got just enough of a Norse/seafaring flavor without going into the realm of insanity.  It's not perfect, but it was a million miles better than the Favre-era abominations, and should last quite awhile.  Following the wonderful example of the Bills, Nike crafted an excellent new look that has by many accounts been received with universal applause:



RIP Teddy Bridgewater 2015-2015



Miami too debuted a new look.  There's some flaws:  A new modern toothpaste-looking Dolphin logo, a rounded, somewhat bland numeral choice, and a sort of uninspired wordmark, but the remaining 86% of the uniform is rather good.  The colors are extremely pleasant to the eye and oceanic, fitting of the Dolphin moniker, and certainly didn't ruin the franchise's dignity whatsoever.  It's just somewhat...barren of character.  I'll never begrudge a team for embracing solid colors, reducing uniform elements, and not venturing outside the box, but as I stated in previous posts, they revealed all the wordless ways this uniform misses the mark by debuting those absolutely stunning fauxback alternates.  It's a fine uniform, and Nike showed remarkable restraint, but maybe just the slightest pinch of flavor could've given this rebranding more legs: 





Nike threw all of this restraint out the window with Jacksonville, which likely relished the opportunity to be different for the sake of being different bold, unveiling a uniform scheme that almost reluctantly features absurd shards of teal and predominantly focuses on gold (or more appropriately brown mustard) and, of course, as much black as possible, because MILITARY/ARMY/WAR/SOLDIERS/FIGHTING/DOG-BARKING-NOISES.  The logo was given a do-over to appear more cartoon like (thumbs down), and the helmet combines matte black blended with shiny gold - an admittedly bold design element that turned out very badly in practice.


There are very good elements to be had from this uniform, and if observed from the front, it's really not bad at all!  It's when you look at them from the side that it all seems to fall apart.  




It's so damned close to nailing that Seahawks-esque sharp modernity, but the helmet, WOE, the poor helmet.  You'd think that Jacksonville would abandon this awful thing, but they actually doubled :censored: ing down.




And honestly...even that's NOT terrible!  Sure, the teal is a complete afterthought, and the helmets still look so good from only one angle, but it's almost at this point like they're rubbing our faces in it with the color rush choice.  Choosing gold over teal for color rush essentially says that gold/mustard/etc is their new primary, and the helmet may not just be here to stay, but it may ultimately become entirely shiny gold at some point and ditch the matte black - the best part of their new look - while keeping tiny tidbits of teal around just to do the smallest amount of fan service.


So close, yet so far.


2014/2015:  Tampa Bay Bucs & Cleveland Browns


For all the flaws of the above rebrands, there have been consistent themes throughout:


  • Teams preferring a classic route are given inoffensive modernities while strengthening their traditional look 
  • Teams preferring aggressiveness channel youthful elements without going too overboard (not counting the Jags helmet as the sole error)
  • New logos are bland but not offensive whatsoever
  • New colors are vivid, excellently chosen and the palettes are extremely conservative

A few of those themes were blown apart via Tampa and Cleveland.  


The Bucs helmet debuted first, and with the facemask getting a silver makeover and the helmet logo getting blown up to massive proportions, a few members here (myself, cough) were very excited for the new look's full debut.

What we got was very strange indeed.  The clock numbers were a gamble that ultimately dissolved a great deal of dignity from what was a rather venerable look the Bucs were sporting coming into this rebrand, and like the Seahawks before them, Nike wanted to emphasize an old tertiary color via streaks of orange.  This last remnant of the creamsicle Bucs had become the faintest of faint uniform elements, subtly noted in the uniform numbers and primary logo.  Now they have sharp, pointless barbs under a befuddling shoulder yoke and matching spikes on each calf.  With the emphasis on orange, brighter red, and digital numbers, they now seem more like their logo should be a fireball or something.  Where once was cannonball pewter and crimson now showcases a sludge of inapplicable design & lazy effort.  It's too bad.




Cleveland, meanwhile, had no desire to ditch their helmet (the fans would have likely rioted in the streets), and had to do their best to not veer too drunkenly away from their strictly traditional look while still taking full advantage of their rebranding opportunity.  

You'd think that they would have focused on the makeovers of the Bills, Dolphins, and Vikings for how to effectively refresh their identity.  Instead it seems like they looked more toward Jacksonville, Tampa, and Seattle, but still had some extensive limitations for how the uniforms could be changed to avoid backlash.  In the end, they made a camel.


They couldn't change the helmet, so they changed the colors.

They couldn't ditch block numerals, so they added a drop shadow and inverted the whole mess to showcase their new neon orange.

They couldn't ditch pant stripes, so they cut it off at the thigh and vomited an enormous vertical BROWNS wordmark.

They couldn't add a logo, so they emphasized making Cleveland and Browns look as big and brash as possible.


It was and is grimacing the observe, and remarkably heartbreaking that a team that used to radiate concrete tradition & almost spiteful minimalism now more accurately reflects the modern Browns era - uninspired, poorly managed, and incredibly disappointing.  But I bet they made a :censored: load in sales anyway, so what do I know?






So ultimately, here's the TL;DR:

  1. The Bills & Seahawks set a wonderful standard  
  2. The Browns and Bucs :censored: ed it all up
  3. Color Rush is the wrong execution of the right idea - new uniforms are always fun, awesome, and crazy, but god it would be amazing if there was a testing environment instead of just inverted colors or playing in solids for a night


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6 hours ago, dont care said:

Buffalo changed under reebok

Doesn't altogether neutralize my thoughts, but I updated the post anyway.  I swear I thought they were one of Nike's first.

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