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Piping


SG30

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I'd say that piping looks good on most baseball jerseys. The Red Sox, Tigers, and Braves jerseys look great with piping. Most if not all complaints come when there is piping on football or hockey jerseys. I'm not one of the big complainers about piping, I like Illinois' and some other college jerseys. The only time that I really don't like piping is when it is the "piping for the sake of piping". This phrase is used a lot and most of the time incorrectly. If there is piping on a jersey, but it's not connecting anything, then it is "piping for the sake of piping" and doesn't look good.

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All the time I'm hearing complaints about piping, never any praise for it. So, what's the point of it? Is it ever acceptable?

To me it is acceptable in 2 ways.

1. On a baseball uniform where it is traditionally used.

2. When it highlights another element of the design. For example it is used as an outline of a stripe pattern.

When it is not acceptable is in the way it is mostly being currently used on football and now hockey uniforms where it is used as the main design element (Think Miami football or the Predators and Panthers). Another reason I think for the complaints is that piping in this fashin is now the hot trend in design and as such it is being over used.

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Much of the complaining about piping has to do with people just not liking things that go against tradition. For me, like many other elements, it's whether it is aesthetically pleasing or not. I will say I've never cared for the piping on football jerseys that wrap around the back - it just seems forced. If piping goes along seams in the jersey, then it is more acceptable.

I also agree that it is too trendy. Leagues should bring balance to the overall look of its member teams.

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Interesting question that made me think. I have no problems with piping on a baseball uniform and yet a lot of times hate it on any other uniform. I sat here and thought, "why?" Then it hit me. The problem that seems to be with piping on football and hockey jerseys seems to be that the piping is just there to highlight the seams in the material where they seem to meet. It's like the company is advertising that it's come up with some crazy and unnecessary seem where two fabrics meet that probably has no and I mean no improvement on how the jersey actually works. It's kind of like how you were told as a kid not to swim 20 minutes after you ate. Did anyone listen to that and if you did, did you die? No. All this so-called new fabric and new jerseys are probably 99% myths that are put out there for the players to just say, "yeah they do feel better" and make us buy the new stuff. Piping = marketing, and that is why I hate it on the new jerseys.

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Some pretty good summaries there.

I like piping on baseball jerseys because it brings a touch of color to otherwise plain uniforms. It remains dignified and elegant. I have yet to see a football uniform in which that is the case - usually, piping is used in football in conjunction with an already over-designed set.

I take that back: the Denver Broncos have piping on their road pants that I really like. I like the tiny orange stripe alongside the blue patch.

111306BRONCOSRAIDERS_o.jpg

Too bad I detest the swooshy blue patch. :P

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when is it tasteful? in moderation.

bad piping: new Australia Rugby jersey.

good piping: anywhere it's done as an accent - the new Arsenal jersey (piping-ish), the Broncos jersey Gothamite posted, pin striping, other baseball uses as a contrast between two parts. Some of the football ones where it stands as a simple, clean accent color work decently, but I must roll into the masses about the 'Nike bibs' - just unnecessary, though it doesn't really 'ruin' anything.

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Some pretty good summaries there.

I like piping on baseball jerseys because it brings a touch of color to otherwise plain uniforms. It remains dignified and elegant. I have yet to see a football uniform in which that is the case - usually, piping is used in football in conjunction with an already over-designed set.

I take that back: the Denver Broncos have piping on their road pants that I really like. I like the tiny orange stripe alongside the blue patch.

111306BRONCOSRAIDERS_o.jpg

Too bad I detest the swooshy blue patch. :P

It really accents the blue nicely on those Broncos uniforms. I'm not sure they'd look quite as good without that orange piping, as small of a detail as it is. Like mentioned before, piping is good on baseball uniforms -- teams like Boston or Detroit wouldn't look quite as good without it.

Piping looks good on football uniforms when it's used as an accent to a design element (like those Broncos uniforms), and not as their own design element. You can find some good examples of piping, but you can also find some horrific examples of piping.

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Some pretty good summaries there.

I like piping on baseball jerseys because it brings a touch of color to otherwise plain uniforms. It remains dignified and elegant. I have yet to see a football uniform in which that is the case - usually, piping is used in football in conjunction with an already over-designed set.

I take that back: the Denver Broncos have piping on their road pants that I really like. I like the tiny orange stripe alongside the blue patch.

111306BRONCOSRAIDERS_o.jpg

Too bad I detest the swooshy blue patch. :P

I've always like the modern look of piping when it provides a small accent like it does for the Broncos. But teams over do it.

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Some teams overdo it, yes, but that doesn't mean piping isn't ever acceptable. Piping is a uniform design element just like logos, stripes, and really, colors. It seems like you could make as valid an argument for removing any one of those items as you could piping, especially because all can be overdone.

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Piping is best used subtley, as some users said, it's used best to add to another element of the design, not become the standout feature of it.

Piping can work well on baseball uniforms, as has been mentioned, but it seems like football and hockey can't get it right. The worst kind of piping is the kind that is put in a really unusual and unnecessary place on the jersey. The best example of this working and at the same time failing is Miami's football uniforms.

The front of the jersey looks great, in my opinion. Clean, modern, but not overdoing it.

FF125614-s.jpg

But it's the back that just ruins the whole thing for me.

696869582612-s.jpg

The random horizontal pipe that cuts the uniform in half is just confusing and weird. They don't need it there, and it seems rather bizarre that it's there in the first place.

In the NFL it seems like there's a few teams that got it right, like the Broncos, Falcons, and most currently the Vikings and Cardinals.

41-23856-F.jpg

Textbook subtle piping there. The black pipes on the shoulders accent the bordered numerals and neckbands.

The major problem people have had with it lately is with the NHL rebranding because it's basically spitting on years of tradition. It's rather discomforting to a lot of fans, including myself, to see an entire league steeped in tradition and history have to revamp every single team's uniforms. Some teams have succeeded in keeping a sense of tradition (Bruins, Red Wings, Blackhawks, Ducks), others have modernized slightly and the results are mixed (Sabres, Panthers, Islanders).

But the major backlash against piping is that it's trendy, I feel. I think a lot of fans including myself feel like it's a dumb jersey fad that a lot of teams that have had traditionally strong uniforms add piping for no reason other than it's bandwagon appeal.

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GOOD USE OF PIPING:

Detroit Tigers' Home jersey:

pMLB2-1826965dt.jpg

Notice the minimal design, a logo on the left chest, with the piping outlining the collar and buttons. Simple, effective use as an actual design element.

BAD USE OF PIPING:

Buffalo Bills' Home jersey:

p3718858dt.jpg

Why is it there? What does it tie in? It doesn't outline anything, it doesn't match (color wise) any other part of the front, and it makes for a more cluttered look. i.e. piping for the sake of piping.

GOOD USE OF PIPING:

capnBLUJ1.jpg

Effectively outlines the sleeves and shoulders (especially the white), and ties in with the sleeve piping. Doesn't clutter front of the jersey at all.

BAS USE OF PIPING:

capnPAN2.jpg

Why is it there? Why does it creep down the front sides of the jersey? It clutters the design, and has no purpose. It doesn't outline anything, and looks out of place. There's not need for it. Bad design.

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BBM has nailed it. Piping, like anything else, is appropriate when it forms an integral part of a well-designed uniform. It is inappropriate when it's just thrown on to a uniform for the sake of throwing stuff onto the uniform.

The same is true of anything, from pinstripes to plaid to patches to numbers.

The modern penchant for using contrast piping to highlight uniform seams is particularly appalling: Were any of the Reebok or Nike designers responsible for the seam-piping phenomenon previously urging teams to use contrast-color stitching on garment seams? No. But in objective design terms, contrast-color stitching accomplishes the same thing as contrast-color piping. If it didn't make sense to do it with thread, then it doesn't make sense to do it with piping. Ergo it's an example of purely rococo decoration for the sake of decoration. That's supposed to be exactly what you pay a professional designer to avoid.

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The Buffalo Bills piping on their blue jersey is stupid, but there is a justification for it. It provides consistency between the blue and white jerseys.

31-38956-F.jpg

The same effect could be achieved by making the area inside of the piping white (a reverse of how it looks on the white jersey) and putting the name in blue on a white background. Or, it could be achieved by getting rid of the blue block of color on the whites and putting names in blue on a white background on the back of the whites.

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