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New Houston Astros Uniforms


JustABallCoach

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While it's definitely an upgrade over the previous look, it could have looked much better if they did something to make this set less boring. I do like the home with the orange hat and I love the bp (and I didn't even like the rainbow guts), so it's kind of disappointing that they didn't try to look more like "Old time Astros" rather than just "Old time generic baseball team". I still think that the H looks slapped on top of the star and that the beveling on the star is funky. Overall, a safe, slightly boring set is an upgrade over the previous look, but is underwhelming because they could have done so much more. C+.

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My 2 cents as an Astros fan...

First impression, I like them. From everything I had been hearing since April I knew they were going to be very conservative, so maybe that wasn't as jolting for me when I finally saw them. The new ownership seems pretty conservative, so I think it's a reflection of that fact.

While I liked many elements from the old set, I was ready for them to return back to the orange and blue. I hated the pinstripes with a passion, so I think just getting rid of that was a win.

They have a huge banner on the side of Minute Maid Park right now with the logo, above it: "Big and Bright", underneath it: "Back For Good". The move to the AL has been so unpopular here that I think the push is obviously to remind people of the Astros past. If you went to a game at Minute Maid at any point in the last ten years you would see as many people wearing the old blue and orange as the red and black. People loved those uniforms and it's good to finally see the team embrace them.

There are things that bug me. The bevelled star just looks strange and unecessary. I wish they had gone with the shooting star. But baseball uniforms seem to evolve over time more than any other sport. I think you'll see some things tweaked over time. The original set from the brick red/black uniforms included a black jersey. That lasted a couple of years and then was gone forever.

The most important thing they did was return to the blue and orange and the H-Star logo. With a little dirt on them I think these will be beautiful.

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Here's a quick mock-up I did of how the combos should be. Keep in mind there are no actual design changes here, save for making the button or squatchee on the navy/orange cap orange, as it should be. Other than that, I left everything the same and am just showing how the caps/jerseys should be paired. I didn't do the BP/Alt because I didn't want to mess with the rainbow panels when really either navy cap would probably be worn with it anyway.

HoustonAstrosNoChangePrimary.png

HoustonAstrosNoChangeAlternate-1.png

And just for fun, here's the same thing, only with the open star logo in place of the H-Star. I ditched the navy/orange cap in this instance as it looked a little odd.

HoustonAstrosOpenStarPrimary-1.png

HoustonAstrosOpenStarAlternate-1.png

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The navy-crowned, orange-brimmed cap should not exist. They have never worn a non-solid color cap in their history (other than the '90s alt) and they are confusing things enough by having the solid orange cap. If they wanted to have the solid blue and solid orange caps to pay homage to their history, that's fine. If they wanted to have the solid-navy cap and the orange brim cap, that's fine. However, doing both is confusing and very bad.

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I am looking at what it is. It's block letters on placket/sleeve-piped jerseys.

I'm looking at what it is too. A very clean, nice looking baseball uniform.

Let's take this exchange and pair it with this snippet from another previous post:

To summarize, look at it for what it is rather than what you wanted it to be. That's how you properly judge an identity. Then if you still don't like it, fine. But at least try to make a legitimate reason. Otherwise, around here with all of us sports logos nuts, you're going to lose some future credibility.

What this exchange right here illustrates is something that very rarely gets talked about around these parts: the difference between "brand identity" and "brand image".

But first, let's identify the Houston Astros brand itself in a vaccuum: the nickname, the colors navy and orange, and its primary icon, the H-star. Those three components on their own, and in any other situation, compose the brand.

Now this next part is where things get tricky. Once one nails down the components of a brand, now its time to arrange these things some kind of way in order to convey some type of meaning—an identity, in other words. As I mentioned before, I wasn't in the Astros' boardroom when they went to hammering this stuff out, but from insider accounts, their aim was to "go back to their roots", so to speak, or said another way, take it back to the '60s. So let's say this was the team's intention. (For S&G's, let's also assume for a second that none of us ever saw the original sets.) Nothing evokes "old school" more than block lettering and numbering, so there's your script type right there-and in this instance, they opted for serified block...with slight "modern" enhancements, seen in the shape of the serifs, which identifies the script type as not just serified block, but the Houston Astros' serified block, unique to the team. Many uniforms from that time had their jersey scripts radially arched across their chest. Several also had thick-ish placket piping, so they added that, too. What I've just illustrated is thethe arrangement of those brand components that the team intended for the viewer to interpret as "old school"—their "identity", which in a nutshell could be simplified as "what team wants you to see".

Then there's that third part...the feedback generated by the viewer. How the end-viewer sees and interprets the team's identity (again, what the team wants you to see), defines its brand image—or said another way, what YOU see out of it. This is where the second and third excerpts come in. Most see a clean, simple, solid old-school baseball uniform (that looks like it would fit in in the '60s, which is when the Astros franchise was born. When the end-viewer's interpretation matches up with the team's intention, then the brand identity is a success.

And after all that's determined, THEN we can get to either loving it or hating it, praising it or berating it...feel me? :P

(Now to be sure, there really is no exact science on this whole sports branding thing—and I damn sho' ain't the authoritative expert on it. Just figured I'd hit it from another perspective since the time seemed right.)

Here's a quick mock-up I did of how the combos should be. Keep in mind there are no actual design changes here, save for making the button or squatchee on the navy/orange cap orange, as it should be. Other than that, I left everything the same and am just showing how the caps/jerseys should be paired. I didn't do the BP/Alt because I didn't want to mess with the rainbow panels when really either navy cap would probably be worn with it anyway.

HoustonAstrosNoChangePrimary.png

HoustonAstrosNoChangeAlternate-1.png

That's about the way I see it in my head too—and I also now see your point about the all-navy cap on the road, since to me anyway, it appears more "muted" (and as stupid as this may seem, when it comes to baseball uniforms, I for some reason see a road look as the muted version of the home look). One other thing, though, Matt, that has nothing to do with the uniform concept itself: had the thought ever occurred to you to pare "Matthew Call Designs" down to just "CallDesign"? More short and snappy. Additionally, looking at your logo, since those letterforms appear similar, did it ever pop up in your head to kinda render the "C" into something of a telephone receiver (as a play on your surname)? They look kinda like a "C", and if you render it right, it might just work. You might could fashion the "phone cord" (not coiled, of course), into the rest of the letterform into the "D", and still leave the pencil tip at the bottom there? I don't know, I was just sitting here looking at that logo and my mind's eye started seeing all that stuff I just mentioned. Give it a shot, kin.

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I am looking at what it is. It's block letters on placket/sleeve-piped jerseys.

I'm looking at what it is too. A very clean, nice looking baseball uniform.

Let's take this exchange and pair it with this snippet from another previous post:

To summarize, look at it for what it is rather than what you wanted it to be. That's how you properly judge an identity. Then if you still don't like it, fine. But at least try to make a legitimate reason. Otherwise, around here with all of us sports logos nuts, you're going to lose some future credibility.

What this exchange right here illustrates is something that very rarely gets talked about around these parts: the difference between "brand identity" and "brand image".

But first, let's identify the Houston Astros brand itself in a vaccuum: the nickname, the colors navy and orange, and its primary icon, the H-star. Those three components on their own, and in any other situation, compose the brand.

Now this next part is where things get tricky. Once one nails down the components of a brand, now its time to arrange these things some kind of way in order to convey some type of meaning—an identity, in other words. As I mentioned before, I wasn't in the Astros' boardroom when they went to hammering this stuff out, but from insider accounts, their aim was to "go back to their roots", so to speak, or said another way, take it back to the '60s. So let's say this was the team's intention. (For S&G's, let's also assume for a second that none of us ever saw the original sets.) Nothing evokes "old school" more than block lettering and numbering, so there's your script type right there-and in this instance, they opted for serified block...with slight "modern" enhancements, seen in the shape of the serifs, which identifies the script type as not just serified block, but the Houston Astros' serified block, unique to the team. Many uniforms from that time had their jersey scripts radially arched across their chest. Several also had thick-ish placket piping, so they added that, too. What I've just illustrated is thethe arrangement of those brand components that the team intended for the viewer to interpret as "old school"—their "identity", which in a nutshell could be simplified as "what team wants you to see".

Then there's that third part...the feedback generated by the viewer. How the end-viewer sees and interprets the team's identity (again, what the team wants you to see), defines its brand image—or said another way, what YOU see out of it. This is where the second and third excerpts come in. Most see a clean, simple, solid old-school baseball uniform (that looks like it would fit in in the '60s, which is when the Astros franchise was born. When the end-viewer's interpretation matches up with the team's intention, then the brand identity is a success.

And after all that's determined, THEN we can get to either loving it or hating it, praising it or berating it...feel me? :P

(Now to be sure, there really is no exact science on this whole sports branding thing—and I damn sho' ain't the authoritative expert on it. Just figured I'd hit it from another perspective since the time seemed right.)

Here's a quick mock-up I did of how the combos should be. Keep in mind there are no actual design changes here, save for making the button or squatchee on the navy/orange cap orange, as it should be. Other than that, I left everything the same and am just showing how the caps/jerseys should be paired. I didn't do the BP/Alt because I didn't want to mess with the rainbow panels when really either navy cap would probably be worn with it anyway.

HoustonAstrosNoChangePrimary.png

HoustonAstrosNoChangeAlternate-1.png

That's about the way I see it in my head too—and I also now see your point about the all-navy cap on the road, since to me anyway, it appears more "muted" (and as stupid as this may seem, when it comes to baseball uniforms, I for some reason see a road look as the muted version of the home look). One other thing, though, Matt, that has nothing to do with the uniform concept itself: had the thought ever occurred to you to pare "Matthew Call Designs" down to just "CallDesign"? More short and snappy. Additionally, looking at your logo, since those letterforms appear similar, did it ever pop up in your head to kinda render the "C" into something of a telephone receiver (as a play on your surname)? They look kinda like a "C", and if you render it right, it might just work. You might could fashion the "phone cord" (not coiled, of course), into the rest of the letterform into the "D", and still leave the pencil tip at the bottom there? I don't know, I was just sitting here looking at that logo and my mind's eye started seeing all that stuff I just mentioned. Give it a shot, kin.

Buc, THANK YOU for the detailed explanation of the identity/image. Better than I could put into words, but something people need to understand.

As for my personal design, I could never think of a name so I just did "Matthew Call Designs" because it's my name and my designs, so it didn't sound like I was making up some fictional brand. But I like your suggestion of "CallDesign". As for the logo, I have it now where it's a 'C' and 'D' but together they also form an 'M'... somewhat. I may try your idea, though, and see what I can come up with. Thanks for taking an interest, man.

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By the way, because it was mentioned somewhere back on page 20-something.....

The blue version of the H-Star logo does have the same bevelling, with a slightly lighter blue...at least in print it does. I looked at the actual cap and didn't see it, but on the giant banner hanging on the side of Minute Maid I can clearly see it. Well, in the day time I can see it, at night I could not.

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its up on BrandNew now: http://www.undercons...ing_stellar.php

houston_astros_logo_detail.gif

houston_astros_wordmark.gif

The navy-crowned, orange-brimmed cap should not exist. They have never worn a non-solid color cap in their history (other than the '90s alt) and they are confusing things enough by having the solid orange cap. If they wanted to have the solid blue and solid orange caps to pay homage to their history, that's fine. If they wanted to have the solid-navy cap and the orange brim cap, that's fine. However, doing both is confusing and very bad.

i dont think so. this isnt a throwback uniform, its pulling from a past identity, but is something made for the future. theres new elements and thats one of them. im not the biggest baseball guy, so i dont know how having these cap options is confusing. who are they going to be mistaken for?

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i dont think so. this isnt a throwback uniform, its pulling from a past identity, but is something made for the future. theres new elements and thats one of them. im not the biggest baseball guy, so i dont know how having these cap options is confusing. who are they going to be mistaken for?

It muddles the identity. As I said, if they want to go with solid navy and solid orange, it would work because there is historic precedent for it. Also, the orange is only the home alternate cap, so it wouldn't muddle the identity on its own, being worn once per week. If they wanted to go with the solid blue and the blue/orange cap, that could work, too. In the last 15 years, we have seen the Indians, Mariners, A's, and Braves do the same thing. But three hats is overkill. First off, I think the navy/orange cap is by far the worst of the set. The logo is strong enough that it doesn't need a different color brim to make the hat pop. Also, we can pretty much assume that they aren't going to buy three sets of batting helmets. If that's the case, their look will be disjoined for much of the time. I imagine they will buy orange helmets because the orange hat is so different than the navy one, but that would mean they probably will wear solid navy helmets on the road, which is garbage.

As is, the navy/orange cap, the weakest in their identity, will be worn the most times. The home cap is getting bumped for the orange, but the navy/orange will be worn 81 times. It doesn't make sense.

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I am trying to find the answer to this, but I noticed there wasn't a BP hat introduced. Any ideas on that?

The bp hats for every team is changing, to a 5950 model I hear (which makes me happy I bought one last year).

So im sure the astros will be unveiled with the rest of the 30 teams.

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My first thoughts:

- I like the orange piping on the home uniforms.

- The lettering is plain, but that's not inherently a bad thing.

- They're wearing the road cap with the wrong uniform. If they must have it then it should be worn at home where you should wear your brightest articles. That just the agreed upon baseball aesthetic. Example: nobody wears blue hats at home and red hats on the road.

- The orange billed cap is really unnecessary and is visually the weakest of the three hats.

- I like the all navy and all orange hats.

- I like the way they incorporated the rainbows into the BP jerseys. They didn't go overboard like I feared.

- Still can't get over that wonky beveling on the star.

- overall: Much better than what they've been wearing since 2000. They look like the Astros again, but it feels incomplete. I would've loved to see a more inspired wordmark and a primary logo that uses Minute Maid park in the same way the old logo used the Astrodome.

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Burning question: why unveil uniforms designed to be seen under bright sun/stadium lights to a darkened stadium? I'm reserving some judgment until I see these in action because the pictures from the unveiling look so dull. The computer mock ups look a little better to me, and I think the orange and blue will be a little brighter in real life.

That said, it's still a fairly boring set that is one color removed from the Padres. At least the Padres have an interesting home script. I also kind of feel like MLB needs a moratorium on the center piping ("headspoon" as they call it at Uni Watch) unless it was part of your history before. Happy to see the H star again, even if it's poorly executed. I wish the orange alt had the H star instead of the astros word mark. The best combo looks to be the orange hats on the home whites. A more interesting "astros" font and/or some derivation of a shooting star would make for a big upgrade though.

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