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Designing Minds, Volume VII

By Phil Hecken

Every so often, as a lede, I will run a set of uniform and/or logo 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.

Normally these concepts fall squarely into those designed on the computer, but today’s featured artist (although he doesn’t like to be called that), Brady Phelps, works in a different medium altogether. That medium just happens to be pancake batter. Yes, you read that correctly. He works in pancakes the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It is his true medium; a master.

The “splash” you see today Brady did this week, following the death of the beloved Yogi Berra — click on the video to see a timelapse version of his pancake art.

Before we get to some of Brady’s creations (and there are many), I had to ask him a little bit about his avocation.

. . . . .

Uni Watch: I’ve been following your pancake creation exploits for a while now on twitter, and I love your videos. This past week I even featured a few of your creations in the Ticker. How long does it take you to make each one?

Brady Phelps: Each pancake, depending on difficulty, takes between 2 and 7 minutes. The timelapse makes it look really quick and easy b/c they’re usually around only 30 seconds.

UW: What you do is amazing. You’re a true artist!

BP: I’m just a dad. I’m not an “artist” by any stretch of the imagination. I know that sounds oxymoronic considering what I do, but I can’t draw on paper if my life depended on it.

UW: We’ll agree to disagree on that point. How did you get started making pancake art?

BP: I have kids that are now 5 and 3. When my daughter was 2, I realized I couldn’t make a circle pancake. It was impossible for me. So in 2012 I looked around the kitchen and found some sort of ketchup bottle and thought, “maybe I can put batter in here and squirt a circle?” That’s how it started. First a Mickey pancake, then Elmo, and now, the San Diego Chicken.

UW: I notice from watching your videos and vines that you have to actually create a reverse image for that which you’re trying to create. How exactly do you do that?

BP: I stare at a reversed image on my phone and just sort of mentally copy it ”” like air-tracing. Otherwise, once you make the pancake and flip it over, everything, including letters would be backwards. I don’t really ”˜create’ any of these. When somebody requests a pancake, I go to google image search and look for inspiration. Something with clean lines. That’s why logos and cartoons are good for pancakes. Clean lines. Like I said, I’ve never had any artistic ability. I can’t draw on paper worth a lick. I can’t paint. None of that.

UW: But you can do pancakes.

BP: Pancakes just seemed to work. I practiced a lot. At least once a week for over four years now. Pancake caricatures I can do, portraits I can not. So once I have the image, I stare at my phone in one hand”¦ batter bottle in my other. Sometimes it turns out amazing, other times terrible.

. . .

Here’s the “finished” versions of some of Brady’s pancakes (click to enlarge):

Brady Cakes 1

But the final versions don’t even begin to show the talent it takes to actually make the ‘cakes.

I asked Brady if he could share some of his images — as seen above (and which are art in and of themselves), but he graciously also uploaded several of his sports logos (he does all sports, and also non-sports art) to YouTube. Since they’re all timelapse, you can see the creation from start to finish in just a few seconds (You can also catch a glimpse of his iPhone that he uses as a guide). Dig:

Washington Huskies:

Oklahoma State Cowboys “Pistol Pete”:

USC Tommy Trojan:

There are more (many more), but you get the idea. Absolutely tremendous stuff.

. . .

Back to the interview:

UW: Is this just regular pancake batter?

BP: The batter I use is just normal store-bought that you add water to. I add a little more water than suggested so it’s runnier, and I use a sifter for the flour/batter because a little chunk in your pancake mix can clog up the squirt bottle and ruin an otherwise good looking flapjack. For the brown, I just add a little cocoa powder, and for the colors, a little food coloring. If you don’t want to use coloring, you can create the outline of whatever shape you’re making… let it sit there and burn a bit, then fill in the rest with batter, creating contrast so you can see the image.

UW: Do you do all sports?

BP: I’ve done logos for all major sports and tons of college logos. The college logos were a really cool way to generate interest in the campaign because once somebody saw Joe Bruin, they wanted Tommy Trojan. On Instagram, I posted Pistol Pete from OSU and then in the comments section, somebody said they just donated $100 for a Boomer Schooner pancake. Pretty fun.

Here are some for hockey, soccer, and hoops. I even do old terrible mascots.

UW: What is the most interesting or fun one you’ve ever done?

BP: I thought this one was fun because my 5 yr old daughter picked the colors.

UW: Amazing. Where can we see more of your art, and non-sports pancake art?

BP: I’m on Instagram, as the Pancake Dad.

UW: I don’t suppose you could create a pancake based off of my Twitter avatar?


BP: Sure thing.

[Brady included a timelapse video with that, but you get the idea of how these are made — PH]

UW: Awesome! I know you are using your pancake making abilities for the greater good — can you tell me a little bit about it?

BP: I’ve started a campaign for charity:water where they give 100% of all donations to clean water projects around the world (primarily Africa). If anyone makes a $100 donation, I will make and send a timelapse video of whatever pancake design they request. Here’s the link to donate and learn about what I’m doing and why. I am supporting charity:water’s September Campaign by creating personalized pancakes for clean water. I’ve raised over $31,000 just by making pancakes! Something as crazy as the sports logo pancake is helping to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. One reason I chose charity:water is because they have private donors that cover all of their operating cost so that 100% of all public donations go directly to clean water projects. Water changes everything. It’s an incredible cause that I’m honored to support.

UW: That’s fantastic. I wish you the best with that campaign.

. . . . .

Great stuff from Brady. Aside from his instagram you can (and should) follow him on Twitter @LobShots, where he has many interests outside of Pancake Art (but posts many of his creations on there too!). He’s also got a neat website called Lob Shots you should check out. It’s pretty San Diego-centric (he wants to bring back the brown too!) but that’s quite OK.

OK, readers — how about a big hand for the Pancake Man Dad!

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Oklahoma City Thunder introduce new “Sunset” alternate

Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Thunder introduced a new uniform (they’ll now have 5 to choose from), which is orange, and which the team is calling “Sunset.”

Following the recent trend of putting City initials on a uniform, these will feature “OKC” in giant letters across the chest.

Here’s a slideshow of the unis for your viewing pleasure:

From the press release:

The new uniform’s bold color pairs with “OKC” in navy block lettering on the front to showcase the team’s hometown pride and reflect the saturated, blended colors of the Oklahoma skies at sunset. On the back of the jersey, player names sit below the numbers. The shorts display a sunset base with navy panels down the side showcasing the Thunder logo on each leg.

So, they’re orange with blue lettering and accents. Got it.

The team will wear the alternates 18 times, including every Sunday home game (of which there are 13).

I happen to like these — they’re pretty simple, and I also happen to like orange and navy as a combination. And, no sleeves.

Do they need a 5th uniform? Of course not, but these weren’t designed with my feelings in mind — I’m sure fans will happily plunk down $100+ for another piece of polyester they don’t need. But if they had to have a fifth uniform, this is certainly one of the better ones out there.

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classic scoreboards splash

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards

I’m pleased to continue with a favorite weekend feature here at Uni Watch, “Classic Ballpark Scoreboards,” which are created by Gary Chanko. You probably know Gary best for his wonderful colorizations, but he has been a solid contributor for many years, and this is his new project. This segment will appear every Saturday on Uni Watch.

Here’s Gary (click on image to enlarge):

. . . . . . . . . .

Classic Ballpark Scoreboards – Series II
by Gary Chanko

The 2015 baseball regular season coming to an end, it’s also time to bring this series of Classic Baseball Scoreboards to a close. Classic Scoreboards will continue this fall with more vintage professional and college scoreboards.

To conclude this baseball edition we travel to Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium, the home of professional baseball and football for half a century.

KC Municipal Stadium_UW

Kansas City Municipal Stadium

Formerly called: Muehlebach Field (1923”“1937), Ruppert Stadium (1937”“1943), Blues Stadium (1943”“1954)
Baseball Home of: Kansas City Blues (A.A.) (1923”“1954), Kansas City Monarchs (NNL and NAL) (1923”“1931, 1937”“1954), Kansas City Athletics (MLB) (1955”“1967), Kansas City Royals (MLB) (1969”“1972)
Football Home of: Kansas City Blues / Cowboys (NFL) (1924”“1926), Kansas City Chiefs (AFL / NFL) (1963”“1971)
Opened: 1923
Demolished: 1976. Today the ballpark site is a residential community.

Lists of baseball’s revered cathedrals typically includes Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Old Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field among the venues. Kansas City’s historic Municipal Stadium rarely earns mention. It should.

Fortunately I don’t have to summarize all the interesting facts of Municipal Stadium, such as the right field petting zoo and a mechanical rabbit that delivered baseballs to the home plate umpire. It’s all revealed in this past comprehensive Uni-Watch feature: Part I and Part II. You will also find this SABR bio article on Charlie Finley equally fascinating.

As you probably already know, the scoreboard in right center field was relocated from Braves Field in Boston. It was apparently reinstalled with little modification. The display space for out-of-town games was based on the old eight team leagues, so only four of five National League games were shown.

A FAN-A-GRAM message board was added to right of the scoreboard in the early Sixties as part of several Finley ballpark renovations. Charlie was not adverse against shamelessly copying many of Bill Veeck’s innovations. Comisky Park’s SOX-O-GRAM message board was installed the prior year.

The illustration depicts the scoreboard for the Athletics game played on June 12, 1965, a 7-0 shutout of the Cleveland Indians. Ken Harrelson, Kansas City first baseman has just homered to give the Athletics a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

A Few Things to Know

• For the graphic illustration (designer’s license!), the message shown on the FAN-A-GRAM display was actually posted during a game in 1961. Read about the origin in this news clipping. The actual message displayed on 1965 game noted Harrelson’s home run was number 4 for the season.

• The Braves Field scoreboard was purchased for $100,000. ($875,000 in 2015 dollars)

• And, there was a Beatles concert in Municipal Stadium in 1964.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If anyone is interested in purchasing a digital copy of these posters, Gary is working on an online purchase option. In the interim you can contact him directly at

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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.

Back to weekend colorizations now that my weekday subbing for Paul is over.

Just one this week, and it comes from our old friend, George Chilvers. It is self-explanatory.

Click photos to enlarge.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yogi Berra colour - George Chilvers

Yogi Berra


I am sure this one will need no explanation of who or why.

RIP Yogi.


. . .

That’s it for today. Great job George!

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NCAA Uni Tracking 2015 splash

NCAA Uni Tracking Update

As you guys know, so far we have two uniform trackers, tracking three Power 5 conferences for 2015 (Rex Henry is handling the ACC & SEC, and Dennis Bolt is handling the PAC-12). I’m pleased to introduce a third tracker today, Kyle Acker, who will be taking on the duties of the Big XII. I had hoped to add a final tracker for the B1G today, but alas that has not happened…yet. If I’m still not able to secure one by Sunday, I may put out the call again — so if there is a graphic artist out there who would like to track the unis of the B1G for 2015, consider yourself on standby.

Anyway, Kyle has completed the uniform tracking for the first three weeks and I wanted to display his efforts here (click to enlarge). He’ll join the other trackers tomorrow with this week’s games.

Big XII Tracking


Week 1:

. . .


Week 2:

. . .


Week 3:

. . .

Thanks, Kyle! Everyone welcome Kyle aboard!

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Uni Watch News Ticker

Baseball News: You may have heard that (multiple sport, but current SD Padres) announcer Dick Enberg is stepping away from the mic at the end of next season. Jonathan Daniel sends this shot of Enberg in a baseball uni. … Yesterday (in 1929), Yankee Manager Miller Huggins passed away, and today (in 1929), the the Yankees wore memorial armbands (that’s Ruth, Tony Lazzeri and Lou Gehrig). Thanks to Bruce Menard for the photo. … Your defending American League champs and first-time ever Central Division Champion Kansas City Royals have a soda and merch display (h/t Hack). … Reader Bill Walker thinks he may have found the first baseball uniform to feature script. Says Bill, “Attached image is of a 1912 minor league team from the Oklahoma State League, the Okmulgee Glassblowers (yeah, the team moniker is worthy of attention ”“ even if not the script on their uni.” … A clever Cubs fan turned a Ryan Theriot jersey into an Anthony Rizzo jersey (thanks, Mike).

NFL/Football News: Did the New York Football Giants have an “unofficial white out” on Thursday Night Football? Jason Felicio notes, “looks like the entire team went white gloves and white compression sleeves.” He then asks, “Can the Giants change their uniform schedule with the alternate pants if they decide they are ‘good luck’ and want to keep wearing them? Or alternate pants run into the same rules as alternate jerseys? I wish they would wear the white all the time with the home unis.” We know the alt. jersey rule, but it’s an interesting question about the pants. … Speaking of white shoes and New York Football, the NY Jets are adding a new layer to their “White Out” this week. White cleats to go with white jerseys, pants and helmets (from Matt Harris). … Check out these Football helmets redesigned to look like state flags.

College/High School Football News: Here’s today’s NSU Demons football uniform combination (from Josh McDaniel). … Here’s what the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will be wearing today against FIU (from LA Tech Football). … Auburn’s Ole Miss game “Stripe the Stadium” plan has been released. All students in blue (h/t Clint Richardson). .. Here’s a look at the awesome throwbacks the Montana Grizzlies are wearing today (h/t UM Grizzlies). Even more glorious photos here (h/t Brett Clark). … Looks like it’s going to be throwbacks for Rutgers for their homecoming game (h/t udstephen). Here’s more on that. … Red facemasks today for Texas Tech (via Tommy Westside). … East Carolina will be going mono-black tonight against Virginia Tech (from ECU Athletics). … Northwestern will wear black helmets, purple jerseys, and black pants against Ball State. … If there is such a thing as a “traditional” uniform for Baylor, they’ll be wear them against Rice today. … Last evening the Virginia Cavaliers introduced another new helmet (h/t Kyle Campbell). … The Sun-Times’ top gossip/politcal columnist is saying that NIU will play a game at US Cellular Field next year (thanks, Mike). He adds, “That’s kinda how this town is. Northwestern : Wrigley :: NIU : Sox Park.”

NBA/Basketball News: The NBA will have new warm-up jackets for the upcoming NBA season. Submitter Ryan Patrick says, “What’s cool about them that struck me is that each jacket has patches on the left sleeve indicating (for all teams) year of formation and (for the relevant teams) championships.” … Yesterday was photo day for Kent State mens hoops. Here are the Flashes in new uniforms for the first time (via Kent State Athletics). … Based off of this tweet, might Purdue be introducing a new uniform (good spot by Andrew Flores). … THe Detroit Pistons will be introducing a new alternate on October 3rd, to be called “chrome” (via Max Perilstein) — and according to Conrad Burry, it will look like this. … “I don’t know if anybody sent this in already since this story is a couple weeks old,” writes Trevor Wells, “but it helps explain how the Clippers ended up with such a terrible design (if it’s all true at least).” … Ball State has new uniforms. Here’s a picture (h/t Gerry Appel). … New uniforms for UAB (from Chris Grosse). … “The Hawks just posted this video, seems like the players were being asked to comment on the weight of the uniforms, and it sounds like Justin Holliday was not impressed with the initial launch,” writes Douglas King He adds, “while he says he now likes them I’m thinking he still isn’t that big of a fan saying ‘It gives you a different pop that you usually don’t see in basketball jerseys. Now that you think about it a lot of the colors these days are moving that direction, so I guess we’re just getting with the wave’.”

Hockey News: Are the Buffalo Sabres going to have 3-D (or drop shadow) numbering? Reader Mike McBride writes that on Thursday, “there were a bunch of players out handing season tickets to Long time holders. New player Ryan O’Reilly is sporting a 3D numbering. Must be new.” … The Pittsburgh Penguins have released their third jersey schedule — click here for more info. … From Paul, a good look at the Avalanche new 20th Anniversary patch, and also a before/after look at the new shoulder patch. … The Saskatoon Blades will wear replica vintage jerseys for season opener. … The Ducks and Kings wore special warmups last night to support Special Olympics Southern California and the Hydrocephalus Association. … Crossover alert: Dave Feigenbaum went to the Canadiens game last night at the Bell Centre and noticed two Expos related items: “Youpi has been adopted by the Canadiens but he’s still wearing last year’s sweater with the #4 patch for Jean Beliveau. There is a banner in the rafters of the Expos’ retired numbers. Nice of the hockey team to do that when the baseball team that was the Expos not only hasn’t displayed the numbers, they unretired them.”

Soccer News: Really nice infographic here on Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and 5 More Leagues, and which brands dominate each league (from Mark Emge).

Grab Bag: This is great: “My wife ran the Ironman 70.3 in Syracuse NY this summer,” writes Jim Jeitler. “When she received her medal no one could figure out what the buildings in skyline are. Turns out that is because the company used the skyline of Rochester NY rather than Syracuse. Apparently someone Googled “Syracuse Skyline” and one of the first pictures that came up was from an article about the best skyline in Upstate NY on the site site called skyscrapercity. Too bad no one checked to see if it was really Syracuse.” Here’s what the “corrected” medal looks like. … R. Scott Rogers, who just moved to Wisconsin, observes, “People here seem beyond rabid in their devotion to Badgers and Packers football…A neighbor painted a mix of Green Bay and UW alternate logos on their lawn. I’ve never seen precisely this combo of imagery before!” … Here’s a good story on a guy who builds mascots (thanks, Paul). And another article in a different paper (from Bill Barilko). … Check out this awesome Phillies’ themed Pope shirt (h/t Ben Fortney). … O.M.G. CAT CURLING er, um hurling or something? (thanks to Hugh McBride). … Coming Soon!.

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Whew! That was a lot for today. Big thanks to Brady, Gary, George, Kyle and anyone who submitted for the ticker. Back tomorrow with another dose of Sunday Morning Uni Watch, so be sure to check back in then. Until then…I think I’ll have some pancakes for breakfast today.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The problem with Chief Noc-a-Homa is not that he is ‘not politically correct’; it’s that he is socially unacceptable, because we, as a society, have deemed that such displays are undignified and boorish, and that they are painful to a class of our fellow citizens whose concerns we had previously ignored or dismissed. There’s a difference.”

— Paul Lukas

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Comments (24)

    I don’t think there’s a limit on alternate pant usage. Hard to say though, since the only other team to recently have anything you could really call alternate pants was the Titans for a few years. They certainly bounced around between their 3 colors without seeming like there was any kind of restriction.

    Don’t the Saints have alternate pants too? Seems like the black pants and gold pants are both used multiple times each season.

    I guess that depends on how you define it. The Giants are the only team I can think of that actually calls their 2nd set of pants an “alternate”. There’s a lot of teams with 2 pairs of pants and who wear them interchangeably… but I’d think that officially they’re probably considered to be “home” and “away” pants, like KC with white or red. Having a 3rd color, like the Titans or Redskins used to would be what I’d consider an alternate for any non-Giants team.

    But… anyway… based on what we’ve seen other teams do, I don’t think there’d be any issues from the league if they wore the white pants more than twice.

    Saints wear their gold and black pants with no apparent rhyme or reason. Wore gold pants with white jerseys on the road in Week 1 and black pants with white jerseys at home in Week 2. Wearing black jerseys tomorrow on the road and I suspect they will wear gold pants with those. They usually save mono-black for home games and wear gold pants with black jerseys at home about once or twice a year. They also wear the black pants with white jerseys on the road. Again, no real rhyme or reason.

    I wish the NFL would introduce a rule requiring swiping on pants. That would do away with the horrible leotard look.

    The leotard problem isn’t about having stripes on the pants, it’s about wearing contrasting socks. If a team is going to wear colored pants, they need to wear socks of a different color. The Rams looked absolutely wonderful wearing stripeless gold pants with navy socks, prior to ruining their uniforms and going mono-navy all the time. The Panthers all-black uniform is better than the Saints in all-black, not because the pants have stripes, but because they wear blue socks while New Orleans goes with black.

    I make great baked goods and desserts, but I can’t decorate them for the life of me.

    And now this guy comes along witht these amazing things which look almost too good to eat, on a Saturday–pancake day for many of us!

    It’s great to see someone with that creativity anyway.

    R. Scott Rogers, who just moved to Wisconsin, observes, “People here seem beyond rabid in their devotion to Badgers and Packers football ~ we’re a different breed here in Wisconsin. I moved to the twin cities for one year out of college and it felt like a whole other country.

    I miss the days when NBA teams had unique warm-ups instead of one generic template. I’m also tired of Adidas slapping three stripes on as trim. Who knows if the Nike stuff will be better, but at least there will be an end to the sleeves.

    A few random thoughts: I know around these parts people want teams to only have 2 uniform sets but the orange OKC alts are pretty nice. Now if they would only do away with the stupid white sleeved one and horrid “fauxback”. On the other end of the spectrum, those Pistons alts have zero reason to exist.

    La Tech has a classy set all around. Every color combo is a beauty.

    I’ve been playing cat curling for years. All of mine love that shit.

    What the Bell Centre does for the Expos reminds me of what the XL Center does for the Whalers. Hartford still has retired-number banners hanging in the Whalers’ former home, and even though there’s no official status to them, they’ve “retired” three more numbers since the move.

    Original retired numbers:
    2 – Rick Ley
    9 – Gordie Howe
    19 – John McKenzie
    Post-move retired numbers:
    5 – Ulf Samuelsson
    10 – Ron Francis
    11 – Kevin Dineen

    Notably, Francis has his number retired by the Hurricanes, and they retired #2 down there for Glen Wesley (who switched from 20 when the team moved to North Carolina and unretired 2 and 19 – Howe’s 9 is still “unofficially” retired by the Canes) as well as #17 for Rod Brind’Amour (who was never a Whaler).

    Big 12 tracker has Iowa State wrong for every week. Both their gold and white pants have full stripes.

    I thought the OKC jersey was ok at first. It’s not black right? Lately it’s hard to grasp the concept of team colors. But then I saw the back. Stupid. Name goes above number.

    Hey, that FootyHeadlines article about “Which brands dominate which leagues”: Am I missing something about the graphical presentation of the data?

    I get that there are concentric rings, darkest gray in the center and gradiating to lightest at the edge, for each marque in each league.

    But then what? A particular shade of gray doesn’t mean “most teams in League X” all the time. And Adidas, for example, isn’t the same color shade across the charts. Plus the use of these rings for size, either diameter or area, displays differently for the same value of data.

    Hammer Down Cancer day at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue wearing their BFBS unis (sideline look is gray, weird) with Steelers white numbers.

    Black helmets with frickin’ neon green logo and stripe, with ribbon at the back. Neon green socks and laces. (End zones still gold with black lettering, white highlights.)

    Bring back the gold, this is ridiculous. This is Purdue’s third different helmet.

    Do they hate the gold that much?

    That Sabres jersey doesn’t seem to have drop numbers. More of a photo artifact. The numbers on Foligno’s jersey don’t have it, the shadow is the same color as the number and the shadow is offset-left rather than diagonally.

    I would like to see DeeYoung do a double sided helmet for Oregon with the shield and Beaver. Nice stuff!

Comments are closed.