Friday, November 18, 2011

Something Old, Something New: the New Blue Jays Uniforms

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Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

The new Toronto Blue Jays uniforms adorn each one of these characteristics; they're an homage to the original logo from 1977, but with a modernized look for the 21st century. In short, the new uniforms look fantastic.

When the logo was first leaked back in September, I have to admit my initial reaction was one of confusion. The new version looked very similar to the old one, and along with my others I wondered why the Blue Jays just didn't revert back to the old logo as most of us were hoping they would do.

Upon further investigation, the subtle differences in the logo became more apparent. The lines and colours were streamlined and overall it made the Blue Jays logo look much cleaner and less dated.

Fast forward to today and after first glimpse of the brand new uniforms, I can safely say the Blue Jays have another winner on their hands. It's a great compromise between the traditional Blue Jays look while also looking very modern at the same time.

The part of the press conference which I enjoyed the most was the video montage below of the players talking about what the Blue Jays logo means to them. It gave me chills when J.P. Arencibia said "this is what I grew up knowing ... this bird ... this uniform".



The Blue Jays brought back a key characteristic that was so pivotal in previous uniform designs, and that's something as simple as the colour blue. After all, it makes up half of their name, so it only makes sense for blue to make a triumphant return to these uniforms.

Noticeably absent in the new uniforms is the lack of a white panel home cap. While I was a huge fan of the original white panel cap, I think the solid blue actually looks much better with these uniforms ... even the home whites.

The solid colour looks less like a novelty or custom-made cap and more like a traditional baseball cap. And it manages to fit in beautifully with the home whites, road greys, and alternate blue uniforms.

Speaking of the alternate blue uniforms, it's been many years since the Blue Jays sported a solid blue uniform, and Ricky Romero displayed why it's so great to have that uniform back in the repertoire. I have a feeling that alternate jersey will be a hot seller, next to the home white jersey.

It's also nice to see the split-lettering font make a return which was very prominent in the Blue Jays uniforms up until 1996. Except this time around it's a completely different font, but still manages to look similar to the old jerseys.

The only thing I'm not so crazy about is the overall design of this logo below. The combination of the regular font with the split lettering font along with the baseball and circle looks a little off, but the rest of the logos look fantastic.

The new font is just another minor tweak to the Blue Jays uniforms, but it actually ends up making a huge difference. And I guess that's the best way to summarize these new uniforms; a bunch of minor changes add up to a brand new look.

Ultimately, these uniforms are a perfect marriage between the past and the present. They pay tribute to the glory days from the 80's and 90's, but at the same time these uniforms present a classic look that hopefully will be around for many years to come.

Some might say that this uniform and logo change is just a cash grab for the Blue Jays, but I would argue that the team was in dire need of a change anyway. The uniforms that came in during the 2004 season now look very dated, even though they've only been around for seven years.

Trying to create a modern-looking sports logo is the same as trying to keep up with the latest cell phone. By the time you've already bought it and brought it home, the phone is obsolete. So instead of trying to be on the cutting edge of design, it's better to go retro.

That's not to say these new uniforms won't ever be tweaked or added to in the coming years, but these versions stand a much better chance at holding up over a longer period of time.

Looking back, there are so many iconic images from the past featuring Blue Jays players in those original uniforms. It conjures up so many great memories of the Blue Jays dynasty era, and today officially marks the beginning of a new era.

Hopefully these Blue Jays uniforms will not only be the uniforms today's fans will come to know and love, but the next generation of Blue Jays fans as well.

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