By Phil Hecken
Welcome back to part two of the Milwaukee Brewer makeover series. If you missed Part I, featuring some amazing mock ups by Chance Michaels and David Frost, be sure to take a look-see.
We’re on to part two today, however, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. So, let’s get it started.
We begin today with an amazing effort from David Timmerman, who happens to be the Editor of the Grant County Herald Independent, and who has been sending me many submissions over the past month or so. David has a lot to say, so I’ll let him say it in his own words:
Taking up your challenge on changes to the Brewers uniforms, I tried to mix some history into the current uni set, staying away from wholesale changes. A lifelong Brewers fan, I wanted to see some history incorporated into the mix, some more subtle than others.
Thoughts on current uniforms
When the Brewers unveiled their newest jersey in the spring of 2000, it was supposed to usher in a new era with a new ballpark, but due to an unfortunate crane failure which took the lives of three construction workers, as well as the roof in right field, Miller Park was still a year away from opening. So the Crew took the field in the new unis to say goodbye to historic Milwaukee County Stadium.
After jettisoning the ‘Notre Dame’ look of an intersecting M and B (and eliminating the moldy green bats of the fairly generic logo) they came out with one harkening to a past – not the Brewers past, mind you, but a past. And I liked the logo very much – That B for Brewers is certainly unique and rich feeling, as is the M that graces the hat. I like the touch of barley under the M as well.
The logo is similar to the one for Miller Park, which hovers over the scoreboard. Now why they didn’t make that logo more animated (like having the balls rotate, or the lights blink for a homer) I have no idea.
When it came to the jerseys, I was less than thrilled by final version, mainly due to font selection which I blaming on Laurel Prieb, who was one of the VP’s at the time, related to the ownership of the Minnesota Twins, and more importantly, married to Wendy Selig-Prieb, team president and Bud’s daughter. That choice of Garamond/Times/serifed typeface, similar to what the Washington Capitals were using at the time should never grace a uniform, but there it is. I have to note that it is the same font chosen for the seats and rows within the park as well.
Now I think uniforms should stick with tradition as much as they can, but I also don’t want teams trying to look to a past that they never had. Most teams usually incorporate a block-style for the numbers, and while I would never want the Packers to alter their uniforms, I think the Brewers should have some leeway. Now what I would love to have is a toned-down version of what the Brewers had in the 90s, liking the shape of the numbers, which did have too much layering going on. Since I cannot find that, I went with a font, SquareSlab, that I find is similar to what the Eagles used when they revised their unis.
Another issue I had with the unis was the lack of either piping or striping. Very few teams incorporate neither on their jerseys, the Cardinals come to mind, and I think their main reason is, beyond tradition that is, because their chest graphic is so large and detailed, it would be over-doing it. Otherwise, I think every team should have one of them, but since the Cubs utilize stripes, and the retro jerseys have it as well, I went with piping.
I just couldn’t decide on whether to go with a single pipe, or dual-colored piping, much like the Braves. On the road jersey, it felt like a bit much, but looked good on the home jersey. I went with multiple stripes on the sleeves to harken back to 1970, which was a remnant from the Pilots.
Another thing was the color scheme. There have been three Milwaukee Brewers teams in the history of the city. The first was the 1901 team that played for only the inaugural season of the American League, jetting to St. Louis to become the Browns, who then became the Orioles. The second, and more famous of the first two was the American Association Brewers, who were the ones implementing the BarrelMan logo. Bud Selig had always wanted to return to those days, which included a blue-red color scheme, which was probably copied from parent club, the Braves. But strapped for cash, Selig had to go with the Blue-Gold color scheme of the Pilots when they were moved from Seattle.
Now on the current Brewers uniform, the gold has shiny specks in it, and is a truer gold. But Baseball players shouldn’t sparkle! Although I love the 80s Brewers, I didnt want to go with the yellow. So what I tried to go with was something slightly lighter than the ‘old gold’ the Jets used on their throwback Titans of New york unis last year.
Road Version – One of my biggest complaint for specifically the away unis was the fact that they removed Milwaukee. In understand that maybe this was done to have one cut for patches on the uniforms, but if you can have multiple colors for the dark blue, alternate uniforms, as well as the throwback unis, you can cut Milwaukee and slap it onto front. For the road jersey, I altered the grey, adding more blue, and darkening them a little. I wish I could mock-up one that was alittle shinier, similar to Georgetown’s unis and harken back to the late 1940s satin jerseys teams wore for nighttime games on television, but that may be a bit gaudy. I brought back BarrelMan for the road uniforms….I also think he may look good on a hat….
I wanted to set these uniforms apart from others, so I reversed the lettering, making it white. Like I said, I like the M, so I kept that on the hat. Another area I had a conflict was on the back – I really like having the numbers in white, but I wondered if it conflicted with the numbers in blue on the front. Also, what to do with the piping. I show both here……
Home uniforms – Similar to the road uniforms, there are a few changes. We stick with ‘Brewers’ across the chest, and I retain the gold drop shadow, although part of me wants to alter the tail under the letters to make it much larger. I bring back a revised ball and glove to the hat – The ‘fingers’ would be raised as on many new hat logos. I had real conflicts about this – do you alter the logo in any way, make it look more like a glove, make the M and the B more subtle? (David even added a red version of the uniform — [PH]) What color do you make the elements? Is it even a good idea, or should this log be saved for the throwback jerseys? I like the new Curly B, and would like that on the hat, but in the end I went with modifying the ball in the logo to simplify it, but wouldn’t be against somehow incorporating a metal stud in the shape of a ball…I also don’t think the home team needs nameplates on the back. The teams in the 80s didn’t need them, and it seems to be the only think the Yankees and Red Sox can agree on, so it should be good enough for the Brewers…
Different colors – I thought another alternative could be ‘colorizing’ the jerseys, going red, or blue, or green for St. Patty’s Day.
Pretty good start, right? Well, David had more — much more — in store for me. We’ll get back to him in a little bit, but let’s see what else we have.
Moving along, our next few sets of uniforms come with a little less description, but the effort is top notch.
Next up is Paul Radetsky, who simply writes: “This a first attempt at something like this … I’ve done some uni-design for All-Stars for the league my son played in … (I’m a) Graphic Designer by trade.”
And what did Paul create? Only this amazing concept set.
He didn’t describe it, but it’s obviously a complete home, away and alternate set. The home jersey is actually a vest, with pinstripes, and a unique font. The cap is a fauxback, featuring a blue brim, white crown (with blue back) featuring the classic “ball in glove” logo. On the sleeve, Paul has added a throwback Milwaukee state patch with the “ball in glove” (BIG) logo contained within. The away set returns the word “Milwaukee” to the chest, in the same font as the home, and keeps the sleeve patch the same. He uses a solid blue cap featuring the current Brewer “M” logo. Finally, the alternate is a solid blue jersey, featuring not a wordmark but the “ball in glove” logo on the left side of the chest, same patch as on the home and away, and a third cap similar to his home proposal, only this cap features a blue brim, gold crown (solid all around) and the “old school” BIG logo. Two sock options are provided — one a solid blue sock with the BIG logo, and the second, a blue stirrup with gold sanitary (real nice throwback element there). Each of these elements is shown clearly on his mockup.
Stellar job Paul!
Our next submitter is reader and poster Andrew “Greenie” Greenwood who has some nice ideas to share. Here’s Andrew:
I’m bringing back the ball and mitt. The colors are the gold used back in the 80’s and a brighter blue than they use now. Ball and mitt on hat, current brewers script on home chest with new colors. Home jersey is not white, but more of an eggshell. (I love the cream of the Giants, and that off-white skews toward orange, so i figure the Brewer’s cream should skew toward gold, making it an eggshell color.) Blue sleeves on away grey jersey with blue belt. Milwaukee written vertically arched in blue and gold on the chest, both with blue socks. Also kept the M on Wisconsin outline as a sleeve patch for the home team.
And with that intro, here is Andrew’s creation. When I first saw it, I thought Greenie was going for a “vest” on the away jersey, so I asked him about that. Turns out, as usual, I was wrong. “Those blue sleeves were actually inspired by the Milwaukee Bears throwback they wore this year,” explains Andrew. “It looked so nice on the field, I wanted to bring back the look. The slightly different blue that I used is actually from those Bears jerseys too.”
Superb job, Greenie.
We now return to David Timmerman, who liked the idea of tweaking the Brewers so much, he continued to send me submissions. He continued to fine-tune his home and roads, and added some new powder blues (a nice harkback). His next missive went like this:
Well, I worked on revising my template, so I am ready for future projects. In addition, I made revisions to the home Brewers jersey:
• Increased the size of the tail under the name on the front of the jersey
• Increased size of B on ‘Brewers’ nameplate, also skewed the rest of the name for better arching over number
• Eliminated the gold piping (looked like too much after I revised the piping template)
• Added stripes to the sanis
• Fine-tuned the Ball & Glove logo (two-tone ball has ying-yang look about it)
I didn’t say what I did with the Powder Blue unis, but I increased the flag from the Road Milwaukee logo, and only kept the ‘Pilot’ striping. (As with many of David’s creations, he sent me a second powder blue concept — [PH].) To tell the truth, the toughest part was deciding on the hat (ball&Glove versus others, what color).
This is my latest, with striped sanis since I know you guys love the sanis, and a yellow brim (could not go with a yellow front, and still not crazy about it…). Also, I felt that maybe in these high-definition times, the color I had utilized for the powder blue was too vibrant, so I scaled it back, maybe as the unis looked like when they were unveiled in the flannel days…
Sorry, don’t mean to be a bother, just a fun project to work on…
No bother at all David, they keep getting better. But David is still not finished. We’ll be back with the next batch in a sec.
The next to take the plunge was Zach Davis, who, like all who submitted suggestions, did a tremendous job. Zach states, “My basic idea was to take the pre-strike Brewers uniform and update it for 2010. I tried to keep everything classic yet modern at the same time and logically evolve things as if the mid-’90s redesign never happened. Of all the Brewers logos I’ve always loved the old ‘Wisconsin’ logo, so that takes center stage with a newly designed ‘M’. The Ball-in-glove logo goes through some color shifting — the yellow outline becomes white and I’ve added a yellow outline to the glove itself. In doing that I absolutely fell in love with the ‘ball’ part of the ball-in-glove, so I’ve separated it and made it the official third logo (and replaced the ‘Milwaukee Star’ in the ‘Wisconsin’ logo with it) and I think it looks fantastic, even slightly harkening back to the Pilots. All the fonts are new and I threw in a custom script logo for the hell of it. The uniform set is classic without (hopefully) being either too stodgy or too ‘retro’ and I especially liked being able to give a nod to the Pilots in the styling of the third/sunday uniform. The caps are nods to the history of baseball in Milwaukee, combining stylings of the Brewers with that of the Milwaukee Braves.”
Here’s a “full look” at Zach’s masterpiece. Another tremendous effort from a dedicated Uni Watcher. Great fonts, and I love how a couple of our submitters, like Zach, are “harking” back to the old Wisconsin outline logo.
Next up is Kevin Callahan who is the Creative Director for Alterra Coffee (alterracoffee.com) here in Milwaukee.
And here is what Kevin created for his Brewers redux.
Kevin states, “As you can see I am a big fan of the “Barrel Man”, which I feel is a much stronger and livelier logo than the much ballyhooed “mb Glove”. The glove logo is simply clever and that’s all. Barrel Man is clever and has a personality that is lacking in the glove logo.
“I kept the Pilots’ Blue and Gold even though Red, White and Blue would be more traditional. While it is imperative that the city name be on the road uni, I understand that “Milwaukee” is possibly too long.”
Fantastic job on those Kevin. Can’t say I am a huge fan of the abbreviation (although, there is certainly precedent for that sort of thing in baseball). And here we have another submitter who has put a logo, rather than a wordmark, on the “alt” jersey. Nice work!
Winding down, our penultimate submitter is Steve Prestegard, who has a slighly different take on the new look for the Crew. Here’s Steve:
I freely admit to being not much of an artist. I can visualize concepts, but the execution … well, to quote John McKay, I’m all for it.
While there are certainly better concepts out there, I think the concepts are off the mark in one important area. None of them use the colors of beer, and they usually use colors that are quite overused — namely, navy blue and red. (Arguably, those colors and the royal blue and gold are more befitting of beer cans than beer.) The colors in this concept are black (for dark beer), gold (lager) and cream (the head).
The first one is a very simple Germanic M (yes, it looks very similar to Detroit’s D) using black and gold. The next two are home (cream) and home alt uniforms, followed by road (tannish-gray) and road alt unis.
Anyway, do with these what you will. Ein prosit.
Thanks for those Steve. Those were actually sent to Paul, and were part of an inline message, so I apologize for them having a “black” background — not sure what happened, but, especially with the black alts and cap, it makes them more difficult to see. Still, you guys will get the idea.
Winding this massive post up, we return, one last time, to David Timmerman, as he completes his masterpiece of uni concepting:
Well, here I am once again with my thoughts on the Brewers jerseys. In my reimagining of the jerseys, I would have four jerseys for the team (Home White, Road Grey, ‘Ghost of the 70’s’ muted powder blue, and 80’s throwback striped.
I have never been a fan of the full-color alternate unis, which look too much like a team’s batting jerseys in my eyes (The ‘Black’ Sox are one of the few exceptions). The Cubs especially look awful in those royal blue outfits (well, at least even more putrid then they normally look for this long-time Brewers fan). So if I was the owner of the Brewers, those navy alternates would be on a truck for the clearance rack.
But, looking to make a buck off anything (and taking a positive cue from the college and NFL practice unis unveiled) I would put some style into the spring training / batting practice jerseys. I like the choice for batting practice caps made a few years back, and think some choices on the batting jersey, which is also worn exclusively during spring training, could lift sales.
So here is what I came up with — retaining the darker tones that usually grace the practice uniforms, while tossing the stripes and piping. I have added muted blue strips below the armpits, similar to some football uniforms, but these are not meant to reach out of the pit onto the front of the jersey, merely run down the sides. With Milwaukee training in Arizona, these strips would be made of a highly breathable, and stretchable material, and utilize ‘Dry’-Cool’ fabrics.
Since they will be used for spring training, going with a block letter/number combo to reduce costs. Also, unlike the the regular season jerseys, no drop shadowing. Thought about making the front numbers blue or gold, but just couldn’t pull the trigger. Also, going with a simple sock.
During spring training, would go with the powder blue pants (matching the armpit strips), but they would be worn above any pants before a game. Also went with a pullover with a button instead of a full jersey..
I also wanted to add some detail to the jersey, but couldn’t decide what to do. Thought about placing letters on the front (R for rookie, C for captain) as well as incorporating some small stripes on the sleeve or front to represent each year the player had been with the team…
Still not quite finished, David came back up for air and asked, “what did you think was better, the bright powder blues, or the more muted look?” Obligingly, I told him, and he even created a uniform just for me, which he called “Powder Phil.” Flattered was I by this gesture, but it’s really just combining a couple disparate elements from his different concepts.
Thinking David was done, I was ready to call it a post, but, hey, what’s one more missive and one more concept? Here’s David, one last time:
to annoy you, whipped up one more jersey, this one more reaching out to my creative side then necessarily looking to to create a new Brewers jersey, per say.
Being an amateur historian of certain Wisconsin teams, I know that teams from the state that wear blue and gold often place their numbers in a circle at some point in their history. Marquette, who often tried something new when it came to uniform design, had blue circles around the numbers. The Packers, when they were still using Blue and gold, before they donned their namesake green, first encircled their numbers in a gold ball on the front of their jerseys.
So I thought, why not the Brewers? Baseballs are round, and what better way to determine the arch of the nameplate on the back than with a circle. I decided to add a tint to the home jersey, because I think a few teams can pull that look off, and also incorporate the jersey number on the pants as well.
Kept the piping to a minimum, and modified the tail under ‘Brewers’ which looks more classic, or generic, depending on your opinion
I thought about incorporating a circle with payer number on the sani, thus making it more likely players would actually show them off, but have not in this example. I also kicked around using the ball and glove on the hat, making it fit entirely in the circle, but did not in this version.
I am not certain any team had a similar design, but please let me know if I am wrong (not counting the old star on the back of the Hollywood Stars) Also, maybe you think this look would fit better with another team…I could alter it to that club.
OK. That’s really all from David. But what a tremendous effort on this part, huh?
I apologize for the length of this post, but I wanted to give all the submitters their due. If you’ve made it this far, I thank you for your patients.
Just truly great stuff from all those who participated. I actually had three more people who had contacted me about ‘fixin’ the Brewers’ but after the initial contact and interest in the project, they didn’t get back to me. Still though, quite an impressive array of jerseys.
And moi? Did I have any ideas for Brewers concepts. Sadly for you, I do. Lots of them, but I’ll spare you the gory details and just show you the two I’d like to see someday. Like many of the submitters, they borrow heavily from the Brewers past. For the roadie, I’d love to see something like this: powder blue, blue stirrups with gold sanis, script “Milwaukee” and for a cap logo — the Wisconsin outline, which is replicated on the sleeves. For the homes, how about this? A cream-tinged uniform (after all, Milwaukee is the “Cream City”), with the BIG logo as a sleeve patch and topping an all blue cap. Once again, stirrups are blue with gold sanis. The original road “BREWERS” wordmark adorns the front.
That’s really all for today folks. Big, big round of applause for all who submitted their designs. Let them know you appreciate their efforts, and tell them what you think.
With baseball season winding down, if you’d like to submit your suggestions for “uni concepts” for your favorite (or any team), please send them my way. I’ve already received a bunch of submissions for different teams, and I will be sure to feature them and more at a future date.
Got a note from regular James Huening on an event that may be of interest to golfers and charitable types out there. Johnny O, you down with this?
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: You guys may have noticed that we have a weekend visitor who goes by the name of “SlimandSlam”, who enjoys the GTG bits a lot, and is frequently one of the first (if not the first) to guess the game. Well, “Slim” contacted me this past week and graciously offered a few scoreboards up to me. So, for that, I’m quite grateful. This will be the first of those. As always, we need date, location and final score, all of which can be done by posting a link from Retrosheet or Baseball Almanac. So, here we go with Slim’s first submission. Ready? Guess The Game. Thanks Slim!
Well, football season is here and that means for the boys of Benchies, it’s touch football time. What? You thought they only played softball? They’ve been away from the game for a while tho, so things could get dicey. On that note, enjoy your Saturday Benchies.
OK, that’s it. Good college football today (Go Trojans!), and
“Super Saturday” hopefully some tennis, weather permitting, for all two of us tennis fans. And tomorrow, a full schedule of NFL games. Plus, there’s a few baseball teams still worth watching AND there’s golf playoffs, where they narrow the field down to 30. Not to mention other sports as well. Basically, a uni watcher’s dream, this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday.