Concept Corner - April 4th, 2020

Well, folks. It's the moment we've all been waiting for. After a long hiatus, concepts have returned! We've got a new site, new management, and new podcast hosts and we're devoted to bringing you the content you want (provided it's also content we want to give you).
Unfortunately, you're stuck with one of the old guard reviewing your concepts, so hopefully you're still comfortable with the musings of a 21-year old Mechanical Engineer who has taught himself everything thing he knows about graphic design.
Enough about me, let's get down to it...
Brooks Freeman - Moose Jaw Warriors
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We start off with an old reliable from the HJC days. Here, Brooks Freeman gives us a refreshed take on the Moose Jaw Warriors who have arguably the worst jersey set of anyone in semi-pro or professional hockey. Brooks really shows his mastery here, especially in his logo selection. In addition to lackluster jerseys, Moose Jaws current logo set also sits near the bottom of any current CHL team, but Brooks adopts their alternate logo as the primary here, primoting their only logo with any redeemable quality. While red and black is often used in professional hockey, the promotion of silver over white hear creates a look that holds its own. Two things I would touch up, though, would be recoloring the shoulder logo on the dark jersey for greater contrast and legibility and spacing out the #OB a touch more. That 7 and 2 are looking awfully friendly and need to treat things more like Junior Prom than a college frat party.

Overall Rating: A-
Brooks Freeman - Edmonton Oil Kings
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The Oil Kings' shoulder patch is the best part of their logo set, so kudos to Brooks to identifying that and improving on it as a chest logo here. Swapping the EOK monogram for a full wordmark takes it the extra mile to be appropriate in this application and singling out the crown for use as a shoulder patch fits well with the set. The rest of the jersey draws on the existing Oil Kings jerseys which are little more than the Anaheim Ducks jerseys recolored in the pallet Brooks uses here, so it's nice to see some distance between these and their inspiration. I think every change Brooks makes is an improvement. Another change I would like to see is the removal of the phantom yoke on the dark jersey. It'd one of the holdover's from the Reebok Edge era that has lived far too long a life and 9.9 times out of 10 really doesn't do anything for the look.
Overall Rating: A
Brooks Freeman - Sudbury Wolves
The recent Sudbury re-brand simply reeked of laziness on the jersey design side and the logo that could've benefited from an update years ago still remained the same. Brooks certainly upgrades the logo side of things, but the prominence of white in the eye of the logo really draws the viewer's attention in an odd way. Jersey striping that is identical across the light and dark jerseys but functions to create two distinct looks is my favorite design Easter egg, so I appreciate that here. Unfortunately, there isn't enough contrast between the Sudbury blue and grey for my taste, so it muddies the striping a bit (much like is seen in the current Buffalo Sabres set).
Overall Rating: B
Ottawa Senators - Hunter Jones

This next set of concepts comes from one of our new members, Hunter Jones, and I believe it is one of the first concepts he's ever created! Hunter will be a regular on the new and improved Jersey Nerds Podcast that will continue in full force, even with the hockey hiatus. Welcome to the team, Hunter, and welcome to the field of concept design.

Honestly, I love reviewing concepts from new artists. When someone gets to Brooks' level the only commentary I can really give is on personal design preferences, but when someone is just starting out, we can discuss things like execution and good design practices. Let's start with the design first though. I think a simple design is effective for the Sens. They seem to have lost track of who they are on the design side of things (and the management side of things, but that's a separate conversation) so going back to the basics could certainly do them some good. The dark jersey balances red and black well and the white does the same, with the red numbers and text balancing out the black-heavy hem and cuff. In my opinion, dark numbers rarely look good on dark jerseys, so I'd swap the black for white on those and we're off to the races.

Execution is what I really want to talk about here. It's what really gives a concept life and it'll garner you respect in the design community almost immediately. Logo sizing is good (maybe a touch small on the chest logo, but not bad). Shoulder numbers can definitely use some work though. Details, details, details. They're present on the rear of the white and its front right sleeve, but missing on the left and nowhere to be found on the dark. Make sure to get those guys all set when you're reviewing a concept, a look is really incomplete without them. NHL logo as well, some templates have them in there already, some don't. Either is fine, but be sure you're being consistent (NHL could benefit from some shrinkage too). Be sure to keep in mind the legendary YOWS (Yellow on White Syndrome), this look is just barely safe from it, but many yellow or gold shades fade away from a distance when directly up against large blocks of white.

Didn't mean to write a novel here, but it's already on the page so we're going to leave it. Good steps for a first concept.
Overall Rating: C-
Vegas Golden Knight Alternate(s)

Golden Knights. Golden Jersey. It just makes sense. Hunter offers up a more imaginative concept here and I think it's a step in the right direction. Much of the Knights current look remains with the contrasting shoulders and the detailing of the logo used in the striping. I do like the idea of calling greater attention to it in an alternate and I think it offers a nice home for some red as shown by Hunter here. Since the two concepts are so similar, I'll address that just once here by saying the first is more effective. The black contrasts the red much better than the slate and the double black striping on the second muddies the look unnecessarily. Execution-wise, the chest logo needs to be beefed up a bit. Right now it looks more like the original retail Adidas "authentics" with the youth cresting rather than a game-ready jersey. #OB needs a size boost as well and though I mentioned that black numbers don't often work on a dark jersey, I think they work well against the gold here. The sleeve numbers, however, should really be changed to white or gold to make sure they're legible against the slate shoulders.
Overall Rating: C+
Well folks, with that the first concept post of the Jersey Nerds era is complete. If you don't send anything, I can't write anything, so be sure to keep sending concepts to JerseyNerdsMedia@gmail.com and include Concept Submission in the headline.

Until next time!
Concept Corner - April 4th, 2020 Reviewed by JB Designs on April 04, 2020 Rating: 5

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