In which some arsehole plays around with things in photoshop/fireworks until he gets a good look, This TBM reader has gone on a quest to give the entire NWSL a unique look.
Hello everyone, and I'm glad we've had time to digest the first look, which had an overall positive tilt from most, and I've learned from feedback a bit about just why the rather uniform nature of the NWSL has brought us to where we are. From speculation and some research, it appears that Nike, everyone's favorite group of kit and jersey
ruiners homogenizers providers, gave the entire league (which is not terribly large, the NSWL fields nine teams) about two or three kit ideas and basically told them to give over their badges, sponsor and colors. The result is this:
To some, people see some nice fresh kits that prove less is more. Me...I see a problem standing out.
I understand why people would enjoy these kits, they're easy on the eyes, most of them are a different color...but that's where differences end. And a host of obnoxious...samey-ness enters. Many teams in footy, futbol, soccer, whatever you call the beautiful game, do in fact have different colors and it's quite obvious that some towns, cities and parks lend themselves to different colors more often than not, and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd but this is...lazy. Painfully lazy.
You should take some pride into the kits the folks at Adidas give the Revs for example, because even if they happen to share coloration ideas with Sporting Kansas or the San Jose Earthquakes, at least Adidas asses themselves enough to say "We'll throw you some new kits. All we ask is that we put our three stripes on the shoulders. Deal? Deal." And they bash their heads together until they come up with a kit that's somewhat different than the others on the pitch. Be it through sublimated designs, stripes, hoops, or just side paneling...They take the time to make the look unique. They KNOW looking the same or having similar ideas to another club can be a detriment to the team's brand. And in this case...look at them. Some call it coincidence, I call it outright laziness. The only team that was willing to actually take a chance on their look in the NSWL probably looks the best out of all of them because they bothered to ask for a row of stars on their kits. That's insane to me. Teams can do better than that, kit sponsors can do a hell of a lot better than that. So if they're not going to do better than that, then why not a fan do better than that?
Anyways...justification for me messing around in Photoshop out of the way, we go south, as the NSWL brings us to Western New York. Where their name is the Flash. It's a real fun name, after all, what's better than fast soccer? and the flash's current logo is, surprisingly, not that bad!
Now, the "Western New York" script, and diamond around the scroll and soccer ball is about as well and seamlessly implemented into the logo about as well as adding broccoli to a McFlurry, but look at that script logo! It's got a lightning bolt! They agree with their own name! They want to be fast and powerful! They want to be exciting!
As you can tell, I like the script. The script captures the kind of nostalgia that more often than not is used way too much in one specific sport, and incorrectly in other sports. I think script stuff like this, when used correctly, can look REALLY good. But just think what a cool, exciting, sort of goofy but darnit you just can't help it but smile kit these ladies must wear! This must be-
....A plain white jersey with the badge, and some red stripes on the sleeves. The same as the Dash, Breakers, Thorns FC, and Kansas.
This is lame, guys. Really Really lame.
First, You have a TON of shit going on in that busy busy logo full of life, color and energy, which humorously brings your eyes down to the FLASH script, trying to make you forget that somehow they yanked the script from a Fleshgod Apocalypse album...
...you have a name that wouldn't look out of place on a minor league baseball team or a Minor league hockey team in Nevada or something, and the BEST you can come up with, with all these amazing possibilities for loud and proud flashdom is "plain and white"?
Is that the absolute BEST you can come up with?
What's even MORE infuriating, is that their training shirt? It's so much better than their fielded shirt. Get this.
It's perfect for what they SHOULD be trying to do. This is why I went off on a bit of a tangent with how unintventive either Nike, the team in the NWSL, or both are being. YOU WERE HANDED A HOOPED TEMPLATE AND YOU USE IT AS A TRAINING KIT!? WHY!?
Ugh...let's just get to the rebrand.
Let's revisit that logo again, and consider some changes:
Eliminate Black: It's not a color used in any way on their promotional material except as a border for the logo. Plus, if I had a choice between Red and black, or Red and Yellow, I'm choosing Flash colors, and the flash's colors are Red and Yellow.
Update the scroll, keep the script: I've gone on long enough about how much I like the script, but I think the point stands, it could look tons better and this helps it do so.
Create a Roundel: The diamond shape just isn't working out, since all it does is just draw your eyes down towards the soccer ball/script, giving it pointless look just to be "Fancy" or "Aged." Which is usually short for "Poorly executed" or "Limited". Besides, Roundels appear all the time in Soccer, there's no shame in having one as your badge.
And with these criterion, I made this.
Did I make it with the Flash Gordon theme song blaring in my head? Yes. Do I care? No. This mind you, comes out of the same area that gave us the Buffalo hockey club, who used a bottlecap as a logo. Plus, as I've said, this is a name that almost inspires ridiculous looks to the fore. Thankfully, I chose to only let the badge get crazy, and instead tried something a tad more classic.
Hoop striping from the practice kit: Quite frankly, I don't know exactly HOW many seats are at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, but I want these kits to be seen from the back row. No other clubs in the league have this particular set of colors included into their badge, so it'd make for a much more striking and loud look that befits their name. Plus, it manages to look classic without having to look boring.
Sponsor integration: Bit of a pet peeve of mine is sponsors, but I've had to accept that the Soccer Kit is now effectively a walking billboard for whoever puts the team out there, so at the very least, I wanted to make sure the logo somewhat fit the coloration I chose.
Names in a hoop: This is something many teams don't have and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to at least try out. It'd certainly cut down on the work the chinese schoolchildren who no doubt make these uniforms for Nike would have to do.
Next time, we see if we can cure the blues...
Thank you for reading, and as always, comments and suggestions are appreciated!