Aug 20, 2014

Final Thoughts On Redskins Name, Mike Ditka, & The Navajo


If you know me well, you know I am a huge football fan, especially of the NFL. You also probably know I am a huge advocate for changing the Washington team's nickname. If you know me better still, I don't spout off my opinions about every issue in the world or even the world of sports. With an issue like this, there are plenty of other things to read which i gladly will point you in the direction of. But, now I have a few things to say that I can no longer hold in. This article involves Mike Ditka's recent comments and an emotional experience of my own with the Navajo people. 


Mike Ditka's Idiotic Rant

“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name? It’s so much horse shit it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian."

The "stink" is that the name is a racial slur and certainly is not a term of respect. Should we let the liberals run the country? No, instead let's let people like Ditka do it so we can stagnate progression in all areas.
"Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Proudskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is."

Ditka sets up a weak straw man here. No, we wouldn't call them a "Proudskin", because that has nothing to do with anything. Again, it's a real slur that Ditka can't grasp. If you wanted to call them something that would draw a sense of pride, American Indian, Native American, or their nation name such as Lakota, would do just fine. 

The second part of that paragraph is what infuriates me the most about the topic. People like Ditka do not want progress or change, they want to comfortably sit in everything they've always known. It is a fear of change for losing something familiar even when that thing is wrong. A stubborn, selfish nostalgia that he wants to keep and damn the way anyone else feels or what it really represents because it's always been this way. This issue is so much more than football and yes, the football team represents the NFL which represents America, and  I don't think a racial slur should represent to the world, through the NFL, what America values. "The way it is" is the weakest argument you could ever make, especially in an instance such as this.


“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone. These people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.”


it's been the name since 1933, not the beginning of football but, Ditka just reverberates his resistance to change and how he prefers a football brand over moral values, but is right about about something. It isn't an issue that happened lately or someone dreamed up. It's meant the same thing since 1933, always derogatory and chosen by the team's original racist owner (the last to employ African Americans and only because he wouldn't be allowed keep his team in DC if he didn't), but tolerance and zeitgeist have changed due to the modern connection we have with each other at the push of a button, along with social and cultural progression in other areas. More people are aware and people realize more and more how this name is not OK. The only thing asinine about it is to think "Redskin" is a term of honor or that football has made it so.

To "leave it alone" is to stagnate American cultural progression because "thats the way it's always been". Women's rights, slavery, Civil rights, Gay rights, all should have just stayed the way it was, right? Given the right time period, Mike Ditka would probably would have been loyal to England and called Samuel Adams a "terrorist" (which would't be incorrect). I'd love for Mike to think about that and be very honest with himself. Mike Ditka is on the wrong side of history. Things are going to change and we will look back on this time and say "what took so long?"


“It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is. It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey listen, I went through it in the 60s, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous."

If wanting to stop slurring a culture (that this nation was responsible for all but erasing with war and genocide, then pushing into modern poverty) with a world known brand, then yea, let's call that being "politically correct". Then he says "it's alright to protest if you don't like something but it's not right to change the name." Well what's the point, Mike? What should people protest? Just the things YOU align with politically and issues YOU don't agree with?



"Change the Constitution — we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.”

What, like an Amendment? Would 28 be going too far? This is my favorite line from his ridiculous rant.

“Really, I think it’s tradition, it’s history, it’s part of the National Football League. It was about Sammy Baugh and all the guys who were Redskins way back then. I didn’t think that Lombardi and Halas never had a problem with it, why would all these other idiots have a problem with the name? I’m sorry. I’m not very tolerant when it comes to the liberals who complain about everything.”

Again, it's not about the football team, it's about what the football team's name represents. It's nothing to do with Baugh who was a Redskins player but tthe people who actually are refered to as "redskins". Ditka think's he's giving "whiny liberals" a good blow, but just shows how out of touch with the subject he is. And since when is Vince Lombardi and George Halas the voice of reason? Why is he mentioning them? Because he is throwing NFL brand at you to try to make his point. "These NFL royals never had a problem with it, so the name is OK". They carry no weight in this issue especially in modern times, but if that's how he wants to play it Tony Dungy, Marv Levy, Champ Bailey, Phil SImms, and many others have spoken out against the name.

His perception of people (and most conservative's view on liberals in general) is that they are weak for being "politically correct" and wanting some cultural respect. The way I see it is he, and those like minded, are the weak ones for not advocating progress, not standing up for those with a small voice and less power, and probably need a paradigm shift to see the real issues here. Since I am not very tolerant of conservatives who complain about everything involving progress and doing anything other than dropping a bomb to solve a problem, let me offer an experience of my own with the Navajo.

My Navajo Experience


I've kept this experience to myself because I thought it wouldn't be interesting or important to anyone else. But now, I think it might be worth sharing. A few weeks ago a was on a 2,350 mile road trip between Palm Springs, CA and Richmond, IN. I like road trips. I saw the Grand Canyon on the way and after taking in the sunset there, I made my way out of the park and onto the Navajo reservation.

My plan that night was to sleep at a gas station and see Monument Vally the next afternoon. Knowing that the Native American community is the poorest in America and there are parts of reservations with high drug and crime rates, I thought it would be wise to go inside my desired pit stop to check things out. I wanted to get a sense of the people in this area and make sure it would be safe for the night.

I went inside and purchased an iced coffee for the next day and felt pretty good about my surroundings thus far. A clean and polite Native gentlemen sweeping the floor and a young Native beauty at the register with no signs of danger or hooligans around. Then, during my turn at the register an older native woman approached me and asked

"How do you say 'quarter' in your language?"

That struck me as quite an odd question. I'm a 29 year old white male wearing American brand clothing and a Florida Gators hat. I am basically in stereotypical American dude uniform, but this woman saw me as an outsider, even being only a few miles from the Grand Canyon park where thousands of people travel and I'm pretty sure I blend in with the majority. If you approach the park from the east, you very likely come past this gas station.

"Uhh. . . just like 'quarter'" I said.

"Nooooo, I don't believe you. Where are you from?"

It's a question that is easy to answer most of the time. You name a city or state and your acquaintance says "oh, that's nice" (if you give them the Florida answer) or "oh, i'm sorry" if you give them the Indiana answer). What was difficult about the question this time is I knew to her I looked like I was from a foreign country and my initial thought was to say "America" to reassure her I know "quarter" and speak English . . . but I couldn't bring myself to say that. I am educated on the past of the Native American, I very much admire their history and culture especially the Navajo and I am aware of the land I stand on facing a Navajo woman who wants to know where I come from.
"Florida" I say. I was wearing a Gators hat, I'll just make it easy.

And then a puzzling look and moment of silent confusion as she looked to the station clerk as if asking for help with this foreign word. In effort to move the conversation along she then ask "How long are you in the States for?"

It hits me that I am absolutely an outsider in this place. I've been through other reservations but only passed through or stopped for gas. I've camped at Indian campgrounds in Colorado and have witnessed their dances and heard their stories and as much as I have read and learned about Native Americans my whole life, I have never  actually had a personal interaction with one. I have only been a witness, and never a participant until now. This woman thinks of me not as an American though I've never been outside of the States, but as a traveler passing through. And while standing on this land with these people, I can not help but agree.

"Oh, just passing through" was my best response. After receiving change for my Starbucks vanilla iced coffee I have just purchased on the Navajo reservation, she playfully jabs at me and says "You better help me out with a dollar", and the poverty issues of many reservations become real. I give her $2 after she adds "Better make it 2, I have to get ice". 

As we head out the door and start to part ways she again ask something about where I am from that i didn't quite catch and adds "I'm Native, they're all crazy around here". 

I decided not to sleep at the gas station that night or stay on the reservation at all and instead would drive on to Tuba City to make a final stop for fuel before driving on to Cortez, Colorado which is off the reservation. Sad I would not see the painted desert or Monument Valley during the day but, I felt it may not be safe. 

I wasn't even half way through my journey home yet and having a tight budget already, I could not afford to help all those in need. During my final fuel stop, I knew I might have to say no to someone asking for money. That is a bad feeling to begin with, and here in Navajo country is even worse. As i walk out to my truck from inside the station I'm approached by an elderly Native couple who ask me "Where are you from?" and "Could you spare any change? We are hungry". If i had any I would have given in and helped, but no cash to spare I had to say "No I don't, I'm sorry". The look of sadness on their faces . . . 

I got in the truck and drove on. I began taking in the sites I could see in the darkness. Stars brighter than I've ever seem them, hints of mountains in the distance, and an occasional car passing by, and I drove slow because of the darkness and nearly making a hood ornament out of an 800 pound elk just outside of the Grand Canyon park earlier. And I began thinking about the Native Americans I have encountered in Montana and Colorado who seem to do well with new schools and a decent economy but how stark of a difference in life the Navajo people seem to have here and the young station workers who were fluent in English and very polite along side the hungry beggars also polite but definitely not doing well. 

I began to think of these people being driven off their lands and murdered in pursuit of Manifest Destiny and American Imperialism and our apology to them is "You can have some of the land back and not pay taxes, good luck". 

Then I, being the lover of NFL football that i am, began thinking about the Redskins name. Already a strong supporter of changing the name, I was becoming upset thinking about it this time and said to myself "Look what we've done to them. How dare someone, a white man, call his American football team the 'Redskins'. It is in no way OK". And now we have old men like Mike Ditka who probably have had a few too many concussions say things that he did, and worse, many others agree with him. They want to keep the Redskins name because to them it has personal representation of a fucking football team and a game! It is not an honorable term, it is a slur that represents hatred and ignorance towards a people that is still dwindling because of the football fan's ancestors. I don't blame Mike Ditka for destroying Native culture single handedly as if he rode beside General Custard of course, or even his own specific family linage. But, his way of thinking continues to diminish, devalue, and spread hatred to Native culture. That is what truly is "so stupid it's appalling". 

And that's all I have to say about that.

Jun 27, 2014

Well, I Fucked That Up. What I Learned & What I Still Don't Know



A recent logo project of mine started as any good one does. The client and I had good conversation via email, setting up a schedule, a budget, and had a good brief and good ideas to start the project. This was one of those where when I sat down to gather images and make notes to sketch off of I thought "I'm going to crush it!".

Where I Went Wrong


No Contract - I don't always do contracts with clients. It's rare that I don't get paid for my work, especially when I hold the files hostage until final payment, but a contract will make sure you do. At least, it gives you some legal power. This project started so well, I thought there was nothing to fear and everything was going to go smoothly. I received 50% upfront payment to begin and trusted I wouldn't have any problems with the client.

Overly Confident - I guess a better way to say that is I was cocky about what I thought I could do, because I never mentioned fees for additional rounds of revision. I always do 1 for free if it is needed and thought that would be all I would need for this project. I was excited about this and thought there was no way I could fail.

What Happened


I usually do 1-3 logo concepts to show a client. For this, I presented 4 because I felt really good about all of them. And when I say good, I mean I truly felt each one was a version of something they wanted, that followed the brief, that was of a quality I approved of, and worked in every application they needed. (We just didn't have color selected yet).

The client didn't like any of them. At least not any as a whole, only elements of some. I said I would get back to them in a few more days with more concepts. I was a bit stunned, these logos just "wasn't what we're looking for".

Gathering myself and still feeling confident because I had some other designs in the sketchbook and in the original Ai file, I took the best remaining 4 logos, went with their input from before, and put them into a PDF presentation, but this time with a couple of pages that broke down the aesthetic of the images of logos they liked which they supplied me with. It was detailed, pointing out patterns and connections between everything they liked, how I carried that over to this new batch of designs, and another page which explained what inspired my designs and how it related to their business.

The client didn't like any of them.

At this time, they still had not lost hope, but I had. I felt like I absolutely nailed it. . . and the client wasn't interested in anything I was showing them. I then gathered 4 more designs I had previously considered and presented them, keeping in mind the previous comments they had before. We then started changing shapes, fonts, and they gave me completely new designs to go off of. They supplied colors. I changed a stroke from 12pts to 6 pts, added strokes, tried alternate color applications. I gave them whatever they wanted, just to get the project over with because there was nothing more I could do myself to help them, except to build what they were telling me to. So I did, sent off 3 more of their ideas for designs and took a 3 day break from the project.

When I got back to the emails, there was suddenly a deadline and it was the next day. Not only did I have 1 day to do more of their final request, but I was up against the clock too, and my 3 day absence was not appreciated. They "would liked to have had more time to do the final design".

So, I did it, matched their final request perfectly, sent a preview image of the final design, sent the invoice for the remaining 50% initial payment (with no revision rounds charged) and held the design hostage until payment was received.

All I received after was an email saying "due to the lack of progress on this project, we decided to move in a new direction. We felt like we weren't getting an acceptable level of work". Without a contract biding them to this project, There was nothing more I could do. I got screwed, but it was my own fault.

What I Learned


Do A Contract - At least with people you've never worked with before. There are 3 clients I've had for years now and our projects always go smoothly and turn out awesome. I like being able to crank out a quality design for them without any paperwork or worry about if I'll be getting paid. But I have to realize that not everyone is that awesome to work with.

Stay Grounded and Prepare For Everything - I won't ever go into a project again without laying out all the possible delays and charges for those additional hours. Have a system of work/payment and stick to it. Don't ever think you're going to crush a design so hard that there's no way anyone wouldn't like it or want to change it.

What I Still Don't Know


Suddenly, A Wild Deadline Appears - There was never a mention of it before. It was on my schedule and we were in contact every day or 2.

Why The Logos Weren't Good Enough - They saw 12 original designs and didn't like any of them. I did exactly what they wanted when they showed me exactly what they wanted, and they didn't like any of those. I have no idea what this was about.

What Is Good Enough? - I hope I get to see their final logo. It's probably not a good thing to do, but I think I want to see it because I want to compare myself to it. It has to be a really creative, smart, well crafted design I think. It's got to be something that makes you feel dumb because you didn't do it first. I guess I'm looking for what I missed in the project.


Stay thirsty, friends.


Jun 2, 2014

A Logo For $50 & My Response

I thought this would be an interesting share. I'm sure if you're a designer and have been for a few years, you've gotten that email from that guy who wants you to do some work for them on the cheap. The very. very cheap. It's happened a few time to me, and tonight I felt I should respond in a bit of a different way. Here is the original email and my response below. 

Hello,
My name is X owner and founder of X. I came across your portfolio a few weeks ago, and was extremely impressed by the work you do in the logo and identity branding field.
X is a small company that we are just kicking off that illustrates collaboration on projects amongst designers while executing the highest perfection those designers can commit. I am sending you this email because I would like you to be a part of our roots, and grow this business with us.
I am offering you a position on the team at X for which you will work on mascot design to the best of your abilities. Like any other position, the pay gradually gets better as you go, but there are conditions and non-traditional factors about the income for employees of this company, so let me explain - [Below]
Steps towards your individual project completions for X:
1) I give you a name, or a theme, or an idea of a mascot logo for you to execute
2) You complete the mascot logo / branding for me, then securely send the files over to me
3) Either myself or one of our other designers will use the logo you created to construct a large package of social media designs such as Twitter graphics, YouTube graphics, etc, as well as phone and desktop wallpapers using the logo for all
4) This whole package - Logo, Twitter graphics, YouTube Graphics, and the Phone & desktop wallpapers - will be sold to a client willing to claim the package for $100 - $129 depending on the quality of everything in the pack.5) Once it is sold, I will send you 50% of the payment that was received for the creation of the logo put in the pack
Keep in mind, the price for these packs will get higher as we grow our business. Also, the amount of new clients we get will increase over time, as we begin to show the world the power of beautiful logos and brandings. We hope that you enjoyed hearing our ideas and strongly consider joining our business as we see it an opportunity for all designers alike.
Hope to hear from you soon & have a great day!
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Hello X, 

Thank you for writing and thanks for the position offer at X. I gather that this is sourcing opportunity where you pay me as a freelance designer to execute the logos for the projects you need? In this case I must charge my regular logo rate starting at $550. This cost is based on a simple equation of what i want to make per year (allowing 2 weeks off for vacation and holidays) which is within the average salary of others of my profession with similar experience and "skillz", in my same area of the country as tracked by the AIGA, divided by how many projects i need to do monthly to make said salary, and spaced out in a schedule that is achievable. This cost covers the week I will spend . . .

1.) researching the client and subject

2.) gathering information and files (usually reference photos and "inspiration")

3.) sketching ideas - i usually take 2 to 3 days on this part. it is essential to the end result of the logo. this part of the process often involves lots of "creative thinking" and doubts about my choice of profession and what i'm doing with my life, followed by long walks through the city pondering the project and hopefully not getting lost like that one time in Columbus when i ended up in an area that gave me an urge to listen to Eminem and develop a strange "hood accent" so that kid who asked "yo, do you smoke?. . . you do drugs?" wouldn't think i was educated or had anything of value and just leave me alone cause i'm trying to crush it on this logo project, man. 

4.) sorting out the best sketches and thinking hard how they will work in the real world and most of them are kind of crap so i revisit my anxiety about life and if i'm going to be able to pay the bills when i'm only able to do work that is so average and why can't i generate great ideas like Banksy? he's so damn good. 

5.) taking the best sketches that i believe will work and doing "tight sketches" of them so i have a blue print to build from when i import it to Illustrator

6.) even most of those look like crap now so have to cull those down to the best 1-3 ideas left and hope one of them will work.

7.) the last day or two is building those sketches into actual vector logos and somehow making them into a respectable design that the client, his audience, and i are proud of and the more i re-draw and refine my work the better it becomes, so i'm usually doing about 5 versions of the same idea, only better, and it takes time to do that and sit at my computer starring at the work and finding new flaws i hate about it and need to correct. 

from there on, clients usually want to make changes to the logo, which i will do 1 round of for free but charge $40 for each round there after. i do this to deter the client from going on and on with changes which eats into the time i have for other projects and before you know it 2 weeks later i've done 7 rounds of changes for nothing, haven't been paid the final 50% of initial cost ($550) and the client ends up with some terrible bastardized version of the original logo i presented them and can't even use in my portfolio because its so horrible but his wife and nephew love it so, what the hell, they have to live with it. 

That is why i must charge a starting flat rate of $550 to be able to ride the bus, feed my son (think about the children!), eat things from Wal-Mart's grocery, and pay that damn evil Verizon company. But to stay within your budget of $50 - $60 per logo i can send you some loose sketches of any ideas i can come up with over the next 1 to 1.5 hours based on the mascot you provide. 

thanks 
Brandon Moore

May 13, 2014

City Pride: 2015 Orlando City Soccer Logo


As Orlando City Soccer prepares to move up to MLS and into a new potentially kick-ass stadium, they have released their new logo to the public. The previous mark was in no way a respectable logo, so this was sure to be an improvement and possibly something really great.



The new shield is very close to Arsenal FC but a unique shape for MLS. It might have 1 too many strokes, but mostly I feel the outer stroke is a bit thin, making the logo feel cheap, generic and being white makes that worse.

The lion's flaring mane is done well, save for the 1 odd point at the very top which is the only point that doesn't look organic. The chin and line running under the chin needed another round of refinement. The chin being the roughest part of the logo next to an oddly rendered long, smooth "chin line" creates a focal point (for the wrong reason) because of the tension there. The subtle crown on the lion is a nice touch and hints to OCS's championship more cleverly than a star does, as is usually used.

The oddest thing is how each element is so separate from the other. There is a lack of unity here and the only reason you know each belongs here is because they're placed inside the shield. The color application separates too much and the font choice has too many angles and not enough roundness and "flow", like the lion and shield does. It feels like the lion really needs some white pulled into it to keep visual rhythm with the shield and type. Or better yet, the whole thing might need a third color.

The color palette is surprising, Although this purple swatch seems like the same from the old identity and is a great choice, the elimination of red and choice of gold is lame. The old red/purple/gold palette was very strong and as far as I know, completely unique in the sports world, at least at the pro level.  Red gives the identity energy and without it feels flat and boring, made worse by the pale gold which is really more of a tan.

The type is the weakest point of the design. There is a kerning issue between the L and A that could have been addressed how the A and N were done, or at least just tightened up there. the A and N overlap create another bad eye distraction because those are the only 2 letters that are treated this way. Also, the A is even more of an oddity because of the disconnection of the crossbar. No other letter has any kind of disconnection like that. The leading could also be increased. Note the large difference of space between "Orlando" and the shield edge compared to "City", There is plenty of space under "City" and the type feels crammed together.

The overall concept is really good. It's easy to see why they chose this design because the idea of the lion with a mane made from the sun is appropriate and damn cool. It's simple and just good enough to feel like it belongs in MLS. It is what average sports logos are: a good idea that lacks in execution.




Much more interesting than the new logo is the "Paint the City Purple" campaign which will be a street art marketing campaign in the city.

The Orlando City Council granted permission for the soccer club to paint temporary murals on the sides of seven privately owned buildings around Orlando. The murals, which will kick-start the team's rebranding effort, are meant to highlight the unique character of Orlando. They will feature the team's new logo, though not prominently. The murals, each painted by a different local artist, will remain in place for a month.
Not only is this a really cool idea for any city, but it's so needed in Orlando where most of downtown is made from boring, bare concrete rectangles. It's the most boring city I've ever been to and has a serious lack of personality. It's "brandalism" but it's better than nothing. The team wants to paint the city purple and kill the staleness of Orlando? I'm all for it! Fingers crossed local designers Josh Smith (Hydro74) and Justin Mezzell are part of it.

Apr 18, 2014

Unconquered Spirit - 2014 Florida State Semioles


"Ignition Tradition". That's the phrase Florida State University and Nike are going with for the 2014 season paired with some logo refinements and a lot of new uniforms. "New" is definitely the focus here. Everything has been tweaked and changed, and the phrase "Ignition Tradition" couldn't be more inappropriate. There's nothing here that suggest long school standards and values or bringing back lost items. The only thing that remains for FSU athletics is the color palette. But bad marketing line aside, Nike has finally done what they seem to only be capable of a few times a year; making a really good football uniform.

Helmet




I can't remember the last school to change it's uniforms to only have 2 helmet options, but Florida State shows good restraint. Having a primary to build your identity on and an alternate to keep things interesting is the right way to go about it. They're both painted with the "HydroSkin" finish from HGI which like many others now appears to be a metallic paint with a satin finish, though i'm still not sure if that's correct.

What will probably stand out to fans the most is the refined spear design. But then again, it's such a subtle change many may not even notice a difference. The lines are bolder, cleaner, and my favorite new trait is they cross each other in the back. The colors work best on the gold helmet, but even when they are reversed and put on the red shell it still works well enough even though what was highlights become shadows. A lot of type placed on helmet bumpers is unattractive but the new FSU marks work really well.

There was also a gold helmet with gold mask option submitted by Nike, but FSU elected not to use it. It can be seen in the promo pics and it was my favorite option as the gold mask added some simplicity to a uniform with a really intricate jersey.

Jersey





The basis for this design is still the Nike template style of fill-in-the-blank design. But, what they do inside of those jersey panels is very impressive. FSU has always had a unique design on their collars but it's never been any good. Nike took that idea and made a stunningly beautiful pattern for the collar and sleeves. There seems to be a level of thought and craftsmanship put into this jersey that Nike usually completely overlooks, even with Oregon. The way the pattern on the collar comes together at the front point and how it follows the sleeve/shoulder seem perfectly shows that.

We've come to just expect terrible number fonts from Nike now and this is not a beautiful, amazing font but it isn't the typical garbage either. I think it's just this side of acceptable. There are good weights, proportions, and curves in each number and the digits look pretty consistent. I'm not sure if the white outline is needed with a gold number here, it just creates visual vibration and makes the numbers harder to read.


The road jersey is exactly the same except for the body color being white and the number trim being red. The gold number is interesting and an unexpected choice against white but works well enough because the red trim solidly defines the number, making it easy to read at distance. The pattern on the red version works a little better because it appears to "fade" into the jersey where here there are solid blocks of color.



Of course, there has to be a black alternate and I'm not opposed to that idea, but the design really falls apart here because all the gold in the Native pattern has been replaced with black. This creates so little contrast that you can't read any of the shapes or designs and the gold number just screams for attention. The palette itself is really nice, but the way the colors are used makes for a confusing, inconsistent and unattractive jersey.

Pants



It seems Nike is favoring solid colored, stripe-less pants this year and I am in favor of that. It's a good decision with this intricate jersey and carries a really nice rhythm with the helmet and large gold numbers. This isn't the smallest size you will see the new logo, but in this application it embroiders really well and looks great on the pants hip. A hip logo is always a very nice, subtle detail on a pair of football pants when you don't need a stripe or pattern of any kind, and keeps it from being completely boring as well.




Overall


The black jersey and pants options bring the whole set down for me, but the primary options, even with the red and black helmet make for a really interesting and unique uniform. That's something that I don't say very often about college football uniforms.

Grade: A-