Thursday: Pairs In Review

Hello everyone, welcome back!

Seeing as though we're still in the midst of the pairs competition vote, I figure I'll go through and give my thoughts on them in a similar fashion to what Ryan did. We'll go in the order they were posted last week, and I'm not giving a score to them or anything like that, just comments. So let's get started with Monday. Click on the group's names in order to go view their presentation on the design blog.

Jay & Bradley
The teaser is nothing special. It gets the job done. There's a similar theme throughout a bit of this project, honestly.
The title page is also pretty simple, and gets the job done. Not much to it.
One thing that bothers me not just here, but your whole project is the kerning, the spaces between individual letters. The common person probably won't notice kerning flaws unless they're brutally obvious, but to someone with a bit of knowledge on the subject it's really bugging me. Just so you're aware of what I'm talking about, 2 examples are that there's too much space between the T and R of "star" on the title page, and between the C and A of "location" on that page. Just take a look at a few examples of what bad kerning can lead to...anyways let's move on after that mini-rant.
The location page is again simple, and gets the job done, but there isn't much to it. Not bad, but nothing that knocks my socks off.
The logo isn't bad, but it could use some refining. It first off looks a bit boxy, as it's all contained with a generally box shape. The tip at the bottom also looks off center from the rest of the logo, and the curves at the bottom also look off center. There are also loose blue pixels in between the yellow and white stripes, so that's something to look out for. The word "star" doesn't look great being squished like that, either. Overall I like where it's going, but it needs refined.
The jerseys are easily the high point of this presentation. Unique, modern, and still good looking. The shooting star on the hem is a great idea, and the arm stripes bring a somewhat traditional look to the table. The font (the Dallas Stars' one, I believe) also is a really nice fit for these jerseys, since that font is a nice mix of traditional and modern.
The idea of the poster/advertisement is a good way to use the wildcard page, and the general layout of it works. Overall I think it needs more color, if you added a splash of green and blue (from your jersey designs) to the poster I think it would look nice. Also, no need to have your logos so prominent, it just takes up too much space and distracts from the rest of the design.

Burkus Circus & Phil B.
The teaser is a creative idea. The gambling theme would work well for Vegas, even though they're reluctant to use it, and since this is just a concept why not try it? The perspective could be worked out a little better with the Golden Knights logos, but good work on this one.
Your title page does what it's supposed to and works well. I like the inclusion of your logos on there. One thing I would do is make "All Star Game" more prominent. The focus of this presentation is on the game, not you, so keep that the main focus of the title page. Also, if you guys recreated the Vegas font on your own, nice job at it!
Good work on the title page to include the reasoning behind the choice. The page could be a bit more flashy/attention grabbing, though, as right now it's just a boring block of words.
The logo is a nice idea. Playing off of their alternate and using a star works pretty well. The words "ALL STAR GAME" should be much bigger though, as that is the main focus of the logo, and right now its overshadowed by "2019".
The jerseys are nice, modern, and fitting for Vegas. A color on color matchup might have been cool to see.
I like the wildcard idea. It shows the game setup, the rosters, the players' numbers, and what the numbers all look like. Very heavy on information with a very simple layout, and very effective.

Brendan P. & Steven M.
Disclaimer: Since this was my own entry to the competition, anything I say could definitely be biased. I'm going to use this space to reflect on how it turned out and just explain it a bit more to try to avoid being too biased.
Our teasers were meant to be postcards highlighting the two locations of the event. I'm not sure they translated as postcards, but I still think they work by showing the locations along with the NHL and KHL logos to just give a subtle hint as to what it is.
I laid out the presentation, so that means I'm the one who designed the title page. In retrospect I probably could have made the font a bit bigger, but I just wanted to keep the page simple yet effective.
Steven wrote the text for the location page and I laid it out. I think he did a great job of the text, that "tagline" at the bottom is a really nice addition. I think the layout turned out really well, and Ryan seemed to agree.
There isn't much more to explain with the logo that wasn't on the presentation. I liked the turnout. Also, to address what was mentioned, I kept "International" and "Classic" the same font size for consistency. It's a tough situation, though, because classic could use to be bigger. Not really sure what to do there.
Steven designed the jerseys, and his are great compared to my idea. Nice, modern, and even a slight callback to Penguins' history. The template I used (the full body one) I also designed from this picture of Bryan Rust from the Stadium Series uniform unveiling, and I love how it turned out.
The jerseys for the alumni game weren't exactly the most creative, being almost direct copies of the uniforms from the Rendez-vous '87, but they still look nice in my opinion.

DT Concepts & JJ
I'm quite disappointed at the teaser I'll be honest. Something more than the title page would have been desirable.
The title page itself gets the job done. You have a good hierarchy of text, with the All Star Game most prominent and everything else takes its proper spot. Putting your logos on the scoreboard works really well, too.
The location page is simple, and it does its job, but there isn't much else to it. The explanation is nice, though.
I was absolutely floored by your logos. I'd argue that they were the best in the competition. Great layouts, great colors, great font choices, just amazing overall. They look like something that the NHL would actually use, and that's impressive. One nitpick I have: on the Atlantic logo, outline the letter instead of having it filled in, to keep consistent with the other three.
The jerseys are nice. Less impressive than the logos, and pretty simple, but a good connection to Colorado and a nice look overall.
I like the idea of the wildcard page, with the center ice, but it's also a little underwhelming. I think the wildcard page could have been used better, and that the center ice probably could have been thrown in somewhere else somehow.
One overall note on the presentation is that I'd make that background image less prominent. On the title pages (including the ones that introduce the sections) I think it's fine as is, but on the logo/jersey pages, lessen that background image. Keep the focus on the jerseys and logos, not the background. The jerseys especially really blend in with the background.

Noah B. & William B.
You're only group here to use a video for a teaser, and it definitely separates you from the bunch. The video isn't exactly the most professional looking and honestly is a tad boring since it's just text going on and off the screen, but you're still the only one to use a video.
The title page is done well, showcasing the logo, the event, and the names. I would make the text for the event larger than that of your names, though.
The location page is simple and sweet, and gets the job done. You do a good job explaining the event layout and the choice of location.
I like the western influence in the logo designs, but some of them are a bit odd. The Skills Shootout logo especially is, and it's not really laid out like a normal logo. The "Skills Shootout" text should be more horizontal than it is now, and probably more prominent. The location and year would also probably fare better in the logo, rather than off to the side.
The main logo is pretty nice overall, and I like the idea behind it, especially the subtle Calgary tower in the background. I would make the "All Star Showdown" text a bit larger, though.
I like the layout and symbolism in your young guns logo. It's put together well. I'm not a big fan of the typeface chosen, though. That stick is also a really weird shape.
The jerseys look really nice, possibly one of the best in the competition. The link between them all with similar layouts while using different striping patterns to differentiate them works really well. Using their pages to show the rosters was also a good layout choice.
Using the wildcard page for a bit of merchandise was a good idea, and you were the only group to do so, just like the video. It was an idea we bounced around, but ultimately decided to go with something different.

Brooks F. & Jets96
While in a way I'm not a fan of your teaser, I think it's too simple, I also like it a lot. Despite the simplicity, you can figure out the location, year, event, and event format, so I'm pretty split on this one.
I'm not a huge fan of the location page on this one. It gets the job done at showing and explaining to you the location, the layout of it isn't the best. The typeface choice is a bit basic, and the font even seems to oscillate slightly. The logos just seem thrown in at the end to take up some extra space, rather than being a conscious design choice.
The logos are well done, especially the alternate and wordmarks. The primary is as well, but I'd argue that it's a little busy, and "All Star" should be made more prominent.
The jerseys are so different yet the same, and that's both a benefit and drawback. I love how they all call back to Jets history, whether it be the old or new Jets, while still being their own unique look. The drawback is that without this knowledge, these designs look pretty disconnected.
The celebrity game and skills competition logos are well done, but the text on the celebrity game logo is much too dark, and wouldn't stand out well from the navy blue backdrop they're on.
Another note about the presentation is that the pages seem disconnected from one another. It looks like you guys just split that job in half, but didn't consult each other at all as to what it should look like. It takes away from the overall cohesiveness of the project. If I had to pick one style to stay, I'd keep the style of pages 1, 3, and 5.

And that's all of them! Great work by everyone overall, and a lot of effort put in. Good luck to everyone.


Speaking of the pairs competition, we have the voting for that going on this week. Reward us for our efforts and go leave us a vote, compared to the effort of the competition this is nothing. We also have the COTW February vote and the regular COTW vote, which are no less important, so leave a quick tally there, too

COTW-February vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
COTW March 3-9 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)
Pairs Comp 2017 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern)

On Saturday Ryan also mentioned his idea for an HJC jersey raffle every month or every two weeks. I like the idea, but he wants to hear what you think too, so fill out the poll below and leave some feedback, we'd appreciate it.


Anthony C. - Quebec Remparts
+A traditional design looks great for the Remparts.
-Wrap the arm stripes all the way around the arms, though, there's no reason not to.
-I think the font looks a bit too modern for a tradidtional striping pattern like this.
-Vertical stitching should stop at the hem stripe.
-Name and TV numbers look too small and the numbers look a bit too large.
Overall: 7.5/10

+Always nice to see more color on a jersey.
+The arm fill plus a shoulder yoke is a design we rarely see, and it works well for the Hamilton Bulldogs, so I wouldn't mind seeing it tried more often.
-Lose the white yoke outline, though.
-Same issue with the name and number sizes as the last concept. The name also might stand out better in white, or with an outline.
-The stripes are way too thin, thicken those up a bit. Stitching should stop at the hem stripes, too.
Maybe this is just me, but I really don't like the look of concepts when the shoulder patches and TV numbers bleed out of the template like that. It just doesn't look right to me.
Overall: 6.5/10

Brooks F. - Buffalo Sabres
+That mashup of their old alternate's script logo with the buffalo from their regular logo looks great.
+The striping is simple and effective.
-Slightly on the thin side, though.
+The more vibrant colors look really nice.
-I think a taller font would look better, and maybe thinner as well.
Overall: 8.5/10 and my COTW nomination

Matthew C. - Dallas Stars
+I've always loved the North Stars' jerseys, and this is one case where I absolutely love the look of the black.
+That shade of green looks beautiful.
+The Stars' logo looks pretty good beveled with gold instead of gray.
-The drop shadowing on the numbers is done slightly wrong. It should look more like this.
-I think Dallas' font would look absolutely amazing on this concept as well.
Overall: 8/10

Mike F. - South Africa
+Back at it again with another solid NHL 17 concept.
+The clean, simple, albeit a bit dated looking striping looks nice; like it comes right out of the game.
+I like the use of utilizing alternate colors for the alternate jerseys, as always.
-That yellow alt's striping is so busy though. I see the flag striping in there, but it's just too much.
+The vintage jersey, as always with Mike, does have a nice and vintage look to it.
-I think it would be better in blue, to tie into their historical flag's colors.
-I'm not sure the whole continent of Africa is a great representation of South Africa...
Overall: 7.5/10

Mike F. - Turkey
+I'm surprised at how much I like their flag design in a roundel.
+I'm not really sure the purpose of the chevron striping, but it looks good and unique.
+That straight, thin stripe at the bottom is a really nice complement.
+Also not sure where the blue comes from/what that seal is, but the blue numbers look really good on the jerseys.
-It is a tad out of place, though.
+The alternate and vintage jerseys are solid designs, almost no complaints there.
-My only minor gripe is that the vintage jerseys look a little but like the Red Wings...not sure if you consider that bad or not.
Overall: 8.5/10

Taylor R. - New York Islanders
+This is something we don't usually see.
+Great color balance.
+A design like this suits the Islanders surprisingly well, especially with 4 stripes being used.
-Not a fan of carrying that arm design over to the numbers. I'd keep them solid blue.
+Nice font, though.
-I wonder what the shoulder patch would look like on the front instead...
Overall: 8.5/10


And that's all for today's long post. I hope you enjoyed the post, thanks for reading, and I'll see you again next week!
Thursday: Pairs In Review Reviewed by Bpoe on March 16, 2017 Rating: 5


Unknown said...

I want to nominate Taylor R's Isles entry

M said...

Figured I might as well explain the South African vintage. This was the one case where I kind of censured myself with blanking out the flag and the old logo. Meant to blend some older elements and based it around the sixties, [hence the number] which is unfortunately smack in the middle of the apartheid years.

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