Veras

History of a Fictional Football League (1991 Postseason: Semifinals)

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Thanks to both of you for the encouragement.

The Wasps look fantastic. Their logo really looks like it could have been taken straight from a real 1950s football team. I also like the uniforms. You really seem to have a unique look for each team. (I particularly liked your Wheeling Miners set).

I am a fan of your template as well. Maybe once you get to the present day, you could try something with a photo-realistic template, but the one you have now is fine in that it puts the focus on the uniform itself and presents that effectively.

As far as metallic helmets, one way to do it is to use a diagonal gradient. (Click here to see a rough mockup). I used five gradient stops and alternated between the color of the helmet and a color slightly darker than the intended color of the helmet. It's not perfect, but it conveys the idea.

Your logo skills have improved significantly since the beginning of this series. I have enjoyed your work immensely and am looking forward to seeing this get to the present day.

It's a shame this series hasn't gotten much recognition; it deserves far more than it's received.

Thanks for the metallic tip. I tried it, and it works for the helmet alone, but it clashes badly when it is put with the rest of the template. The other thing that I tried was the film grain filter in Photoshop, but it changed the color too much.

I'll probably play around with more realistic templates once I get into the 2000s, but we'll have to see how it goes when I get there. The one thing that is making me consider sticking with my template (or a version of it) is that it allows me flexibility in the type of helmet between players. Each of the uniforms that I show represents a specific player on the team (which is why the numbers are all different). It hasn't been apparent yet in the helmets because there hasn't been a choice, but once different face masks are available, I will show the face mask worn by the specific player on the team.

But I've got 50 years to go before that becomes an issue, so we'll see what happens.

The asymmetry of the abdomen is jarring to the eye. And I don't get what's going on with that textural overlay--it would be good to see the logo without it. That said, good job on this series so far. You've obviously put a lot of thought into this in trying to mimic bygone eras. Keep it up.

I didn't even realize that it was asymmetrical until after I posted it. I fixed that, as well as the segmentation of the legs. I added the texture because I felt that without it, it screamed Illustrator, and therefore looked too modern. I was trying to make it a bit more rough, and that was the best that I could figure out. Here is the updated logo, both with and without the filter.

1954_washington_wasps_logo_no_texture_by1954_wasps_logo_texture_by_verasthebruja

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Great project I like how authentic they are to the time period. Please keep posting favorite concept on here.

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I'm inclined to go without the texture for the Wasps, but if anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.

As previously mentioned, facemasks were required for the first time for the 1954 season. I'm not going to bother posting each team's uniform, as virtually all of the masks were the same light grey color. The lone exception was Cincinnati, who painted their masks dark grey to match their helmet color. As this is such a small difference, I'm not going to bother posting an image with all of the helmets, but if you would like to see what each team looks like, you can access it through the first post, or here. The only team that made any sort of design change at all before the 1954 season, was the Boston Captains, and even that was very minor. They simply replaced grey with white as their secondary color in their uniforms. Everything else about the design remained the same, and they continued to wear the old primary uniform once each season (generally their home game against division rival New York).

Before (full size) After (full size)

1950_boston_captains_uniform_by_verasthe1954_boston_captains_uniform_by_verasthe

1954 Season:

1954_season_by_verasthebrujah-d7y32va.jp

The 1954 season began with a surprise: Several veteran players for the Chicago Butchers, including quarterback Bob Van Wort, suddenly announced their retirement after the draft had been held. This left first-year head coach Paul Beasley without a legitimate starter, and reduced the team from championship contenders to a laughing stock. The Butchers went 1-11, and Beasley resigned at the end of the year. Interestingly, Beasley had been the head coach of the hapless Baltimore Legion in 1952, meaning that he posted a career record of 1-21 as a head coach (as opposed to 30-15-3, including a championship victory, as an offensive coordinator). Butchers' owner Hal Granger, who tried to persuade Beasley to stay, described the coach as, "the unluckiest man in the history of professional football."

The fiercest competition during the regular season took place in the Eastern Division, where both New York and Boston had extra motivation to win. New York opened a new stadium in 1954, and were scheduled to host the AFA Championship Game. Boston, who had been the losers in two of the last three Championship Games, wanted to win it for their star quarterback, Greg Motta, who announced that 1954 would be his final year. The race came down to the final weekend of the season, when the Captains defeated the Imperials in New York to clinch the division.

As in the East, the South faced a tight race between Houston and New Orleans (which the Hurricanes easily won after the Krewe posted a 1-2-1 record over the final month of the season). Both the North and the West lacked a clear dominant team, and indeed, both lacked a clear good team. By midseason, it was so clear that Boston, New York, Houston, and New Orleans were the four best teams in the AFA, that many people (including some owners) began calling for a change to the rules for playoff eligibility. San Francisco (6-6) and Cincinnati (6-5-1) won their respective divisions, but were all but ignored as the playoffs began, and fans began waiting for the anticipated Boston-Houston matchup for the title.

Boston, as expected, defeated San Francisco, though the 17-13 score was closer than most expected. Houston, on the other hand, played miserably, turning the ball over three times in a 7-14 loss to the Guardians. The surprising Boston-Cincinnati title game was most notable for the fact that both teams had clearly established reputations for falling apart in big games. One of the two had appeared in five of the first seven AFA Championship Games, but they had a combined record of 0-5.

It was the Captains who managed to break their streak of bad luck, defeating the Guardians 14-7 in a game that was never as close as the score indicated. Cincinnati possessed the ball in Boston territory for a total of five plays, and their only score came after Boston safety Elwood Madigan slipped and fell, giving up a 59-yard touchdown pass. Greg Motta, who was named Player of the Game, was able to retire as a champion.

Once the offseason began, the Owners' Council did make the playoff eligibility change. Starting in 1955, a division winner would only automatically qualify for the playoffs if they had a winning record. If their win percentage was .500 or lower, AND another team failed to win its division, but posted a winning percentage of at least .625, the latter team would qualify instead. If multiple teams were eligible for a wildcard spot, the higher-seeded team (using normal seeding procedure) would take the spot; and if multiple division winners failed to post winning records, more than one wildcard team could qualify.

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Thanks to both of you for the encouragement.

The Wasps look fantastic. Their logo really looks like it could have been taken straight from a real 1950s football team. I also like the uniforms. You really seem to have a unique look for each team. (I particularly liked your Wheeling Miners set).

I am a fan of your template as well. Maybe once you get to the present day, you could try something with a photo-realistic template, but the one you have now is fine in that it puts the focus on the uniform itself and presents that effectively.

As far as metallic helmets, one way to do it is to use a diagonal gradient. (Click here to see a rough mockup). I used five gradient stops and alternated between the color of the helmet and a color slightly darker than the intended color of the helmet. It's not perfect, but it conveys the idea.

Your logo skills have improved significantly since the beginning of this series. I have enjoyed your work immensely and am looking forward to seeing this get to the present day.

It's a shame this series hasn't gotten much recognition; it deserves far more than it's received.

Thanks for the metallic tip. I tried it, and it works for the helmet alone, but it clashes badly when it is put with the rest of the template. The other thing that I tried was the film grain filter in Photoshop, but it changed the color too much.

I'll probably play around with more realistic templates once I get into the 2000s, but we'll have to see how it goes when I get there. The one thing that is making me consider sticking with my template (or a version of it) is that it allows me flexibility in the type of helmet between players. Each of the uniforms that I show represents a specific player on the team (which is why the numbers are all different). It hasn't been apparent yet in the helmets because there hasn't been a choice, but once different face masks are available, I will show the face mask worn by the specific player on the team.

But I've got 50 years to go before that becomes an issue, so we'll see what happens.

The asymmetry of the abdomen is jarring to the eye. And I don't get what's going on with that textural overlay--it would be good to see the logo without it. That said, good job on this series so far. You've obviously put a lot of thought into this in trying to mimic bygone eras. Keep it up.

I didn't even realize that it was asymmetrical until after I posted it. I fixed that, as well as the segmentation of the legs. I added the texture because I felt that without it, it screamed Illustrator, and therefore looked too modern. I was trying to make it a bit more rough, and that was the best that I could figure out. Here is the updated logo, both with and without the filter.

1954_washington_wasps_logo_no_texture_by1954_wasps_logo_texture_by_verasthebruja

Logo with texture is better. It looks like old sport logos.

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Good idea, and may I propose another round of expansion locations, Toronto, Kansas City, Denver, and Atlanta, oh and FYI, I know this is your concept series and all, but eventually the Minnesota Angels will have to change their team name, because a name is also important in football, and a team called the Angels probably won't be taken seriously in the future, I know that the baseball team, Angels is called that, well in their case they play in Los Angeles, it makes sense, and baseball is different than football

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Good idea, and may I propose another round of expansion locations, Toronto, Kansas City, Denver, and Atlanta, oh and FYI, I know this is your concept series and all, but eventually the Minnesota Angels will have to change their team name, because a name is also important in football, and a team called the Angels probably won't be taken seriously in the future, I know that the baseball team, Angels is called that, well in their case they play in Los Angeles, it makes sense, and baseball is different than football

The Angels play in Anaheim, maybe if they didn't have that stupid name more fans would know.

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Good idea, and may I propose another round of expansion locations, Toronto, Kansas City, Denver, and Atlanta, oh and FYI, I know this is your concept series and all, but eventually the Minnesota Angels will have to change their team name, because a name is also important in football, and a team called the Angels probably won't be taken seriously in the future, I know that the baseball team, Angels is called that, well in their case they play in Los Angeles, it makes sense, and baseball is different than football

The most recent expansion was only two years ago, so it will be at least a few more years before the next one, though Denver and Atlanta are high on the list for a team.

I almost named the Angels the Archons, but I wasn't sure how widely known the religious connotation is with that. But do you really think that Angels is a less intimidating name than Colts, Cardinals, or (especially) Saints? Angel imagery doesn't exactly have to be Precious Moments figurines:

16087-angel-of-warrior.jpg

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Good idea, and may I propose another round of expansion locations, Toronto, Kansas City, Denver, and Atlanta, oh and FYI, I know this is your concept series and all, but eventually the Minnesota Angels will have to change their team name, because a name is also important in football, and a team called the Angels probably won't be taken seriously in the future, I know that the baseball team, Angels is called that, well in their case they play in Los Angeles, it makes sense, and baseball is different than football

The most recent expansion was only two years ago, so it will be at least a few more years before the next one, though Denver and Atlanta are high on the list for a team.

I almost named the Angels the Archons, but I wasn't sure how widely known the religious connotation is with that. But do you really think that Angels is a less intimidating name than Colts, Cardinals, or (especially) Saints? Angel imagery doesn't exactly have to be Precious Moments figurines:

16087-angel-of-warrior.jpg

Ok maybe change the team name to the Archangels or the Dark Angels, the name of Minnesota's real life team is the Vikings, who were warriors in Norse culture, now that's an intimidating name, the Raiders, and the Ravens too (a bird symbolizing death), though you don't have to

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Good idea, and may I propose another round of expansion locations, Toronto, Kansas City, Denver, and Atlanta, oh and FYI, I know this is your concept series and all, but eventually the Minnesota Angels will have to change their team name, because a name is also important in football, and a team called the Angels probably won't be taken seriously in the future, I know that the baseball team, Angels is called that, well in their case they play in Los Angeles, it makes sense, and baseball is different than football

The most recent expansion was only two years ago, so it will be at least a few more years before the next one, though Denver and Atlanta are high on the list for a team.

I almost named the Angels the Archons, but I wasn't sure how widely known the religious connotation is with that. But do you really think that Angels is a less intimidating name than Colts, Cardinals, or (especially) Saints? Angel imagery doesn't exactly have to be Precious Moments figurines:

16087-angel-of-warrior.jpg

Ok maybe change the team name to the Archangels or the Dark Angels, the name of Minnesota's real life team is the Vikings, who were warriors in Norse culture, now that's an intimidating name, the Raiders, and the Ravens too (a bird symbolizing death), though you don't have to, you could even reference the brutal Minnesota winters by calling them the Yetis or the Frostbite, but it's your call

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Today I realized that I forgot to update the AFA logo when the league expanded in 1952.

Here is the original:

1946_afa_logo_by_verasthebrujah-d7nx92v.

Note the 12 stars, which represent the 12 teams. As the team has expanded to 16 teams, I have to, at the very least, change the number of stars. It is possible to either add four stars to the current logo or reduce the number of stars to four (and have each star represent a division rather than a team). However, I want to make more significant changes than that.

I present for your consideration three options. All are identical with the exception of the lettering. The football shape has been replaced by a perfect circle, ringed by 16 stars. This was meant to get rid of the asymmetrical look of the previous logo. The eagle has been changed to one very similar to the one on the quarter, which I did because I felt that the upward pointed wings drew the eye away from the design. The eagle is also larger, which (hopefully) creates a better balance between the colors.

Option 1: Straight Letters

1952_afa_logo___straight_letters_by_vera

Option 2: Large Letters

1952_afa_logo___large_letters_by_verasth

Option 3: Angled Letters

1952_afa_logo___angled_letters_by_verast

Are any of these options preferable to the others? Are there any other changes that I can make or letter arrangements that you would like to see?

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The old logo is better I would not get rid of those wings or the football shape.

It just does not make sense to get rid of the football at this point.

Maybe just make the Eagle bigger or the football smaller. I would put 8 stars on top & 8 stars on the bottom of the ball.

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Thanks for all of the feedback. I made the eagle larger in proportion to the ball in the old logo, and now that I've done that, I'm inclined to agree that it is better. However, just to show what it looks like, I've added feathers to the new options as well (and I added neck feathers to both).

The options for the old eagle show three possible arrangements for the stars. The first one keeps the basic pattern of the 1946, the second one is an attempt to space them more evenly around the outside, and the third one uses a star for each division rather than each team.

1952_afa_old_wing_options_by_verasthebru1952_afa_old_wing_options_by_verasthebru

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The wings on the new logo just looks wrong. They look too big in comparison to the head and they look shapeless in comparison with the head that has a strong defined shape.

Posted that before the new logo post went up.

I like the old bird/ball logo but also like the evenly spaced stars and diagonal letters of the top left logo.

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Bottom right it is. As of 1952, that was the official logo of the American Football Association.

There were a few design changes made before the 1955 season, the first of which is that the Philadelphia Railers underwent a complete rebrand. In order to finance another business venture, owner Gregory Ross sold a controlling share of the team to Robert Simon, a major investor in the Pennsylvania Railroad whose grandfather, along with Ross, had founded the team in 1920. Like most fans, Simon disliked the black and gold color scheme that the team had worn in Pittsburgh, and immediately moved to switch the team to the red, white, and blue that had been worn by the Philadelphia Continentals for decades. He also wanted a more modern look, which (he hoped) would distance the team from an unsuccessful first decade in the AFA in which they never posted a winning record.

Previous Logo:

1949_philadelphia_railers_logo_by_verast

New Logo:

1955_philadelphia_railers_logo_by_verast

The Railers also became the first team to adopt a secondary logo, which was modeled off of the logo of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Obviously, PRF stands for Pennsylvania Railers Football.

1955_philadelphia_railers_alternate_by_v

The uniforms were inspired primarily be Ole Miss and the New York Giants. They kept the unique, Colts-style double shoulder stripe, but added a third color for the home and away jerseys. Alternate white pants are a distinct possibility in the future.

Old uniform:

1954_philadelphia_railers_uniform_by_ver

New Uniform:

1955_philadelphia_railers_uniform_by_ver

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