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We Interrupt This Uni-Verse to Present a Video That Will Blow Your Mind

My friend Tony Millionaire posted this video on Facebook the other day. It shows the technique for paper marbling, and it’s absolutely mesmerizing. There are lots of design applications you can do with a computer, and that’s fine, but it’s soooooo much cooler that this particular technique can be done by hand.

After I shared the video on Facebook, former Uni Watch intern Garrett McGrath got in touch to say that the three-minute clip is actually part of a 13-minute documentary from 1970, called Art of the Marbler. Having now watched the whole thing, I’d say the segment ebmedded at the top of today’s page is still the best part, but the whole thing is definitely worth watching. Here you go:

Imagine if today’s sports designers — people who work at places like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, or even Brandiose — knew how to do stuff like this. I’m not saying the patterns shown in the video would necessarily make for good sports graphics, but I’m definitely saying that it would nice if people working in the uni-verse had this type of visual arts craftsmanship. Great stuff.

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ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, the results of our Chargers-redesign contest have finally been published. Enjoy.

Speaking of redesign contests, I’ll have the results of our “Redesign the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Jersey” challenge next week.

Party reminder: Uni Watch party next Sunday, Feb. 19, 3pm, in the back room of the Douglass (which is the same place we used to meet at, Sheep Station, but with a new name). Phil will be there, I’ll be there, I may have theoretical T-shirts to sell, etc. Come join us!

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The Ticker
By Paul

’Skins Watch: Cleveland Scene, the alt-weekly paper run by Uni Watch alum Vince Grzegorek, has announced the winners of its Indians-redesign contest. … The bad news: A school board in Paw Paw, Mich., has voted to keep calling its teams the Redskins. Further info here (from John Chapman and Max Weintraub). … The good news: A school in Delaware is changing its team name from Redskins to Red Wolves (from Jeff Huckel).

Baseball News: Eight new uniform combos for LSU. “The changes are mostly to the jersey construction,” says Jeremy Poursine. … Pink/cancer jerseys upcoming this May for the Charlotte Knights (from Craig Kirkpatrick). … The Orioles have announced their 2017 promotional schedule (from Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew: Angelo in San Diego has come up with a good brown-centric Padres design. … Here’s a look at the state of the Mariners’ uniforms (thanks, Brinke). … Here’s one observer’s picks for the throwbacks he’d like to see from American League and National League teams this season (from @keyvon212 and Robert Hayes, respectively). … The U. of Memphis has new uniforms, and one of them was modeled by New England Patriots kicker Stpehen Gostkowski (from @cdiddy79). … Black alternate jersey for Army (from Greg Gebhardt). … New uniforms, with candy-striped sleeve trim, for Indiana (from Darrell Frazier). … Here’s Korea’s jersey for the World Baseball Classic.

NFL News: Here’s video of Bears K Bob Thomas kicking a field goal with his chinstrap unsnapped in a 1977 game (from Scott Mason). … Here’s a composite image showing the potential helmets and jerseys that Tony Romo could end up wearing with a new team (from Will Edge).

College Football News: Army’s equipment room has a new display featuring a dizzying array of helmet options (from @LouiseBrooksFC). … This is pretty cool: an Indiana football helmet made from Lego (from Brice Wallace).

Hockey News: Here’s a good interview with Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze, who discusses the team’s yellow Stadium Series helmets and the NHL’s new rules for slimmer goalie pants (from David Shucosky). … Remember how the tobacco industry insisted cigarettes didn’t cause cancer? And then the NFL insisted football didn’t cause brain damage? The NHL is still pretending that the connection between hockey and CTE is inconclusive. Shameful (from Ted Arnold). … Slapshot-style throwbacks upcoming for the Milwaukee Admirals (from Blain Fowler).

NBA News: Nike has created a timeline showcasing five decades of basketball sneaker highlights. … If you’re a fan of the Bucks’ old rainbow-green period, you’ll want to see this (from John Okray). … The NBA is starting its own esports league.

College Hoops News: Rick Barry’s son, who plays at Florida, is shooting his free throws underhanded, just like his dad did. … Throwbacks on tap for Nebraska (from Josh E.). … ETSU and the Citadel went color vs. color last night (from Brandon Keys). … So did BYU and Pepperdine (from @MicrowaveTrout). … This is nuts: Texas-Rio Grande Valley and Grand Canyon went grey vs. dark grey (from Steven Davis).

Soccer News: A Hull City player — not sure who — wore a black blood jersey the other day (from Khaled Abdallah). … Louisville City FC will provide jerseys and shorts to Campbellsville University’s team, whose uniforms were destroyed in a fire two days ago. … New away kit for the LA Galaxy (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: The Houston Dynamo leak in yesterday’s Ticker was a fake. … New uniforms for Sporting KC.

Grab Bag: A dying man is donating his massive bobblehead collection to the Bobblehead Hall of Fame (from Marc Swanson). … Auto racer Andy Seuss is representing his home state with a New Hampshire-themed helmet. … New livery and uniforms for Air Canada. Further info here, and here’s a style guide. Chris Bernal says it qualifies as BFBS, which is funny, because I’m working on an ESPN piece right now about the possible decline of BFBS in the uni-verse. More on that next week (thanks also to Mike Styczen). … Tesla and Adidas are involved in a trademark dispute over a three-stripe logo. … Workers in Windsor, Ontario, botched the government of Canada’s logo when installing it on a newly renovated building. … The California-based chain In-N-Out Burger has accused a Kansas dry cleaner of poaching its logo (from our own Alex Hider). … Gross: A restaurant in Toronto specializes in purple desserts (blame Ken Weimer). … Here’s the ball deisgn for the Rugby League All-Star Game (from Jeremy Brahm).

Comments (55)

    A member of the US Army would not find those helmet designs too dizzying…they are the emblems of each branch of the Army (Transportation Corps, Artillery, Military Police, Finance Corps, Ordnance Corps, Military Intelligence, Adjutant General, etc…)

    The top two rows are the helmets they wore in the 2015 Army-Navy game. Each player wore what branch of the army they were in on one side of the helmet and their number on the other side. And the bottom row is what they wore in the 2016 game.

    Two here: “Having now watch3e the whole thing, I’d say the segment ebmedded”
    “dispute over a three-strope logo.”

    Love the video of marbling, thanks.

    Enjoyed the 1977 video too, but man that Busch Stadium “turf” looks awful to play on!

    I noticed the turf as well and noted the covering for a full dirt infield as opposed to just the sliding pits around the bases that were used in later years.

    Those seams look dangerous.

    I watched to the 7:30 mark and saw a Cardinal running back get clobbered out of bounds and suffer an obvious concussion.

    Concussions will always be with us unfortunately, as the speed and power of these hits can’t be legislated out of football and hockey. The old style astroturf was basically carpet on cement, harder than the synthetic turf often used today.

    I’m not a fan of all the black in the new Air Canada livery, but I don’t regard it as BFBS. Canadian institutions have used black to accent the national red-and-white color scheme for a long time. This isn’t new, and it’s not arbitrary. It would be a mistake to define the term too strictly – there’s a sort of “you know it when you see it” aspect to BFBS – but generally I think BFBS needs to involve introducing black into a uniform (or livery or corporate style or whatever) where black is not otherwise a part of the organization’s color scheme or history. This much black may be novel for Air Canada, but it’s not novel for depictions of Canadian national identity or institutions.

    When I submitted it I thought it was BFBS because Air Canada has no history of black. Their livery in the past has been red and white, or red, orange and white. Black is new to them which is the definition of BFBS.

    Air Canada is a private company and I don’t think they get to avoid being called BFBS because public institutions have used black.

    On the other hand, their current livery is a very pale mint green with dark green trim, so this is an enormous improvement.

    I agree completely that it’s an improvement. I’m not a fan of all the black in the new livery, but it’s nonetheless a very good design. Air Canada will have some of the best-looking jets in the sky once the new livery is in place.

    As to BFBS, it’s a debatable point of course. Personally, I don’t care that Air Canada is technically not a part of the federal Transport Ministry. Air Canada is the nation’s flag carrier, and it’s clear that the main thing their livery is intended to communicate is the national identity and Canada-ness of the airline. As such, current and historic trends in how other Canadian institutions have depicted their national identity is relevant to me. Hockey Canada, for example, is also a private institution, not a government agency, yet like Air Canada, Hockey Canada’s visual identity is intended primarily to express Canada-ness. And Hockey Canada has long used a lot of black. More black than I’d prefer, honestly, but the precedent is nonetheless established. So when Air Canada turns to the same color scheme to express the same message, I can’t regard the one instance in isolation from the larger context. Not saying anyone who feels otherwise is wrong; I’m just explaining how it strikes me.

    The one nice thing about the black is that they’re actually painting the underside of the plane and putting a logo on the bottom. I like that a LOT. It will make their planes far more distinctive from underneath, which is where they’re mostly viewed from.

    I understand your point and its well taken.

    You might not care that they’re not part of the federal government, but the fact is that they did used to be government-owned. They destroyed one much better airline (Canadian Airlines) and have repeatedly abused their dominant position. They’re resented and tolerated, particularly in the west. They’re not in any way comparable to Hockey Canada.

    To bring it back to livery, however, they’ve had a couple aircraft in 1940s livery for a while, and those aircraft are SWEET looking


    I caught that video a few weeks ago. It’s wonderful and on par with the glass blowing one that went “art scene viral” last year.

    I don’t know why you assume otherwise, but people who work for those companies *do* know how to do this stuff. Maybe not paper marbling specifically, since it’s such a specialized technique that’s not typically taught in schools, but there are printmakers, painters, drawers, and artists of every discipline working at those companies. Most designers have a fine art background, and some also have a passion for sports and uniforms, which is likely how they end up where they are.

    Personally, I gravitate toward ceramics because I don’t think there’s any substitute for working in three dimensions to hone your understanding of form and proportion.

    Come to think of it, paper marbling is more or less the same technique as water transfer printing, a technique famously used by Hydro Graphics to create full-coverage helmet graphics.

    Love that Padres uniform concept from Angelo in San Diego. Much better than the present day uniform.

    Would love if there weren’t so darned many options. One home, one road, one alt, one spring training, one bp, one cap. Ditch the gray “San Diego”, the brown “SD” and all caps on the right half of the page.

    Baltimore Colts kicker Jim O’Brien was another who kicked with his chinstrap unfastened. It was dangling as he kicked the winning field goal in Super Bowl V.


    As far as I’m concerned, patterns are underused in sports. I’d be in favor of sublimated patterns in the fabric, the way it’s done in neckties, to create a proprietary element to each team. Contrails, clouds, feathers, flames, houndstooth, marbling, scales; a cursory survey of every team yields at least one unique pattern that would add a tasteful layer of detail to each uniform.

    Love being pointed to the paper marbling video and appreciation of the hand-crafted; easy to forget/overlook these arts. Cool to see it included it here, along with the calculator yesterday, etc. My kind of place!

    BFBS seems to be somewhat on the decline in sports as a whole (certainly in MLB). But if anything it feels like it is having a resurgent moment in the NBA specifically, since the Warriors, Clippers, Cavaliers, Hornets, Bucks, and Rockets have all introduced BFBS designs within the past several years.

    The good news: A school in Delaware is changing its team name from Redskins to Red Wolves (from Jeff Huckel).

    See? Was that so hard? Not every Indian-themed team has to be called the Red Hawks. Sheesh.

    If I had my druthers, Washington’s NFL team would become the Red Caps:


    There’s so much history behind it, it’s utterly unused in sports and largely forgotten by Americans, and unlike most of the nicknames being adopted by ex-Redskins teams, it’s an actual real thing.

    The easiest re-naming would be to the Washington Pride.
    You could keep the logo, uniforms, colors and you would still have that connection with the Native Americans along with an appropriate and modern meaning.

    When you have the opportunity to pick anything as your new team nickname, and you go with an animal and stick a color in front of it, that seems really unimaginative/lazy to me.

    With Indiana pushing candy stripes across all sports, what are the other “basic” patterns that are used consistently in an athletic department already? How common is this?

    The first that spring to mind are Georgetown’s kente pattern and Kentucky’s (and Tennessee’s) checkerboards.

    Michigan State has been using a Greek Key pattern across sports recently. It started out as a prominent part of the basketball uniforms years ago and has spread, so it’s sort of similar to Indiana with the candy stripes.

    Under Armour often creates patterns for their schools. For example, Northwestern uses a pattern based on the older stone buildings on campus; Boston College, a stained glass pattern; Notre Dame, one that resembles the campus quads and the roof of its Basilica.

    To be fair, the Indiana football helmet is made by BRXLZ, not Lego – there are differences, albeit minor.

    I did a quick search, and there are many other helmets available, including some rather intricate designs – Patriots, Broncos, Eagles, Seahawks …

    I think the wallpaper we had in my house growing up was made by such a method — either directly or reproduced from something that did. It had very much that style.

    On the one hand, seeing how it’s done is really cool. On the other, that wallpaper we had, with its mix of browns, greens, white spots and whatnot, was really ugly.

    Every time I see Bob Thomas mentioned anywhere, I always wonder if his being on the Illinois Supreme Court should be mentioned alongside…Personally, I think that’s a bigger deal than being an NFL kicker….

    I’m not complaining about not mentioning it in the ticker, I’m just sharing what goes on in my head….

    Took the kids to a art museum and they had a hands on marbling station in the kids area. It was awesome, but I didn’t know it was an actual thing.

    I am very sorry to have to report this, because it’s so stupid; but the Galaxy are no longer the “Los Angeles Galaxy” but only the “LA Galaxy”. They made that change when Beckham arrived in 2007.

    What is the deal with the jerseys on the LSU baseball team? Is the “no buttons” look a part of the new Nike Vapor Elite template? On the “Game 2 at home” “Midweek Games” and “Away Games” uniforms some sort of flap or covering is where the buttons would normally be seen. Has this been around and I am just now seeing it?

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