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Previewing the 2015 Daytona 500

[Editor’s Note: With the Daytona 500 taking place this weekend, we have a guest entry from Clark Ruhland, who’s provided a rundown of all the car designs for the race. ”” PL]

By Clark Ruhland

NASCAR drops the green flag on the 2015 season this Sunday with the Daytona 500. New sponsor changes and updated paint schemes are some of the more entertaining parts of the offseason. Here’s a look at some notable changes for this year, listed by car number (in each case, click on the driver’s name to see the car design):

1. Jamie McMurray
As with most teams, the No. 1 car has two primary sponsors that will run throughout the season. With Daytona being such a big race, both Cessna and McDonald’s share the ride.

5. Kasey Kahne
Hendrick Motorsports and Farmers Insurance allowed fans to design the 2015 paint scheme and he result is a design that’s much darker than last year’s.

6. Trevor Bayne
The 2011 Daytona 500 winner makes a full-time move from NASCAR’s secondary league of to the Cup level. He brings along his sponsor, so they decided to keep the 2014 look.

10. Danica Patrick
Danica’s car continues to get less and less green with each successive year (compare the new design to 2014 and 2013). The obscure angles are a bit distracting, though.

11. Denny Hamlin
The FedEx racing team made a slight change this year, bringing in more of Paul’s favorite color into the mix. Overall, it’s not a bad change from 2014.

16. Greg Biffle
Ortho jumps onto the 16 car after 3M had been on since 2007. You can’t go wrong with flames on a racecar.

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Fastenal moves Carl Edwards to the 17 car. Not a bad look with the blue and white.

18. Kyle Busch
After years of running a yellow peanut M&M’s scheme, No. 18 switches to green crispy M&M’s this season. The green color (if not the sponsor) is a throwback to when Joe Gibbs first started the team in 1992.

19. Carl Edwards
Joe Gibbs racing is starting a new team for this popular driver from Missouri. New sponsor Arris makes its NASCAR debut.

24. Jeff Gordon
AARP’s Drive to End Hunger campaign returns for the four-time champion’s final NASCAR season. It’s a little different from 2014’s design, including the full sponsor name, instead of just the logo, on the hood.

31. Ryan Newman
After finishing second in the point standings last season, Ryan Newman gets a new paint scheme with 31 team’s long-time sponsor. Way more black than in 2014.

41- Kurt Busch
Red seems to be the popular color for the 41 team after a primarily black scheme in 2014. Great look.

42. Kyle Larson
The reigning Rookie of the Year has no changes on his car this season except for losing the yellow back-bumper stripe that signifies a rookie driver. The team even had a ceremony last week as he removed the rookie marking.

48. Jimmie Johnson
The six-time time champion wins my award for best upgrade from 2014. The whole design looks sharp, including the logo on the hood. Well done.

55. Michael Waltrip
Waltrip will be driving the 55 for the 500 while regular driver Brian Vickers recovers from heart surgery. Not much of a change from 2014, but the car has a cooler look thanks to the change from the gold accent to light blue.

78. Martin Truex Jr.
The solid black look returns for the Denver-based team for the seventh straight season. The plain look works well for the team, considering how bad it once was.

88. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Former secondary series sponsor Nationwide has moved to sponsor the sport’s most popular driver for 2015 and the car looks good. This design replaces the 2014 National Guard paint scheme, which was one of Junior’s best.

•  •  •  •  •

And so it begins: Big changes for a pair of Big Four teams were in the news yesterday. Here’s the skinny:

• The Browns sent out an email announcing that they’ll unveil their new logo next Tuesday. Further details here. That last link confirms that the uniforms will be unveiled in late March or April, which has been the plan all along, but doesn’t mention whether the new helmet might be part of next week’s unveiling.

• The 76ers announced via this teaser video that they’ll have new uniforms in the fall:

As noted on this page, the video “features three different jerseys worn by Julius Erving, Billy Cunningham, and Wilt Chamberlain. The idea seems to be that the Sixers will take portions of each of those jerseys and combine them into a new but familiar look of sorts.” No indication of when the unveiling might be, however — just that the team will have a new look for next season.

(Thanks to Phil for his assistance with the Browns news.)

• • • • •

Talking to myself: Many, many people sent me the link for these NFL helmet concepts (including the one shown above), which apparently showed up on Reddit yesterday. At first I was just going to put the link in the Ticker, but then I started thinking a bit more about it, which led to a little conversation with the man in my head:

People seem to like these Photoshop concepts, but you never care about them. Why is that?

Well, for starters, most of the designs tend to suck.

Yeah, but you do like seeing hand-drawn uniform concepts, especially if they’re done by kids, and a lot of those designs suck as well. So are you just being a Luddite here?

No, there’s more to it than that. Hand-drawn concepts have a certain charm to them, maybe an innocence, that Photoshop concepts seem to lack.

Okay, but how do you know these NFL helmet designs weren’t done by a kid? Would that make you like them more?

Actually, they were done by an operation called Deeyung Entertainment, which is actually just a guy named Dylan Young, who’s a graphic designer and has a separate Twitter feed for his helmet concepts. All of which is fine — looks like he’s obsessive about this stuff, which I totally respect.

Exactly, he’s an obsessive, just like you! So why do these concepts, and others like them, leave you so cold?

Part of it, for sure, is that the Photoshop concepts floating around these days always seem to veer toward “extreme”-style designs. I mean, diamondplate for the Steelers (even on the facemask)? Lots of comically oversized logos? Come on. It all feels a little obvious and predictable.

Oh, so I suppose you could do better?

You’ve got me there — touché.

• • • • •

Very instructive: As many of you know, Phil and I participated in a six-week curling clinic in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park last fall (plus Phil competed in a six-week league that began in early January and we’ll both be part of a five week league that begins this weekend). One of the interesting things about this was seeing how the instructors responded to the challenge of teaching a class of beginners, many of whom weren’t even clear on the rules of the sport when they showed up.

I’ve written a piece about this for the Village Voice’s quarterly educational supplement. Long-timers among you may recall that Uni Watch originally ran as a monthly column in the Voice, but I hadn’t written anything for them in many years until the education editor asked me to do this curling piece. Nice to be back where Uni Watch got its start.

• • • • •

Collector’s Corner
By Brinke Guthrie

Ted (“Big Klu”) Kluzewski is a longtime Uni Watch favorite, thanks to his cut-off sleeves and early uniform typo. But there’s more to Klu thank his jerseys — here’s his garment bag from the Big Red Machine era, when he was a coach in Cincinnati.

And speaking of the Big Red Machine, I had one of these: a big picture button of the 1975 team portrait. It had an easel stand on the back. Sat it on my desk. Bought it at the downtown “580 Building” gift shop — wore that place out. I did not, however, have one of these (and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it): a Cincinnati Post foot stool with the 1975 team on it. How did I miss that one?

Okay, so there’s more to life than the Reds. Here are the rest of this week’s eBay picks:

• You see the 1970s Chiquita Banana NFL helmet stickers on eBay on a regular basis. But the yellow Chiquita football is a lot harder to find.
(And if you want the stickers and the football in one shot, have at it.)

• From Paul: check out this set of authentic New Era throwback caps from the 1990s- have your checkbook handy, though.

• The cover of the 1969 California Angels Media Guide featured what was then the “New Look” American League West. [They had to leave out a few states in between Minnesota/Missouri and the west coast, eh? And it’s funny that they included Oregon, which didn’t have a team. ”” PL]

• Take a look at the art on this 1963 New York Giants game program! Here’s one for the same two teams from the season before.

• Ah, my first name brand pair of sneakers — the Americana, from Adidas. Official shoe of the ABA, no less.

• How ’bout this NFL Fun Book from 1978, including paper dolls?

• Wanna see a really, really ugly Dolphins/Marino shirt from Starter? Click here if you dare.

• One more Dolphins item for you: Apex made such great quality stuff, including this Dolphins polo shirt. I think this style was called “The Dart.”

• Now this is a great-looking Bills poster from the early 1970s!

• Here’s a deck of 1963 NFL playing cards. Note the Washington feather up the back of the helmet — rarely ever see a depiction of that helmet on eBay.

Follow Brinke on Twitter: @brinkeguthrie

• • • • •

T-Shirt Club reminder: I was blown away by yesterday’s response to the March design for the Uni Watch T-Shirt Club. Big thanks to all of you who ordered the shirt, which remains available from now through next Monday. Full details here, or just go straight to the ordering page.

Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off the chance to design your own custom baseball bat. Full details here.

• • • • •

Baseball News: New 50th-anniversary patch for the Astros. One interesting thing about it, as James Gilbert immediately noted, is that the drop-shadow falls to the left. As we’ve discussed before, that’s highly unusual. ”¦ Check this out: Shadow imitates logo! … Some of the Brewers’ promotional giveaways for 2015 include a cowboy hat, team-themed Zubaz, and a Star Wars bobblehead (from John Okray). … This is so awesome: Jim “Mudcat” Grant had little kitty-cat heads drawn onto his glove (you made my day, Tristan Ridgeway). … LSU softball wore Mardi Gras colors yestserday (from Quinlan Duhon). ”¦ New mono-charcoal look for Houston softball. Not my favorite look, but the contrasting sleeves definitely help. ”¦ The Akron RubberDucks’ 2015 promo schedule includes a Cleveland Force MISL replica jersey auction. ”¦ Georgia Southern went stars/stripes yesterday because, you know, it was Feb. 17! … According to an old press release, the 1959 Portland Beavers squard wore “special large Oregon Centennial emblems on their uniforms.” No photo to accompany the press release, alas, and the only photo of the ’59 Beavers that I could find doesn’t show the patch (although the park superintendent in the jump suit at far right is interesting). Of course, the Beavers had already become extremely uni-notable three seasons earlier, when they wore the coolest undersleeves in baseball history (press release courtesy of Michael Orr). ”¦ It’s 2015 and people are just now discovering that Pablo Sandoval is chubby (thanks, Phil). ”¦ The Indians are having fans vote on the logo for their new outfield bar (from Troy Fowler). ”¦ Coupla odd things about this new USC road design. First, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a collar like that without a button. Also, why do “Tro” and “jans” look like two separate words? ”¦ Faaaaascinating note from Jonee Eisen, who writes: “I was just watching The Italian Americans on PBS and saw this photo of men rebuilding after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The guy in front is clearly wearing a baseball jersey as a work shirt — it even has a shoulder patch. A pretty early example of a sports uni as everyday wear.” Never seen anything like that from that era — very, very cool!

NFL News: The Jags have proposed some upgrades to their practice facility. That might not sound like much, but check out that link — what they’re planning sounds pretty cool (thanks, Phil). … We may have seen this before, but just in case: Some great home movie footage from Super Bowl IX (from Bill Kellick).

College Football News: Kansas will be experimenting with tech-enhanced mouthguards to help with concussion monitoring this spring (from Phil).

Hockey News: Late-night host Jimmy Fallon wore a Rangers jersey with the NHL logo blacked out last night. Looks like the Reebok logo on the left sleeve was “blued out” as well. This comes just a couple of days after the NHL logo was missing from Mike Myers’s Blackhawks jersey during the SNL 40th-anniversary show. Even odder, Fallon and SNL are both on NBC, which is the NHL’s broadcast partner, so you wouldn’t think the logo would be a problem. Odd (Fallon screen shot by Jeremy Posner). ”¦ The 1980 Winter Olympics “Miracle on Ice” team is having a 35th-anniversary reunion this weekend, complete with an anniversary logo (from Mark Sencich). ”¦ The Avs play particularly well when wearing their blue jerseys. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Purple tie-dye jerseys on tap this weekend for the USHL’s Madison Capitols (from R. Scott Rogers). ”¦ Blues D Barret Jackman moved into second place on the team’s all-time games played list last night, so the team gave him a small inner-jersey patch to mark the occasion (from Erik Spoonmore). ”¦ The U. of Minnesota hockey team has been emphasizing the gold in their color scheme lately. ”¦ The Caps and Pens played a gorgeous throwback game last night. ”¦ Here’s a sneak peek at the Kings’ white breezers for the upcoming stadium game. ”¦ Multiple sources say that Islanders TV broadcaster Howie Rose — a longtime Uni Watch supporter — referred to the Hurricanes’ black uniforms as “black for black’s sake” during last night’s Isles/’Canes game. That’s a misuse of the term, of course, because black is a legit ’Canes color, but it’s still interesting to see the term used on a broadcast.

NBA News: Blast from the past: Kobe Bryant wearing a Hornets cap at the 1996 draft. … The Bucks will be giving away a bunch of T-shirts with their original cartoon logo over the next month or so (from Robby Burmeister). ”¦ Check out the photo of Jason Kidd at the top of this article. That’s from the 1995 Rookie Game, which was part of the all-star festivities in Phoenix. ”¦ Larry Brunt is down at Mardi Gras, where he saw someone wearing a Pistol Pete Jazz uni. “Best Mardi Gras costume!” he says. ”¦ Wizards PG John Wall says he never liked the team’s old blue/gold unis, which he wore when he was a rookie.

College Hoops News: New uniforms possibly in the works for Syracuse (from Tony DiRubbo). ”¦ Looks like Vanderbilt has a neon design in the works. Greeaaaaaat. ”¦ Michigan and Michigan State went color-on-color last night (from Ryan Brown). ”¦ Pink vs. green last night at the Tulane/Temple women’s game. … “Since coming to the University of Maine three years ago, women’s basketball coach Richard Barron has issued an annual challenge for the fans to raise $10,000 for Play4Kay Day,” says Paul Dillon. “If they do, he dyes his hair pink for the game and then has it shaved off afterward.” In addition, the team wore pink uniforms, creating an unfortunate pink-vs.-red game.

Soccer News: Here’s a more complete look at the U.S. men’s national team kit. … Here’s another gallery of vintage soccer ticket stubs (from Mark Coale). … Chinese New Year unis the other day for AS Roma (from Roberto Zanzi). ”¦ Here’s one designer’s idea for how DC United’s badge could be “refreshed.” … New alternate jersey for Indy Eleven. ”¦ “Blackburn Rovers’ shirt sponsor for 2014-15 is Zebra Insurance Claims,” says Graham Clayton. “Their logo is interesting, with the ‘r’ replaced by an image of a zebra.”

Grab Bag: New logo for the nonprofit group that helps administer the magnificent park in my neighborhood (from Pete Woychick). ”¦ A “boutique selling military-inspired clothing” is opening in Rochester. “This made my eyes roll so hard that they are stuck in the back of my head,” says Rochester resident Rich Jurnack. … Fun article about the stories behind eight movie studio logos (from Kurt Esposito). … Tennis pro Roger Federer created a bit of an international incident when he was photographed while holding an Indian cricket jersey (from Mike Nessen). … Texas Tech has extended its agreement with Under Armour through 2020 (thanks, Phil). ”¦ New package designs for Real Ale Brewing. … Tons — and I mean tons — of yearbook, media guide, and program covers, from all the major sports leagues and a few of the minor ones, here. Looks like a great resource (big thanks to Bennett McCall). ”¦ Very interesting article about the familiar autism “puzzle piece” symbol. … New lacrosse helmets for Loyola. ”¦ Prison-reform legislation is advancing in the Florida state legislature, and one of the issues being addressed is the prison uniform. Key quote, from Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones: “They hate the uniforms. The quality. How well they wear in the summer. They’re not equipped for outside posts in the wintertime. The uniform piece is a quality-of-life issue.” ”¦ The neon green trend has spread to the Irish cricket team (from Callum Johnston).

Comments (101)

    Those NFL helmet concepts are kinda lame overall. Ridiculously oversized logos just don’t look very good for most teams. The only helmets I wouldn’t mind seeing actually get used are the Panthers and the Seahawks (if they used the proper blue & gray logo instead of the outdated version depicted). I guess there’s a few others that would look OK sitting on a shelf in a display case, but keep them the hell off the field.

    Agreed. Large logo for large logo sake doesn’t make things better.

    Although he did a better job on the Jags fade helmet than the Jags actually did (the Cowboys one works for me too).

    I do like the Cardinals redesign, especially given the scarcity of red helmets in the NFC. The current and past helmet seems more like a link to the struggles of the organization historically, and the Cards have already made changes to their uniform.

    “…the Cards have already made changes to their uniform.”


    Shitty ones.

    What they need to do is jettison the crappy unis and return to the beautiful unis they wore in past years. A new helmet will only exacerbate a terrible uni (though I agree, wearing the current helmet with the current uni is not a good look — but the remendy isn’t to add a new, bad helmet; it’s to rid themselves of those awful duds they currently wear).

    Agree. Most of these amount to nothing more than zooming in (way in) on the logo and changing the shell and/or cage color. We’ve seen how oversized logos look on a real helmet (Tampa Bay) – bad.

    The thing that gets me too is that I don’t think that’s even his template: link . I like some of the sublimated patterns, but many of these are just dropping a really large logo into a template – and some of those aren’t even contoured/spherized (Vikings?). They look sharp, but I think that’s as much due to the work of the template maker.

    I think there are a few good ones there. My fav would be the Browns, but evidently they are not allowed to have anything on their helmet per agreement with the previous owner?

    I also like the Bears or the Bengals, but not both, they are too similar and would be confusing.

    And I like the Steelers and Titans. Panthers too.

    Isn’t the Buccaneers exactly like the current? Ravens pretty darn close to current also.

    The 1963 NFL playing cards also have…..CHINSTRAPS!!

    Suddenly (it seems) we are seeing those things everywhere!

    “First, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a colloar like that without a button. Also, why do “Tro” and “jans” look like two separate years?”

    Wha? :)

    The #5 car is a GREAT example of why you shouldn’t let random fans design and vote on your paint scheme… All black, random red nose… Couldn’t get much further from recognizable while still using Farmers colors.

    The concept helmets: too much of a gimmick, just going big for sake of being big (BFSBB lol). And doing it for every team just makes it less unique and interesting.

    A few things:

    1. I have to agree on not showing Ticker links of the whole “photoshop NFL concepts”, but yet there is no issue here Ticker linking all of the various “what would all 32 NFL team logos look like as soccer logos” or “what would all 32 NFL team logos look like with Peyton Manning’s face on it” concepts that clearly make no sense.

    2. So, the Sixers are basically keeping the status quo? Last time I checked, aren’t their current unis from the 1980s or something?

    3. If the Avalanche do switch to blue full-time, at least it would be a nod back to link

    4. The Penguins-Capitals game was beautiful? Apparently you didn’t watch the game last night and see the Pens constantly get penalized while the Capitals didn’t despite committing the same penalties. Funny that Kris LeTang would later be sent to the penalty box after he was clearly high-sticked by Alex Ovechkin.

    Yeah, well, the Caps got the short end of that stick their previous two games in California. These things average out over a season. But to me, the game was the opposite of beautiful due to the uniforms. I just cannot stand the Pens’ home unis. Black top, thin yellow stripe, black pants. Too much damn black; the yellow sleeves actually seem to accentuate the black to me. The only Penguin who looked any good out there was Fleury; his gold pads made the black jersey look terrific. Penguins need to break up the mono black.

    Also, the throwback Caps road unis do absolutely nothing for me. Bland, cobbled-together rather than designed, and kitschy even by the standards of the 1970s. If they’d at least match the colors of their regular uniforms, or just turn the number on back red, I’d be a lot happier with the throwbacks.

    “The Penguins-Capitals game was beautiful? Apparently you didn’t watch the game last night and see the Pens constantly get penalized while the Capitals didn’t despite committing the same penalties.”


    You just (inadvertently) brought up what I consider to be probably the number one gripe I have of those who seek to critique uniform sites, like UW.

    You can’t (and this isn’t just you, there are lots of fans who do this) separate the beauty of the uniforms from the results. The game LOOKED beautiful. Maybe the results, to you, as a fan of the team that lost, jades your opinion. But if you were to simply see a snapshot of the uniforms, not knowing the score, you’d probably believe the game looked tremendous.

    This is the reason (an irrational one, to my mind, but one which nevertheless persists) why fans HATE good uniforms if a team loses in them, and love shitty uniforms if the results are good.

    You and I may disagree on what makes a “good” uniform, but fans will forever associate a uniform with results — even though in 99.9% of the cases, the uniform has absolutely NO bearing on an outcome.

    Mets fans (and several on UW disagree with me on this) will always LOVE the racing stripes and black tops because the team had success wearing those — even though in my opinion those were not good looking, and were even worse looking from a purely design standpoint.

    Conversely, teams who wore what are in my opinion beautiful uniforms but never had success in them (and have now changed to, and had success in something else — the Patriots are a perfect example)will always associate a beautiful uniform with losing. Whenever I suggest the Patriots (just as one example) return to wearing the red tops and Pat Patriot helmets, I’m met with a flurry of “why would they want to return to those loser uniforms”? Um, because they look GOOD.

    You think Tom Brady and the Pats would have won 4 Supes in the Pat Patriot unis? I do — it wasn’t the current unis that won all those SBs, it was the personnel, coach and QB. But to many a fan, they can only associate those unis with losing.

    I get it — it’s human nature. They associate losing with a certain uniform (and winning too) and think somehow it was the laundry that caused it.

    So anyway, Joseph — thanks for bringing that point up — you didn’t see the game for the matchup of beautiful unis — you saw it for the results (as many fans do). But it wasn’t those throwbacks that caused the Pens to lose last night.

    ^^^This, exactly! Well said, Phil. I’m glad this site is “Uni Watch,” not “Game Results Watch.”

    Yes and no. Certain aspects of objectively good design are quantifiable – as in, does it meet certain rules requirements and does it effectively identify the team and individuals on the team? But as for the subjective aesthetics elements, isn’t that why a website like Uni Watch (and its comments section) exists in the first place? And I’d say there’s nothing unfortunate about that.

    And this is precisely why we may never see the end of the Seahawks’ terrible new uniforms…just because they won a Super Bowl with them. I sincerely hope that the Buccaneers and Jaguars keep losing for a while.

    But this mentality extends even to elements that, while significant to the sports aesthetics crowd, would seem inconsequential to less obsessive viewers. I once stumbled across a discussion on some other forum, where one poster advocated a return to the Houston Texans wearing red socks with their navy pants (as they did in their first several seasons), to have some nice color contrast again.

    A Texans fan promptly responded, “nah…we never won nothin’ in those.”

    Much truth to this. When the Broncos switched to the blue Nike jerseys (about this time of year in 1997 FWIW), my first reaction was disgust. The only things about them that didn’t bother me were the numbers and letters. With the team winning consecutive SBs in them, they grew on me and I even got a replica.

    I wasn’t arguing about the uniforms–the throwbacks should become the Penguins home uniforms, IMO–just a little irked at the game from last night, that’s all.

    Sadly, I had every one of those New Era 1980s hats when I was growing up. Somewhere in a box in the attic is an authentic 1984 Padres gamer that I outgrew long ago.

    Disagree about JJ paint scheme. The racing stripes were his trademark – they’re a glaring absence in new paint scheme. Agree about Junior’s paint scheme – new isn’t bad, but last year’s look with gold numbers should be in NASCAR paint scheme hall of fame

    I don’t consider JJ’s racing stripes to be his “trademark”; he only started running with 2-3 seasons ago (to celebrate GM muscle cars or something like that).
    #88’s schemes are usually under-whelming, but that Daytona 500-winning one was exceptional.

    Agreed that the racing stripes aren’t his trademark. I did very much like the racing strip schemes better than what he was running prior to that. I really like the two-tone paint jobs, (single background color, single graphics color). Still has the single graphics color but multiple background colors now. If you’re going to do that might as well introduce more graphics colors. The two tone paint job was also a fixture on the 42 for many years, red background, white graphics. I love the way the numbers look with no outlining or anything.

    Now for the fan-inspired 5 paint job? Why did they need fans to come up with such an uninspired paint job? They couldn’t have come up with that themselves?

    What really annoys me about the majority of photoshop design concepts that end up in the ticker here is that the person making them more often than not seems more interested in enacting a professional design guy cosplay than in actually designing aesthetically pleasing, original and interesting ideas. Spare me the pretentious branding, the buzzwords, the “narratives”, the filters and other presentation effects and generally spare me anything else you’ve lifted directly out of the Nike guide to irrelevant marketing wankery.

    But then again, I get the distinct feeling that ingratiating themselves to Nike is the primary goal for most of these people. They want to show that they’ve already presold their soul to the devil, thus saving Nike some paperwork.

    “They want to show that they’ve already presold their soul to the devil, thus saving Nike some paperwork.”


    OK, I laughed out loud at this.

    I get the distinct feeling that ingratiating themselves to Nike is the primary goal for most of these people.

    None more obvious than link.

    Anyway, the feeling I get that a lot of these designers don’t understand what it means to be a designer. I’m constantly reminded of the quote from Steve Jobs, “Some people think design means how it looks.”

    Design is about how the user interacts with a product, about how it fits in with the environment, and about the choices one makes with limitations. So many of these “designers” obsess about the look, but the look and feel are really the end product, not design in and of itself.

    Life-long Ford fan, with the now defunct 99 being my driver of choice for years. I drive a Camry myself so I can get behind Cousin Carl in a Toyota, bud lord, the Arris car is fugly. His Stanley and Subway schemes are agreeable.

    Bayne’s 2011 win really brought be back as a diehard NASCAR fan, so I am thrilled to see him in the famed 6, with a nice scheme.

    I’m glad Fastenal stuck with Roush, as I can’t bear to not wear the dozens of Fastenal shirts, hats, etc. that I’ve acquired over the years. Ricky’s look may even be better than Cuz’s.

    Having a JGR car in mostly orange just feels right to me, but that red #19 ruins it.
    Though he won’t be running it at Daytona, will be nice to see Kenseth back with DeWalt sponsorship for a few races this season too.

    Great googly moogly those helmets are awful. This kid didn’t get the memo that Turn Ahead the Clock Day was a failure. Big logos and reversed color schemes just smacks of laziness.

    The thing I hate most about the oversize-logoed helmets is that logically the don’t work. For example, in the Cardinals mockup, the logo is so large that it would overlap the stripe. The Patriots design reminds me of when players would plaster logos all over their helmet for an all-star game. The large logos make it almost impossible for a logo to be placed on the other side. Unless a team has a circular logo (see Boise State, whose helmets I like), large logos will not work on a helmet.

    Can anybody give me some feedback on the sizing of the shirts for the T-Shirt Club (the measurements on the chart aren’t helping me)? I usually wear a 2XL in tees, but I know that some of the “fitted” or “vintage” style tees usually run pretty small. As such, I can’t decide if I should go with the Ringspun in a 2XL or the American Apparel in a 3XL. I’m 6’3″, jacket size is 48L, 40″ waist. Is there anyone similar in size that has bought either of the January or February t-shirts that can speak to which style and fit would be best?

    I’m normally an XL, but I’ve been buying the UW tees in 2XL — it’s HUGE out of the package (and I’ve been buying the American Apparel), but one washing (which I do before I put them on) and it is a perfect XL fit. I’m (sadly now) about a 46-48L, 38-40″ waist, so I’d say go with a 3XL which should shrink nicely to a 2XL (or if you’re more comfortable with the 2XL->XL, then go with that).

    the 3XL will probably look (and fit, if you don’t wash it first) huge, but will become a nice 2XL fit after that.

    A number of those NFL concept helmets would be significant improvements over what the teams are wearing now.

    The Jets and Jags especially. I also liked the Panthers, Bills, Broncos and Steelers designs.

    I get the feeling that when people say these designs “suck”, what they’re really saying is that they care more about tradition than design. I’d bet that if people had never seen the current Steelers helmet, for example, very few would say that design is better than the one proposed here.

    Also, the claim that the logos on these concepts are “comically” oversized is based on the fact that we’re not used to them. But there’s no real reason helmet logos need to be small.

    I get the feeling that when people say these designs “suck”, what they’re really saying is that they care more about tradition than design. I’d bet that if people had never seen the current Steelers helmet, for example, very few would say that design is better than the one proposed here.

    As someone who is only quite new to the sport of American football, is a purely casual follower, has no nostalgia for it’s history and would generally be on the front lines fighting against the luddite hoards in sports design anyway, I will attest to the fact that it sucks. It’s a cheap gimmick which is executed with a patent disregard for proportion, colour and general good taste.

    Actually, there is a reason for helmet logos not to be so huge – because they get covered up, cut, or otherwise distorted by chinstraps, helmet vents, facemask clips, etc. If your logo is so big that the structure of the helmet obscures it… that’s really not a good thing, at least not in my opinion. A large logo *can* work, but it certainly doesn’t belong on every team.

    I agree that I wouldn’t want to see every NFL simply go with an over-sized logo, but some of these helmets are improvements for sure.

    I do think that larger logos are probably the future.

    Except oversized logos are link. It’s basically “the future” as imagined in the late 90s, and is as goofy as the fax machine in Back to the Future Part II or metallic suits in sci-fi movies.

    Putting aside the discussion over ugly vs not-ugly (I’d argue they are, indeed, ugly and suck), I’ll reiterate my point about design vs merely making stuff look good.

    As far as I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be much thought behind the design – it mostly seems to be resizing the logos or switching colors or adding stripes and stuff. There’s no indication that there’s any sort of design goals or unifying thought, so it all comes off as an exercise in pixel-pushing than actual design.

    And making the logo bleed is, indeed, a gimmick, because it’s been done and looks dated on arrival.

    Finally, to say “if people had never seen the Steelers helmet…” is missing the point. Design exists in the real world, not a vacuum, and it’s always going to be judged in reference to what’s already out there. It’s especially true in sports, where fandom is really an aggressive form of nostalgia.

    “it all comes off as an exercise in pixel-pushing than actual design”

    This sums it up for me.

    I get the sense that whoever comes up with most of this stuff spends about 30 seconds thinking about the actual design and hours and hours coming up with gradients, reflections, smoke, backgrounds, etc.

    Paul talked above about his enjoyment of pencil-crayon drawings. I feel the same way, but its usually because the focus is on the look and design of the uniform, not the presentation and graphics.

    Nice. I think you hit the nail on the head. These helmets are the Phantom Menace of the uni world. Flashy graphics do not cover up questionable design.

    “Also, the claim that the logos on these concepts are ‘comically’ oversized is based on the fact that we’re not used to them.”

    That, and the little problem of them being so huge that they don’t actually fit on the helmets.

    No mention of the “talking” Harry Doyle Bobblehead on “Major League” night when mention the Brewers promotions? Juuust a bit outside.

    I’ve never been a fan of the giant logo, and the helmet designs only solidify that feeling. They remind me of the MLB Turn Ahead the Clock promotion mixed with the Nike-produced MLB fashion jerseys, with a dash of video game aesthetics on top. Not only aren’t they an improvement on any current primary designs — although I’d at least accept an argument that the Jaguars helmet is an upgrade, but that’s because the current Jags helmet is so bad in my opinion — only a few would even pass muster as a one-time use alternate.

    Ironically, the graphic work appears at first blush to be excellently done. The concept, however, leaves much to be desired.

    Make no mistake; I truly dislike the Jaguars’ new two-tone helmets. I think they’re the worst in the league. But I much prefer the new helmet *logo* to the previous one.

    Does anyone else think the old Jags logo looked like some kind of weird Cubist perspective nightmare?

    Does anyone else think the old Jags logo looked like some kind of weird Cubist perspective nightmare?

    I wouldn’t go that far, but I completely agree that the new logo is an upgrade over the old one.

    But oh, that helmet shell…

    Re: ChrisH. Agreed with the red on the Arris car. Blue would have made it workable. I am also happy to see Matty K back with DeWalt. I still wear a signed Kenseth DeWalt jacket from years back.

    I will forever miss the old Dale Jarrett UPS schemes.

    I’m not keen on the addition of red, the ‘bolt’ striping and orange numbers (which I think got added to the #88 Ford near the end of DJ’s time in the seat).
    Maybe those elements helped the spotters (when Ricky Rudd took over driving the #88, the brown and white color scheme retained for the new sponsor)?

    I prefer the new UPS logo on the hood of the Camry to the old one on the Ford. Other than that, I can see your points.

    Agree w/ Phil 100%, those helmet designs suck!! I am a lifelong Rams fan and would be challenged to continue following them if they wore that ugly piece of shite!

    So many people tagged me on that helmet concept link on Facebook saying “Dude check these out…. sweet!” And I disappointed all of them who were thinking I would be on board. First off, I’m old school in the first place…. I haven’t seen a uniform or helmet in recent memory that makes me say “man, that’s beautiful”, whereas it happens quite often when looking at old NFL photos…. but secondly, the cover photo right off the bat showed the Rams with their logo on the helmet rather than the horns…. that’s not a nostalgia thing for me, that’s simply replacing the most common- sensical design in the NFL with a straight logo. Rams have horns on their head…. why even think about changing that? I disappointed a lot of people who tagged me yesterday :)

    My “problem” with helmet design threads like this – designers taking 1 basic idea and trying to apply it to the whole league when there is such variety of ideas and design concepts used by the teams. I would love to see a designer/ design group come up with a realistic set of helmets/uniforms that shows the range of diversity the presently exists in the NFL.

    I am only a marginal NASCAR fan, and that is only because Joe Gibbs (former coach of my Redskins) owns a team.

    So many of those helmet concepts seem to have HORRIBLE logo placement.

    Is it on purpose? Just trying to avoid vent holes?

    Not a fan of most of them.

    Not much creativity there. I could cut a helmet-shaped hole in a piece of paper and hold it over some football artwork, too; but it would be for my own amusement. Don’t go calling it “design”.

    Just wanted to note that it’s not just the US Men’s National Team soccer jersey, it’s also the Women’s NT jersey. Both the Men’s and Women’s team began sharing the same template with the the ‘Where’s Waldo’ design a couple years ago.

    Hopefully the home design will be much better, as it’s a W.C. year for the women and their last W.C. design were pretty bad.

    As far as the Trojans uniform goes, it looks like what a team would wear with a regular button down jersey, which needs two separate parts. I would guess that either the jersey was originally going to be a button down and they ordered the chest lettering while that was the plan, or it came from a past jersey that was button down.

    A word of caution for anyone who is thinking about buying older “new” caps like the 90’s collection listed on Ebay – the bill inserts can be very brittle, so trying to shape or curve the bill can be catastrophic. They will often fold or sometimes break.

    I was looking through the Deeyung Entertainment website and thinking about how all the high school football helmets were all rip offs; until I saw the Elk City helmet. Now that’s an original helmet!


    Found something related to Houston Astros. I recently watched, for the first time, “The Rundown” starring The Rock link . Now this uniform tidbit has nothing to do what The Rock is wearing, but one of the mine workers that they drive by. He is wearing what appears to be an Astro’s hat, but not the current (at the time) black scheme with the bugandy/gold star link but rather the blue background with an Orange star and white H link . Just something I noticed if you’d like to investigate or not. I thought it was odd that this hat wasn’t as worn as the rest of the persons clothes were, making me question why an (at least) three year old hat was in such good condition in the rain forest of the Amazon.

    “Wanna see a really, really ugly Dolphins/Marino shirt from Starter? Click link if you dare.”

    $74.99? For that? Dude, I think I’d pay that much to have my memory wiped of ever having seen it.

    You forgot some important changes
    Brad Keselowski #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion-Same basic design as 2014, but with no gold stripe, vintage Miller Crest, or hop designs on the side.
    Matt Kenseth #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry-Much simpler than the 2014 scheme, with fewer side designs.
    Ty Dillon #33 Yuengling Brewery Chevy SS-New sponsor, red, white, and blue is the primary color scheme.
    David Ragan #34 KFC Ford Fusion-Redesign for 2015, all white front, KFC style stripes on the back.
    Reed Sorenson #44 Golden Corral Chevy SS-New sponsor for 2015, same design as 2015 #36.
    Michael Annett #46 Pilot/Flying J Chevy SS-New car number and design. White is the primary color, with red and yellow accents on the sides and front.
    Michael McDowell #95 Thrivent Financial Ford Fusion-Redesign of last year’s scheme, another example of logo as a stripe pattern.
    Michael McDowell #95 K-Love Ford Fusion-Template has been redesigned, and the city outline on the rear quarterpanel has been removed.
    Josh Wise #98 Phoenix Construction Ford Fusion-New sponsor for 2015, all white with red lettering, and red and black numbers

    The #33 will be running a Cheerios/Kroger yellow with black accents scheme for the 500…assuming it makes it in (Dillon needs to finish in the top 15 in his qualifying race to lock in). Yuengling sponsorship comes on board later in the season.

    Yeah, just wanted to include some notable design changes. Something as minor as the gold stripe on the 2 or more yellow on the 20 didn’t seem like significant changes. Gotta remember that this is more for casual race viewers than people like us, who notice the rear of the 20 doesn’t have Home Depot or the rear quarter panels on the 3 have WeatherTech instead of Dow.

    Oh man, those Photoshop mockups make me feel a special type of way because I’m a designer. I just don’t get them.

    For me, the first rule of design is that you’re fixing something that has a problem. I just don’t know if too many of these photoshop guys ever deal with that. It’s just blowing up the logo and sticking it on the helmet for the sake of arbitrary aesthetics. There’s a design joke about making the logo bigger to satisfy the client to solve a problem even if it doesn’t really do that, and this just screams that every time I see that.

    The Eagles one is just crazy egregious. You couldn’t convince me that sticking the Eagle bird logo on the side is better, as opposed to the wings which are iconic. The city of Philadelphia would be burned down if that helmet was even considered. Designers solve problems, not make new ones.

    I thought the piece in the Village Voice was interesting.

    I made this comment there but their commenting system ate it, so here it is again.

    Your comment on strategy and learning strategy was an apt one. When I learned to curl, in the 1980s, I wanted to learn strategy as well.

    My skip’s answer (which was the answer of every grizzled old veteran) was that I had to learn my job first. My job was to control my weight and hit the broom. And to sweep when I was told without burning the rock. Strategy was HIS job.

    Since I got good and became a skip, I’ve curled with a bunch of beginners, and I’ve tried to be better about bringing beginners into the game. To tell them why we’re doing a particular thing or why we’ve chosen to play an end a particular way.

    The one thing I would say is that curling strategy isn’t something that lends itself well to chalkboard instruction. A lot of it is by “feel” – watching the other team, what shots they’re making and missing, what shots your own team is making and missing, where the ice is straight and where its swingy. You might have the exact same setup of rocks one end and the next and do the complete opposite thing because of ice conditions.

    The best thing I can recommend is to watch curling on TV with someone who knows what they’re doing. Even better, if you can do this at your local club, is to get a beer and watch it from the gallery. Its a completely different game when you watch it from above the house (and can see how much the rocks are moving).

    I’m not sure about that Gray Flannel program site… I checked many of the SWC program images and it looks he got them from the same place I got many of mine (same creases and discoloring) but then added HIS watermark to them.

    I’m fairly certain that the individual, in this case Chris Holmes, who compliled this archive is required by law (if not for his own protection) to use his watermark in conjunction with the footer at the bottom of each page.

    “Site design and content ©2015 Chris Holmes, All Rights Reserved. All logos (except for the GFS logo) and publication covers are the copyright of their respective teams and leagues, and are presented here for non-commercial entertainment purposes only.”

    As to defer the illegal use of copyrighted TMs and/or publications. If I found an image on his website and put it on a t-shirt and sold it for $40 and the SWC traced that image back to Chris Holmes’ website then it would be very clear that ‘I’ am the one responsible for copyright infringement and not him. The footer alone has a number of loopholes.

    That said, I think its very responsible that GFS use “HIS” watermark.

    If recent history is any indication, Nike’s rebranding of the Browns will be a perfectly OK design ruined by an absurd numeral font.

    They’ll try to give them that early-’40s Ohio State number font, “because like, um…Paul Brown, or something…”

    The picture that pops up with the Minnesota Gophers hockey article is a picture of the fauxback jersey they wore for an outdoor game last year. The yellow third jersey is actually way better than that one, even though that one is nice as well.

    Here it is.


    Not sure what the photo was you were trying to link to, but I found this photo of the Gophers’ current standard gold alts:


    Does that work?

    For what it’s worth, I found out about Uni-Watch almost 3 years ago when Howie Rose mentioned the site on a Mets broadcast while discussing the Baltimore Orioles unis. Being a big Howie Rose and uniform fan, I immediately checked out the site and the rest is history.

    Random shout out by saying I love and miss the old Bucks logo. Bango looks thrilled spinning that ball on his hoof.

    Regarding the 1959 Portland Beavers’ Oregon Centennial patch. The photo Paul linked to DOES show the patch, on the players’ left sleeve.

    Here’s that patch: link

    Also, the trainer (top row, left) was also the team’s traveling secretary. Fantastic!

    Here’s another current example of the superscript trademark symbol rendered in text, a la Uni Watch’s “for people who Get Itâ„¢” catchphrase:


    The relevant sentence is the first one:

    Robert Griffin III received The Dreaded Vote Of Confidenceâ„¢ from head coach Jay Gruden today, who declared that the embattled QB will be his No. 1 guy to start the season.

    I guess maybe Deadspin Gets Itâ„¢?

    I like the sense of motion that the left drop shadow gives the Astros patch. With the shadow on the left the numbers appear to be following the star through the air, as well as giving the impression that the star is casting the shadow.

    Danny Manning, Ron Harper and Mark Jackson all donned the Captain’s “C” for the Clippers in the early 90s.

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