Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Design Ideas for the Blue Jays New Uniforms in 2012


By
Image courtesy of Flickr user Adam Finley
I'm about a week late to the party, but the Toronto Star got the inside scoop on a uniform revamp for the Blue Jays next season. It was rumoured about earlier this year, and now it appears a change is definitely in the works.

Back in early April, I took a crack at a hybrid merging old and new Blue Jays logos, and even more changes could be in the works with the club hoping to make the Blue Jays uniforms more Canadian.

Aside from plastering an Anne Murray album cover on the jerseys, I'm curious to see how the Blue Jays are going to accomplish that ... aside from reverting to the Canada Day red jerseys.

So the Toronto Star asked for submissions from readers for new Blue Jays jersey designs, some of them could be legit Blue Jays uniforms, others were just straight up comical (the Bret Hart and lumberjack ones were my favourite).

Now that the "Man in White" scandal and the Brett Lawrie Express calmed down a little bit, I had a chance to play around with a couple of Blue Jays uniform ideas.

I'll be up front with you guys; my favourite all-time Blue Jays uniform is the navy blue 1994-1996 alternate. It always holds a soft spot in my heart because my parents bought me that jersey when I was a kid, yet I couldn't fit into it until I grew up.

Also, the Blue Jays just recently came out with a special Roberto Alomar shirt for his induction into Cooperstown, which I thought looked very sharp and thought it would be great as an official jersey.

Naturally, this design was inspired by that iconic jersey and the Roberto Alomar Cooperstown shirt. Essentially it's just three slight variations of one prototype, but have a look below and let me know what you think.

All three feature the classic Blue Jays font piping, because in my opinion there is no font in the world that is as elegant as this one.

Draft One

This design takes that hybrid old bird/new bird logo and places it in the middle of the jersey like the powder blues. I changed the colour to that navy blue because as I previously mentioned, I just love that colour for the Blue Jays.

It might be a bit too much blue going making it a little on the monochromatic side, but I think it actually works pretty well. It also somewhat ups the Canadian content on the jerseys by having the maple leaf front and centre.

Draft Two

The second draft forgoes the logo on the front of the uniform entirely, and this one instead puts the player's number on the right side of the jersey.

Typically, the Blue Jays have not stitched player's numbers on the front of their uniforms, and the only Blue Jays jersey to feature that was from the dreaded "T-Bird" era from 1997-2003.

Draft Three

This one is perhaps my favourite; instead of the arched text, I decided to keep it straight across the uniform. And to get a little more Canadiana in there, we have the maple leaf underneath the player's number.

Feel free to vote on your favourite design and let know your thoughts in the comments below. Or if you have any ideas for tweaks on these designs or completely new ones, suggestions are always welcome.

Which new Blue Jays design do you like best?


25 comments:

  1. Nice work Ian.

    However, I find that Red just doesn't look that great against the Blue Jays Blue. Also, I don't really like giant logos on uniforms so my choice was option 2.

    I think I'm in the minority but I'm not against a radical change to the Jersey rather than going back to something similar to past versions.

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  3. They're alright, but I have to be honest. The old look is really dated, and despite it being the look the Jays had during their 90's glory days, it belongs in the past.

    Sorry.

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  4. They look decent - but to me they seem like something to be worn on flashback Friday's only. Also, per MLB rules, I believe they have to have an all white top to go with white pants. No team does not have this (except San Fran). I think they should leave the jerseys as is and are underestimating how popular the black and blue are. Please no red!

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  5. Can I vote for none of the above? :)

    Draft One, I'm not a fan of the hybrid logo nor the logo right in the middle of the belly, looks like a softball uniforms.

    Draft Two, The split lettering doesn't work as a number on the front -- it just looks weird there... if we're going to go retro you might as well stick the logo there.

    Draft Three, the red maple leaf placed directly on blue just looks bad, not major league level, same point above as the number... BLUE JAYS straight across the chest looks pretty good though.

    Also to note, the 94-96 blue alternate that inspired this design was never worn with the white panel cap, could be part of the reason why this set just doesn't look right to me.

    I'll put a blog together in the near future about how I would design it as well as what I think they'll end up doing.

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  6. Peter, now that you mention it ... the red/blue combo is starting to remind be of those T-Bird uniforms. The exact thing I was trying to avoid - gah! Like you, I'm hoping they don't do anything too drastic next year. A slight modification or even going back to those glory days uniforms are fine by me.

    Braden L, no worries - to each their own! The reason why I think they should either go back to the old jerseys or modify a new one is that new "modern-looking" MLB logos don't quite seem to have a very long shelf life. Often times, they just end up reverting back to the original logo/jersey down the road anyway. However, if they can come up with a "classic-looking" new logo, then I think that would be a suitable compromise.

    JToronto, these would probably alternate third jerseys. Unfortunately, by the time I got these together, didn't have much time to do home/away uniforms. Draft one is a bit of an homage to the powder blues, with the logo in the middle and the classic lettering.

    Chris, thanks for the feedback! With the 2nd/3rd drafts, I was debating back and forth between the arched lettering and the straight lettering. The more I look at it, the more I like the straight lettering too.

    Looking forward to seeing that blog post - the Blue Jays have some tough decisions ahead of them for these new uniforms!

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  7. D. None of the above

    I really hate the blue. I would go with a dark blue red and black

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  8. BJ, would be interesting to see what a combo of blue/red/black would look like. Hopefully nothing like this attempt from a few years ago.

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  9. These are the favourites I've seen:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/61980422@N04/6027572193/

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  10. More like this:

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logo.php?id=s1bzq9lneflm6h9rklzuawdye

    but with some red pin/racing stripes down the sides perhaps. The numbers and logo wouldnt change, no red added there. Or perhaps a red maple leaf emblazoned across the chest and back. LOL

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  11. Ian

    Why not go for a truer looking maple leaf on the jersey. Not the 'Government of Canada' issue red symmetrical version. Something with hints of orange/brown/red and that looks like it may have at some point originated from a tree. It's 2011, graphic design has come a long way.

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  12. That last sentence wasn't meant to sound douchey towards you Ian. Good efforts.

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  13. Or something along the lines of the team canada ice hockey logo

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  14. Unknown, those are very sharp - simple, clean ... everything a timeless uniform should be.

    BJ, that could work ... I know what you mean by red striping down the sides. The problem is you want it to be subtle, but not TOO subtle. I'm sure the creative geniuses at the Blue Jays will come up with something good.

    Anon, no worries - there was one design on the Star website that had some leaves worked into it. It looked pretty cool, but not sure if it would appeal to the masses. Also, I'm sure the logistics of creating a gradient jersey would be a nightmare, but I like where they're going with it.

    The tough thing is it sounds like they want to stay true to the "Blue Jays" name yet also work in some Canadiana in there. Will likely be tough to fulfill both requirements on the same jersey.

    BJ, that could work too ... have a large maple leaf with a silhouette of the old Blue Jays logo in the middle perhaps?

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  15. I will be honest. You write a great blog but leave the designs to the experts. Those are really bad concepts, especially when still using that outdated, star-wars/ tron 70's font.

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  16. What I love about the current Jays logo is that it was designed to be incorporated into the font. Makes for a cleaner, well connected, clever, professional design.

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  17. Agreed Anon. The new logo is a must stay. Also because It's fierce and aggresive.

    The 70s logo was a bit too friendly, it said "hello chum, care for a game of rounders? No, you first. I insist. A spot of tea and crumpets before we commence perhaps? Yes, that would be lovely"

    Okay so maybe I got carried away there, but you catch my drift.

    The new logo says "FUCK YOU AND YOUR PINSTRIPES BITCH, YOU'RE GOING DOWN! At least IMO. :)

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  18. Anon 1, dually noted - will not be quitting my day (blogging) job any time soon! Just a little fun with Photoshop.

    Anon 2, good point - I think that's the sign of a great design; it stands out on its own, yet flows into the "Jays" logo.

    BJ, I wonder who would win a faceoff between the old "friendly" bird logo and the new "angry" bird logo. My money's on the old bird, because he kills the angry bird with kindness.

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  19. These are pretty good efforts, Ian. Though they're close enough to the 1994-1996 blue alternates, that I would just bring those back.

    I think bringing back the original logo is a MUST. The upcoming uniform redesign NEEDS to reconnect with the golden age of the Blue Jays, acknowledge their proud history – not keep wandering away from it. Bringing back the original logo is the smartest and best way to do this.

    And unlike some of you here, I think the 'Tron'-style font is great. Retro and futuristic at the same time. There's a reason why Tron Legacy used somewhat similar lettering in 2010. It still looks great.

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  20. Anon, the easiest thing to do (and I believe what would appease the masses) is to just bring back the old logo and font for the new uniforms.

    Personally, I love them. Even today, 24 years later ... they still hold up. I'm cool with a slight modification of it, but don't want them to go all crazy with colour changes, etc.

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  21. In baseball you don't mess with the classic uniforms, and in my mind the BJ's 90's logo was as classic as it can get in the MLB. The angry bird is ok for an arena football league, orwhatever, but in baseball is about class. What connection does this angry bird has with the best team the franchise has had that won back2back WS's? NONE! Is like purposely they wanted to cut all links with the winning team. Imagine Alomar sporting this current logo...UGH! You don't see Boston, NY, or the Braves messing up with their classic unis, so why the BJ's?

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  22. Mr. Lopezzio, I know the Blue Jays have been trying to veer away from the past in ditching the Flashback Fridays, but going back to an old uniform (or a slight variation of it) seems like the only viable option. I'd be perfectly happy if we never saw the angry bird again.

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  23. Here's my own take on the Blue Jays Uniform Design Controversy, including our own design mock-up: http://op-ed.ca/2011/09/08/message-to-toronto-blue-jays-uniform-designers-simple-sells/

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  24. draft 2 looks totally like a baseball uniform because the name blue jays arch across the chest, but it looks like an old school blue jays uniform and it looks good. what i really hate about the current blue jays uniforms is the black colour. it doesn't fit under the name blue jays. this is the toronto BLUE JAYS not the ravens.

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