Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A look back at graphics on uniforms

The Pistons during the horse logo days
There’s a distinct lack of graphics on NBA uniforms these days. That’s probably a good thing. Here are some examples of teams employing graphics on their unis, something of a trend in the ‘90s that yielded some unflattering results.

Atlanta Hawks, 1995-1999

The home and road versions vary in quality. The home whites look pretty good, although the lettering isn’t all that clear. The roads suffer from the unflattering colour fade effect.

Detroit Pistons, 1995-2001

The horse fits with the lettering and on the jersey nicely, but would probably look better without the flames. The set as a whole is unattractive, particularly those numbers.

Milwaukee Bucks alternate, 1995-1999

The shadowy effect, interference with the jersey lettering and the colours are the biggest issues here. The fact the buck is different to the one in their logo at the time is a negative, too.

Philadelphia 76ers, 1991-1994

The 76ers with multi-coloured stars
This could’ve looked good had they made all the colours solid instead of faded. The result is a kind of metallic, computer-generated look.

Phoenix Suns, 1992-2000

An example of graphic success. The angle and colouring work, as do the sun streaks and spikes. The basketball is the weakest element, but it’s acceptable.

Toronto Raptors, 1995-1999

The raptor looks good and is taken from their logo, but that graphic makes an already busy uniform  with pinstripes, shorts logos and nameplate spikes  even busier.

Utah Jazz, 1996-2004

This set suffers from fade and colour problems, particularly the road unis. The set would’ve looked pretty good had they used just a mountain outline on the roads and cleaned up the lettering.

Employing graphics could be worthwhile today if teams avoided the fade effect and colouring issues that damaged some of the uniforms mentioned and used relevant and clean graphics. Atlanta, for example, could go with the hawk from their logo underneath clean lettering with the number in the top corner of the jersey.

It’s far riskier than a traditional approach, but it’s a way for teams to have an attractive and different look.

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