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Fresh NBA Concepts | Utah Jazz (10/30)


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I’m going to be sharing some NBA concepts I’ve been working on and tweaking for a while now. I started these almost two years ago when the first Nike designed uniforms came trickling out. I was a bit underwhelmed by many of them and started to work up my own.  The time has come to share!

I haven’t posted concepts on these boards in probably 5 years (and those were under an old username), so this should be fun!  I'm here for the feedback, comments, and criticism so don't hold back!  I want to make these better, so please help!

I’ll start with basic icon/association/statement sets for each team and then loop back around at the end to get a bit more wild with the city, and maybe earned, sets if inspiration strikes.  Before I get into it, major thanks to @Hoopladawg87 for sharing this template with me, and to all the other designers on these boards who keep putting out inspiring stuff - I find browsing here to be super motivational.  


Western Conference

Portland Trailblazers

San Antonio Spurs

Phoenix Suns

Dallas Mavericks

Utah Jazz


Eastern Conference

Indiana Pacers

Detroit Pistons

Boston Celtics

Orlando Magic

New York Knicks

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OK . . .

I’ll start with the team that sparked this whole thing, my hometown Portland Trail Blazers.  As far as I'm concerned, the Trail Blazers brand should revolve around its most recognizable design elements.  The rest is just noise.

1. Black and Red

2. Lowercase lettering

3. Diagonal sash/stripe

4. Pinwheel logo


When the team gets away from those four elements, they start to look pretty generic if you ask me.  With this in mind, you'll notice I removed gray/silver from the uniforms.  It's not needed and it just muddies up a crisp color palette. On the icon and association sets, I kept with some classic design elements and smushed together a few different eras. I love the gorgeous lowercase type face, created by Kyle Zadina, that the team introduced on the Rip City uniforms a few years ago. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the team is clinging to generic uppercase lettering when they have this beauty in their toolbox. It is uniquely "Portland" and fits the franchise just right. 


Lastly, for the statement uniform I mixed it up a little bit.  I was tempted to create a red Rip City jersey, but I've always wanted to see the team with their whole "Trail Blazers" name on the front of the jersey.  It is a pretty large word mark, but I think it is fun and has that asymmetry that is already familiar on the team's uniforms.  On the sides I added five diagonal stripes that are a effectively a little slice of the pinwheel logo.  The team has been using this design element in their social media and in-arena branding for a little while and I think it's a great look.  I know it's a little like the Raptors chevrons, but I don't really care.  Raptors had a unique look at one point, they only have themselves to blame if they end up looking like the Canadian Trail Blazers - We the Northernmost, anyways . . .


Feedback is welcome and encouraged.  More to come soon!








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3 hours ago, jaytavo305 said:

super clean and crisp, really like how u started with this. good work




My one nitpick is the white collar.  I've always thought that collars look best when they are darker than the jersey base, but I realize that is impossible with a black jersey.  Could you try a red collar, or a two-tone red-white like their current set?

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3 hours ago, Skiumah8 said:

My one nitpick is the white collar.  I've always thought that collars look best when they are darker than the jersey base, but I realize that is impossible with a black jersey.  Could you try a red collar, or a two-tone red-white like their current set?


Yes, I know what you mean.  I went back and forth on that one myself, but I really like the balance that comes with alternating the colors between collar / wordmark / stripe / stripe.  If I was to go with the red collar on the black jersey, for consistency's sake (and color balance), I'd want to swap the wordmark to white with a red outline and do the same with the number on the back.  Here it is for reference. 




It looks good, but it also is the same main color that the team has had since the early 90's.  I kinda wanted to mix it up . . . now I'm not quite sure which one I like better.  Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, jus2damcrazey219 said:

Your update on the black jerseys is great. I'd make a similar iteration to the whites. Additionally, the wordmark/numbers outlines aren't good. Have u considered going with no outline?

I felt they looked too plain without outlines.  What isn't good about them?  Do you think the outlines are too thick?

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On 12/19/2018 at 11:19 PM, KevinJohnsonThaTruth said:

Blazers look great only thing is the red alternate jersey font placement. I know you're trying to be unique with it but the off centered wordmark is off putting.


1 hour ago, Prince Harry said:

I think the off centre wordmark looks great. For me it works well because the Blazers have consistently asymmetrical jerseys. 


Thanks for the feedback.  The off center wordmark is definitely going to stay, because I'm attracted to the asymmetry and it works for the team, but I do want to make sure the jersey is appropriately balanced.  I've been playing around with dropping the word mark lower and adding a chest number.  Is this better?  Thoughts?



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2 hours ago, kimball said:

Wow! This is what I wished the Blazers did when they refreshed their look last year. Great work!

Thank you!  I wish the same thing, lol.  


I still find myself going back and forth on which red jersey design I prefer, but for now I'm leaning towards the chest number over the original design.  I've updated the 3 uniform sets below to include the jersey sponsor (sigh) and the other minor tweaks. 








Of course more feedback is always welcome, but I'm going to move on and post the next team . . . the Indiana Pacers

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The Indiana Pacers are another team for whom I immediately had issues with Nike's new uniforms.  I liked where Nike's ideas were headed, but found the execution muddy - this will be a common theme - so I tried my hand at reworking them.  


To me, Indiana's basketball team should be drawing on the basketball heritage of the Hoosier state.  They were one of the original ABA dynasties and the state has a storied connection to March Madness, James Naismith, high school basketball, and so on.  With this in mind, I wanted the Pacers in a classic and understated uniform set - but one that isn't boring or faux-throwback-ish.  I simplified the color palette (another recurring theme) so that they're essentially a navy and white team with gold accents.  The primary icon and association sets fit this color scheme, and the statement uniform flips gold to the primary color to, uh, make a statement.


The design is inspired by the one thing in the game that hasn't changed (much) over the past 100 years - the lines on the court.  The team name and jersey number are organized around a center court circle.  The name on back is placed on a nameplate like a team name on the baseline.  The striping and trim is all simplified to evoke the lines on the court and give the entire set a classic vintage feel.  







I hope y'all enjoy, please keep the feedback coming!


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Happy to see the template is being put to good use!


The Blazers' Association and Icon Edition uniforms are very crisp -- the simple design really emphasizes the color palette and striping pattern. My only suggestion would be to slightly reduce the thickness of the nameplate and numerals -- currently, they feel a too big to accommodate longer last names and/or two-digit numerals.


The Blazers' Statement Edition uniform offers a unique take on the diagonal sash design element, and I think it really works. I'm a bit skeptical about two things, though: 1) the rounded 'trail blazers' script clashes with the linearity of the numerals, side panels, etc.; and 2) the slightly-lighter-than-black shade of gray feels a bit off. I think a more cohesive script and a simplified color palette could go a long way for this uniform.


I also really like what you've designed for the Pacers! It's a simpler, more classic version of what they currently wear -- it's a bit vanilla in the context of their all-over-the-place uniform history, but I think it's perfectly fitting for a basketball team in the heart of Indiana. My only suggestion would be to incorporate a bit more yellow into the Icon Edition uniform -- as-is, it feels a bit too much like the Nuggets' new Icon Edition uniforms and not enough like the Indiana Pacers.


Can't wait to see what you have in store for the rest of the League!

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