By Phil Hecken
If you have been reading the comments the past few weeks, you may have noticed there have been several awesome uniform redesigns posted by a gentleman by the name of Tim E. O’Brien. They have encompassed the NBA, NFL, and NCAA. Intrigued by this, I decided to follow up with Tim to see what kind of concepts he’d come up with, as the ones I’d seen (for the most part) I totally loved.
As you can check out in the link to Tim’s blog (following this article), he’s taken on Big Ten football, college hoops, and the NFL. Using the “pro combat” template, I was immediately struck by how his designs and my ideas matched up quite nicely. Even when we differed, we still had similar ideas. Ok — we didn’t always agree on everything, but we usually shared very similar thoughts. I like that. I also like very much that in some of his basketball designs, he not only redesigns the uniforms, but also the logo and the court. Very thorough.
This past week Tim was busy again, coming up with both crazy alternates as well as really good looking concepts for more teams. (And of course, how could you not love his Indiana Hoosier football uniform?)
I expect that what follows will be the first of several looks at Tim’s creativity. Today, we’ll be looking at his concepts for what many consider to be one of the worst uniforms in the NBA — the Oklahoma Thunder. The team who left Seattle (leaving both their name and colors behind) may not have had the greatest design team or working time in which to create new professional uniforms from scratch — it’s not that their uniforms are outrageously garish or bad colors or anything we typically feel constitutes a bad uniform. It’s just that they seemed rushed, almost clip-artish in their logo treatment, and with colors that are neither unique nor bold. Tim has fixed that. So, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you, Tim E. O’Brien, and the “new” Oklahoma Thunder:
Oklahoma City Thunder uni concepts
By Tim E. O’Brien
Over the past few years, I have had two friends of mine try to convince me that the Thunder are the greatest team ever, of all time. Little did they know, I could’ve cared less about the NBA.
Born outside of Chicago in 1987 and raised in the burbs during the incomparable Jordan years, I loved the NBA – mostly because my team won the championship every year. As soon as the team broke up they became just dreadful to watch and I quickly turned all of my focus on sports I naturally like more, like football and hockey.
But recently I’ve started to get back into basketball and while the Chicago Bulls will always be my horse in the race (DRose and Co. are making the Bulls fun again), the Thunder do seem to be one helluva fun team.
Part of the rekindling of my interest in the NBA comes from my recent purchase of NBA 2K11. Part of the reason I am falling for the Thunder is because my ‘create-a-player’ was traded to the Thunder and has been flourishing ever since. But unfortunately for the Thunder, their team identity stinks.
No, it’s not the players – how could you not love KD, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka? And no, their players don’t have run-ins with the law, gun possession charges or worse. Their problem stems from their crap logo (and I’m not the only one who thinks so).
The Thunder’s current logo means nothing, signifies nothing and doesn’t come close to evoking Oklahoma or thunder. It is a complete and utter failure. So, being that I have free time and enjoy this sort of thing I took it upon myself to rebrand the Thunder.
If you take a look at the current Thunder logo you will see a random basketball, a buttload of colors, two bizarre streaks and an ‘OKC’ that is so oddly placed it’s a surprise it’s actually a part of the logo. None of that works, none of that screams Oklahoma City and none of that epitomizes or even symbolizes thunder.
So how to correct this? Well, I thought about the thundering herds of bison that used to roam Oklahoma and the west. Herds so large, they would kick up clouds of dust, and that’s where my idea takes off.
As you can see, I kept the Thunder font and three out of the four colors they currently use (sorry yellow, there were just too many colors). The buffalo head incorporates the theme of lightening bolts and the eyes are the orange/red of the team colors.**
Here is just the head and cloud logo by itself.
And here is an alternate logo where the buffalo is at an angle kicking up dirt into the clouds.
And being that I got rid of a color and changed the logo, that calls for a uniform edit – although I really like the current Thunder uniform set. I tried to keep the unis as similar to the current set as possible.
And just for Shits’n’Gigs I created some faux-backs for the Thunder. I got rid of all the colors other than the blues and white and got rid of the trim.
And of course, if you change the logo, you have to change the court. Not much of change here, the yellow on the court gets replaced with the orange/red since yellow is out of the pallet, the circles get changed to dark blue and the buffalo head logo gets center court.
And I figured if I’m going to change the image of the team, we might as well take a whack at changing the team colors. While I respected that the shades of blue in the pallet came from the Oklahoma State flag (I’m a fan of doing that) I ditched them in favor of black and gray — like storm clouds — and the accent colors are red/orange and yellow to evoke lightening, fire and explosiveness.
I really like how the recolorization worked and think that if I had to choose between the blues and the blacks, I would choose the blacks. Not only do the colors fit the theme better, but the individuality of the team identity is accentuated by the unique color pallet.
If you enjoy this rebrand, please check out my other uniform ideas in my Uniform Concept page. I’m always willing to take critiques, praise or requests.
Tim E. O’Brien
**Full Disclosure: While I was influenced by Marshall’s buffalo logo, I created these logos from scratch using Photoshop CS5.
Fantastic job with that Tim. Thanks for taking us through the entire thought process that goes into a new uniform design as well. I look forward to bringing the readers some more of your concepts down the road.
What say you readers? Please let Tim hear your thoughts.
And the winner is…
You recall a few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers held fan voting to determine which of three “throwback” uniforms (1911, 1931, or the “1940s”) the team would wear for six home games during the 2011 season. Well, the voting has ended, and the voters have spoken.
Not surprisingly, the team will wear the 1940s “satin” throwbacks (here’s a side/rear view). According to the Dodgers, “Out of 50,000 Dodger fan votes for which ‘throwback’ uniforms the team will wear for six mid-week day games in 2011, the 1940s ‘satin’ uniforms edges out the 1911 road uniforms by fewer than 2,000 votes.” While not surprising, this is somewhat disappointing, since the throwbacks will neither be satin nor worn under the lights (all six games will be day games). This kind of defeats the purpose of the throwback, no?
The team acknowledges as much: “While those original 1940s Brooklyn Dodgers uniforms were made of a highly reflective satin fabric to make them more visible under the lights for night games, the throwback jerseys feel the same as the normal uniforms the Dodgers will wear during the 2011 baseball season.” While it’s difficult to tell from those stills, they do appear to be a slightly “lighter” blue hue than the uniforms they’re seeking to replicate. Still, they should be fun to see, even if they’re wearing a road uniform at home. Much the way the Blue Jays have done by wearing their powder blue throwbacks (what used to be their road uniform) at home, I expect Dodger opponents to sport their own road unis, giving the unusual powder blue vs. gray (or softball top with gray pants) look.
The Dodgers (and their fans) couldn’t really have gone wrong with any of the three uniform choices, but it sure would have been great to see the vertical placket uniform make a “modern” return. Great decision by the team to go with throwbacks and allow the fans to vote. Hopefully this will spur some other teams to do something similar (as the Padres did last year).
by Rick Pearson
Hey, if it’s on ESPN it’s a sport, right?
And here’s the full size version, if that’s a tad too small.
Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
Got a nice of tweaks today…so lets get right into it:
Starting off the show is Coachie Ballgames, who is back with a concept soccer logo:
West Ham United, of England’s Premier League recently got approval to move into London’s new Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Summer Games are over. Here’s my take on what their crest could look like if they decide to change their name to “West Ham Olympic.”
Next up is Andrew DeFrank, who has some great concepts for the Redskins and Chargers:
A few weeks ago you posted my designs for the Redskins, Bills, Steelers, Vikings, and Seahawks. Well, I have EXTENSIVELY redesigned my Redskins uniforms, and also created the Chargers. Both use a new illustrator template as well as having a helmet view. So here they are…
Redskins- My idea was to scrap my old striping designs and build on the current one, with the same idea of a feather helmet, either with or without a logo on the side (preferably not).
Chargers- They have an absolutely great history of uniforms, and I was having trouble between powder or navy, gold or white etc. so I thought… why not make the Chargers the Oregon Ducks in terms of combinations? The bolts are like the duck wings, they are both west coast teams… it made sense. So here they are, and many many more combos are possible and workable.
Helmets: The current helmet.
And finally, we have Paul Lee who has both a football (Bills) and a basketball (Lakers) tweak:
I’m not the first, I’m sure I won’t be the last. Here’s a Bills tweak.
Since Paul [Lukas] detests purple, here my take on the Lakers.
That’s it for today. Back with more tomorrow.
And we’ll tie a nice bow on this one for today. Gonna be covering an NCAA Men’s Lacrosse game this afternoon, #7 Hofstra vs. #8 Princeton, for grad school (woo hoo!). I don’t think I’ve watched a live lax match since my undergrad days (so we’re talking 1988 or so). This, of course, was back before digital recorders, Flip digicams, and well before Al Gore invented the interwebs, so this will be a totally new experience. If any of the media come out OK, I’ll share some of it tomorrow. I know you’re all going to be waiting with baited breath for that. But seriously, it might be pretty cool.
Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll catch ya tomorrow.
I bought a 59fifty cap at a mall last summer & as soon I purchased it I tore off the sticker at the counter (not thinking anything of it). The kid behind the counter’s look was if I had just murdered a puppy, I’ll never forget it. — Nick Endres