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Super Bowl XLVIII Logo Contest

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 7.27.07 PM

By Phil Hecken

Uni Watch got a note this week from reader Mason Fiske, who made a suggestion for a contest that’s slightly different from those you’re used to: design a LOGO (not a uniform). It’s actually something I’d been thinking about (although not necessarily turning into a contest) for some time now, but I like the way Mason thinks. Before we get any further, I’ll let him explain:

Since the NFL standardized the Super Bowl logo in 2010, I have always had this idea of creating a logo for each ‘big game’ since then that would live up to the uniqueness (location, team color, graphic era) of every prior logo to replace that hideous thing the league came up with. With life, it’s one of those things I never got around to… However, I think a great (but a bit late) contest for this month would be to submit new concepts for this year’s logo and pick a winner. Submissions could run until the league championship games, you will select a Top 4, 8, or 10 by the Pro Bowl, and the forum will vote and choose a winner to be announced on Super Bowl Sunday. What do you think?!

I’m not sure what the individual would win (besides bragging rights), but if the league noticed a response, maybe a change could happen… especially with Super Bowl L on the horizon.

Cheers and Happy New Year!
Now I can begin drinking…

Mason Fiske
– – –
Industrial Designer

Mason actually sent his suggestion to Paul, who thought I might like to run with it. So I will. But with a few tweaks.

Since this year’s Super Bowl XLVII logo is already set — and shockingly, it looks a LOT like the logo for Super Bowl XLV and Super Bowl XLVI (that was no coincidence) — lets skip this year’s game and move on to next year: Super Bowl XLVIII.

I’ll set up the contest rules in a bit — but first, a bit about the Super Bowl Logos. I’ve always enjoyed them, particularly when it seemed like care was given to their design. Back a few years ago, I asked reader Michael Malinowski if he’d like to do an overview of the logos used in the past, and he happily obliged (scroll down to “Logo-A-GoGo”). It’s a terrific overview of the history of Super Bowl logos, and sets the stage for this contest.

With the exception of the first couple games, and until 2010, Super Bowl logos had character. There were some good ones and some bad ones, (and some great and some terrible), but at least each tried to reflect the personality of the home city or state, to spin a bit of a yarn through color/design, and most also mimicked the time-period in which the logo was designed.

Since 2010, unfortunately, the “uniqueness” of the logo was lost due to the NFL’s “one-size-fits-all” branding approach. The past two (and current) logos are done in grayscale, with the Lombardi Trophy depicted in front of a graphic representation of the host city’s stadium. 2010 was JerryWorld, 2011 was Indy, and this year is the Super Dome. Identical all, except for the building and the numerals. It’s bland, and pretty terrible. Just google “Super Bowl logos” and you will find more than enough examples of the good, the bad and the ugly.

So that’s where the contest comes in. Even for the past two (and current) Super Bowls, the “host committee” has come up with a logo that would have been infinitely superior to the bland, standard NFL one. Here’s what Dallas had for 2011, this was for Indianapolis in 2012, and here’s a look at the one for New Orleans in 2013.

We’ve already gotten a look at what has been created for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. I like that a lot. It’s got the snowflake (for the first outdoor ‘cold weather’ game), the bridge (symbolic of spanning New York & New Jersey) and even the initals of the two states that comprise the geographic region of the game. It’s a nice “start” (although that doesn’t mean any of those elements should be on the Uni Watch reader proposals) — just an idea to get you started. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments, maybe you’ll spur one of the designers in a direction he/she hadn’t thought of.

So, dear readers (and designers) — lets see what you can do. The rules for this contest will be simple:

Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2013, 6:00 pm. That’s firm.

Graphic: Please make the graphic as large as you can (at least 500 x 500 pixels — which is slightly less than the width of the splash photo in Uni Watch columns)

Design: Pretty much anything you want, but don’t copy anyone else’s work (and don’t make it look like the “Host Committee” logo). Remember, it’s for Super Bowl XLVIII (so it should indicate that on the logo) and it’s being played in MetLife (I’m Still Calling It) Giants Stadium. That’s in the New York City Metro Area, and it will be the first outdoor, cold-weather game. You may or may not wish to include details like that in your submission.

Format: With the exception of .psd (photoshop) documents, I can pretty much handle anything (if you do send me one that way, I’m going to ask that you can re-send it in another format). So .jpg, .bmp, .png extensions are all fine, and I can format .pdf’s fine. If you’re doing your original in photoshop, please convert it for me. Thanks. It doesn’t have to be computer-designed — hand drawings are fine as well.

Description: 50 WORDS OR LESS — no exceptions. If you go over 50 words, I will cut the description off at 50 (don’t make me do that, K?). The design itself should speak for itself, so please do not get wordy. If you’re including an obscure reference and want to explain it, that’s fine, but stay within the 50 word limit.

Prize(s): I haven’t decided, but the winner will definitely get something. I’ll see if I can beg Paul to award a UW membership or Comrade Marshall to award a choice of stirrups to the winner.

Address and Subject Line: One Entry Per Person — please send your design (and 50 word description) to me: and put as the “SUBJECT” line: “Uni Watch Super Bowl XLVIII Logo Contest”

Decision: I’ll post each entry (and description) next weekend, and then open it up to voting. We’ll have two rounds of voting, and then I’ll announce the winner and his/her design over Super Bowl XLVII weekend.


Thanks again to Mason Fiske for the suggestion, and good luck to everyone. Based on past contests, I’m sure this one will really show off the true talent of the UW readership, and will undoubtedly result in a logo the NFL will simply have to consider for 2014!

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colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

It’s been about a month since the last “Colorize This!” so there are a few to get to today. A few new, a reader request completed, and some new requests this time around. Let’s get right into it:

. . .

1924_gtown_bucknell_after - Pete Woychick

We’ll begin today with Pete Woychick, who has a beautiful colorization request made last time by Larry Bodnovich:

Hi Phil””

Special thanks to LarryB for the nomination; this photo was a fun challenge. A few observations:

• Color vs Color game, though not an ideal one in terms of contrast. I used the modern color schemes for each school, but I have no idea if this is historically accurate. I toyed with making at least one of the team’s helmets painted leather, but I think maybe that innovation didn’t come along until later (?)
• Speaking of helmets, I like how the Georgetown players have smooth leather lids, while Bucknell has the “X-top” style. (“Buy local”?)
• Note the size of the ball-carrier’s hands””massive! According to Wikipedia, Earl Goodwin went 6’1″ 195 lbs, but I imagine that made him a relative giant in that era.
• I counted 16 or 17 players, all within an area of about 5 square yards. Without facemasks (and in some cases, helmets), it’s amazing that enough players survived to finish a game.
• The Bucknell guy in the background skulking off à la Carl Spackler cracks me up.


. . .

Next up is colorizer-expert John Turney, who has done a special set — where he walks us through some of the stages of his colorization process. Dig:

John Turney - Rams colorization 1

I begin with grass and foreground, then the background and finish with the players. This is the beginning of the process. I have not yet added any filters. I do that after photo is complete. I though some might like to see the differences in same photo.

John Turney - Rams Colorization-2

Same shot, backing up a bit, as you can see, still working on a large crowd.

John Turney - Rams Colorization-3

Finished product, except for some details.

I put a 1970s Kodachome Blue filter on to brighten colors.

John Turney

. . .

Next up is newcomer Steve Vibert with a baseball colorization:




I have a contribution for your “colorize this” segment.

I saw a picture of Hank Greenberg at Comiskey Park that I knew needed some help. I colorized catcher Tony Rensa first, then couldn’t help myself. Freakin’ crowd took me a week and a half! You’ll probably have to resize to format to your site.

Thanks for a great morning read every day,

Steve Vibert

. . .

Casey BW

Another newcomer today is Steve Wojtowicz, who has done a nice job with Casey at the bat:

Casey Color - Steve Wojtowicz

Good morning. The attached picture (black and white version) was posted on so I took my shot at re-colorizing it. I am not 100% sure I like the way it came out but I am not sure why. It doesn’t look “realistic” enough to me. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for all you do and keep up the great work.

Steven Wojtowicz
Kendall Park, NJ

. . .

Martin and Andy Ryan colour - George Chilvers

And we close the colorization segment today with George Chilvers, colorizer-extraordinaire, back from his hiatus (and who has two for us):


One to dip my foot back in the water after my trip to sunnier climes and post-holidays :)

Rugby league around 1950 – Martin and Andy Ryan, brothers, before a Wigan and Warrington game. For uni-aficionados you’ll be delighted to note that the team colours were officially “cherry and white” for Wigan, and “primrose and blue” for Warrington. Fancy naming isn’t a new phenomenon.

Best wishes for 2013 to all Uniwatchers.


Wigan v Roanne May 1949 colour - George Chilvers

More Wigan rugby league.

This is a game played on 21 May 1949 between Wigan (in the cherry and white) and French champions Roanne. Crespo, the Roanne winger, kicks ahead as Radcliffe comes into tackle. Racing up for a pass is Barreteau the Roanne full back. The monochrome original is here.


. . .

And that ends the actual colorization segment, but there were actually THREE requests for photos to colorize. We’ll take them in order — perhaps some of you colorizers will want to take a crack at one or more of these (I won’t post the actual photo inline — just click the link to view):

Dan Vlietstra:

Look at all the opportunities for color, and all the faces!

I have never seen this Oklahoma State helmet either. 1953 vs. Arkansas.


Dan Vliestra

Nicole Haase:

I have two old Wisconsin hockey photos I’d love to see if folks with more talent than I can colorize.

The background is that the video package prior to every Wisconsin men’s hockey home game includes black and white images of Wisconsin men playing hockey outdoors. You’ll remember that this year Wisconsin is celebrating 50 years in the modern era – they have to clarify that because they had a history of hockey prior to this “modern era.”

I happen to have a friend who’s a librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society who put me in touch with someone at the University photo archives who got me two of these pictures. I know the full team photo one is from 1929. The other photo features what appears the same uniform, so I’m guessing its the same time frame. (Look at the “googles”!)

Both pictures are attached and if anyone decides to colorize them and sends them back to you, I’d love to have the colorized images emailed back to me.



Nicole Haase

Timothy Tryjankowski:

Love the work that you do.

I am trying to put the finishing touches on my “man cave” and would like to add a large photo of the AFL “hit heard round the world”

Is there any way to get/ask for someone to “colorize this” ?

Here is the black and white photo along with color video of the play..I was wondering if/how I could get the photo colorized”¦are there stores that do this..or a reader that I might contact ?? Thanks


and at the 51 second mark here.

Timothy A. Tryjankowski

. . .

Whew! That’s some set today. Thanks to all the colorizers, and the submitters. Great jobs by all!

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all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


Colorado Avalanche - Devon Kendall

First up is Devon Kendall with an NHL (what?) concept, taken from the Jim Vilk/Mike Engle school of design:


These “fauxback” jerseys and logos I’ve created for the Colorado Avalanche are inspired by a) the Colorado state flag and b) the Quebec Nordiques jerseys. I’m not too good with graphics programs, so you get my colored pencil doodles.

-Devon Kendall

. . .

jags_homes_design_copy - Tom Bierbaum

Next up is Tom Bierbaum with a couple nice drawings of the LA Jags new uniforms:

jaguars_road_ii - Tom Bierbaum

Phil —

As always, thanks so much for your efforts on my single favorite feature of a great blog.

This is a concept for a possible L.A. Jaguars team in the NFL’s future, but I’d also certainly recommend it (with tweaks) to the Jacksonville squad. My starting point was adapting a UCLA color scheme and I’d love to see a fun Jags cartoon for a helmet logo. Opposing teams are concepts for the Broncos and Chiefs.

Tom Bierbaum
Erie, Pa.

. . .

nats veterans day - Andrew Poulson

And we close with Andrew Poulson with a Nationals concept:


I made this Nationals Uni on Veterans day and that was kind of my theme for the uniform.

Andrew P.

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.

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No Skipper vs. Shipwreck today (yay!) since both guys had Ole Miss (who won 38-17) over Pittsburgh in a pretty good looking game. The pros played yesterday too, with the Texans and Bengals hooking up in probably the ugliest-looking game of the playoffs. Ugh. The night cap was a little better, with the Packers trouncing the Vikings. Two more games on tap today: Balto at Indy at 1:00 ET, and Seattle at Washington at 4:30. Enjoy.

Thanks to the colorizers and the concepters. Don’t forget to post any suggestions for a possible Super Bowl XLVIII logo down below, and if you have any questions about the contest, you can e-mail me at the same address (just indicate you have a question about the contest in the subject line). OK? OK! Start sending in your designs once they’re ready, but don’t miss the Friday deadline. Awesome.

Everyone have a great Sunday!


. . .

“When I was a kid the Pittsburgh Pirates were the Oregon Ducks of the period. The various combinations of black/yellow/mismatched/matched/pinstripes/etc., was interesting and fun but I thought those uniforms looked…well…awful.”
— Jim Hamerlinck

Comments (75)

    the 1995 Super Bowl XXX design has to be my favorite. maybe its because of how familiar and accustomed I am to those Southwest style designs.

    Roman Numeral catastrophe, Phil.. I think you left out a ‘V’…

    Since this year’s Super Bowl XLII logo is already set – and shockingly, it looks a LOT like the logo for Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLI (that was no coincidence) – lets skip this year’s game and move on to next year: Super Bowl XLVIII.

    (I assume it was an honest mistake. If it was Paul that wrote it, I would have assumed it was a passive-aggressive commentary on how using Roman Numerals to number the Super Bowl is stupid and leads to errors.)

    Do we need to use a computer program, or can we make the SB logos “kiddie style” (drawn with crayons)?

    From the contest rules:

    Format: With the exception of .psd (photoshop) documents, I can pretty much handle anything (if you do send me one that way, I’m going to ask that you can re-send it in another format). So .jpg, .bmp, .png extensions are all fine, and I can format .pdf’s fine. If you’re doing your original in photoshop, please convert it for me. Thanks. It doesn’t have to be computer-designed – hand drawings are fine as well.


    Regarding past Super Bowl logos, that should read “Michael” Malinowski, not “Matt.” :)

    Awesome idea, Mason! I loved it when the SB logos used to incorporate some sort of local flair.

    And ditto on the Bengals/Texans game. I’ve gotten used to the Bengals’ goofy combos, but the Texans could have helped out a bit by wearing white pants instead of going with the monochrome look.

    Well last year in the same game they both wore white pants… maybe if Bengals had gone white/white against mono/navy this year, and white/black against navy/white last year, then both games would have looked better.

    What is wrong with the blue on blue? Other than the stripe on the britches, Houston looked purdy.

    I just don’t much care for the monochrome look, that’s all. All these teams have at least 2 colors of pants from which to choose, so why not spice things up a bit? It just generally seems bland, particularly when the offending team is clad in all-navy or -black.

    The colorizations (colourisations?) today are all great especially George’s Wigan v Roane pic. Those Roane shirts (sweaters) are gorgeous

    I hope I have time to work up a logo…I really really hate hate HATE the homogenized SB logo they’re going with now. Yeah, some of the logos in the past were stinkers, but almost any one of ’em would beat this current boring piece of crap.

    Man, oh, man, what a fine day. Love the Super Bowl logo contest, Phil, and appreciate the ready supply of the historical models. God help me, I may even enter the damn contest.

    And huzzah for the colorizers. Gratifying expansion of the atelier. Georgetown – Bucknell is sweet, and the Chilvers contributions from Rugby League c 1960 are characteristically cool. By 1960 in the US, one simply could not wear one’s athletic shorts as high as the Wigan lads did: way too uncool. When did the waist descend in Perfidious Albion, George?

    These photos date from around 1950, Conn, so they weren’t so out of fashion.

    By 1960 shorts were briefer and slung lower.

    Pete, that Georgetown Bucknell pic is so sweet. I love shorpy pics in general and to see a great football pic in color is just wonderful.

    And i just checked out how John showed us some steps. For the guys that do the backgrounds or crowd shots, I am impressed.

    Two things about the Ravens (in black/purple/black).

    One — they desperately need pants’ stripes and either purple highs, or some kind of sock stripes.

    Two — The NFL really needs to ditch the low white sock rule. If the Ravens want to look all bad-ass in their black tights (assuming my #1 above isn’t implemented), then they should be permitted to at least keep the all black leg look down to the black cleats. There is no way to make the current scheme look good with the low white rule in place.

    (and for those watching the game — when did “Indianapolis” become “Indiana”?)

    No stripes are the best. If you hate low white socks, then how about having purple socks with no white at all. Shirts and socks should match. Would that make y’all happy. But all britches should be stripeless.

    Ravens going with the black/purple/black. I’m not a fan, but it’s better than the all-black.

    I thought I saw them show a clip about that. If Kent State made it to a bowl they would wear the new helmet.

    Go Golden Flashes.

    Hopefully the Redskins wear burgundy/gold today vs. the Seahawks’ white/silver. That would be the best looking matchup.

    Who would have thought, going into the 4 games this weekend, that the one involving Seattle would be the best overall looking one?

    Seattle’s mystery white pants & Washington’s yellow ones are making this game very hard for me to watch. I hate them both.

    I’m not saying I’m opposed to Washington in yellow pants (at home, keep the burgundy for the road). But can they please at least modify the striping to match the rest of the uniform set? That would look good but the 70’s style striping with the current style uniforms makes my head want to explode.

    I came upstairs to literally write the same sentence. Go figure. Other than the monochrome blue – and that I suspect “one and done” grey mess they wore in Toronto, the Seahawks really aren’t a bad looking team(i.e. they look pretty good on the road)

    If the ground can’t cause a fumble, why can it cause an incomplete pass? Firmly controlling the ball while still in the air isn’t a catch? Why isn’t, say, in the endzone, the play dead the moment the receiver hits the ground? He’s gotta roll over with the ball for it to be a catch?

    Hate the current interpretation of things.

    The ground can’t help you gain or lose possession, those rules make sense.

    The endzone different possession rules, I understand why people don’t like them but they make sense, in the endzone all rules change (fumble out of bounds, holding, grounding…) the rules of having possession in the endzone are much harder because they should be, they’re the only 20 yards where points can be scored.

    But any official worth a damn (on the field or up in the replay booth) should be able to tell whether the ground knocked the ball loose or helped in the catch.

    And any receiver, being honest, would know whether, “I had it and the ground knocked it out” or “Nah, I trapped it.”

    This isn’t the “held it long enough” discussion, btw. That’s kinda something else.

    The ground can cause a fumble. For example, if a runner falls down on his own (thus he is not down by contact) and the ball is jarred loose by his collision with the ground, it is a fumble.

    Seattle has great gray pants and great blue ones to wear on the road. Where did the all white look come from? Awful. May they never be worn again.

    Anyone who thinks white jersey and white pants looks odd apparently has been watching football for about two years.

    Now, someone can say they don’t care for it. But they can’t say it’s abnormal, unusual or unheard of.

    That would be your opinion.
    Or is it a pronouncement of fact?

    This probably is a fact. In the TV era, white over white quite likely is the most common road look of all.

    It’s my opinion. I like when hats and britches match. So if the hawks had blue britches with no stripes, I would be very happy.

    That is what I’m saying. I don’t care for it. I never did like the all white look on the road… But I’m just as curious to know where the white pants came from? Are they new for the playoffs or were they an option all year and just never worn? I’d much rather see them in the blue or the gray.

    I’m going to have to respond and set the record straight on the quote of the day by Jim Hamerlinck who felt the 70s Pittsburgh Pirates bumblebee uniforms were the Oregon football set of their era. It’s a misperception I’ve heard before, and a natural reaction from someone who didn’t like that particular style.

    One of the big differences is the lack of copycats on the MLB level, both the Pirates and tequila sunrise Astros only spawned imitators on the lower levels of baseball. Also, multicolored uniforms were hardly new by the time the Bucs trotted out their 1977 set. Several clubs, from 1971 onward, had looks which represented the colorful styles of the era, check out regular clothing from that period. The baseball public was definitely becoming accustomed to multicolored looks, even light blue road uniforms were becoming more popular.

    In fact, the only radical design element of those bumblebee uniforms were the pillbox hats, a unique carryover from the 1976 bicentennial season. Yet another difference from the Oregon Ducks was the coverage from that era. Uniforms in general were barely discussed, and you didn’t hear the media and public fawning over which combination a particular team would use. Oregon’s use of variety, and non school colors is completely different than any baseball design from any era. And so while the 1970s bumblebee Pirates were a unique set, the general consensus during the time was a look was was considered odd and different, but nowhere near the level of the infamous, ever changing Oregon uniforms.

    Mr. Rhodes,

    I don’t want to speak for Mr. Hamerlinck, but I don’t think his quote was taken by you the way it was intended. I don’t believe he was comparing the outrageous, garish costumes the Ducks have been sporting to what the Bucs wore; rather, I believe his point was that there was little rhyme, reason or consistency in the Bucs uniforms. As Jerry Reuss and Jerry Wolper (Buctracker) have explained and researched, there were many different combinations worn over the two (when they had the black, gold & pins) seasons, including cap/sleeve/stirrup combinations.

    I think his point in comparing them to the Bucs was that you never knew what the Bucs would wear on any given day, and they had literally dozens of different possible uniform combos.

    I don’t think any specific element of any of the combinations was “radical” (except for perhaps the pillbox), nor do I think that was Jim’s point.

    Again, I don’t want to speak for him, but I think there needs to be a bit of clarification as to his reference point.

    Point taken, I would definitely agree in the specific area about the large number of mixing and matching. Other teams mixed and matched, but nowhere close to that degree.

    My point was that one someone says “Oregon football uniforms”, it is synchronous with a radical total uniform, which has sparked a nationwide trend of imitators. I wanted to offer the proper context for the bumblebee uniforms, while notable, just weren’t on the scale of what we see today.

    I’ve gone on record myself saying the mixing and matching of the gold pinstripes wasn’t a smart idea.

    So if you’re a Washington Sports fan, can the difference be any greater between the Nationals handling of Stephen Strasborg vs. the Redskins appoach to RG III?

    The difference is, in one case they erred on the side of caution, and on the other the opposite.

    Either way, they went out in the first round. Maybe both decisions were wrong.

    ‘Skins need to go back to the Gibbs era and wear white jerseys and maroon pants at home. They still don’t look right to me in dark-colored jerseys. Did Washington have a similar jinx to Dallas that prompted the team to begin wearing white at home?

    They wore white at home from 1981-2000, and their first home game they wore white was Week 1 of 1981 against Dallas, which was Gibbs’ first game. I thought maybe they wore white that first time at home to make the Cowboys wear blue, and then kept wearing it. Apparently, though, Gibbs just liked the white better because when he was an assistant under Don Coryell at San Diego, they wore white at home during when he was there & he brought that idea with him from the Chargers.

    I get that, but it’s poorly done. I couldn’t even guess at what it was until they zoomed in.

    Did anyone else notice the subtle color reference in the SB XLVIII (NY/NJ) Host Committee logo? Green and blue — for the Jets and Giants, I assume. Nice.

Comments are closed.