SFGiants58

MLB: Project 32 - New Dugout Jackets Added

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16 hours ago, the admiral said:

Moving the Tequila Sunrise stripes to the socks is a very inspired move, and I love the retro script with the shooting star and Tequila Sunrise incorporated into the tail. Thank you for resisting the urge to dull down the Astros on the road and become navy-dominant. I hate flipping colorways within a team's uniform set like that, and the Astros should be able to see the use of orange all the way through. Don't know about you, but I always envisioned the Giants as a black team with a little orange, the Orioles as an orange team with more black, and the Astros with as much orange as one person can reasonably wear (dugout jackets would probably have to be navy. An orange jacket would look dumb).

 

The primary is a bit of a weak link -- all I see is a guitar pick -- but I had the same problem when I put together my shooting star update (god) six years ago. The cap logo and scripts said enough that a primary always felt redundant. I came up with this [attached below] but my heart was never in it and it just looked like a nuclear kumquat.

 

 

astros primary 5flat.png

 

Thanks! I'm also opposed to color flips between home and road uniforms, with the Red Sox being the sole exception. Your assessment of the three traditionally-orange teams is spot on, too. I'm more willing to have the Giants embrace orange in tiny ways, (their old Orange Friday uniforms are pretty sweet, and the orange-billed cap is a fun alternate) but never to an Orioles level (heck, I gave them two orange jerseys and no black tops).

 

The primary logo was a big pain in the ass to do. I wanted a shape that could contain the pattern, while still being "space age-y" enough (like the Enterprise's mission patch). I've decided to use a roundel in the update, as it has precedent with the Astros and I've already eliminated a bunch of roundels in my series. Restoring one is OK. While I like the "radioactive kumquat," I can see why you couldn't sell yourself on it.

 

15 hours ago, Carolingian Steamroller said:

I love this Astros concept. The sunrise striping within the shooting star is a great feature. My lone complaint is that the "center of mass" of the star doesn't align with the center of the contrail. It does on the Alt #1 version which look more mobile. 

 

Aside from that, this is magnificent. The "H" logo is dynamic and script is refreshing and modern. 

 

11 hours ago, Carolingian Steamroller said:

One other minor tweak is maybe move the right leg portion of the "R" in Astros a little more outward. I looked at it once and saw a "P" and can't unsee it. 

 

Thank you! I didn't think the tequila sunrise streak would go over all that well, so the response is pleasing. I tried to make the star and contrail align, but it messed with the color distribution of the contrail and the star's size/distance from the wordmark. After you mentioned the R/P, I too could not unsee it. I have fixed the "R" in the update.

 

11 hours ago, KittSmith_95 said:

I like the Astros look. The Orange heavy identity really pops for the team, but I'm not sold on the font used. The Alternate script with the shooting star underneath looks vastly superior IMO & would be better as the basis for the full set, unless a font was created with the cap "H" & the 90's Navy & Gold fonts in mind, IMO. The font used now feels like it'd be better on a Hoops jersey & it looks out of place on a baseball jersey. 

 

  Hide contents

BTW, I hope we see the 90's Gold used in a Part 2 set. Please don't let me down. 

 

 

Thanks. I get that the font might not be to everybody's taste, but it worked as a modern take on the "space age" font the Astros used from 1965-74 that combined some good parts of the 1990's lettering (the "S"). If anything, I'd argue that the straight bold text of the 1990's uniforms was "out of place" on a baseball jersey (as well as that crappy number font the uniforms used - Eurostile Condensed Bold is not an elegant number font). 

 

Also, I don't think you'll be disappointed by my first alternate take. ;)

 

11 hours ago, coco1997 said:

Well, this Astros concept was definitely worth the wait. It's a big improvement over your Project 30 Astros, and the wordmarks and logos are all excellent. I especially love how the rainbow guts look on the socks. I agree with @the admiral that the primary logo looks a bit like a guitar pick. I wonder if you could transpose the elements of the primary logo to the diamond-shaped MK1 logo?

 

My other small nitpick is that the script "Astros" doesn't really fit with the rest of the identity. I think it would work better on a Retro Day alt. I actually like the scrapped alts a little more than the ones you wound up going with, though I think the orange one would work better as a pullover. 

 

Can't wait to see the alternate takes! I'm curious if the "maligned-identity" will be their 2000-12 or very underrated 1994-99 look. 

 

Thanks! I thought about using the home plate from the MK I concept, but the result looked too much like Royals' primary logo. It lost the "home plate" imagery due to the proportions.

 

I still like the script more than the uniform I threw out. The rejected one just looked bad when I mocked it up, and I had my "George Lucas watching The Phantom Menace rough cut" moment. I can justify its inclusion in the main set as trying to merge the Space Age aesthetic with a neo-retro cursive script. Besides, reducing the amount of tequila sunrise on an orange background made for a cleaner look. I envisioned the pattern as a sublimated design on a button front since I dislike pullovers.

 

As for the maligned identity, think back to one of the bright spots of the late-'90's Cubs.

 

11 hours ago, MJD7 said:

The Astros look really nice! I can really tell the amount of work you put in to this one. The sunrise within the shooting star is a genius move, and I really like its symmetrical use throughout. I myself don't think it's absolutely necessary for the 'Stros to be primarily orange, but it is a nice touch that makes them "pop" very well. 

 

I agree with both of @Carolingian Steamroller's points about the star and the "R" in the wordmark. A number font to match the wordmarks would be cool too. As for the primary, maybe it could just be the H-star in a sunrise circle? It doesn't have to be a full-on roundel, but it could be a cool idea. Or maybe just the H-star itself, even. I was going to suggest you put the sunrise on both sides of the star like the Carolina Pilots as the primary, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of it shooting...

 

Is it bad that I really like the orange alt you decided not to use. I probably don't like it as much as the script version (which is gorgeous, btw) but still.

 

Great job once again!

 

Thanks! I'm fixing the "R" and using a roundel primary (with the shooting sunrise pattern) in this update. I thought about making a matching number font, but it pushed the uniform a little too deep into the cartoony realm. The block variant looked a lot better to me, as it kept the aesthetics a bit more "grounded." Also, block numbers were more appropriate for a team of the Astros' vintage, given that they have not built up an "iconic" proprietary lettering font (like the Pirates, Cubs, and Blue Jays). 

 

It's not bad at all that you liked the orange alternate. I liked it until I mocked it up, then I got cold feet about it looking realistic for on-field use. I still have a soft spot for it, and I'll make sure to include it in any future presentations/updates of my Astros concepts.

 

Anyway, here is an update with a new primary roundel, a fixed "R," and a small number font tweak (the "4" was too high, so I fixed it to better match the 1960's-70's font).

 

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That's a bit better.

Edited by SFGiants58
Expansions

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Now this is certainly an Astros set with plenty of forward motion to it! Granted, it will be hard to reconcile such a futuristic set with the traditional stylings of Minute Maid Park, but the Tequila Sunrise contrail to the left of the shooting star in the primary logo is golden. I'm frankly surprised there's not a retro alternate (particularly alluding to the 70s era pullover jersey), but also intrigued by the extensive nods to what is arguably the Astros' most synonymous uniform imagery. Bar none, this is one of the few teams where orange defines a team very well, and you just about nailed it!

 

Glad to know you've got two alternate takes for this fine franchise...bring them on!

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Works much better, good call.

 

Incidentally, one of the coolest primary logo concepts I ever saw for the Stros here was one that updated their old Astrodome logo to feature Minute Maid Park. But now I can't find it.

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Thanks, guys! It's time for the first alternate take.

 

HOUSTON ASTROS, PT. II - From guts to a gradient

 

It's no secret that the Astros' 1994-99 is a controversial one. Some people have a feverish love for it, while others loathe it. I think it's a dull mess of a set, plagued by bad 90's-isms:

 

920x1240.jpgBR1R5Zs.jpgmoisesalou_display_image_display_image.jpg

 

The over-emphasis of navy, the gold replacing orange (a color they had worn for the past 30 years up to that point), and the Eurostile numbers made for a soulless set, devoid of any of the "character" that the Astros had cultivated since their days as the Colt .45's. Playing under the Astrodome lights didn't help much with the set's dullness. Still, it is easy to see why the team went this route, given their previous uniforms:

 

305-475Fr.jpg

 

While it may have been a fun look (it would look better with orange outlines on the lettering, and a font that isn't Kabel Bold), it had long since passed its expiration date. It made sense for the Astros to subdue their uniforms further and replace the "garish" rainbow guts and orange with tiny splotches of metallic gold obscured by oversized double outlines. There was another way, one that @the admiral pointed out:

 

On 6/27/2017 at 10:23 PM, the admiral said:

I never liked the Astros' '90s jerseys. I wonder if orange instead of metallic gold, to give them continuity with their first 30ish years of team colors, would have made them better.

 

I thought this was worth an exploration. Given the Padres and Giants' redesigns in the 1990's (as well as the Phoenix Suns' 1992 overhaul), it's not like orange was a non-starter. However, just adding some orange outlines wouldn't be befitting of the progressive-looking Astros. I turned to a trend that cropped up in the late-'80s and continued throughout the '90s. That's right; it's gradient time!

 

While there may have been technical obstacles to adopting the gradient (as @ColorWerxhas described regarding the Miami Heat's primary logo), I'm sure the Astros would have used the bespoke woven glacier twill/machine embroidery that the Rays adopted in 1998. Heck, I've long thought that the inaugural Devil Rays set was the perfect blueprint for a 1990's take on the classic Astros.

 

The logos come from the 1994 rollout, albeit with modifications to fit with the new gradient look (i.e., single outlines in navy). I opted for a three-color gradient, with white being the star color in the wordmarks. I created an updated H-star to fit with the set, as one of my biggest complaints about the 1994-99 Astros was the lack of an "H" on their cap insignia. The solo star is the tertiary.

 

VN4vgMP.png

 

The uniforms feature more inspiration from the period (you must remember New Historicism and its emphasis on historical context when discussing alternate visual histories). The layout of the uniforms is similar to the ones in our universe, with only a thin piece of pants trim. The block numbers are italicized (like the contemporary Phoenix Suns and the modern Florida Gators - who use MLB Block Standard ) and do not have a gradient pattern due to cost (akin to the Devil Rays). It's simple, but it sets the team apart and is doable with early-1990's editions of Adobe Illustrator.

 

eILaAc5.png

 

The alternates are two navy jerseys, mimicking the two worn by the team in those years. The first features the home script, while the other has the H-star. The H-star uniform uses the solitary star on an orange-billed cap.

 

984d7VO.png

 

Instead of throwing out bright colors, the Astros could have adapted them to work within '90s conventions. This concept is my interpretation of how they could have gone about it. C+C is appreciated!

 

Up next, choo-choo!

 

Edited by SFGiants58
Fixed home/road image

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Wonderful job! I admit I'm a bigger fan of those late '90s Astros uniforms (drab colors and all) than most, but this would have been a much more logical evolution of the Astros brand. I'm in love with that alternate cap and would buy one in a heartbeat. On the secondary logo, is it possible for the bottom left point of the star to meet the bottom of the left stem on the "H?"

 

I think I know what you have planned for the second alternate take and I'm psyched up! 

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Great job. I'm a fan of the 90's set! 

 

(I noticed that only the rear part of the right home sleeve has piping)

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Nice job once again! I'm one of those who's not really a fan of the drab navy and gold set, but this is a solid update that still stays quintessentially 90's. The gradient looks fantastic, and would've been such a natural progression for the tequila sunrise that I'm almost surprised they didn't actually do it. 

 

Interested to see what you go forward with in Part III!

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13 hours ago, coco1997 said:

Wonderful job! I admit I'm a bigger fan of those late '90s Astros uniforms (drab colors and all) than most, but this would have been a much more logical evolution of the Astros brand. I'm in love with that alternate cap and would buy one in a heartbeat. On the secondary logo, is it possible for the bottom left point of the star to meet the bottom of the left stem on the "H?"

 

I think I know what you have planned for the second alternate take and I'm psyched up! 

 

Thanks! I'm surprised the team didn't experiment with gradients, but I can get why they didn't (i.e. wanting to look "more mature," mockery of the vintage tequila sunrise, etc.). I wanted to have the star's edges meet the edges of the "H," but it looked awkward. 

 

I'm glad you're looking forward to Part III!

 

6 hours ago, Paul Lucas said:

Great job. I'm a fan of the 90's set! 

 

(I noticed that only the rear part of the right home sleeve has piping)

 

Thanks for the compliment and for pointing out the error. I've fixed it.

 

5 hours ago, KittSmith_95 said:

Yes. That is all. Yes. 

 

Thanks!

 

1 hour ago, MJD7 said:

Nice job once again! I'm one of those who's not really a fan of the drab navy and gold set, but this is a solid update that still stays quintessentially 90's. The gradient looks fantastic, and would've been such a natural progression for the tequila sunrise that I'm almost surprised they didn't actually do it. 

 

Interested to see what you go forward with in Part III!

 

Thanks, and I think you'll like Part III.

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This was a great idea to rehabilitate those lousy '90s uniforms. Navy, orange, and yellow make a nice color scheme (though I hated it on the Dubs) and the gradient is very well done, which I don't think people have ever said about gradients in baseball. But I noticed how the raspberry color, which only occurred very little in the rainbow guts, is only off to the far left, with most of the space given to oranges and yellows.

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This is definitely an improvement over what I consider to be the WORST uniforms in the history of the Astros. The Astros should have experimented with these in 1994 given so many have associated the team with the Tequila Sunrise color patterns over the years and continue to to this day.

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Well, the Astros tried do futuristic with those uniforms, but in the form of metallic thread and Eurostile. I guess that was futuristic enough for 1992-1993, in retrospect.

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On 9/13/2017 at 6:56 PM, ChicagoOakland said:

I have no idea why, but that star on the orange alternate reminds me of this:

5i5GdjC.gif

...which is a great thing. I would pay good money for the Astros to actually pull the trigger on a "tequila star" uniform.

 

Actually the inspiration when I designed that was a shooting star...meteorite burning up in the atmosphere leaving behind a tequila sunrise contrail. So there ya go lol

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Thanks, guys!

 

On 9/16/2017 at 2:43 AM, the admiral said:

This was a great idea to rehabilitate those lousy '90s uniforms. Navy, orange, and yellow make a nice color scheme (though I hated it on the Dubs) and the gradient is very well done, which I don't think people have ever said about gradients in baseball. But I noticed how the raspberry color, which only occurred very little in the rainbow guts, is only off to the far left, with most of the space given to oranges and yellows.

 

On 9/16/2017 at 5:58 PM, the admiral said:

Well, the Astros tried do futuristic with those uniforms, but in the form of metallic thread and Eurostile. I guess that was futuristic enough for 1992-1993, in retrospect.

 

Thanks! Navy/yellow/orange was the Warriors' color scheme for my formative years with the team, so I've always associated that color scheme with them. While I'm a big royal/yellow fan and I understand that navy/yellow/orange was an anomaly for the Warriors, I still have a soft spot for it. It would have suited the Astros well. 

 

I wanted to put the red color in there to "darken" it, but it sticks out like a sore thumb (literally). I'll adjust that in an update.

 

Eurostile is one of those "futuristic" fonts that's been thrown around in sci-fi and on consumer electronics (look any scientific calculator from the 1980s/'90s) from the way back in the 1960s (usually in bold or extended weights). The Astros adopted it just before we all got tired of it. I like it, but the wider, bolder weights are more "retro cool" than anything else. The gold thread was something new in baseball, so I can see the argument that it'd be "futuristic" by 1992-3 standards. It's only in hindsight that it just looks like trend-setting/chasing.

 

On 9/16/2017 at 6:53 AM, SS8609 said:

This is definitely an improvement over what I consider to be the WORST uniforms in the history of the Astros. The Astros should have experimented with these in 1994 given so many have associated the team with the Tequila Sunrise color patterns over the years and continue to to this day.

 

Thanks!

 

On 9/17/2017 at 10:15 AM, robbman21 said:

 

Actually the inspiration when I designed that was a shooting star...meteorite burning up in the atmosphere leaving behind a tequila sunrise contrail. So there ya go lol

 

Thank you. I always liked that concept you did, and I'm glad to hear the story inspiring it. BTW, in your MLB Alternate Universe thread, what team was going to swap places with the Astros? I wondered how you'd handle them.

 

10 hours ago, coco1997 said:

I know this is jumping the gun a bit, but for the Padres, I'd love to see their 1985 prototype jersey as an "Alternate History Day" alternate. 

 

I don't think I'll be incorporating those uniforms into my set. However, that friar logo may show up in the alternate take.

 

Anyway, it's alternate take time!

 

HOUSTON RAILERS, PT. III - Hop on the love train

 

I've made it no secret that I like the idea of Astros' 2000-12 identity, without liking its execution. It would have been far better had the team dumped the "Astros" name (@pmoehrin likened their aesthetic to the time-traveling train from Back to the Future Part III), used a more "old-timey" font for the scripts and numbers, and did more with that brick color. This series was an excellent opportunity to show it off how I would have handled it!

 

There have been rumors that the Astros planned to switch their name to the "South Texas Railmen" or "Houston Diesels" upon their move to Enron Field/Minute Maid Park (with Union Station as its cornerstone).1 I didn't want to use "South Texas Railmen." "South Texas" is a terrible location identifier (especially with the Rangers around), and "Railmen" didn't pass the "Would a twelve-year-old snicker at it?" and "Does it end in 's?'" tests. I'll leave you guys to figure out why a kid would find it funny. "Houston Diesels" also didn't work, as diesel engines aren't as marketable as steam trains. While some may have wanted "Buffs" (for Houston's old minor league team), Buffalo imagery had too many links to the city of Buffalo (and the death of the Oilers ). So, I went with "Railers." It's two syllables, train-themed, and ends in "s."

 

The logo is a combination of contemporary (late 1990s-early 2000s) train logos and intricate illustrations. The train is at an angle, implying speed with its long smoke trail. The fonts are Herchey Script and the Brandiose-design Cincinnati Reds font. They both looked more retro than the 2000-12 Astros' script font and "Chicago Bears in book weight" numerals. Herchey also has the faux-retro "offness" of the Indians' wordmarks, for period-accuracy. The "H" cap logo is the secondary, and the tertiary is the cap logo in a Purdue-style roundel with train tracks as baseball seams. While patterned trim was on its way out, it still had enough of a presence in sports aesthetics to justify its inclusion. There is no Texas logo, because of the Rangers' claim to that imagery in baseball.

 

GotIawo.png

 

The uniforms are similar to the Astros' 2000-12 set, albeit with some key differences. The home look takes after the 2002-12 home alternate, as I wasn't keen on the black pinstripes. The road uniform engages in an accessory color flip, like the Mets of the period. While I don't like it (I was a fan of the Astros wearing brick gear on the road in 2012), I did it for period plausibility. Simple striping and the primary logo are on the sleeves, fixing a matching issue from the 2000-12 uniforms.

 

0DzuEwx.png

 

The first alternates assume that the Railers would have had the same problem our Astros had with brick jersey overexposure. So, I made both home and road sets, color flipping them to go with their respective accessories. The home version also has the tertiary as a sleeve patch, for more differentiation.

 

W5KwMpW.png

 

The other alts are a bit more intriguing. The first is a black jersey for both home and road use. It has the cap logo as a crest, the primary logo on the sleeve, and an all-black cap with a matching gradient batting helmet (like the Mets and Rockies). The other uniform is a way the Railers could have appeased the fans of the "Astros" identity in the same vein as the Brewers' retro uniforms and the Padres' brown shirts. It color flips the home uniforms' scripts and adds Tequila Sunrise patterned racing stripes in the Railers' colors (like the 2004 All-Star Game BP/Home Run Derby tops). I opted to use the black cap and gradient helmet, as an allusion to the Astros' navy hats and the Rainbow Guts pattern.

 

1k4mh6I.png

 

While I'm glad the Astros got cold feet on changing the name, this concept demonstrates how they could have had a strong identity had they gone through with a name swap. C+C is appreciated!

 

Up next, beat the Los Angeles Dodgers!

 

1While I did find two articles that indicated "Diesel/Diesels" as a potential name, I found nothing that ever claimed that "Railmen" was in the mix. I guess this is one of those cases where a rumor gets repeated so often it's assumed it's true (going back to 2005, according to the CCSLC's search engine). 

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This is definitely an interesting alternate take. If there were an appropriate nickname for the sort of motif the Astros went with when they moved to what was then Enron Field (yes boys and girls, that was the actual name!), Railers just about hits the spot! It also surely would have been a favorite choice had the Manned Spacecraft Center gone somewhere else other than Houston; this is a port city after all, and one of the first radio stations here, KPRC (which also once aired the Astros' games on radio) is rumored to stand for Kotton Port Rail Center which just about describes Houston economically before NASA and the big oil companies (e.g. Shell, Exxon) started moving in. Throw in the western stylings of the uniforms, and I say you have gone out and give us (with apologies to a punch-worthy former Oilers coordinator) a winner in town!

 

These three sets and their timing could not have been better for the 'Stros coming off their AL West title...Now I'm ready to call an Uber and ask for a ride to Chavez Ravine, before the Dodger Dogs get cold!

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With a heavy heart I must tell you that "Railers" fails the adolescent prurience test worse than "Railmen" does :(

But I like the use of the Reds font and the logos are good. I would just never sign off on throwing 35 years of brand equity in the trash and I'm glad the Astros didn't. The worst thing about "South Texas Railmen" is that Houston isn't even in South Texas. South Texas is San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. Houston is in East Texas, all bayous and humidity, basically the edge of the South.

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Another very imaginative alternate take. I really like the use of the Reds' numbers, and the train tracks as baseball stitching on the tertiary logo are brilliant. I think the Astros-themed alt is my favorite of the set. However, I would angle the wordmarks like on the original 2000-12 Astros uniforms. 

 

Looking forward to the Dodgers! As a team that's been historically very traditional, I'm curious what you have planned for the alternate take. 

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I have to admit, this one is not my favorite so far. I think I prefer the actual fonts the Astros used during this era to the ones you chose; I also think the road version of the brick alternate is pretty difficult to read. I agree that "Railmen" works slightly better than "Railers" in use.

 

I also think the road could be all brick, but that's just personal preference.

 

There are some redeeming qualities though, the primary and territary namely are both fantastic. The use of the Reds font is also clever, and works really well. I also really like the Astros alt, you could honestly build the whole identity off that.

 

With a few tweaks, I honestly think you could make this look really great! Looking forward to the Dodgers!

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