Tuesday: Varsity Blues

Welcome back to HJC for the Tuesday post. I hope your weekend went better than mine. Bowling Green's season ended in overtime Sunday night, and I'm still in mourning. It's the 5th time in the past 7 season their season has ended in the semifinals, and the 3rd time in the past 7 it's ended in overtime.

Speaking of college hockey, moderately important news came out from the University of Illinois, who have been interested in upgrading their club team to full-fledged Division I varsity. An NHL-sponsored study has been released, with its conclusion being that if the Fighting Illini would be financially feasible... with a $30 million donation. It's exciting that the school is pushing towards becoming the 61st team, but we'll likely be waiting a while before someone with a lot of cash to burn steps forward, if anyone steps forward at all. It's important to note that Arizona State faced the same obstacle a few short years ago, but were still able to find a generous donor, so it's not unreasonable to think Illinois could be on the ice soon.

What would the Skating Illini look like? I'm challenging YOU to envision it! Take a shot at creating uniforms for the Illinois, and send it in!

The Season's regular season has concluded, and we have all-new designs for the playoffs! The teams you liked before, you may not feel the same way now, and vice-versa, so see if the artists match their previous success. Also in voting, we have a Concept of the Month votes, which are always exciting, and of course, Concept of the Week.

COTW-February vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)
COTW March 2-8 vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)
The Season Semi-Finals vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)

Christian L.- Seattle Kraken (NHL Expansion in 2020)

It's a matter of when not if for NHL hockey in Seattle, and Christian says 2020 for the Kraken. I'll separate my critiques for the logos and uniforms.

Logos: Oh wow. These are fantastic. Creating the S out of the tentacle was a great piece for both the primary and wordmark. The Space Needle is practically prerequisite for Seattle, but the way it's being squeezed by the tentacle integrates them together geniusly. The font for the wordmark matches the S perfectly without distracting from it. The highlights give it a phenomenal sense of depth, and great implication of muscularity and strength, without detracting from its simplicity. The only critique I've found to offer is the color scheme, which I'll touch in in the uniforms. Seattle management needs to see this now.

Logo Grade: A+

Uniforms: While I don't have the same praises for this portion, it's solid nonetheless. The massive chest stripe wonderfully drenches the set in color. This is the set's biggest strength, though the color scheme needs some minor adjusting. Starting with the hometown Seahawks scheme was a great starting point. The dark blue with neon green for accents are good, but the light blue is too close to the dark blue to completely sell this look. The saturation and lightness need to be tweaked to create a sharper contrast; right now it's too bland and flat to dynamically pop out like it wants to. The blue jersey is fine without any white stripes, but the white numbers unnecessarily stick out. A side view of the pants would be appreciated; its too colorful for the pants to be blank, which is what it looks like. The design for the socks doesn't seem to reference the set as well as it could, especially on the white, where the dark blue on the outside, unlike the light blue on the inside. The neon green accent was best kept around the logo and in the chest stripe, and I also like how it's tied in to the collar.

Uniform Grade: B+

Overall Grade: A

Lucas D.- New York Islanders

Lucas has been on a roll lately around the NHL, today stopping in Brooklyn. This isn't a radical departure from the Isles' current branding, but it's different enough to certainly be intriguing. On the blue jersey, the stripes have been compressed together, while on the white, an orange stripe is moved inside a field of blue, a move I like to match the logo. The subtle curvature of the yoke helps match the roundel logo. It's terrifically simple and sleek, but unfortunately, the logo is not. Using the solo "NY" logo would go a long way in making everything on the jersey cohesive. I'm not a fan of the orange collar, I feel like it's distracting for the neighboring orange stripe in the yoke. This is minor, but from the 2D to the 3D template, the numbers have shifted up, and on the pants, the logo is way too small.

Grade: A-

 T.C. M.- Vintage Classic (Atlanta Thrashers vs Nashville Predators)

Our Friday writer just can't let the Thrashers go, so he revives them to pair with Nashville in a specialty game complete with fauxback uniform sets.

Atlanta Thrashers: TC borrows a classic theme from the Maple Leafs history, fitting here in a two color pattern. With the arms so busy, it makes sense to tone it down on the torso, but it's been toned down too much. The logo fits the theme excellently, and using white to call it out boldly was a good move, but the letters need adjusting to make them legible; the T is completely hidden and the L is tough to make out. The numbers on the shoulders are a tad too close to the stripes, and should be moved higher. The name on the back would better match the logo if it were in a serif font. The numbers would also be more fitting if they were as thin as on the Preds' sweater.

Atlanta Grade: B

Nashville Predators: I tried a look similar to this many moons ago, and this look succeeds where mine fell flat. First, the proportions of the striping were expertly set, especially the hem stripes. I also like how the TV numbers are placed within the chest stripe; it gives the design a more balanced look around the centered stripe. Same as Atlanta, the name on the back should be a serif font, and the thicker numbers on that jersey would look better here. The pants stripe doesn't match the weight in the rest of the design, and isn't working here. Wordmarks on the crest are vastly underrated, and this one is especially admirable by stretching out the full team name within the chest stripe.

Nashville Grade: A-

Overall Grade: B+

Today was a great day for concepts! My Concept of the Week nomination goes to Christian L's Seattle Kraken. It's a Concept of the Year quality logo, but are the jerseys strong enough to make it there? Or did I underrate the other concepts? That's for you to decide in the comments! I'm looking forward to seeing who takes on my Illinois challenge, I'm hoping several of you participate. It's always interesting to see how different artists will have different takes on the exact same team. See you next week, and until then, keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday: Varsity Blues Reviewed by Ben Shaffer on March 13, 2018 Rating: 5


Lucas D. said...

Amazing work, Christian! That logo looks great! I’ll be seconding that for COTW. I can see this making it a long way!

Noah B said...

I'll third Christian for COTW.

Unknown said...

I'll also nom Christian

Burkus Circus Concepts said...

COTW nom, heck, that’s my COTY nom! 5thed

winnipegjets96 said...

I'll throw a COTW nom to Lucas's Islanders concepts

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