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pianoknight

The Big Ten Project - (PENN STATE added, West Div Complete!)

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Over the years, I've seen a ton of Big Ten concepts on the board in one fashion or another. And to be honest, I never thought I'd start my own series on the league because it seems like many of the good ideas have been done.

I'm a stickler for tradition, but I also love some of the modern uniforms out there like Oklahoma State and some of the stuff Oregon puts out. My goal here wasn't to overhaul the league entirely, but to give each team a specific look consisting of a home, away and a single alternate (throwback, modern, whatever). To me, the most important trait is that when you see a concept you can instantly say, "hey - that's Penn State," or "that's obviously Northwestern."

One other caveat. I'm not great with PS, Gimp, Inkscape, for designing logos and concepts. I'm actually pretty decent at using them for photo manipulation but whenever I try my hand at concepts, they just come out funky looking. So I default to my old standby, MS Paint. To me, the devil is in the details and I feel like a well-done Paint concept can still convey the overall theme and look of a set. That's what I've tried to do here.

So, without much further ado, I present to you my Big Ten Project. I'll be adding more teams as I have the bandwidth to complete them. Comments and suggestions are of course, welcome.

Big Ten West (complete!)

Big Ten East

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First up, my hometown team, Nebraska.

The biggest problem the Cornhuskers face, IMO, is that their alternate uniforms haven't really hit home. They tend to stray just a little too far from Nebraska's core look, which is just old school stripes and simple lines.

To that end, the Home and Away stay largely unchanged, although I've updated the number font and done some slight tweaks such as rounding off the pant stripe and adding a Nebraska silhouette above the NOB. After all, NU is Nebraska's team - there is no other FBS/FCS competition in the state - all other teams are D2 or lower.

For the alternate look, I wanted something between flat black (see: Iowa, Mizzou) and the gunmetal shade that Oklahoma State wears. I also wanted to preserve the classic two-stripe pattern and felt that a subtle gradient effect would help things fade nicely. Some people hate gradients and I'm not usually a big fan, but I felt that gently fading the red into grayish/black worked well here.

Also of note is pride stickers on the alternate helmet. I've showcased both for display purposes, but if you look closely there are crossbones for defensive players (Blackshirts) and small "N" logos for offensive players. These would be awarded based on how many years a player has earned a starting job, so players would theoretically have only a handful of stickers on the back. We're not going for a Buckeyes look here.

Nebraska_zps602424ec.png

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- UPDATE - New, bigger numbers.

==================================

Next up is Iowa.

I've always liked Iowa's classic look but wanted to put some distance between them and the Steelers, so I've simplified the stripe pattern on the jerseys. The helmet stripe gets quite a bit thicker here and is continued into a two-tone facemask. Also, Iowa's "ANF" sticker gets moved from the top of the helmet to the back. I've always felt it looks a little clunky in it's current position.

The road set gets a pair of black pants which can be alternated with the yellow. Home black-outs are now a possibility for big games, and the road jersey also gets a yellow collar to help anchor the balance of black/yellow a bit.

Finally, the all-yellow alternate borrows from some of Iowa's past alts, but my main goal here was to create a "feather" look for the numbers and pant stripe. The "eye" of the feather appropriately contains a "Hawk" - eye, and the helmet gets a color inversion to match the all-yellow look.

I designed this set to be mostly interchangeable with the exception of the alt pants, which clearly work best with the alt jersey. However, the alt jersey and helmet could easily be paired with the new black pants.

Also, nothing but black socks all the way around. Iowa's one of those teams who doesn't need to get super crazy with striping and piping.

Iowa_zps8658456e.png

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Not a fan of either school,but well done re-workings on BOTH uni's!

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The font for NU was Molot, straight up. It has a nice classic block feel, with slight curvature to modernize it a bit.

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That black/greyish helmet for Nebraska is sick nasty! Not sure how I feel about the font choice for Iowa, but that's the only complaint I have with either set.

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The font for NU was Molot, straight up. It has a nice classic block feel, with slight curvature to modernize it a bit.

Ok, I knew it looked familiar, I think I have that actually...

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Next up is Wisconsin.

One of the biggest problems I've had with Wisconsin's looks is that they wind up looking very similar to Nebraska - and now even Indiana with their new red helmets. I've tried to keep a classic look for the Badgers, but I feel like they have the ability to get a little more modern look than some of the other teams in the conference.

The Home and Away sets maintain the simple Red-White color scheme and all elements are swappable (full Red at home, full White on the road, etc).

The font is still a block look, but I felt that the italicized sweeping motion played nicely with the Motion W logo. I've further distanced the Badgers from Nebraska/Indiana by using a Jets-esque shoulder pattern which keeps white sleeves on both home and away sets. This also preserves the "thin stripe" look that Wisconsin has on their sleeves.

In keeping with the theme of simple - yet modern - the pants aren't anything crazy. The classic stripe pattern has an angled bottom to help the sense of motion. Also, the socks are intentionally simple and uncluttered.

Finally, a fauxback is created with a simple cardinal helmet and Bucky on the sides. The giant "W" on the front has a decidedly retro feel to it and the pants have "On Wisconsin" blazoned on the sides. Wisconsin's not a flashy team by any stretch, so I could see this alternate coming out once or maybe twice a year - probably against Minnesota or Iowa.

Wisconsin_zps4c38cd2d.png

-UPDATED-

I changed the number font on the regular set. I had no idea DePaul used that font as I don't follow other college sports too closely. I've also made the angle of the pant stripes less severe to soften the look.

Good catch by Discrimihater on the alternate. I meant to go cream all around, but guess I missed the white. I felt the "ON WISCONSIN" pant stripe was a bit much, so it's been moved to the helmet bumper. I've replaced it with a block W, matching the jersey and hopefully unifying the look more. The sleeve stripes were doubled as well to match the pants and also the other Wisconsin uniforms.

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First up, my hometown team, Nebraska.

The biggest problem the Cornhuskers face, IMO, is that their alternate uniforms haven't really hit home. They tend to stray just a little too far from Nebraska's core look, which is just old school stripes and simple lines.

To that end, the Home and Away stay largely unchanged, although I've updated the number font and done some slight tweaks such as rounding off the pant stripe and adding a Nebraska silhouette above the NOB. After all, NU is Nebraska's team - there is no other FBS/FCS competition in the state - all other teams are D2 or lower.

For the alternate look, I wanted something between flat black (see: Iowa, Mizzou) and the gunmetal shade that Oklahoma State wears. I also wanted to preserve the classic two-stripe pattern and felt that a subtle gradient effect would help things fade nicely. Some people hate gradients and I'm not usually a big fan, but I felt that gently fading the red into grayish/black worked well here.

Also of note is pride stickers on the alternate helmet. I've showcased both for display purposes, but if you look closely there are crossbones for defensive players (Blackshirts) and small "N" logos for offensive players. These would be awarded based on how many years a player has earned a starting job, so players would theoretically have only a handful of stickers on the back. We're not going for a Buckeyes look here.

Nebraska_zps602424ec.png

You knew I was gonna have an opinion on this no?

First off, I think you know how I feel about the use of black on the alternate. I will say, it's an improvement on what they trotted out in this year. I just hate every alternate being hellbent on doing black. There's virtually no red for the Big Red. It just doesn't work for me.

The traditional home and away:

Likes: The state outline (nice touch here), red belt returning on the whites and opposite on the reds.

Dislikes: that number font is just bad. Sorry man, no other way to put it. I would suggest going with the throwback curvy font if you want to change it up. Not sure I care much for the rounded stripes but it isn't a killer. With the current Adidas cut on the jerseys (which are atrocious btw) I would prefer seeing the old over the shoulder stripes. I don't think these would work all the way down.

Alternates: As stated above, needs more red.

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-UPDATE- New, bigger numbers.

=================================

Time for Minnesota.

The Gophers have one of the best color schemes in the game, but I'm not a fan of their current identity with the blocky, angular numbers. It's not a bad look, but it never felt quite right for Minnesota in my mind.

The jerseys get a triple stripe on the sleeves in addition to shoulder color blocks. These are loosely based on uniforms from the 1930s when Minnesota was consistently one of the best programs in the nation year after year. Also added is a new state "M" patch which gives the uniform a touch of character.

Actually, the patch and stripe pattern feel almost hockey-like, which is really the look I was chasing given Minnesota's love for all things ice. I chose a number font that I felt was modern, yet blocky enough to remain classic. I feel it works better than the current numbers the Gopher tote around and helps anchor the look.

The away set keeps the sleeve striping pattern for consistency and the white pants are gone from this set largely because they felt unnecessary. Goldie is added to the hip to keep the pants from being too generic and he also appears on the gold helmet as a change of pace.

Each of the helmets also has "SKI-U-MAH" added on the rear bumper.

Minnesota_zps1d59f2aa.png

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Next up is Wisconsin.

One of the biggest problems I've had with Wisconsin's looks is that they wind up looking very similar to Nebraska - and now even Indiana with their new red helmets. I've tried to keep a classic look for the Badgers, but I feel like they have the ability to get a little more modern look than some of the other teams in the conference.

The Home and Away sets maintain the simple Red-White color scheme and all elements are swappable (full Red at home, full White on the road, etc).

The font is still a block look, but I felt that the italicized sweeping motion played nicely with the Motion W logo. I've further distanced the Badgers from Nebraska/Indiana by using a Jets-esque shoulder pattern which keeps white sleeves on both home and away sets. This also preserves the "thin stripe" look that Wisconsin has on their sleeves.

In keeping with the theme of simple - yet modern - the pants aren't anything crazy. The classic stripe pattern has an angled bottom to help the sense of motion. Also, the socks are intentionally simple and uncluttered.

Finally, a fauxback is created with a simple cardinal helmet and Bucky on the sides. The giant "W" on the front has a decidedly retro feel to it and the pants have "On Wisconsin" blazoned on the sides. Wisconsin's not a flashy team by any stretch, so I could see this alternate coming out once or maybe twice a year - probably against Minnesota or Iowa.

Wisconsin_zps83b8c846.png

At some point, you and I must do the Melvin Gordon/James White dance...which I kinda wish somebody would give a less unwieldy moniker. Anyways, the truncated pants stripes aren't exactly doing it for me, but it's not to say that it's a bad direction to go in. Demonized would not have been my first choice for anything Badger, not for any enmity towards DePaul, but it just doesn't fit. I love the Bucky helmet...the jersey going with it, not so much. White W, cream cuffs? Really? As I usually feel as far as white and cream go, pick one or the other. It might look good in some cases, I'll concede (old Coyotes, Wild), but this aint one of them. The Jets-like reds, I like em if only because they vaguely remind me of the one-off double W jerseys (though for the same reason, I figure most would shy away considering the one time those were worn, they got their asses whooped by Colorado...oh man, remember when CU was actually good at football? :D )

Next up is Iowa.

I've always liked Iowa's classic look but wanted to put some distance between them and the Steelers, so I've simplified the stripe pattern on the jerseys. The helmet stripe gets quite a bit thicker here and is continued into a two-tone facemask. Also, Iowa's "ANF" sticker gets moved from the top of the helmet to the back. I've always felt it looks a little clunky in it's current position.

The road set gets a pair of black pants which can be alternated with the yellow. Home black-outs are now a possibility for big games, and the road jersey also gets a yellow collar to help anchor the balance of black/yellow a bit.

Finally, the all-yellow alternate borrows from some of Iowa's past alts, but my main goal here was to create a "feather" look for the numbers and pant stripe. The "eye" of the feather appropriately contains a "Hawk" - eye, and the helmet gets a color inversion to match the all-yellow look.

I designed this set to be mostly interchangeable with the exception of the alt pants, which clearly work best with the alt jersey. However, the alt jersey and helmet could easily be paired with the new black pants.

Also, nothing but black socks all the way around. Iowa's one of those teams who doesn't need to get super crazy with striping and piping.

Iowa_zpse42dcf72.png

One thing I know, when I was 5, the ANF sticker stood out to me, where they had it on the helmet. TV being where it was though, and me being a dumb five year old, I thought the ANF was a lightning bolt for years afterwards. Anyway, they had a state map outline with ANF for a few years before they decided to bring back the roundel version, and you know don't nobody notice back-helmet decals most of the time.

What I like: the alt jersey, reminds me of the "banana peel" set from the mid 90s; the black pants; the number font

What gets a thumbs down from me: the alt pants, the ANF decal's location

One other caveat. I'm not great with PS, Gimp, Inkscape, for designing logos and concepts. I'm actually pretty decent at using them for photo manipulation but whenever I try my hand at concepts, they just come out funky looking. So I default to my old standby, MS Paint. To me, the devil is in the details and I feel like a well-done Paint concept can still convey the overall theme and look of a set. That's what I've tried to do here.

So basically some opposite of me in a way...as far as MS Paint went, I stunk when it came to doing anything beyond putting striping where I wanted it on a template. The program I'd been using in conjunction with it, which I usually used to trace/make logos and put numbers on, I had no idea it was a vector program until shortly before my old pc died on me (yeh, a bit asbsentminded here, I'm not exactly Norman Einstein :P ) but I make :censored:ing magic with Inkscape.

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Nice job so far, especially if you are only using MS Paint.

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These are well put together. Good job. One thing that I have noticed is that all of your jersey numbers are extremely short--they are the right width but should be lengthened by probably 50% to 80% to be more realistic.

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These are well put together. Good job. One thing that I have noticed is that all of your jersey numbers are extremely short--they are the right width but should be lengthened by probably 50% to 80% to be more realistic.

Thank you. And yes, the numbers are a bit too short. I'll have to take another pass at some of them to get the length properly sized.

First up, my hometown team, Nebraska.

The biggest problem the Cornhuskers face, IMO, is that their alternate uniforms haven't really hit home. They tend to stray just a little too far from Nebraska's core look, which is just old school stripes and simple lines.

To that end, the Home and Away stay largely unchanged, although I've updated the number font and done some slight tweaks such as rounding off the pant stripe and adding a Nebraska silhouette above the NOB. After all, NU is Nebraska's team - there is no other FBS/FCS competition in the state - all other teams are D2 or lower.

For the alternate look, I wanted something between flat black (see: Iowa, Mizzou) and the gunmetal shade that Oklahoma State wears. I also wanted to preserve the classic two-stripe pattern and felt that a subtle gradient effect would help things fade nicely. Some people hate gradients and I'm not usually a big fan, but I felt that gently fading the red into grayish/black worked well here.

Also of note is pride stickers on the alternate helmet. I've showcased both for display purposes, but if you look closely there are crossbones for defensive players (Blackshirts) and small "N" logos for offensive players. These would be awarded based on how many years a player has earned a starting job, so players would theoretically have only a handful of stickers on the back. We're not going for a Buckeyes look here.

Nebraska_zps602424ec.png

You knew I was gonna have an opinion on this no?

First off, I think you know how I feel about the use of black on the alternate. I will say, it's an improvement on what they trotted out in this year. I just hate every alternate being hellbent on doing black. There's virtually no red for the Big Red. It just doesn't work for me.

The traditional home and away:

Likes: The state outline (nice touch here), red belt returning on the whites and opposite on the reds.

Dislikes: that number font is just bad. Sorry man, no other way to put it. I would suggest going with the throwback curvy font if you want to change it up. Not sure I care much for the rounded stripes but it isn't a killer. With the current Adidas cut on the jerseys (which are atrocious btw) I would prefer seeing the old over the shoulder stripes. I don't think these would work all the way down.

Alternates: As stated above, needs more red.

My goal with the black Husker set was to essentially "fix" the problems with the alternate jerseys that Nebraska has rolled out the last two seasons. I might take another crack at it, but I'm busy working on some of the other teams at the moment.

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Northwestern's recent rebranding was a thing of beauty, but like most uniform sets leaves some room for improvement.

The rugby style Northwestern stripes keep their place across the chest and back, but I felt that the Northwestern stripe is... well, too Northwestern to not be featured more in the Wildcats uniforms.

The home sets get a nice combination of purple and black, which I've always liked for NU. The pants have a subtle Northwestern stripe pattern with the N logo anchoring the look on the side panels. The jerseys also get an extra little nod to the Northwestern stripe, on the cuffs and collar back.

The away set gets a pair of silver/light grey pants. Grey is not an official school color per se, but for the road set I feel like it just works. The grey sort of feels like an "away version" of the black on the home sets, IMO. The stripe pattern on the pants, helmet and cuffs/collar is much more visible on the roads, while the chest stripe is more subtle. It gives not just the typical color inversion seen on road kits, but almost a "pattern inversion" if that makes any sense. I'm particularly proud of that set.

For the alternate, the most obvious change is the giant N on the shirt and numbers on the helmet. Black is gone completely save for the facemask. Purple and White rule the roost on this set, and the Northwestern stripe is back big time. Literally big time, as the stripe pattern is thicker and fuller than on the other sets. The sleeve numbers use negative space within the stripe which works beautifully on the simple two color arrangement.

Also because of the heavy use of the striping pattern, the socks are plain and simple across all sets.

Northwestern_zps7b7a18a2.png

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Northwestern's recent rebranding was a thing of beauty, but like most uniform sets leaves some room for improvement.

The rugby style Northwestern stripes keep their place across the chest and back, but I felt that the Northwestern stripe is... well, too Northwestern to not be featured more in the Wildcats uniforms.

The home sets get a nice combination of purple and black, which I've always liked for NU. The pants have a subtle Northwestern stripe pattern with the N logo anchoring the look on the side panels. The jerseys also get an extra little nod to the Northwestern stripe, on the cuffs and collar back.

The away set gets a pair of silver/light grey pants. Grey is not an official school color per se, but for the road set I feel like it just works. The grey sort of feels like an "away version" of the black on the home sets, IMO. The stripe pattern on the pants, helmet and cuffs/collar is much more visible on the roads, while the chest stripe is more subtle. It gives not just the typical color inversion seen on road kits, but almost a "pattern inversion" if that makes any sense. I'm particularly proud of that set.

For the alternate, the most obvious change is the giant N on the shirt and numbers on the helmet. Black is gone completely save for the facemask. Purple and White rule the roost on this set, and the Northwestern stripe is back big time. Literally big time, as the stripe pattern is thicker and fuller than on the other sets. The sleeve numbers use negative space within the stripe which works beautifully on the simple two color arrangement.

Also because of the heavy use of the striping pattern, the socks are plain and simple across all sets.

Northwestern_zps7b7a18a2.png

That away uniform is fantastic, nice job.

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Thanks. I'm not a big fan of the all-white look for teams on the road, typically. There are some "classic" teams like Penn State or Texas who the all-whites work for, but for the most part I think it makes uniforms look too bland and generic. I felt the gray pants for Northwestern still maintained a "light" look on the road without making them just sort of blah by going all-white.

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