Wednesday: Change is a Good Thing

One of my few times left to say this, but...

It's Wednesday, my dudes.

As many of you have come to find out (or will come to find out shortly), HJC is undergoing some changes in the new year. Gone are the daily concept posts (what you see below) and in is a renewed focus on competitions, news, and everything else HJC. Check out this weekend's announcement for an in-depth description of the changes to come.

I'll be honest, when these changes were initially discussed by the HJC Staff, I was easily their biggest opponent. The daily posts were what initially attracted me to HJC, both as a reader and as a writer as I joined the team last year. It was such an inspiration to see the work of others and such a help to receive feedback on my own work. But, like I said, those days are gone. And that's a good thing.

Bear with me... 

Although I mentioned I was entirely against the idea of doing away with the concept posts just a few short months ago, I find myself completely behind that idea today. As has been observed recently, HJC has been around for quite some time and many ideas have been played out to the extent that beating a dead horse isn't even an applicable metaphor anymore (think Ohio flag striping for Columbus, the upper-arm fill pattern popularized by Pittsburgh, recasting an old design on an Adidas template). As we maintain the daily concepts posts we spend our time reviewing these same designs and providing the same feedback rather than pushing progress forward in designs. 

In competitions, we break this lull. With so many talented designers submitting entries we're forced to push the envelope in our designs to create something that will even be remembered, much less win, and that's where the real creativity comes in. This past competition alone, we had a double-blue look for Nashville, saber-tooth-inspired striping, and an All-Star based refreshed that went beyond anything that would be expected for the conservative Predators. That's what we're looking to cultivate in the new year. No more tired designs, No more broken-record feedback. We're doing away with the dead horse and replacing him with a strapping young stallion fueled by the energy of cite-based competition.

In addition, this change frees up so much of our times as writers, so you can expect to see a lot more personality on the site. News stories will cover everything under the moon, things you've never even heard about because we haven't had the time to report it to you in the past. The Habs nickname warm-up jerseys, the Oil Kings teddy-bear toss uniforms, Seattle Expansion speculation just to name three topics from the past week. The Podcast will also become greatly expanded as it moves to a higher priority level on the HJC docket and plenty of opinion pieces will begin to appear, from our favourite alternates of all time to our opinions on our own jersey collections and those of others.

Sure change is tough, change is scary, and change may be downright infuriating. But trust me when I say change can be a very, very good thing. And I believe HJC is primed to be a shinging example of that in the New Year. As Ben always says, "Keep your stick on the ice", we've got a whole new world of content in store for you as 2019 rolls around. 


COTW November 23-29 vote (ends Friday @ noon ET)
2019 All Star Competition entries (due December 14 @ noon ET)
Jersey Nerds Podcast (new episode every Tuesday Today)

On to the concepts!
Brendan P.- Pittsburgh Penguins
We start off our 3-concept gauntlet of work from Friend of the Show BPoe with a Stadium Series look for our shared favourite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. This look merges their current alternate and 2017 SS jerseys into a perfect marriage of the two designs. Moving the black to the shoulders corrects the awkwardness of a yellow jersey with black arms and adding the patches to the arms keeps them from being too bare. Big fan of the return of the stencil font. That's something I thought the Pens did great with on their 2017 look, though I'd like to see the removal of the triangle from the primary and its addition to the captains best; those were two of the best details of the 2017 set IMO. I' probably recommend a black helmet since the shoulders are really pushing the black on top idea, and I think the pants would benefit from a little more yellow given all the black elsewhere.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Like I said, I marriage of the pens two recent gold jerseys and one I'm happy to hold my peace with. A true beauty.

Brendan P.- Winnipeg Jets
BPoe brings us to Winnipeg next, returning the Jets to their original color scheme here. While the jerseys are beautiful in a vacuum, I can't help but thinking New York Rangers when I look at them. Maybe its the text-based logo, maybe its the similarity of the road to the Rangers' original WC look. Either way, its something I cant shake. Love the logo choice here. The new Jets wordmark is probably the best in the league and the helmet logo is something BPoe and I worked on together in this year's pairs competition, so its hard for me to speak poorly of that. I could take or leave the shoulder numbers , but given the size of the arm stripes, I totally understand the decision.

Overall Rating: 7.75/10
Great in a vacuum, but too close to a real-world Blueshirt look to me.

Brendan P.- Ottawa Senators
Ottawa has really lost their way when it comes to jersey design, so BPoe has been polite enough to show them exactly how its done. Ditching the reebok template? Check. Swapping to the sideways centurion? Check. Promoting gold to create a unique colour scheme rather than your standard black,red, and white? Check. We've got a real winner here across the board. Though I like each of the jerseys, I think the road provides the best balance of the colour scheme. The home is close, but I think the numbering could use another look as the gold outline tends to read as white from a distance. While I appreciate a good white-less look, I think the alt could really use some (even if just in the logo and numbers), as the gold is too dark to really pop on its own.

Overall Rating: 9.0/10
A beautiful look for the Sens that's just a couple of tweaks away from the ideal.

That's all for today folks. 

In a shocking turn of events, this week's COTW Nomination heads to BPoe. His Ottawa Senators Concept takes home my top honour this week..

Like what you see? Hate what you see? Want to see something different?
Let us know in the comments and be sure to shoot your designs to concepts@hockeyjerseyconcepts.com to make your mark on our daily posts.

We'll see you all next week!
Wednesday: Change is a Good Thing Reviewed by JB Designs on December 05, 2018 Rating: 5


Chase A. Carlson said...

I'll nominate BPoe's Jets concept for COTW

Burkus Circus Concepts said...

Going to have to disagree with you here, Justin. I get that Ryan may have lost his passion for this, and it might be a strain on you writers, put that doesn’t mean it has to end. Ryan could just delegate the collection and distribution to someone who DOES have the passion. Writing can be passed to someone who has more time to commit.
Sure the competitions raise, uh, competition, but it also discourages new comers. I would’ve never even considered starting to submit concepts in a competition-type setting. It also puts up an impersonal front. I can get feedback and improve with reviews and rating. I get none of that with a number telling me how many votes I got. How am I supposed to improve if the only feedback I get is a 3 next to my name, with one vote being myself and the other the one friend I told about it? And worse of all, it both stunts creativity and takes away the best platform for original work. There’s never going to a competition for my local IHL or ACHA team. I’m never going to have a competition for any Asian country not called Russia.
And what if I have some amazing design ideas for, say, Minnesota? They’re going to have to sit around on my computer until a Minnesota Wild competition rolls around. What if someone designs a jersey that is actually made, like I did for the Warcats. There’s never going to be a competition for their Youth JV team.
And competitions will always be won by the same people. BPoe, Anthony, TC, Ryan, and the other elites of the site. I’m going to be getting good-but-not-nearly-enough votes, and newcomers are going to get MAYBE 5 or so. Getting mediocre success in competitions isn’t enough to keep people coming back.
You and the writers may think that Competitions are a substitute. That’s because you guys are good enough to constantly win or come close. But if you were to poll HJC readers, you’d find that the vast majority disagree.
I’m emploring you to reconsider.

Unknown said...

I’ll 2nd that Sens beauty

H said...

The C stood for concepts, and that was what I came to this site for. Once those are gone I will no longer have a reason to continue being a reader. The competitions are neat, but it's always the same "established" artists winning. I want to grow as an artist by receiving feedback and not by being being in direct competition with people who have clearly had a lot more practice than me.

Ben Shaffer said...

Second bpoe's sens

Unknown said...

I agree with Burkus Circus here, I got interested in concept art during my second year of college. I have planned to do more series once I have completed my redesign jersey and logo series. Every time I see the daily designs, that motivates me to be inspired by them.


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