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The People’s Crest

Some of you may recall design Mark Willis’s great “Soccer Out of Context” project from a few years ago, in which Willis took MLB jerseys and repurposed them as soccer jerseys. I’m not a soccer fan, but I liked the project so much that I ended up doing an interview with Willis.

Willis now has a new project, and it’s a doozy. I’ll let him explain:

I periodically take on unsolicited “identity sketch” projects from as design exercises. I’ve worked up rebrands for various American soccer entities (the Earthquakes, the Crew, the Revolution, NYCFC before they had a brand, Louisville City FC, etc.) They are mostly very well received which, I feel both proud and fortunate to say.

As a huge American soccer fan, my “white whale” so to speak has always been U.S. Soccer’s identity. The shield/star/ball/stripe thing they’ve had for several decades has never done it for me, and I’d say most U.S. fans are ready for a change. As you’re probably aware, Nike appears poised to update the shield at the next jersey cycle.

Knowing I wouldn’t have the “old” (current) mark to riff against any longer, I recently prepared and published a piece called “Identity Sketches for U.S. Soccer,” in which I detailed how and why I’d design a replacement for today’s U.S. Soccer shield. The response to it was extremely positive — it received a huge amount of traffic, got elevated to the top spot on /r/ussoccer and was chosen as a Staff Pick by Medium (where I sometimes cross-publish). I enjoyed watching many thousands of views and hundreds of positive reactions roll in.

This past week, the project moved over to my apparel operation, Clean Sheet Co., where I began selling a T-shirt based on the crest design that I proposed in the article. It was pre-funded in less than a day and is already our fastest selling pre-sale ever.

I’ll most likely forever be on the outside of the U.S. Soccer/Nike establishment, but it’s nice to know my work is connecting with people. More than a few have petitioned U.S. Soccer to consider my design for the official mark, which of course is a non-starter (Nike has it covered), but I like that folks believe in it. Likewise, my work as an independent designer and at Clean Sheet Co. has always been focused on bringing outsider ideas to life, and fostering community. With all of that in mind, I’ve decided to call my U.S. Soccer design “The People’s Crest.” After all, the design isn’t really for the teams; it’s for the fans.

Based on what’s transpired so far, I’ve decided to take the idea of a “People’s Crest” even further by doing something a little unprecedented: I’m going to open up my U.S. Soccer-inspired design work to everybody and make it freely accessible to the community — to open-source it in a way. I’ve launched a project hub that contains a downloadable pack of resources — vector files for the mark, Photoshop files, PDFs, fonts, and more. If I can’t give this mark to U.S. Soccer itself, I’d like to give it to the U.S. Soccer community. Clean Sheet Co. will be the steward of the project and will make updates, accept collaborative input from others, and generally coordinate things as we move forward.

Anybody in the world — especially in the American soccer community — will be free to download, adjust, remix, print, or adapt the mark however they like, as long as they’re giving away their work. The idea, hopefully, is to create a talisman that the American soccer fan community feels is their own. Kind of the reverse of the Nike marketing machine telling fans what they should love.

I’m proud of the work, and it’s scary to think about giving it away, but it’s also thrilling. I’m eager to see how the project evolves.

Faaaaascinating. What say ye, soccer fans? I’m interested to hear what you think about this one.

•  •  •  •  •

The Ticker
By Paul

Baseball News: Artist Sean Kane, whose awesome painted baseball gloves have been featured on Uni Watch several times over the years, has some new pieces devoted to Shoeless Joe, Matty, and “Casey at the Bat” (more on that one here). “These are all on century-old gloves,” he says. ”¦ Interesting piece on the scars from Tommy John surgery. ”¦ Ninety-three years ago yesterday: Sally the Chimp in a Giants uniform at the 1922 World Series. ”¦ Charles Apple has designed a very good logo- and team color-driven infograph on Astros history (thanks to Brandon H for bringing it to my attention). ”¦ New branding logos for the Hickory Crawdads (from Harrison Huntley). ”¦ New uniforms for the Crawdads as well. ”¦ As we all know, A’s managers and coaches wore white caps from 1965 through 1980. So it’s surprising to see this shot of then-skipper Dick Williams wearing a green cap in 1972 (nice find by Ferdinand Cesarano). ”¦ Mako Mameli came up with these cool photos of Rawlings gloves being made. ”¦ New caps for Penn State. ”¦ New “Sactown” alternate uni next year for the Sacramento River Cats (from Richard Paloma and Aaron Davis). ”¦ Imagine if the Astros had worn a cap like this with their tequila sunrise uniforms. That guy was at last night’s ’Stros/Yanks play-in game (from Alan Kreit). ”¦ Speaking of the ’Stros, Evan Gattis continues to wear a very beat-up belt.

NFL News: Pinktober trickle-down: “I officiate high school football and kids are buying into this as well,” says Joe Bailey. “Last Friday night I asked a player why he had pink cleats. His response: ‘Because the NFL players do it.'” Hey, at least they’re raising awareness of something. ”¦ A Catholic priest who’s also a big Giants fan is in hot water for allegedly aiming a gun at an eight-year-old boy who came to church wearing a Cowboys jersey. Have I mentioned lately that jersey sales just lead to idiocy? (From Chris Flinn.) ”¦ Buried within this story is the news that Lions WR Golden Tate and Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse exchanged jerseys after Monday night’s game. ”¦ Here are a waitress’s thoughts about dress codes in restaurants. ”¦ A guy in California will paint your favorite NFL team’s logo on your lawn. ”¦ Good shot of Giants equipment director Joe Skiba in action (from Kenny Ocker). ”¦ Speaking of Skeebs, he’s apparently cutting the stripe tape but not the front numerals when dealing the SpeedFlex helmet’s flex panel (from Alex Sinclair). ”¦ Remember how the Packers had their retro logo on their visor tabs? Trevor Schumacher notes that they’re no longer doing that. ”¦ Great shot of Paul Warfield from the 1970 Pro Bowl (from Ronnie Poore). ”¦ Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald looks more like a 49er than a Cardinal in the NFL’s weekly Instagram graphic.

College and High School Football News: 1995 Rose Bowl throwback apparently in the works for Northwestern. ”¦ Looks like Buffalo might have a matte black helmet this week (from Mike Monaghan). ”¦ Houston’s coaches have taped SMU jerseys to the floor so the Houston players can walk all over them in the lead-up to this week’s game. Wait, what is that word that includes “sports”? Oh, right — sportsmanship. ”¦ Some high school players in Nebraska were removed from a game for wearing unauthorized Pinktober accessories. ”¦ Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh gave some background info on the team’s merit decals. ”¦ How pathetic is this: With Arizona State planning a blackout game this weekend, the school is reminding fans that attending in blackface might not be the best idea. ”¦ A 17-year-old Oregon girl who’s the placekicker on her high school team was named homecoming queen, prompting her to replace her helmet with a crown. ”¦ A new Nissan commercial pokes some fun at Oregon’s ever-changing uniforms (from Micahel Greenwald). ”¦ USF apparently going with the oversized gold-leaf helmet logo this week. ”¦ I feel like we’ve probably covered this before, but does anyone know why Jim Brown has a white helmet stripe while everyone else has navy in this old Syracuse shot?

Hockey News: Latest DIY project from our friend Wafflebored: a whale-shaped arena for Hartford. ”¦ New Blue Jackets-themed alternates for the Lake Erie Monsters. ”¦ Awesome inaugural jersey design for the New York Riveters of the NWHL. ”¦ New uniforms for Nebraska-Omaha (from John Muir). ”¦ As we know, the Sharks are adding a 25th-anniversary patch this season. But they didn’t wear it during the preseason and also didn’t have their customary front uni numbers in that same spot, leaving their upper-right chest area unblemished for the first time in recent memory (from Cole Bryant).

Basketball News: Here’s a good look at the Bucks’ new road uniforms in action. “So nice,” says Jesse Zakshesky. ”¦ And here are the new Sixers road unis in action. ”¦ Here’s a pretty detailed breakdown about what the Hawks’ new uniforms supposedly say about Atlanta (thanks, Phil). ”¦ No photo, but Mat Chavez says the new officials’ jerseys “make them all look like they have long dark hair.” … New uniforms for Penn. ”¦ New uniforms for Tulane and UMass, too (thanks, Phil).

Soccer News: There are apostrophe catastrophes and then there are flat-out apostrophe clusterfucks, as in the case of this Texas A&M soccer ad. If you’re going to have a lame slogan, people, at least learn how to punctuate it (thanks, Phil).

Grab Bag: A reader who prefers to remain anonymous says: “Talked with my Under Armour rep on Tuesday, and he said the deal for the University of Wisconsin and Under Armour is basically all but signed. He even showed me some Wisconsin clothing with the Motion W and Bucky Badger on them for next year. He said that the deal would obviously be done after this academic year, and that we can take order of Wisconsin Under Armour gear in mid-June of 2016. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez seems to be keeping this information close to his chest for some reason (probably since he is still under contract with Adidas).” … Here’s a Reddit thread in which members of the military were invited to give their thoughts about camouflage sports uniforms. I conducted something similar back in 2009 (Reddit link from Wyatt Beltz). ”¦ This is pretty great: library card socks (from Phil Johnson). ”¦ Burger King’s BFBS Whopper will turn your shit green. ”¦ What a surprise: The two big fantasy sports operations are corrupt. I’m sure nobody saw that one coming. ”¦ The USA’s golf club headcovers for the President’s Cup feature the Declaration of Independence. ”¦ New custom bike for world champion cyclist Peter Sagan (from Anthony Nuccio). ”¦ The South Lamar (Ala.) volleyball team has a player with one white numeral and one gold numeral (from Dustin Semore). ”¦ A Brooklyn police precinct — technically not my local precinct but still just a mile and a half from my house — is getting in the Pinktober spirit (from Brian Wulff).

78 comments to The People’s Crest

  • Tim | October 7, 2015 at 8:33 am |

    It looks like a silhouette of Sam the Eagle from the muppets.

  • Britton Thomas | October 7, 2015 at 8:43 am |

    I love Willis’ concept. The fact that he’s making the design resources available to everyone for free makes it infinitely cooler.

    But that’s also about the least Nike/USA move imaginable. If this design set does catch their collective eye (which it should), I would think they’ll be confused at the lack of cash grab/lack of personal logo plastered all over the designs.

    • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 9:04 am |

      It’s a terrific project. But my goodness, the weak gray on the “banner” at the bottom of the crest throws me. It’s just too light to hold “negative space” text, for one thing, but the color also doesn’t make sense within the context of US national or sporting identity and history. Darker gray would work visually and still be a neutral addition; gold or sky blue would draw from traditional American colors.

      Some countries have sporting colors not present in their flags. USA is kind of a special case, where our flag and national colors are a part of our founding civic identity – we had a flag before we had a country – so it makes sense for our national teams to sport red, white, and blue. But if we need to reach beyond that palette for a national color, even if only a secondary or accent hue, how about either the dark bronze of the Liberty Bell or the blue/green patina of the Statue of Liberty?

  • Thom D | October 7, 2015 at 8:46 am |

    LOVE the the idea of the new crest for USA SOCCER. Also, I thought the same thing Mat did about the new NBA refs jerseys when watching SIXERS-WIZ last night.

  • Ran Isaacs | October 7, 2015 at 8:47 am |

    That NFL weekly instagram post must have Phil Knight blazing hot.

  • Kevin B. | October 7, 2015 at 8:51 am |

    http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2015/10/parishioners_support_nj_priest_accused_of_aiming_g.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    This is the link to the article that you linked to regarding the priest. It sure sounds like the priest didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe a change in wording is in order?

  • Bob | October 7, 2015 at 8:52 am |

    Agree with the punctuation defecation, but why is the “Gig ’em” slogan lame?

    • Rob S | October 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm |

      I, for one, wouldn’t call it lame, but given its origin, I do think it’s a bit weird, since it started as a specific reference to the TCU Horned Frogs – basically calling for the Aggies to impale their opponents with multi-pronged spears (figuratively speaking, of course).

      I wonder if there are any other schools that have a cry/slogan like that, that originated as a call-out of a specific opponent. I certainly can’t think of any at the moment.

      • Will E. | October 7, 2015 at 9:51 pm |

        Don’t know about other schools, but calling-out opponents is an Aggie tradition; much of “The Aggie War Hymn” is about the University of Texas, aTm’s (former?) archival.

      • Douglas King | October 8, 2015 at 1:00 am |

        Does the fact that we say To Hell With Georgia no matter what opponent we play at Tech count? Winning against a team? Time to start the What’s the Good Word chant (and the answer to that is always THWg), walking to the game? THWg.

        I mean its not as seemingly ambiguous as a “Gig ‘Em”, but its definitely a cry you’ll hear no matter the opponent.

        I always find it odd when teams have fight songs with modified lyrics depending on who they are playing (uga for example has “to heck with Georgia Tech” as their main fight song final line, but I believe they have a different final line for South Carolina (more recent variation), UF and Auburn)

    • Johnny Swift | October 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm |

      it’s embarrassing

  • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 8:55 am |

    The pink shirts actually kind of work for those Brooklyn cops. Police uniforms need to be visible and recognizable, and the pink actually accomplishes that.

    On a similar note, there’s a bill working its way through the Wisconsin legislature to permit hunters to wear bright pink instead of bright orange. The bill is coming up for a hearing next week: http://wsau.com/news/articles/2015/oct/02/public-hearing-date-set-for-blaze-pink-hunting-outfits/

  • vfefrenzy | October 7, 2015 at 8:57 am |

    Maybe ASU should educate over-sensitive students and teach them that not all face-painting is blackface. They’ve gone so far as to tell their students not to paint their faces white, gold, or maroon either. It’s ridiculous. No one is trying to hurt your precious little feelings when they paint themselves in school colors, you delicate imbeciles.

    • Paul Lukas | October 7, 2015 at 9:21 am |

      It must be nice to be so strong.

      • vfefrenzy | October 7, 2015 at 10:44 am |

        It certainly is.

    • Andrew | October 7, 2015 at 9:27 am |

      Also, you do realize that black isn’t an ASU color?

      • The Jeff | October 7, 2015 at 9:42 am |

        It is now. Because they said so.

      • JamesBN3 | October 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm |

        Black has been an ASU color since they did the brand overhaul a few years ago.

        • Paul Lukas | October 7, 2015 at 1:57 pm |

          Black has been an ASU color since they did the brand overhaul redesign a few years ago.

          Fixed.

    • The Jeff | October 7, 2015 at 9:34 am |

      You nearly took the words out of my mouth… except I’d have probably thrown in some profanity because how stupid this whole “issue” really is. Anyone who can’t tell the difference between actual racist “blackface” and “wearing black makeup because the sports team is wearing black” is not worth paying any attention to in the first place.

      • BurghFan | October 7, 2015 at 9:52 am |

        Is any fan with a painted face “worth paying any attention to”?

        • The Jeff | October 7, 2015 at 10:01 am |

          Nope, and that’s another reason it’s a stupid “issue”. The proper reaction to someone wearing facepaint at a football game is to not react at all. Hey, that guy’s wearing facepaint… good for him. Who gives a shit?

    • Dan T. | October 7, 2015 at 12:14 pm |

      vfefrenzy is right – “blackface” is an intentional effort to mock black people, which usually involves tracing your mouth in white or pink and also wearing a minstrel or other costume.

      It probably isn’t a “good idea” to paint your face black to attend a football game, but you’d have to be looking to ge offended to take that alone as being a racist gesture.

  • Eltee of DC | October 7, 2015 at 9:01 am |

    Mr. Willis’ is a first rate proposal writer… and amateurish in execution of the design in my opinion.

    I tend to look for something unique and elegant in designing logos, this design is more of a “Frankenbrand”. Rip off parts from known logotypes and combine them to make something – ugh – better, in theory.

    Civil servants think of work in this vein. If I put everything on it – it’s perfect. Also, who is the target market? What demographic (25-35?, 35 and up? Infiants?) is gonna buy this, and how would this appeal to them is not covered. This is quibbling on my part but I always insist upon it when doing creative briefs.

    On the positive side, I have great respect for a person who does his homework and presents the design in various combinations and media. You know, like a style guide, so kudos for that.

    Uni-versal respect for that.

    • Adam N. | October 7, 2015 at 10:04 am |

      You need to go back to bed Eltee.

      It’s a beautiful design with universal adaptability and application. Hell, I’m not a soccer fan, but will be ordering one of the shirts. It embodies much of what one would expect from a US association, and “feels” like a soccer logo, but is new/different enough to be very refreshing.

      Why would something have to be “unique” to avoid being dismissed as “amateurish”? (which is a pretty low, dismissive characterization of someone’s hard work).

      • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm |

        Why do we regard “amateurish” as an insult? Ben Franklin was an amateur at everything other than printing. Isaac Newton was an amateur scientist. Van Gogh was an amateur artist. George Washington was an amateur soldier and amateur politician. John James Audubon was an amateur painter and naturalist. One could go on ad infinitum.

        Frankly, a lot of the “design” we see in sports would benefit from being the work of amateurs. What passes for “professional,” especially at big corporations like Nike, is both cynical and crude. Whereas Uni Watch frequently features amateur work of various sorts that’s every bit as thoughtful and well executed as the best design work of past eras.

        I don’t agree with the critique of Willis’ USA crest design as “amateurish.” But I also think it would be a much better design if it were amateurish. There’s a coldness to it for me that speaks to a Nike-style design.

        • Paul Lukas | October 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm |

          Nicely put, Scott.

          I have similar thoughts about “dilettante,” which basically means an enthusiastic amateur. What’s wrong with that? A friend who feels particularly strongly about this point wants to wage a campaign to rescue “dilettantia,” as she calls it…

    • andyharry | October 7, 2015 at 11:07 am |

      While I agree with you on many of your execution points, Eltee (see my post below), I think your comment about marketing is completely off. There absolutely should not be a target audience for a national team crest. It should always about inclusion, pride and universal support from everyone, not about selling shirts and jerseys and flags and whatever else to a specific demographic.

      • Eltee of DC | October 7, 2015 at 11:31 am |

        Couldn’t disagree with you more.

        Not that I want to mind you, but been doing marketing for decades enough to know that if you do not know who actually BUYS the $200 dollar shirt, you are going to have a tough road to hoe in selling your concept. Which totally sucks, and leads to the uni-designs like NIKES football line of hideous, childish Cleveland Brownian horror.

        Sadly It’s all about the Benjamins in the sports marketing game. The answer to the question “Who is gonna buy this?” is right up there with oxygen as to the needs a sportswear company (the Nikegonians in this case) decision making process.

        I don’t like it anymore than you do, it is stifling and leads to bad design more times than not. But you have to make a case for it when you are banging out proposals.

        As for the design, not all of us can be TGTR, but if you are gonna be in the design game, you have to get used to much, much harsher criticisms.

    • CortMc | October 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm |

      The best part of the proposal is Mr. Willis’s determination to avoid a design that looks self-consciously European. The biggest problem with soccer in the United States is that so many of the traditions, crest designs, and club names are aping traditions that don’t belong to us. Sporting KC? FC Dallas? DC United? They’re stupid names, and they don’t resonate with Americans. (Compare Mexico, where many of the clubs have developed a weird, interesting, uniquely Mexican identity.) I love the idea of an “American” identity, but I’m not sure if this is it. The idea is great, but there’s something about the final design that leaves me a little cold. It feels a little generic, a little bland.

      • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm |

        Excellent point. The almost monumental coldness of the design that I see in it is highly reminiscent of American muralism from the 1930s. If you’ve see a building or sculpture put up with government money during the Great Depression, you’ll recognize a lot of the visual elements of the eagle. That visual language persisted longer in America than in Europe for various reasons, so it does give it a more indigenous flavor.

  • AlMaFi | October 7, 2015 at 9:03 am |

    That new Hickory Crawdads logo looks a little too much like the old Lakewood BlueClaws logo.

    http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/view/ve3zrtsj9h8i63jf2ql4selia/Lakewood_BlueClaws/2001/Primary_Logo

  • Dumb Guy | October 7, 2015 at 9:24 am |

    Are the USA golf club head covers considered “Declaration Desecration”?

    I know the flag thing is is big with a lot of folks here; what about our founding documents?

    I am seriously interested in people’s thoughts. Thank you.

    • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 9:42 am |

      The flag has more than a century of traditional rules of etiquette regarding its display. Simple, sensible rules. No such tradition exists for historical documents.

      Nor should we expect the two to be treated the same. They are not just different things, they’re different types of things. The flag is a symbol of the nation. As such, anything that looks like a flag is a flag, just as every instance of the letter A is the letter A, whether it appears in print on a page or pixels on a screen. So if there are to be standards of etiquette for display of any flag, they must by definition apply to every display of the flag.

      Whereas the text of the Declaration of Independence is not a symbol of anything; it is a thing itself. The art on those club covers doesn’t symbolize America in some abstract way; it depicts a particular historical document in a concrete way. This makes it different in kind from the flag.

  • FiteClub | October 7, 2015 at 9:49 am |

    That “Casey at the Bat” glove display is a thing of beauty!
    I’m a huge Casey fan with many first edition books in my collection. I used to read it to my kids long before they could read on their own. Man, that artwork would be a stunning edition to any sports fan’s wall!

    • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 12:25 pm |

      Absolutely. A worthy baseball triptych!

  • Bill H | October 7, 2015 at 10:20 am |

    No doubt that US soccer needs a new crest, but not that one!!! The first thing I think of when I see it is US Air Force.

  • jamessteever | October 7, 2015 at 10:22 am |

    Here’s a good look at the Bucks’ new road uniforms in action. “So nice,” says Jesse Zakshesky. … Would be REALLY nice if you could read the numbers better? All kind of mushy messy IMO.

    • Sterling84 | October 7, 2015 at 12:00 pm |

      Ay.Men. More than anything in recent memory I think the population just WANTS to like this. I can’t read any of it. The cream turns to white on TV. I get a clunky Michigan State vibe from that clip. I guess. If I’m being charitable.

      • Rob S | October 7, 2015 at 1:24 pm |

        Agreed. Because the cream fades into the white, the numbers look chunkier, and Greg Monroe’s 15 looked a lot like a 16 in most of that clip (only toward the end as he got closer to the camera position was I able to tell that yes, that’s a 15).

        A different outline color would certainly clear the road numbers up.

  • Ross H | October 7, 2015 at 10:26 am |

    Nike/US Soccer, if you’re paying attention, grab that crest now. That is amazing.

  • Matt in CLT | October 7, 2015 at 10:37 am |

    The gold and white volleyball number in the ticker is most likely the result of a heat pressed number coming off after being run through the heat of the clothes dryer.

    • umplou | October 7, 2015 at 2:18 pm |

      Volleyball is VERY strict about all players being dressed the same – (I’m a volleyball official) but I would hope/think the officials at that game overlooked that if it was a malfunction like you said.

  • Stephen | October 7, 2015 at 10:40 am |

    I’m sad to hear that Nike has control over design of the US Soccer crest. Did the Federation outsource that function to them? I’d think that you’d want to keep that in-house.

    Now I’m wondering if any other clubs have outsourced their logos (MLS excluded). Anybody know?

    • Rob S | October 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm |

      My question is, who designed the old US Soccer crest in the first place?

    • DJ | October 7, 2015 at 9:31 pm |

      Nike has plenty of skilled designers; I wouldn’t have a problem per se with them designing the new crest. I assume that US Soccer will be smart enough to ensure that they retain ownership of and all rights to the final design.

  • andyharry | October 7, 2015 at 11:00 am |

    The U.S. definitely needs a new mark, but I don’t know if this is it. The wings are maybe a bit insect-like, or maybe they skew too far toward the style the U.S. Air Force uses and give me too much of a militaristic feel, which I think should be kept out of this.

    The vertical stripes are a good element to incorporate, but they don’t quite feel right when cropped inside a circle as opposed to a shield. To me, they look naked without being latched onto some sort of blue union element.

    The banner is a bit too heavy. It dwarfs the text inside it, which seems off-target for this type of use anyway. I think the folds of the banner lack the elegance and simplicity that the rest of the mark is trying to convey.

    While I think the attempt to make this mark subtly shield-shaped was admirable and interesting, I think it’s mostly lost outside the context of that graphic in which Mark’s explained the idea.

    Lastly, I do like the intent behind the inherent versatility and encouraging other entities to modify the logo as needed, but it’s also a slippery slope, because once it gets to a set of less capable hands, it can go downhill very quickly.

  • scottrj | October 7, 2015 at 11:20 am |

    Jim Brown played on the Syracuse freshman team in 1953, and the varsity from 1954-56. I believe the helmets the Syracuse varsity wore had a white center stripe on them through the 1952 season, which was replaced with a thinner navy blue stripe beginning in 1953. Occam’s Razor would suggest that Brown is just wearing one of the older helmets (which also may have been a hand-me-down that he wore when playing on the freshman team in ’53).

  • THE TMR Defender | October 7, 2015 at 11:55 am |

    I think he needs to do some more work on the logo. Too much going on, yes it’s better than the current one but the bar is really low there.

    Nike’s “Don’t Tread On Me” logo is (sadly) the best one so far. Maybe something closer to the US government round crest, and have the eagle with a “Don’t Tread On Me” shield / logo. That or less Rocket Pop uniforms… or both.

  • Brett G | October 7, 2015 at 11:57 am |

    The font on the new Crawdads jerseys makes it look like “Cowards” if you are looking at it quickly. At least it did to me. Don’t think that is a good change at all.

  • mild bill | October 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm |

    Who is the man standing between Dick Williams and Sparky Andersen?

    The coat and shirt are awful, even for the early 70’s.

  • Kevin B. | October 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm |

    “A Catholic priest who’s also a big Giants fan is in hot water for allegedly aiming a gun at an eight-year-old boy who came to church wearing a Cowboys jersey. Have I mentioned lately that jersey sales just lead to idiocy?”

    If you read the article, an eyewitness says that the unloaded “Civil War-style gun” was shown to the boy but that it was never pointed at him nor was the boy threatened with it. It’s also worth noting that the boy’s family did not lodge the complaint about the incident, despite the fact that his mother was present for the incident. Actually, it seems like the boy and the priest were both laughing and teasing each other good-naturedly about their respective teams during the exchange.

    When you live in a country where innocence is presumed, this seems like a part of the story that is worth telling unless one has an agenda.

    • Jim Vilk | October 7, 2015 at 1:43 pm |

      Agreed. Innocence is presumed from a legal perspective, but sadly not from always from a media (or worse, social media) perspective.

  • Casey | October 7, 2015 at 12:38 pm |

    Did we ever hear anything else about the supposed “leaked new crest” for U.S. Soccer? All I saw was the notion presented here that it was indeed a new U.S. Soccer crest, which seems unlikely. It looks to me like a USA logo for Olympic uniforms, not a U.S. soccer mark.

  • Casey | October 7, 2015 at 12:46 pm |

    Observation: I really like Mark’s crest when the website shifts it to a one-color mark (on a contrasting background).

    An underrated uni approach in soccer is the use of one-color versions of primary logos (often in a color that’s not part of the normal logo) showing uniform color through the negative space. Everton did this a lot, even before the current logo, which only uses two colors anyway (and has tons of white space):
    http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/wp-content/gallery/everton-2013-away-kit-nike/efc-103539.jpg
    http://www.evertonfc.com/assets/_files/images/sep_10/efc__1284704659_kit-resize.jpg

  • EddieAtari | October 7, 2015 at 12:55 pm |

    I like this People’s Crest.

    Also, regarding Mark Willis’s Yankees soccer kit, I think an appropriate non-profit jersey sponsor could be the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XSv0p9H4SS8/VhVKqvRruFI/AAAAAAAAkoM/Ig8hiqgLNis/s719-Ic42/nyy-soccer-911-sponsor.png

  • Simon Lindsay | October 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm |

    Not sure if it is 100% confirmed but the Baltimore Ravens are posting pictures of their players in their black shirts and are advertising that they are wearing more pink than usual this week. With the trend they have done over the last couple of seasons they could be wearing their alts this weekend and going all Bret Hart on us(wearing black and pink)

  • Chris Cruz | October 7, 2015 at 1:37 pm |

    I generally like Mark Willis’ shield design. Here are a few, hopefully constructive, comments:

    – There are only 9 stripes rather than 13, which detracts from the symbolism of the use of stripes.
    – I do like the idea of a somewhat abstract bald eagle rather than a photo-realistic version used by Mexico or Ecuador.
    – The idea of the bald eagle in blue is nice, but is too similar to the USAF logo for my taste. https://biotechinasia.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/us-air-force-sym-af-symbol-new-blue1.jpg
    – I’m not sold on the use of light gray on the bottom banner.

  • El Duderino | October 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm |

    I’m a big fan Mark Willis. I have his Ecuador, France, and South Carolina T-shirts, but I’m not a fan of this crest. It looks like a failed recreation of his superior Ecuador condor crest.

    His best identity sketches are:

    Columbus Crew
    http://mwillis.com/post/75161598280/identity-sketches-for-the-columbus-crew

    And Louisville
    http://mwillis.com/post/87985649439/identity-sketches-for-louisville-city-fc

  • Padday | October 7, 2015 at 1:57 pm |

    Ughhhhhh. I’m incredibly, incredibly suspicious of anybody self-proclaiming their virtue like that. People who assert themselves the voice of the people are naturally the worst. In fact, I have really no clue as to why this is lede worthy at all. “Guy Explains Why He’s Great” is hardly the news story of the century.

    Especially considering the crest is really, really meh. It doesn’t stand out in the slightest and is fraught with minimalistitis, a common ailment among amateur designers it seems. “Less is a bore” to quote the architect Robert Venturi. The imagery is cliche, not just in that it’s essentially the US Air Force logo, but also in the po-faced nature of it. The growing trend in American soccer towards this affected seriousness is an immense pet peeve of mine. I will give credit for the fact that it doesn’t openly ape European soccer imagery like NYCFC or some others, but it doesn’t exactly replace it with anything distinctly original either. Just, as I say, that trendy but oh so boring minimalism. I’ll forget this in a couple of days.

  • walter | October 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm |

    Imagine if the Astros had worn a cap like this with their tequila sunrise uniforms.

    I’m grateful they didn’t; and this is coming from a fan! But at the time, I’ll bet I drew a pillbox cap that was red at the bottom, and then terra cotta, bright orange, and finally yellow at the top, with a navy squatchee and bill.

    • arrScott | October 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm |

      Can someone please just go ahead and make that Astros pillbox cap? Right now?

  • Dumb Guy | October 7, 2015 at 4:48 pm |

    They could use some better lighting in the Rawlings factory!!

  • D. W. | October 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm |

    Random thought: I’d like to see a regular Monday or Tuesday feature that ranks the aesthetics of the prior week’s NFL games along with a bit of commentary. Similar to a “5 and 1”, but instead a complete countdown from 16 (or whatever) to 1. It should take into account not just the uniforms worn, but also weather conditions, night vs. day, grass vs. turf, end zone markings, volume of pink, everything.

    • Paul Lukas | October 7, 2015 at 5:06 pm |

      Not gonna happen (sorry), but I do love the term “volume of pink”!

  • hodges14 | October 7, 2015 at 5:37 pm |

    Wafflebored knows that there already is a whale shaped arena in New Haven?

    • Wafflebored | October 7, 2015 at 8:12 pm |

      I was not aware of that – thanks for mentioning! I guess there’s hope for architecture after all!

  • Mike | October 7, 2015 at 10:49 pm |

    The media screaming about the students painting their faces black for the ASU game a few years ago was absurd. It wasn’t “blackface”. It was just a couple of college girls trying to have fun at a game….but now that the idea is out there it probably shouldn’t be done. I doubt mocking African Americans like an early 20th century troupe was not what they were thinking.

    thanks for the links as always

  • scott | October 7, 2015 at 10:58 pm |

    Blackout = shutout two years in a row for the Pirates. Surprised the team didn’t think black jerseys were a jinx in the 2014 Wild Card game…

  • Indigo Wolf | October 8, 2015 at 2:16 am |

    I find this Crest very interesting. Very patriot I might add.

  • James G | October 8, 2015 at 11:31 am |

    Little late to this party but the soccer logo looks like the Air Force logo with stripe logo added. Something better could be done I believe.