Bob5151

Islanders' Fishstick Prototype vs Production Differences

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The Islanders seem to have made the "wave" design much more pronounced than the original prototypes were. The prototypes, modeled here, have angled stripes on the bottom of the jersey:

 

New-York-Islanders-fisherman-uniform-199

 

While the actual production jerseys have a much "wavier" pattern:

 

786edd0ef7e2a5e6.jpg

 

Obviously, changes are made to production jerseys all the time vs early prototypes, but I've never seen this one discussed here, and I was wondering what you guys think about it.

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Still to this day the single most ambitious major pro sports jersey design I've ever seen. Maybe the most ambitious I'll ever see.

 

Hockey for some reason really seemed to press into the "warp to fit" number thing back in the day. The other example that comes to my mind is the Brett Hull/Wayne Gretzky St. Louis Blues (then again, the '90s was definitely a unique and ambitious period in sports design, so there's that.) That Gorton's fisherman jersey set still thanks among my favorite of all time--simply for how unique it was (though all that waving certainly wouldn't have lasted past three seasons even if the Isles had kept the look).

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I still love this design, just not for the Islanders.

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The Islanders gave their proud winning history two middle fingers when they ditched their iconic look. It would've been fine if the Isles introduced the fisherman as a third jersey crest like the Rangers had the Lady Liberty jerseys. However, ditching the NY _/ Long Island crest was despicable.

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7 hours ago, Old School Fool said:

I like that logo. It could've stayed.

 

in a vacuum, yes, it could have stayed. or as @VancouverFan69 says, it could have been an effective third jersey (provided the jersey was a little more toned down. the rangers' lady liberty look was, in my opinion, very classy, especially the white version). but as an islanders fan who watched this whole thing go down live and in person, let me assure you that it needed to die the quick death it did.

 

you cannot even imagine how much outrage there was over this logo/sweater. i was in elementary school at the time it was introduced, so of course i loved it. us young kids were the only ones who did though. and as the situation with the franchise got more and more dire, the fisherman logo really became a lightning rod for the fans' outrage. the "save the islanders coalition" was this outspoken fan group that made changing the logo, among other grievances, their mission. i was in the stands in april '96 when they sent (i believe) rich pilon  out in the fisherman jersey, then ripped it off to show the 'wave' jersey with the traditional crest. the coliseum went nuts. 

 

as far as the prototype differences, it was really only the diagonal/wave hem stripe. some early starter replica jerseys actually had the diagonal stripe on them. 

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I still believe the fish sticks set could have stayed if it had the lighthouse logo on the front, rather than the fisherman and a more standard yoke/hem stripe/number combo.

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I posted that I thought the Pistons horse jerseys were underrated the other day, and this Islanders set, much like the Pistons, suffers from going with trendy teal (and I like teal, just not for the Pistons and Islanders). Straying too far from your team's traditional colors can often get teams in trouble with their fans. I think this set would be great if they had found a way to use royal and navy blue instead of any teal.

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I think the two strikes for it ... besides going away from the team's traditional logo, was that the toothpaste wave and the human logo. Human logos, especially in professional sports, just don't make good logos and it's one reason why we don't see many of them ... Patriots are really the only ones that come to mind. 

 

But, I agree with @VancouverFan69 it could have made a decent third jersey crest ... at the very least.

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1 hour ago, Around the Horn said:

I still believe the fish sticks set could have stayed if it had the lighthouse logo on the front, rather than the fisherman and a more standard yoke/hem stripe/number combo.

 

this really is true. everyone was okay with the lighthouse logo. as someone who loves the great south bay and spends a lot of time on it in the summer, the 'bayman' (original name of the fisherman) made a lot of sense. plus it was a reference to "downeaster alexa" (the billy joel song). but the montauk lighthouse is a fun landmark to build off of. had  they made the lighthouse the primary and the fisherman as a shoulder logo, it might have had more staying power.

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2 hours ago, kimball said:

Human logos, especially in professional sports, just don't make good logos and it's one reason why we don't see many of them ... Patriots are really the only ones that come to mind. 

 

Actually, I disagree with that to a certain degree. A human logo can actually work if it's done properly and executed properly. The Blackhawks' Chief Black Hawk crest is a realistic 2D profile and is one of the most respected in sports. The NBA Celtics' leprechaun is iconic, though very cartoony. The Canucks' Johnny Canuck lumberjack can work because it's a 2D profile logo and doesn't look overly animated. (I know I'm being biased here because as a Canucks fan, I love the JC logo and many longtime Canucks fans would love to see JC replace the corporately-inspired Orca. It's whom the Canucks are named after. ) The fisherman looked extremely animated and there was waaay too much going on in the logo. Had the fisherman were a 2D profile, simplified with, not necessarily an angry look, but a more stern face, and on a 3rd non-wavy sweater, it could have been a success.

@kimball is right about human logos if they are too cartoony and animated but if done properly, they can work. 

5564_vancouver__canucks_-primary-1953-1.png.0838556ac3f875a6aff9338290007d8e.pngVLLkXHd.png_cf.png.60b91fbfddc36d6f73b93e640a22d720.png

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As an alternate jersey, it probably could have worked, even with the fisherman in front.  I would have dropped the shoulder yoke, though.  As the primaries though, for a team that won 4 Stanley Cups, it was too much of a departure from their previous set.  It's not like they can't change, but it was too much of a change.

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57 minutes ago, VancouverFan69 said:

 

 

Actually, I disagree with that to a certain degree. A human logo can actually work if it's done properly and executed properly. The Blackhawks' Chief Black Hawk crest is a realistic 2D profile and is one of the most respected in sports. The NBA Celtics' leprechaun is iconic, though very cartoony. The Canucks' Johnny Canuck lumberjack can work because it's a 2D profile logo and doesn't look overly animated. (I know I'm being biased here because as a Canucks fan, I love the JC logo and many longtime Canucks fans would love to see JC replace the corporately-inspired Orca. It's whom the Canucks are named after. ) The fisherman looked extremely animated and there was waaay too much going on in the logo. Had the fisherman were a 2D profile, simplified with, not necessarily an angry look, but a more stern face, and on a 3rd non-wavy sweater, it could have been a success.

@kimball is right about human logos if they are too cartoony and animated but if done properly, they can work. 

5564_vancouver__canucks_-primary-1953-1.png.0838556ac3f875a6aff9338290007d8e.pngVLLkXHd.png_cf.png.60b91fbfddc36d6f73b93e640a22d720.png

 

I can agree with that. I think what I don't like the most about the fishsticks logo is that he's just there. There's no action or purpose other than he's just there.

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3 minutes ago, kimball said:

 

I can agree with that. I think what I don't like the most about the fishsticks logo is that he's just there. There's no action or purpose other than he's just there.

 

It's exactly how I feel about the Orca or Sabres fans feel about the Banana Slug.

A good logo tells a story about the club's heritage and history. The logo was just slapped on because of the stereotypical connection between islanders and fishermen. The Islanders name, obviously, comes from the NYC-area club being based on Long Island.

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This may be somewhat more common than you think. I work in the graphics department for a professional sports team (albeit at a lower level) and we’re getting new uniforms for next season. I made the samples for them yesterday because they needed to be submitted to the league this week for approval and ready to go for our unveiling next month. I’ll tell you that what I made and what was submitted is definitely different from what the final product is going to be. A lot of times you have certain deadlines you need to meet in order for production and media to have sufficient time to prepare, and changes happen after the fact for logistical and aesthetic reasons. I’d wager that in leagues where the volume of production is higher this happens even more so. This was also over 20 years ago, so that factors in, too. The methods of production weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today. 

 

I know we had a very specific production problem with one particular element of our design that’s basically going to force us to make a change between the time the samples were submitted and the time we take the field for our first game. It’s a headache, but sometimes it’s out of your control. 

 

I can can probably get a little bit more into the details of this after our unveiling, because it’s something this place would probably get a kick out of. 

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7 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

This may be somewhat more common than you think. I work in the graphics department for a professional sports team (albeit at a lower level) and we’re getting new uniforms for next season. I made the samples for them yesterday because they needed to be submitted to the league this week for approval and ready to go for our unveiling next month. I’ll tell you that what I made and what was submitted is definitely different from what the final product is going to be. A lot of times you have certain deadlines you need to meet in order for production and media to have sufficient time to prepare, and changes happen after the fact for logistical and aesthetic reasons. I’d wager that in leagues where the volume of production is higher this happens even more so. This was also over 20 years ago, so that factors in, too. The methods of production weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today. 

 

I know we had a very specific production problem with one particular element of our design that’s basically going to force us to make a change between the time the samples were submitted and the time we take the field for our first game. It’s a headache, but sometimes it’s out of your control. 

 

I can can probably get a little bit more into the details of this after our unveiling, because it’s something this place would probably get a kick out of. 

 

I would be really interested in hearing about it when you can post.

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I just noticed the Starter logo on the nameplates on the lockers, yet the Islanders jersey were made by CCM.  Any chance that they were originally supposed to be made by Starter, but got switched over to CCM and that might be another reason for the differences?

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This is probably a weird spot for this, but there’s a thread on Twitter right now (which the Sportslogos.net Twitter feed re-tweeted) that discusses some of the issues you’ll see when it comes to making designs into actual products. It gives a GREAT run down as to why sometimes designs can differ from the final product, and some of the restraints teams face when it comes to production and sales. I believe this account is run by the same person who designed the recent FC Cincinnati MLS kits. 

 

 

VERY interesting read, and it addresses a lot of the same issues I’ve faced working with larger manufacturers.

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