"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.