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Uniforms/Logos That Got You Interested in Uniforms/Logos


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I tried a search for something like this because I figured this may have been talked about, but came up empty so here goes!

 

It's always cool to read comments on various threads that say something like "this is the uniform that got me interested in uniforms", or "this is the logo that inspired me to follow design," etc. I figured it'd be fun to read about what got everyone here started on our own interests in sports logos and uniforms!

 

As for me, it all began with the 90's 49ers.

 

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Like most kids growing up in Utah at the time, I loved Steve Young. Though I've never been a 49ers fan per se (I'd later become a Colts fan when I got older), I paid more attention to them as a kid than I did most other teams specifically because of Young. It helped that they always seemed to be on TV and that my Grandpa living near Provo was a big 49er fan, so we watched a lot of 49er games. I knew their uniforms well (which were, at the time, the '96 set) and saw Young jerseys often from Provo to the Four Corners. When I was about eight, I got this kids book from a elementary book fair about the football stars of the time period, and something caught my eye; I noticed in the little article about Steve Young that in one of the pictures, his uniform was a little different than what I'd usually seen. It was a brighter red, there wasn't any gold on the numbers, and the helmet looked a little bit different too. Turns out it was a picture of him playing in Super Bowl XXIX (I was only about three when the game was played and don't remember it) and came to the conclusion at that young age that the uniform I'd always remembered the 49ers wearing (again, the '96 set) was, after all, not what they'd always worn! So it stirred up my interest and curiosity, and I started paying more attention to details on sports uniforms. I'd notice when teams would change, and what. At that time also, I was growing a love for drawing and coloring, and thus my two most growing interests combined as a lot of doodles I did as a kid were of sports logos and uniforms. 

 

Fast forward to now, and sports design and branding is the very career I want to pursue and is my greatest interest today. All simply because I noticed something a bit "off" about the 49ers that wasn't so "off" after all. Also, because of that, both the '94 throwbacks and the following '96 set remain two of some of my favorite football uniforms ever. Just a whole lot of good nostalgia in both.

 

So, which ones got you started?

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The Blue Jays' 1997 set.

 

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I was ten when they switched to  this look, and I was just starting to pay attention to sports. I already had a lot of Blue Jays gear that I had gotten, and so the discrepancies in logos and colours and uniforms was something I noticed.

 

Not so much a uniform so much as an overall look, but I'm pretty sure I became a goalie when I started playing hockey because of Felix Potvin...

 

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for me what got me interested initially into uniform was probably when i found out the Oregon ducks hardly ever wear the same uniform 2x which made me notice more. Then i found out about paul lucas' uni-watch and began reading that almost daily. around the time nike was about to take over the NFL contract i began looking up what the new uniforms will look like on google and that brought me to the concepts section here. Ive since gotten tired of Paul Lucas' politics on his site and obsession with stirrups that i hardly ever view his blog anymore and now stay strictly on here.

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For me, the hobby started when a friend of mine showed up to school in this very replica.  I had lost interest in hockey after the 1994/95 season and wasn't even aware the team had moved from Quebec.

This uniform was just so different from anything I'd ever seen before and the 10 year-old in me loved the diagonal stripes, progressive logos and shiny metallic silver, especially on the 'foot' shoulder patches.  From that day forward, it was my mission to get my hands on that replica, though I'd end up getting the dark version.

 

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For me it was the 1970s A's.

 

Catfish.jpg Reggie.jpg

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The funny thing is that I didn't like any of the elements of that uniform in general.  I didn't like pullover jerseys, coloured jerseys, or beltless pants.  But I loved the way the A's wore all those things.  

 

This taught me that a great work of art can violate standards and be beautiful in its own right, without invalidating the standards.  In other words: button-down jerseys and belted pants represent the correct form of a baseball uniform, and white at home and grey on the road represent the correct style.  Yet the A's had one of the best uniforms ever while breaking every one of those rules.

 

The look that the A's adopted after this was mixed.  At home it was a traditional one that was also beautiful. On the road it was a standard (meaning bad) pullover/beltless uniform.

 

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That home look could work today!

 

Then their uniforms settled into 80s mediocrity...

 

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...until 1987, when they brought in the (nice, but uninspired) style they still have today.

 

That stretch from 1972 to 1981 was the golden period.

 

Even though I am definitely a 1970s guy, I did not like the look of most teams in the 70s.  For me, uniforms didn't get good until the button-down/belted look came back starting in the mid-80s (Giants, Padres, Royals, Indians), through the late 80s (Twins, Angels, A's), and into the early 90s (Blue Jays, Cardinals, Tigers road, Astros, Mets jersey, Pirates).

 

But the A's stand out as the best 70s look, and as the only team apart from the early-70s Pirates who came up with good pullover/beltless uniforms.

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Earliest memories of interest in sports logos/uniforms involved the 1974/75 Loblaws NHL Action Players "sticker" book.

With the copy I had way back then, I must have cut out all the round logos and done something with them; book had some crudely drawings in crayon Flyers logos on some pages inside. (Later got a good copy of the book and salvaged some "stickers" from the old book to complete the better condition one before throwing out the original book)

Was a Flyers fan back then - likely because they were Stanley Cup winners.

 

Here's an online pic of the book:

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Ever since I was a kid I noticed logos.  I can't point to a specific example really --

 

I loved the Sears Wishbooks that sold the Hutch uniforms;

I was big into sports cards and sports magazines that provided pictures of new uniforms in a world where we had one or two sports channels readily available and the internet didn't exist;

I religiously carried sports catalogs, notably one called Sports Section that showed the new Jets helmet with black facemask in 1990 and new apparel in all sports annually; Manny's Baseball Land and Eastbay followed suit.

I thought changes in MLB (Mariners, Angels, Rockies, Marlins) and football (Patriots) in 1993 were awesome.

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What did it for me was 2010, when the Warriors going from this set (which I love to this day and wish was associated with better teams)...

 

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...to this one (which I eventually warmed to, after a few months):

 

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I was a rising junior in high school, and the only Warriors identity I really knew was the 1997-2010 one. It felt weird seeing the team rock a throwback look, which I may or may not have joked was an attempt to recapture the "glory days" of Rick Barry and the 1970's. In my attempts to warm up to the look, I started researching people's feelings about them.

 

I uncovered a whole history of looks for the Warriors (some of which I didn't know about until then), and I found myself going deeper into the rabbit hole by looking at other NBA teams and teams in other sports (namely starting with old Giants and A's logos, and then panning outwards). My love of history and archival research really accelerated my adoption of this hobby, and I've even used the skills I've honed with sports aesthetics in my history/archival research. It helps to have a research hobby to keep your brain sharp.

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when i was a baby in massachusetts, my parents covered the walls of my room with those artsy nfl posters, like these:

cowboys82da-1.jpg

 

in fact, i specifically remember having this exact one and i want to say the 49ers? it's funny, because at the time, i had no real ties whatsoever to dallas... and it's where i've grown up, though i still don't like the cowboys. lol. i do remember being very interested in the 33 on dorsett visually. that's a great font.

 

next to these posters were sesame street posters of colors, including color wheels and explaining what colors go together to make other colors. some of my earliest memories in life are from looking at all those posters. it is probably why i associate sports teams with colors schemes so strongly. color and sports are one and the same in my brain.

 

i also recall having a boston celtics poster that showed the entire roster on a parquet background (bird/mchale era... i'm a 1980's mass-hole), and a philadelphia phillies maroon tshirt with the really curly P that i still love. these are all toddler aged, and before i had any real say in what i owned or wore.

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fast forward to living in texas, and when i was about 9 or 10 my grandparents took me and my sister to walmart. they told us we could pick out some m&ms, one bag each. they had a big display of NFL color M&Ms with two options. navy and grey m&ms with a big blue cowboys star on the package, or columbia blue and red m&ms with an oilers logo on it. i remember being drawn to the colors of the oilers ones, and grabbing that bag, while my old sister grabbed the cowboys bag. my grandparents told me i needed to put them back because "we're in dallas. we are cowboys fans." this is height of the aikman/smith/irvin hysteria in dallas. i defiantly told my grandparents that i wasn't a cowboys fan, but that i was an oilers fan for life. even in their death and rebrand as the titans, i've stuck to that.

 

from that point forward, i remember playing a ton of madden and tecmo bowl... always picking the oilers, packers, browns, or raiders, based 100% on the color schemes of those teams, since i didn't know anything at alllll about actual sports.

NewBitmapImage-3.jpg

 

i think the next breakthrough for me was coca-cola's "Monsters of the Grid-Iron" card set that I collected two full sets of. It was perfect. It mixed my obsession with sports aesthetics with monsters and halloween.... another life-long obsession of mine.

 

7302411316_3f124e7c89.jpg

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Image result for boise state vs louisville

 

For me it was watching the 2004 Liberty Bowl and wondering "What would Boise State look like in orange?" So I sat in front of the TV, as Zabransky intercepted the game away, and drew a 7 year old's rendition of Jared Zabransky in an orange uniform. And from there, it's history. 

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2523b622195ce7e04f0d10ded4b8ddea.jpg

 

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Of course, I was always a huge Minnesota Vikings fan, so I was always interested in their uniforms, and football uniforms in general.  I remember redesigning the Vikings over and over, as well as inventing my own football teams and creating uniforms for them all thru my childhood.   But I didn't really become interested beyond that until I saw these. I was 10 or 11, and I though these were just about the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

 

The weird thing is, although these are the uniforms that made me get into baseball uniforms, once I started to look at classic uniforms and get a sense of the history of baseball uniforms, I decided I hated these... that they were against everything a baseball uniform should be.  I was just to "cool" to like these as a teenager.

 

Now, I look at these with real fondness. It's nostalgia in the purest sense... not the way it's sometimes thrown around on this sight as in insult... "that's just nostalgia talking"... as if that's some a bad thing.

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4 hours ago, ColeJ said:

when i was a baby in massachusetts, my parents covered the walls of my room with those artsy nfl posters, like these:

cowboys82da-1.jpg

 

in fact, i specifically remember having this exact one and i want to say the 49ers? it's funny, because at the time, i had no real ties whatsoever to dallas... and it's where i've grown up, though i still don't like the cowboys. lol. i do remember being very interested in the 33 on dorsett visually. that's a great font.

 

next to these posters were sesame street posters of colors, including color wheels and explaining what colors go together to make other colors. some of my earliest memories in life are from looking at all those posters. it is probably why i associate sports teams with colors schemes so strongly. color and sports are one and the same in my brain.

 

i also recall having a boston celtics poster that showed the entire roster on a parquet background (bird/mchale era... i'm a 1980's mass-hole), and a philadelphia phillies maroon tshirt with the really curly P that i still love. these are all toddler aged, and before i had any real say in what i owned or wore.

81kQBjILLnL._SY355_.jpg

 

 

fast forward to living in texas, and when i was about 9 or 10 my grandparents took me and my sister to walmart. they told us we could pick out some m&ms, one bag each. they had a big display of NFL color M&Ms with two options. navy and grey m&ms with a big blue cowboys star on the package, or columbia blue and red m&ms with an oilers logo on it. i remember being drawn to the colors of the oilers ones, and grabbing that bag, while my old sister grabbed the cowboys bag. my grandparents told me i needed to put them back because "we're in dallas. we are cowboys fans." this is height of the aikman/smith/irvin hysteria in dallas. i defiantly told my grandparents that i wasn't a cowboys fan, but that i was an oilers fan for life. even in their death and rebrand as the titans, i've stuck to that.

 

from that point forward, i remember playing a ton of madden and tecmo bowl... always picking the oilers, packers, browns, or raiders, based 100% on the color schemes of those teams, since i didn't know anything at alllll about actual sports.

NewBitmapImage-3.jpg

 

i think the next breakthrough for me was coca-cola's "Monsters of the Grid-Iron" card set that I collected two full sets of. It was perfect. It mixed my obsession with sports aesthetics with monsters and halloween.... another life-long obsession of mine.

 

7302411316_3f124e7c89.jpg

 

I wish I could like that post twice: once for the great story about your uniform-related history, and once for your act of sticking with the team even after their move.  

 

I hereby declare you the winner of the Larry Baer Award for excellence in the field of franchise continuity.

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In the mid-00s, throwback jerseys were MASSIVELY popular in urban and hip hop fashion. My curiosity about the history of said jerseys sparked my interest in sports uniforms. 

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11 minutes ago, Chawls said:

In the mid-00s, throwback jerseys were MASSIVELY popular in urban and hip hop fashion. My curiosity about the history of said jerseys sparked my interest in sports uniforms. 

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And that right there is the value of throwbacks.

 

Some people like to sneer at throwbacks as a money grab, or just an attempt to sell another jersey.  Well, I am as hostile to capitalism as you can get; and I hope that teams sell a million of these jerseys.  If the kiddies learn that the Clippers were once the Buffalo Braves, and other such facts of history, then the whole throwback endeavour is worthwhile, and is doing good in society.

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When the Oilers changed their name to the Titans. 5th grade me thought that was such a bad ass name, and I used to draw concept logos on my spelling tests. I remember when I first saw the Titans logo next season (Pretty sure it was on a banner during their last season as the Oilers at Vanderbilt) and it absolutely CRUSHED anything 5th grade me could come up with. That T and the flames just kicked SO MUCH ASS. Then they came out with the jerseys and I just LOVED those shoulder yokes (which I'm not a huge fan of now, actually) and it was just so different from anything I'd ever seen. I REALLY wanted an Eddie George Titans jersey but figured there was no way due to the cost and the fact that we lived in the middle of nowhere Nevada. Christmas morn I busted open a box and there it was. Freakin beautiful. 

 

There were so freaking great. Still one of my all time favorite looks. 

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Why they ever messed around with it and ended up in this garbage I'll never know. Really glad they rectified that for the Mariota era. 

Oakland+Raiders+v+Tennessee+Titans+25xdc

 

Also, the Astros change from navy and gold to black and brick had me pretty excited too. Not nearly as much as the Titans did, but still pretty rad. 

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There were a few things that piqued my interest about uniforms. 

 

As the OP mentioned, that 49ers period with white pants caught me off guard because I am a Niners fan and they were going with white pants after the 94 season. Then unannounced the brought back gold pants. I was still a young kid then but I wanted to find out why the changes. 

 

I also liked the Jaguars helmet when they started their first season. I noticed that and wondered why other teams couldn't have that cool of a logo. 

 

There was one time I was watching the local news and there were DBacks highlights from one of their first seasons and I recall them wearing green for a regular season game. I don't think I recalled it correctly, but I was fascinated by the idea of finding out if they ever actually did wear it. 

 

But I think I can pinpoint it to this. 

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I collected these as a kid and it always bothered me that the facemasks were white. Why was I so bothered by this? I think that's when I started noticing my desire for uniform accuracy. I would color in the facemasks to match it accurately. I made sure that the Steelers only had a logo on one side. I didn't add a stripe sticker down the helmet for teams that didn't have one. My obsession for being accurate made me pay attention to logos a lot more than I thought I would. 

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