By Phil Hecken
Every so often, as a lede, I will run a set of uniform concepts from a single designer that are either so good, so innovative, or so special that they deserve to be set apart from the normal “Concepts” section.
Today’s featured designer should be familiar to most of you, since I’ve run many concepts of his in the past — in fact he was just recently a featured artist in a weekend lede. While he shared that with Kevin Miller, it’s time we get to meet Matt Malinoski (and see more of his concepts) in greater detail. So, here is my Q & A with Matt:
Uni Watch: Hey Matt. Great to finally get to discuss unis with you. Let’s get a couple easy ones out of the way: Where do you live and go to school? What’s was your concentration?
Matt Malinoski: I grew up and still live in Connecticut. I graduated from UCONN with a math/actuarial science degree and am currently a web applications developer.
UW: Have you always been an artist?
MM: I learned to draw at a very early age, and always had an affinity for typefaces.
UW: Did you have a favorite discipline?
MM: Art was definitely my favorite subject, but I didn’t pursue it after high school because I didn’t think I could make a living at it.
UW: The old starving artist, eh? What about your MLB concepts, those look professionally done. Do you have any training in CAD or graphics?
MM: I lived in Wisconsin for a few years, and took some graphic arts courses there. That’s where I learned to use Illustrator and the finer points of typography.
UW: When we set this interview up, I asked you if you had any non-uni art or projects, and you’ve given me three awesome ones. I’ll start with this drawing of Ted Williams. When did you do this [For this and every image to follow, click to enlarge]:
MM: I did this one in high school.
UW: Wow! High school? Awesome. Have you done others? (I know you sent me this painting of Yaz, which I also used for today’s splash)
MM: I’ve done several drawings and paintings of ballplayers and stadiums over the years.
UW: Incredible. And do you do anything besides paintings, drawings and graphic design?
MM: I also built a scale model of Fenway Park as it appeared in 1975 out of basswood, construction paper, and glass beads.
UW: And here it is:
UW: Before we get into your baseball concepts, have you done tweaks or concepts for any other sports?
MM: I submitted a concept for the Mavericks contest. I thought it was time somebody bring the checkered look back. Used an approximation of the font ‘Banger’ for the wordmark and the font ‘Kinghorn 205’ for the numerals. Did a vertical arch for the NOB.
UW: You mention fonts and typefaces. And clearly you love the Red Sox. Have you ever decided to document the Red Sox typography? As I’m sure you know, the Red Sox are the last team to still use the “McAuliffe” font.
MM: I created a website chronicling the evolution of the Red Sox typographical elements. This website came out of frustration with never being able to find accurate replica or throwback jerseys and caps. Roman used to make good 1975 and 1946 caps, but nobody makes a good one today. Maybe I’ll have to take up embroidery.
UW: Amazing. I’m sure you’d do that equally well. OK, a couple more questions and then we’ll take a look at some of your new baseball concepts. The obvious question is: ‘Is baseball your first love and favorite sport?’
MM: Baseball is definitely my favorite sport. I became obsessed with uniforms in the seventh grade after staring at all of the pictures in Donald Honig’s books on the American and National Leagues.
UW: You sketched Ted Williams in high school in pencil, right? Did you do anything else, or use color back then?
MM: I starting drawing concepts in high school using colored pencils, but gave it up for a while until I started reading this blog and submitted my first concepts (Nations and Red Sox).
UW: Did you create the template you use? I don’t think I’ve seen any of the other concepters using anything quite like it.
MM: The baseball template I use is my own, but I would like to come up with a mannequin template so it would be easier to see what it would look like if somebody wore it.
UW: Your designs seem like riffs on the classics, which I personally love. Would you say you prefer the older, more classical/traditional stuff, or do you lean towards the more modern?
MM: I like the traditional stuff, most of what I like is from the thirties to the sixties. A lot of my MLB concepts are obviously based on classic designs but with various tweaks. I do like some of the oddball or modern uniforms like the 1968 “OAKLAND” vests or the 1969 Expos uniforms which was a clean design despite its idiosyncrasies.
UW: Some of your concepts are really more just “tweaks,” yes?
MM: I’ll clean up a script or add stripes here or there. Sometimes I like to take an old, unused design and see if I can adapt it for an expansion team.
UW: I note you never put a player’s name on the back of the jersey. Is this just because you want a generic feel or is this on purpose?
MM: I am a big proponent of NNOB. It always looks better to me. Not a huge fan of front numbers, but sometimes they are needed. I love the old Wilson jerseys with large numbers like the old Phillies and White Sox jerseys.
UW: So far, except for the Mav’s concept above, you’ve only sent me Major League teams. And you’re almost done. Do you want to try your hand at any others?
MM: I’d like to try some minor league teams or schools because I’d have an opportunity to come up with some original designs.
UW: Cool. And other sports?
MM: I would also like to do some NFL and NBA concepts, and then maybe some NHL after that.
UW: So I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more from you down the line. Thanks. We will close with some of your new concepts and I’ll just let your describe them. Great stuff!
I fixed my Red Sox concept by making the letters all the same height, and raising the word “SOX” higher. I also enlarged the counters or negative space inside the “S”. I included a second road uniform with an outlined script. I can’t make up my mind which one I like better. I wish they would go back to this typeface. Such a clean look. Their current uniforms are a mess. I miss their striped stirrups.
Here are my NL Central concepts:
Brewers: This concept is derived from the 1943 AA Brewers home uniforms. The colors are reversed, based on what I have read about its color scheme. I got the idea from the uniform that “Owgust” is wearing in the illustration from one of their program covers. I used the “M” from their 1942 set because the 1943 caps had a very plain sans-serif “M” and I added a white outline to it. These have a button front instead of a zipper because the zipper breaks up the “w”. Made a barrel man patch on sleeve. Road uniform is a gray version of the home uniform, instead of the red-and-white one they wore. Included 1940s jacket. This was my entry for the Youniform contest.
Cardinals: I went with the 1965-70 uniform, but added red soutache added to gray pants in order to match the home pants. I also used the serif MLB Block numerals. I decided to use the current birds-on-bat logo. No front number. I created an alternate based on 1949-50 set but with current logos and red undersleeves. I used the 1956-63 cap logo with serifs on both terminals of the “S”. I included the great early seventies two-tone jacket.
Cubs: Sixites set with current circle logo, sans registered mark, but with a thin outline. The current logo looks like a bullseye to me. I thought it needed to be toned down. I added red stripes to the stirrups, like the 1938 set. I fixed the numbers from the last one I uploaded. The current set of numbers they use are too square. I don’t know when it changed, but they need to go back and look at the older uniforms through the 1980s. I used the cub patch from the mid-seventies that has bear ears instead of the earlier one with the Mickey Mouse ears.
Pirates: Sixties set with sleeves and an alternate sleeveless. No front number. I love the poster logo of the seventies, which I added to the sleeve. These are the home Rawlings letters as opposed to the road MacGregor letters that they use now.
Reds: 1967 one-year design with no front number and a Mr. Redlegs patch. I like the narrow block letters inside the “C” better than the ones they use now. I love the MacGregor numeral font with the top-heavy “2”.
Thanks Matt! Matt also sent along an NL East set, but I’m going to save that for another time. We’ll be hearing much more from him, I’m certain, down the line.
Readers? What say you? How great are these designs and how about the drawing & painting of Teddy Ballgame? And that Fenway model? Wow.
Make sure to say something about him in the comments below, and I’m sure if you have any questions, they can either be answered here (comments section) or when next I feature Matt’s designs. Until then. This has been Designing Minds, Volume V.
Breaking Out the Negro League Unis in Pittsburgh
Last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates, playing as the Homestead Grays (a look they have undertaken for many years, in different eras of uniforms) took on the Cincinnati Reds, who played as the 1937 Cincinnati Tigers.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the game (or even any highlights) but from the photos, the game looked great. Pittsburgh always does Negro League games up beautifully, and they always attire their opponents very well as well. Some photos:
You can see even more photos here.
Update: Also, and I missed this earlier, the Braves and Nationals played a Negro League throwback game. Lots of photos from that game are here.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Got a small set again today, and three of the colorizations are of the same image (a reader request), but as always it is a treat.
Click on each image to enlarge.
We begin today with George Chilvers, who took on last weekend’s reader request:
As requested on Sunday.
George also did his own colourization, replete with a story:
Hi Phil (again)
And another one. This one has a bit of a story to it, in the shape of a newspaper article from the Chicago Daily Tribune of 26 December 1913:
GIRLS’ TEAMS PLAY SOCCER
Bloomer Blues Tied by Blue and White Skirts in New York.
ONE MISS FORGETS RULES.
Runs with Ball in Hands Instead of Kicking It and Penalty Results. If a tall girl with brown hair bound around with a blue ribbon, and with blue eyes hadn’t caught the ball in her hands and started to run toward the goal with it the Blue team would have won the women’s soccer game.
I suspect that the game was between two sides from the same club as an exhibition match, and I note that in this picture we have bloomers and skirts.
The epithet “girls’ ” soccer team is pushing veracity to the limit though, I’m afraid. There’s a phrase we have locally in the North of England. “A face that would frighten the horses”. :)
Next is Paul M. Doherty. Paul also took on the reader request:
My submission, thanks
Paul M. Doherty
And we close with Gary Chanko, who completed the triumverate of reader request colorizations:
From last week’s Colorize This challenge: Nick Shundich, University of Cincinnati 1948-51. And here he is from a couple of years ago.
That’s it for today. Thanks as always to George & Paul (and welcome aboard). Great stuff as always. Lets keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!
That’s just about it for today, but three bits of news, two of them Uni-related, and one of them Uni Watch related.
• West Ham has some new home and away kits for 2013-14. Nice! (h/t to Jake Edwardes for that).
• A high school seems to be in a bit of a kerfuffle over Native American imagery, and the team just happens to have the same name as a certain professional NFL team from Washington.
• Finally, in case you missed it (and I’m guessing most of you did), Paul was interviewed on the radio (“On The Media”) about his recent UW piece on troll Joe Johnson. Give it a listen, it’s pretty great.
And that’s really about all I have for you this fine first Sunday in June. Big thanks (again) to Matt Malinoski for that great segment. Make sure you throw some nice props his way, OK? OK!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Baseball players wearing camouflage military-ish uniforms does as much to honor our troops as wearing blackface does to honor the civil rights movement.”
Homestead Grays, not “Crawford Grays”. (The Pittsburgh Crawfords were another Negro league team.)
And the Pirates weren’t the only team losing in Grays uniforms yesterday: link
Those Bucs Grays unis are fauxbacks, not throwbacks. They’re nearly identical to the totally anachronistic Grays unis the Nats wore in 2007:
Only significant difference between the two sets is that the A is moved even more to the center of the placket, which is to say even further from where the Grays actually wore it. Note also the 1970s White Sox numbers. Not a complaint – I regard this style of Grays fauxback to be possibly the single most beautiful baseball uniform ever. But in the details it’s nothing like anything the Grays ever wore. Rather, it shows what, if they were well managed, the Grays would look like today if MLB had absorbed the top Negro Leagues teams back in the day.
Thanks Jerry, for the clarification. Yeah, I totally spaced on the Nats/Braves also going Negro League yesterday. Was totally swamped with stuff yesterday and was barely near a computer or television.
Shouldn’t have missed the second game, since I knew earlier in the week it was being played — just completely forgot about it last night when I was grabbing the Reds/Bucs pics.
I like the Mavericks’ concepts, the baseball stuff, not so much. This is probably not a popular opinion, but I’m over button-front baseball jerseys and I wish teams would use pullovers. Stanford does it and they look great. The Pirates do it on Sunday home games. Michigan wore great retro uniforms as did OK State. I’m just tired of the Felix Hernandezs and Mike Napolis and countless others run around with 3 or 4 buttons unbuttoned on their jersey. Tired of that sloppy look and a v-neck pullover would look neater and quite frankly more athletic. Time for baseball to evolve.
Tons of great stuff today, especially that scale model of ’75 Fenway Park…it’s amazing!
Simply awesome work Matt. It’s nice to see that someone knows about the MacGregor font which has always been a favorite of mine. Those Brewer numbers look a lot like MacG’s numbers that they used on the Baltimore Colts jerseys.
I like those Pirate vests with the narrower shoulder straps. That’s how that style should be worn. Today’s vests look like they have a cap sleeve.
As to the Cardinals’ piped uniforms. That’s the style the Rochester Red Wings wore from 1946-64, right down to the two-tone cap. All you had to change was the script “Red Wings” for “Cardinals.” Simply gorgeous.
The Mavs concept is great. Reminds me of the Knicks’ early 1950s style. I’d prefer the MacGregor Colt-style numbers. Keeps with the “Old School” look better.
Thanks, Terry. I really like the MacGregor serif numerals as well.
Agreed on the width of the shoulder straps; the same thing seems to be happening to basketball jerseys.
I wasn’t sure how the Cardinals piped uniform would look with the yellow bat and script; it turned out much better than I anticipated.
As for the Mavericks, I was going for type with a Western flavor without getting ridiculous. All of my NBA concepts are only in my head right now, but I’ll definitely be using several classic typefaces.
Obligatory “how can you do that to that poor dog!!1!” comment.
Hate to be a Richard, but Yaz is not The Splinter.
Ugh. Good lord — my bad. Fixed.
I apologize – I don’t know why I felt that I had to point this out before anyone else noticed it. While eating lunch I thought to myself, “holy shit, am I a troll?”.
Phil, the link to the Sox typography page is derped.
It should just be link
Thanks. Should be correct now.
Another +1 for those Mavericks jersey concepts. Good combination of the weird new fonts and old classic style. Bravo!
Thanks, Tony. I love quirky typefaces, so when I saw the “7” I knew it was the right one. Unfortunately, nobody on their current roster wears a “7”.
Love the model of Fenway. Definitely liking the Mavericks jersey concept (and I am not a big basketball fan), and the “redesign” of the Reds uniforms are brill!
When the Braves wear the obligatory July 4th caps, they will have worn at least eleven uniform combinations this year. That may not approach the number worn by the 2013 Brewers or late 70’s Pirates, but it’s surely a record for the Braves. Home white, Friday red, weekend cream, road grey, road navy, BP caps vs the Twins, road Crackers vs Detroit, home Crackers vs Washington, Memorial Day camo, July 4th caps, and BP jerseys worn in spring training games.
Interesting casual wear shirt that the US soccer team wore on their trip to RFK. A white short-sleeved Henley with a navy chest pocket (with white stars).
In principle, I dislike the special Stars and Stripes caps. But the Yankees’ version is attractive. Gray crown, navy brim, starred navy logo with a red drop shadow…based on said principle, I would refuse to pay retail, but if I could score one on clearance, I just might.
Why do you hate America so?
Because “O Canada” is a much better song than “Star-Spangled Banner.” OF COURSE.
Question: Where can one go to design uniforms (for baseball as posted here, as well as football, which has been posted elsewhere)?
Love the older school baseball designs…especially the Brewers look.
Nice job on the colorizations Bearcats uni today.
And for George I like that color blue in the soccer pic the women wear.
LOVE those Mavs concepts! You are a very talented guy, Matt.
Matt, outstanding designs! I loved every uniform submission, and like you I am a huge fan of 1940s-1960s uniform design.
Some of those abominable fantasy football designers from a couple of weeks ago should study how you work.
I love all of Matt’s designs, not least because there are no ugly NOBs disgracing any of his uniforms. Only nice, big, clear, readable numbers: the Way Things Should Be!
I don’t think the Cubs have changed their number font at all since they dropped the un-serifed 1 in favor of the flat-serif 1 that they’ve used since the ’40s. You (Matt) might be thinking that the numbers have gotten less round because the designs in Bill Henderson’s guide (which are occasionally stolen by fake-jersey manufacturers) have the “3” mistakenly drawn as squarish as 6 and 9, which themselves are a bit over-squared.
Check out this link. See how the 3 is a littlebit rounder than the 8?
I kind of like this quirk; it shows that this font was designed in a hand-drawn era. Come to think of it, I’ve never heard anything about who designed the Cubs’ font or what inspired them. The numbers clearly fit with the “UBS” part of the team logo, and the font itself looks like the somewhat-popular Eurostile, with the exception of the 1 (which, in Eurostile, has a diagonal serif and no base). If you have a Playstation Portable at home, Sony uses another variation of this font for its user interface. link
In any case, the Cubs’ font and the McAuliffe font are my two favorites. One looks modern no matter what year it is, and the other looks traditional no matter what year it is. More teams should use them instead of the melange of silly one-off corporate-designed numbers and boring block digits.
Hi, Mark, thanks. While the 3 seems to still be round, the 6, 8, and 9 have become very square. The 8 used to be a tad round on top but kind of square beneath, and the six and nine never used to have that hump in the middle. Here are some comparisons:
I have never seen Bill’s chapter on the Cubs. I’ve only seen pages here and there in Google Images. I need to buy a copy of that magnificent book!
Matt Malinoski, I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to check this site yesterday. I love your Brewers concept! Outstanding work.
Thanks for the kind words, everybody!
Matt, incredible designs! The Red Sox website is amazing as well. I think that they currently only wear those Red jerseys on Fridays. I would love to see you make a new design for the New England Patriots using Pat Patriot, the red uniforms, old logo, etc. Especially since you are a Giants fan! Then try your hand on the Bruins or the Whalers. Keep it up. I love this stuff!
Thanks, Rich. The Pat Patriot uniforms with the shoulder stripes are near perfect, so maybe a blue alternate would be interesting. I’ve had some ideas for the Whalers for a long time.
Big time thumbs up for the Red Sox navy undershirts. Yes, yes, and yes. Boston needs to get back to that classic look post-haste.