The Greatest Era of Design

Hello everyone!

This week we have two Senators concepts from two guys named Ryan, an ideal Maple Leafs concepts, and a logo concept that gets a Concept of the Week nomination!

Last Monday, Jets96 hypothesized that 1974 was the greatest year for jerseys. Even if he may have not been totally serious, that got me wondering, what would be the best era of NHL jerseys?

You can make an argument for the 1960s, which produced so many classic designs. You could say the colorful 1970s were a groundbreaking era, or that the pre-war era established the foundation of hockey design.

However, I view it differently. If you read many of my articles you probably already know where I'm going with this. The best era of hockey design is the 1990s. It gave us some outrageous designs, some of which are rightfully derided, but it also gave us jersey designs that are artistic, charismatic, and unforgettable. The 90s shifted the way people view athletic design to something more expressive. Would we even be making concepts and discussing athletic design if not for the jerseys of the 1990s?

What would you say is the greatest era of hockey design? Let us know in the comments!

Ottawa Senators Concept - Ryan C.

Positives: Pairing these two logos together makes logical sense. Striping pattern is about what you would expect: a variation of the original striping pattern from the early 90s, and a red-and-white-stripe-on-black for the third. Execution is very good. I keep harping on it, but Ryan's weakness up until the last few months has been his presentation, and in working on that, has significantly improved his work. I appreciate that.

Negatives: I feel nothing when looking at this third. It's boilerplate at best. I think it's a mistake to not use at least gold trim. It's too prominently used in the logos to ignore, and helps separate their color scheme from other teams that use some combination of red/black/white.

Overall: It's like the cheeseburgers your dad used to grill out during the summers. They're good, grilled well, but you know there's better stuff out there. (8/10)

Ottawa Senators Concept - Ryan H.

Positives: The right logo is chosen. Striping pattern balances the black jersey out, but also acknowledges that gold is a part of this color scheme. Red cuffs also help with color balance. I like the collar. Shoulder patches appease the traditional crowd. Execution and presentation are on par with what you would expect with Ryan. Seriously, I don't think I've ever pointed out an execution flaw on Ryan's concepts. 

Negatives: The Adidas template does Ryan no favors here. Until those stripes go away, I don't think I'll work with it. It's too constricting. The striping pattern isn't the most creative we've seen.

Overall: It's solid; still an improvement over the Senators current home jersey. (8.5/10)

New Jersey Devils Concept - Lucas D.

Positives: It doesn't change a lot about the Devils jerseys, which are timeless. I like the yoke design, especially how the yoke has a slight crook at the corners. It parallels the typeface, which is one of the best in sports. Colors are balanced. Execution and presentation is very good.

Negatives: A key aspect of Devils jerseys is conciseness, so I would eliminate the red cuffs on the away jersey. They're not adding anything.

Overall: Not saying that I want the Devils to have new jerseys, but if these replaced them I would not complain at all. In fact, I might go out and buy one. (9/10)

Carolina Hurricanes Logo Concept -Lucas D.

Positives: Logos are hard. I find jerseys to be easy by comparison. This logo isn't necessarily difficult to create, but it's strengths lie elsewhere. The hidden H in the white space is really the coup de grace here. It hearkens back to the widely celebrated Hartford Whalers logo, while still being relevant for this team (seeing as H can stand for Hurricanes). The hurricane warning flag pattern is represented, and done realistically, stacking both square flags. The black C and silver outline frame the logo, and I appreciate the humor included in the explanation for the silver outline. Presentation is very creative, mimicking a post from Sportslogos.net reviewing a newly-released logo. It allows a medium for Lucas to showcase all the details of the logo in a way that seems very realistic. It gives something conceptual a feeling of near tangibility. I have no complaints with execution.

Negatives: In a vacuum, this is an excellent secondary logo. However, a secondary logo needs to complement the primary logo. This goes the exact opposite direction as the Hurricanes primary, which is full of organic motion. Geometric, linear design here is at odds with the primary.

Overall: It's a simple, effective, intentional, and intelligently designed secondary logo. Well done. (9/10) Concept of the Week Nomination from me!

Iowa Wild Concept - Bradley D.

Positives: Colors are balanced fairly well. Striping pattern is reminiscent of the Minnesota Wild's red home jersey, but different enough to be interesting.

Negatives: You can't put a red helmet with all three jerseys. First, it's against league regulations. Second, it looks terrible. Not digging the shooting star on the striping. It's difficult to see anyway. Typeface is very bland.

Overall: It differentiates between both "Wild" teams. (7/10)

Toronto Maple Leafs Concept - Steven G.

Positives: I was really hoping the Leafs' new jerseys would be exactly what Steven made here for his "ideal" set. I think that's just about as perfect as you can get a Leafs set. Honestly, if that had been unveiled, you wouldn't need to tweak a thing about it for decades. It modern classic. 

Negatives: Ironic that the "new look" has to go back to the old logo. It's just a lot of maple leafs. I don't think it quite does enough to think outside the box. 

Overall: Giving them one homogeneous rating seems unfair in this case. The "ideal" set is perfect; (9/10). The "new look" is DOA; (6/10)

The HJC Open has reached the final! This is where we get to see some of the best talent in jersey design going head-to-head! Don't forget to vote for COTW as well!


HJC Open Final entries (due Tuesday @ noon Eastern)
COTW July 15-21 vote (ends Friday @ noon Eastern) 

The Greatest Era of Design Reviewed by Caz on July 24, 2016 Rating: 5


Lucas D. said...

Thanks for the review, Caz! But I got a 10/10? I don't see it, but I'm fine with it!

winnipegjets96 said...

Funny enough, the title was a Simpsons reference, when Homer says "Why do we need new music? We all know rock achieved perfection in 1974" Although it is conveniently is my 2nd favourite year in design, the first being 1991-1992. Glad I inspired some thoughts

I like Ryan H.'s collar on his concept as it resembles the cape of a Roman solider around their neck. Making the collar insert gold would ace that. COTW nom from me

Unknown said...

Is like to nominate ryah h for cotw

Caz said...

Lucas, that's my fault. I had it as a 10 when I started writing this a few days ago, until I realized that I wasn't sure if it perfectly complimented the primary. I think it it's very clever, though.

Unknown said...

I'll second Lucas' canes logo for COTW, I love the hidden H!!

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