Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Hornets colour scheme might not work

The Charlotte Bobcats announced on Sunday the colours they’ll wear next season as the Hornets. Purple and teal are the primary colours, while grey, black and light blue are the secondaries.

It’s unsurprising news. The franchise is reinstating the Hornets nickname in Charlotte, so it figures they’d reinstate the corresponding primary colours, too. Plus, the original Hornets colours are distinctive and popular.

The original Hornets while in Charlotte never abandoned or deemphasised purple or teal. Other teams that had used one of those colours did move away from them, such as the Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins and Anaheim Ducks. Perhaps the Charlotte Hornets would have too had they stayed in town beyond 2002. But they didn’t, so that probably adds to purple and teal being a special combo in Charlotte. It wasn’t just a fad.

Even if it seemed inevitable, bringing back purple and teal is probably a good move.

The primary uniforms of the original Hornets in the first half of the 1990s showed that purple and teal can work well when the rest of the uniform is restrained. That means no side panels and a fairly basic word mark and fonts.

The purple alternate they wore in the mid-‘90s looked sharp. A similar alternate for the new Hornets could work well.

The secondary colours of the scheme for the new Hornets are, unlike the primaries, a reason for concern.

Road uniforms of the original Hornets
The grey, black and light blue could be subtle enough to not be an issue, or some of the colours mightn’t appear on the uniforms at all.

But it’s also possible that they’ll be too prominent, clashing with the purple and teal and robbing the unis of the restraint that’d suit them.

Piping up the side of the uniform, like what the Bobcats have worn, would be one way for these secondary colours to be utilised to the detriment of the unis.

Remember the negative trajectory of the Bobcats franchise uniform-wise, too. Their initial uniforms in 2004 were pretty good considering they had few classic elements. Their gear then got blander until arriving at their current unfortunate set, replete with forced light blue, a “CATS” word mark and busy sides. The franchise isn’t in the habit of making their uniforms better.

The return of purple and teal could be a good thing, but there’s plenty of room for error.

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