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And the Winner is…

Villanti, Jason

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By Phil Hecken

The Uni Watch “Super Bowl XLVIII Logo Contest” is now in the books, and the winning design, shown above, was submitted by Jason Villanti. Big congrats for Jason, who led after round one, and held on to that lead through the final round of voting. In all, almost 3,000 votes were cast (2,969 in total) and Jason received 961 (32.4%) of the total. Congratulations to our winner, and a big thanks to all who participated! Here’s the breakdown of the final voting:


You can see all 30 Uni Watch reader submissions here.


Meet W. Ross Clites…

A short while back I received the concept you’re about to see below from reader W. Ross Clites, as an update to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now, I get tweaks & concepts sent to me on a fairly regular basis, but every so often, one shows up that is so good it deserves its own section. This is one of these.

Intrigued, I asked Ross if he had any more concepts, and indeed, he’s actually working on a whole NBA redesign (what with the renaming of the Hornets to the Jazz, the [pretty much done] deal to move the Kings to Seattle, the probable re-renaming of the Bobcats to the Hornets…etc.) submission that should be running in a couple of weeks. But for today, I wanted to run the Thunder concept, complete with Ross’ explanation. Following that, I’ll have a few tweaks that have either been in the queue for a while, or that were recently sent my way, also for some new hoops concepts. A bit of a twist on the usual “Concepts & Tweaks” section, if you will.

And now, here’s Ross’ Thunder:

OKC FINAL - W. Ross Clites

And here’s how Ross described that:


This weekend I threw together a new look for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Let’s face it, the ink was still wet on all the paperwork when the Seattle Sonics had to start their 2008-09 season as the re-branded “Thunder.” I remember going to the NBA store in New York City that summer and there wasn’t a game jersey for their team hanging next to the others (it hadn’t been designed yet). So when push came to shove, the organization rolled out a rushed logo–like an elementary science project you had two months to work on and threw together the night before.

The current OKC logo is bland and tame, in an obvious effort to appease the masses and get league approval quickly. The result is cartoony and doesn’t tell a story at all. I have tried my hand at stepping in. I love the color scheme, but I updated the logo to give the team some muscle behind its imposing name. The team now has a story to tell and an identity for the community to finally take ownership of. Let’s give OKC the honeymoon they never had time to take. After all, they should look good when they hoist the O’Brien Trophy several times this decade.

Why two different schemes for home and road? I hope it sets a trend. I like the mindset change when a team goes on the road and, as a coach, I think it is an opportunity for something like uniform aesthetics to affect tangible wins. From the school of “look good, feel good, play good” comes the new idea I have that when a team isn’t in their comfy home arena, they should change their image.

The stylized lightning bolt at home is a microcosm for appealing the local crowd. Home is where you have gimmicky giveaways and cheerleaders and scoreboard video montages. Everything about a home NBA is entertainment and cartoony. But when you go on the road, you need to take the lunch pail and hard hat and become a different team. You gotta have an edge; a no-nonsense mentality that your game can travel with you. I think I captured that in two disparate logos. It’ll be interesting to see what the fine people of Uni-Watch think.



No, thank you! Great concept. And looking forward to your project in the very near future.


And now for a few more NBA tweaks & concepts (click on each image to enlarge):

First up is Konrad Tyler, who sent me this visionary concept for the (then not-named) Pelicans back in the first week of December:

NO - Konrad Tyler


Here I have designed a new uniform concept for the New Orleans Hornets change in their nickname. The pelican is an ever present symbol throughout Louisiana being the state bird. The pelican is common Catholic symbol having a strong presence in the region I think fans can grow to love. I have also been thinking about Jester and designing something with that in mind for the New Orleans new nickname.

KC Tyler

. . .

Next is Frank Serpas, who also sent in a Pelicans concept in early December:

Pelicans - Frank Serpas


A wonderful mascot is the pelican? Not so much, but the rumored blue/red/gold color scheme echoes the New Orleans and Louisiana flags. The jersey takes its inspiration from the state flag and turns the player wearing it into the “pelican in her piety.” The pants stripe is based on the city flag. The eye of the pelican in the logo is a crescent, for the Crescent City. The team should trade for Steve Nash, namesake of Odgen.

Frank Serpas III

. . .

Our next tweaker, Christopher Roberts, sent in this Pelicans concept yesterday:

Pelicans - Christopher Roberts

Hey Phil,

Here’s my concept of the New Orleans Pelicans uniforms. I love the color and logos! I made a white home, blue road, and a red alternate. I used the main pelican logo above the name on the back and the “NOLA” logo on the shorts. It’s a bit of a chore to deal with three primary colors but I made out fine.


. . .

And the ink wasn’t even dry on the paper before I started getting tweaks to the proposed new Pelicans’ logo — this one comes from Sean Flaherty:

PelicansLogo - Sean Flaherty

Hey Phil,
Its not a uni, but a logo tweak. I wanted to see what the new Pelicans logo would look like in the classic Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold, much like the previous NOLA uni’s the Hornets had. This was just a simple (and not so clean) color swap. I like the second one better my self. I think these colors look a lot better and is more unique than basically copying the last Cavs colors.


-Sean Flaherty

. . .

And we close today with Adam Hainsfurther, who has a ‘first look’ at the new Seattle Sonics:

Adam Hainsfurther - New Sonics


Since it’s all but official that the Kings are moving north to Seattle I came up with a trio of unis for the new Sonics. I know I sent you a concept for this a while back but I found a great template for NBA unis and did a new concept with new logos. Description is below:

The new Sonics logo features Mt. Rainer and the Space Needle. The Secondary logo is the new stylized S wrapped around the Space Needle. The alt wordmark has the Space Needle used as the I in Sonics. The space needle is also featured as a design down the side of the jerseys. Other than that its made to look similar to the last uniforms worn by what is now the Thunder, just updated ever so slightly.

-Adam Hainsfurther-

.. … ..

And that’s it for this look at the future of NBA uniforms (or not). Thanks to all the concepters. Back with the ‘usual’ uni tweaks, concepts and revisions next time.


Screen Shot 2012-06-24 at 10.32.36 PM

“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.

. . . . .

More Wayback Machine: Two-week wait for Super Bowl meets winter doldrums…

1-26-13 d-yak REV

Click to enlarge


colorize this

Colorize This!

Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.

Back today with another nice set, and it features some names who who are new to the UW colorizing game. So lets get started.

Click on each image to enlarge.

. . .

Up first is John Turney, who should be familiar to you all, with a Bills/Chargers pic that’s a beaut:

Bills Chargers - John Turney

One I’ve had for a while.

Colorization with 1970s Eckatrme filter.


. . .

Next up is Steven Wojtowicz, who took on a reader request and colorized the Wisconsin Hockey photo:

Wisconsin Hockey - Steven Wojtowicz

UniWatch Crew,

Attached is my crack at the colorization of one of the Wisconsin hockey pictures that were submitted by Nicole Haase. I am a little happier with these results than I thought I would be. I tried to keep it as grey and cold as I could given the season this shot was a taken. Well, I hope she likes the way it came out. Keep up the great work.

Steven Wojtowicz
Kendall Park, NJ

. . .

Next up is Michael Cahalan with a nice college football colorization:

OK State vs Arkansas-colorized - Mike Cahalan


Thought I’d give the photo colorizing a shot. Here’s the pic of the Oklahoma State – Arkansas game. It was fun and interesting to do. I showed it to some friends and now they’re giving me black and white photos that they would like to have colorized.

Mike Cahalan

. . .

throwbacks - Jared E. Gallagher

We close today with a nice one (unfortunately it’s on the small side) of Okie State, from Jared Gallagher:


Picture of Oklahoma State football player Tom Pontius in 1958 that I colorized over lunch yesterday. Interesting note: the color of the building in the background was taken directly from a picture of the exact building. If nothing else is accurate, at least that is!

Best regards,

Jared E. Gallagher

… .. …

That’s it for today. Keep those colorizations coming Uni Watchers!


Stirrup Friday

Stirrup Fridays…

Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.

Back with the usual suspects this week — and a bit of a smaller sampling. But that’s OK because it’s not stirrup weather (for most of the country) — baby, it’s COLD outside!

. . . . .

Bucco's Socks - Jason Bernard

Jason Bernard:

Phil & Robert,

I was supposed to tour the Roberto Clemente Museum with my dad today as a belated birthday present for him. Alas, the weather put the kibosh on that.

Yes, those are TCK socks, not stirrups. Blame RyCo.


. . .

Trax - Scotty Rogers

Tie - Scotty Rogers

R. Scott Rogers


Going undercover as a running-dog lackey of the capitalist oligarchs today and matching my stirrups to my tie. Wine-dark Traxel sox with gray and black stripes over black sanis to accompany a wine-gold-and-gray cravat.



. . .

James Poisso:


Today I am wearing my Cardinal stirrups in honor of Stan “The Man” Musial who will be laid to rest Saturday.

James Poisso

. . .

And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ’em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!). Be sure to visit Robert’s House of Hose for news on rups.


That will do it for today. Tomorrow is (drumroll) the Pro Bowl. And yes, I’m aware Nike released the uniforms for the game yesterday — I’ll have a preview/review of those, plus Pro Bowls of yore, tomorrow.

Everyone have a great Saturday.




A Pair for the Road…


“I’m convinced that if you charted the incidence of drinking before deadline on the same graph as the general quality of American journalism, you’d only have a single, downward line. And it wouldn’t be a coincidence.”
–R. Scott Rogers

Comments (35)

    well at least the one I liked most finished 2nd. but thanks to all the participants, especially Jason for getting the most final votes.

    I think it’s a crime that the Pelicans’ logo; Sean Flaherty’s tweaks are vastly superior. I particularly like the first of the two.

    Western Michigan is apparently getting a new helmet. I’m personally a fan of the large Bronco on the left, but I’m kind of meh about the numbers. In my amateur opinion, helmets should be uniform.


    I have admit, Adidas has done a HORRIBLE job with the NBA uniforms and fan wear as far as style and quality wise.

    For the Thunder concept, I love the idea of there being a home and away logo. My question about that is, what’s their primary logo for media use?

    The central logo, the largest one on the design board, would be the one that would get flashed in every tv graphic. It strips away the detail of the whole train ride in the stormy night sky (which would be muddled out when shrunk to television aspect ratios) but keeps the essence of what I was going for.

    No question OKC needs a real identity (it lacks one entirely).

    However, nicking the Purdue Boilermaker Special is not it. Sorry Ross, A for effort, but F for originality. ;)

    PS, ZERO for Western Michigan for nicking Boise. Where’s the creative strategy, folks?!

    Boise State has been the Broncos since 1932 when they were still a junior college. They didn’t become a four-year school until 1965 and joined the NCAA in 1969. WMU changed from Hilltoppers to Broncos in 1939. Back then no one paid a lot of attention about what anyone else’s nickname was. Since you’re ragging on WMU why don’t you go after the Denver Broncos and Santa Clara Broncos as well?

    Nobody is ragging on about them being the Broncos. It’s the fact that they completely copied Boise State’s latest helmet and just used a slightly different bronco, with different colors. Also, kudos to WMU for making just enough subtle differences in their copy of the Denver Broncos logo to presumably avoid law-suits. Real original school there…

    I initially thought “Soul Train”. Boilmakers or not, it’s pretty hard to come up with something really original & that’s still way better than what they have right now.

    I wouldn’t do white numbers & wordmarks on a white jersey, that would get lost on TV & in the stands. But I really do like the interlocking OKC over the state logo.

    Scotty M, I disagree with you about originality – as far as I know, people don’t complain too much about the plethora of various birds (STL Cardinals/AZ Cardinals), various animals, even more abstract things like Giants are duplicated, so why should we be upset about two different train themes? They’re not even bearing the same nickname.
    Furthermore, OKC has a rich train history, including being a central hub in westward expansion evidenced by the train museum, and the fact that the Heartland Flyer STILL runs through OKC daily.
    The idea of attaching something tangible to the “thunder” nickname is necessary, and a train is perfectly appropriate for OKC. Super-outstanding job, Ross. I applaud your effort and aptitude here.

    I was going to say… c’mon, now. I’m not calling them the OKC Boilermakers. This is apples to oranges. They have a similar feel in primary logos, but one is pro and one is college–on completely disparate color palettes. Thank you, A-List, for saying everything I wanted to. The identity is tethered to the state’s history. I was tired of seeing proposals that interpreted “thunder” as a buffalo. Nicking Marshall University is far more egregious than taking a train that just so happens to be the concept of Purdue.

    The quote spoke to me and was my inspiration from the get-go. The Purdue locomotive was tertiary if not negligible in putting mine together. I liked their puff of smoke out of top and wheel well. That was something I could not create better.

    Need I remind you that there are six names in the big four pro sports that are duplicated, so let’s take umbrage with the Carolina Panthers and Florida Panthers before we say Thunder and Boilermakers are identical twins. In both latter cases, the nicknames are justified and speak to the community’s heritage. Calling your team a generic (not that regionally-specific) cat, bird, plane, etc. that is the same as another pro team in another town is an F for originality. Mine is a C+ at worst. For no other reason than the level of play (college vs. pro). I respect your criticism, ScottyM, and thank you for the A in effort. I’ll keep working on it… my designs are never done. It is going to stay a train, though ;)

    My comment isn’t the fact that you used a train (in fact, I think UTenn Chattanooga does as well). It just looks suspiciously close to Purdue’s (just juxtaposing the direction).

    At least you didn’t include OKC on the cowcatcher, which would’ve been an appropriate design element, if not even more obvious replica of the Purdue icon.

    So, all in all I don’t think for a minute “Thunder” and “Boilermaker” are identical. I’d just suggest a completely unique train engine, rather than one that borrows heavily from another design.

    I think you could do it … think Paul Rand, one-color, using negative space. Simplify the design. Could be really cool. (Then drop in the highlight yellow here or there for just a touch of two-color.) Just a thought.

    (what with the renaming of the Hornets to the Jazz, the [pretty much done] deal to move the Kings to Seattle, the probable re-renaming of the Bobcats to the Hornets…etc.)

    You mean the Hornets to the Pelicans, sir.

    Not sure which design I liked better – the Thunder or the Sonics. Good job by all.

    Well now that the Pro Bowl jerseys have been “revealed”, will they actually be selling any this year?

    It would appear the answer is no. All I can find on NFL Shop are AFC and NFC caps, and the game program.

    First Congrats to Jason Villanti for winning and all the others who participated in the Logo Redesign.

    W. Ross Clites, I love your redesign of the Thunder and had never thought about your idea with having separate Home/Road Identities but it makes since because at home, especially for the Thunder you have your fans and various other gimmicks. Away you have none of that and have to put up with another team’s stuff. I also like the incorporation of the Train and the Quote by Judith Wright to give them Identity. I furthermore like the subtle yet unique look of the 3 horizontal Pinstripe (I Guess) lines that complete the numbers.

    Frank Serpas, I think your concept is interesting. There is a part of my that really likes the front. Its like the Pelican’s version of a Karl Malone era Utah Jazz Jersey or a Vince Carter Toronto Raptors Jersey, but then again those were in the 90s where everything was ridiculous. I feel as a concept it is great but implementation into everyday home and a away, no I don’t think so but then again a concept is a concept and takes an idea and sees if it works. The video that Paul posted for the Penguins when they redesigned in the early 90s showed a bunch of different logos they looked at. I feel there is a compendium of logos every team looks at from simple/slightly classic to crazy/ridiculous.

    The other thing is you helped me understand the color choices for the Pelicans. At first I did not understand why they went with Purple, Gold, and Green and then you showed your idea for the pant stripe as a repetition of the NO Flag. By the way I completely love that idea in that it is different yet subtle, which I hope whoever is designing the Jerseys for the Pelicans stumbles across your submission and submits it. I understand their color change now because it seems that the owner wanted the team to be supportive of NO all the year and not just base the identity of NO for Mardi Gras except that is how most of us not near the gulf coast probably associate with it or the disaster with FEMA and Katrina. That idea of using the City’s flag colors seems to implement that when they are home it is like a celebration of the city and when on the road they are like ambassadors from the city. This may also explain to me why the Knicks colors are Orange and Blue, which are the colors with White for the NYC flag.

    Sean Flaherty, I love the Purple, Green, Gold re-colorization of the pelican’s logo. Even though I just argued myself into understanding for their colors with Frank’s concept I still feel that they should have gone with these colors, which I feel will be implemented during Mardi Gras 2014. The season runs through Mardi Gras anyway; what better way to celebrate what the city is most nationally celebrated (or hated for in some people’s eyes) by giving the sport franchise that is during that time the main colors of it. Certainly they will implement some form of the Jerseys they have done with the Hornets and hopefully they will use yours or a variation of it during that time and then there will be enough public outcry for a systematic change.

    Adam Hainsfurther, I love your concept for the Sonics. I like how you incorporated design elements from the Jerseys from the Durant Era but updated it. I especially like the various logos especially with the inclusion of Mt. Rainer though the one with the S over the Space Needle slightly made me thing of a money sign which some conspiracy theorists would say that is their way of showing that all they care about is profits but luckily I am not a conspiracy theorists. I even more so love the Space Needle as being the side panel. I really hope whoever is truly designing the Logos and Uniforms stumbles across your concept and at least implements those I talk about, yet one can hope. I also personally like the Neon Yellow Jersey. I personally like the advent of an Occasional Alternate but only one and generally the underused team color if there is a third. If a team only has two say the Celtics, then only Green and White ever. The Neon jersey definitely seems it would fare better than the other Northwest team to try to implement forms of Neon Yellow. I also like the fact that you included Cousins in your Nameplates. I am a Kentucky fan (I was raised in the state) and now I am even more excited because one of my Wildcats will be a Sonic barring the NBA decides to halt the move like how the NFL did with Art Modell. Nonetheless, Great Job!

    Hurray the colorizations are back.
    Thanks colorizers.

    I have seen those crazy striped unis like the Wisconsin hockey team wore. Stripes were big ages ago.

    Nice to see how it would look in color.

    Look at the Oklahoma State colorized photos. Look at the jerseys. Form-fitting, tight, with no excessive material flapping in the breeze for players to pinch. And look: sleeves.

    I do think the Thunder should have a more defined identity, but I tend toward more the bison motifs than the railroad. The other thing about the Thunder is I don’t like the sky blue. I know it’s derived from the Oklahoma state flag, but combining that with the name Thunder makes me think “the sound of thunder in a clear blue sky”, which isn’t really very intimidating. I would’ve like them to use gray or some other color of the darkening sky. I know gray seems to be the flavor of the day in college, but here it would’ve fit.

    Jason Bernard,

    Where did you get those Pittsburgh socks?? I want a pair of those to wear in a race I have coming up, cause I think that stirrups might be too uncomfortable for the distance. Any help would be appreciated.

    Another Uni Watcher, RyCo, ordered them from Twin City Knitting (maybe through Comrade Marshall.) There is probably a minimum order of 12. Unfortunately, unless RyCo has an extra pair laying around, you’d probably have to do the same.

    A friend of mine is a welder, and his fiance gave him this welding hat that her grandmother made… Pretty sweet! I suggested they use purple and black on the next one a la Expos. :) link

    Congrats to Jason for winning the contest! Happy lots of people liked my design, 2nd place ain’t too bad! Conference championship anyone? Haha.

    Your response was even more orIginal and creative. It could only have been improved by referencing to yourself by mentioning the anatomical fact of your thumbs.

    I would like to know why the new Pro Bowl jerseys weren’t made available for purchase.

    Jared Gallagher, that is indeed the color of most buildings there. You didn’t say it, but it makes me want to start some fires when someone says OKIE State. Or Ok (Oak) City. And sorry, I disagree with the Thunder redesign. Just as boring as before. No disrespect, just a differing opinion. If the change is lateral (AT VERY BEST) there’s no point in bothering.

Comments are closed.