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Meet Nick Heller - Primate, er...Prime8 Uni Designer

By Phil Hecken

Every so often on Twitter, I come across a graphic artist who displays his concepts that are (even if you’re not a fan of the concept) really well-executed and thought-provoking. It’s how I first became acquainted with Brian Begley (NBA) and Tyson Kehler (NHL), as well as artist/painter Graig Kreindler and colorizer Chris Whitehouse. I met today’s featured artist, Nick Heller, much the same way. Nick not only has some pretty neat NFL concepts (some of which will be featured below), but he also has some college football concepts I’ll introduce you to in the future.

So, in the usual Q&A style, I wanted us to get to know Nick a bit better, and then I asked him to select some of his favorite designs which you’ll see after the Q&A. Enjoy!

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Uni Watch: Are you a Uni Watch reader and if so, how long have you been following?

Nick Heller: I am. I’ve been a follower since late 2009 when I started working for the Arizona Cardinals. Before the Cards’ black uniform was introduced we were discussing the NFL helmet rule and a co-worker introduced us to the blog. I’ve been on and off Twitter since then, but have always followed @UniWatch.

UW: How old are you and where do you live?

NH: I’ll be 35 at the end of this year. I live in a suburb of Phoenix–Gilbert, AZ.

UW: You design some interesting concepts. What’s the though process when you’re designing these?

NH: I wanted to accomplish a lot when I set out to do this project. Obviously after following Uni Watch for all this time, I’m very aware that people not only take their uniform designs seriously, but also are very good at using a critical eye to see mishaps, template problems, or inconsistencies. It was important for me to consider those things when I was coming up with concepts. That said, I love some of the more insane concepts you can find when making a Google search. My goal was to try and be somewhere in the middle, so every team comes from a place of, “Does this work with their team history? Would the current supplier (Nike) design in this way? Does it stay true to the franchise style and attitude?” and so on. I often get feedback that I’m using an out dated helmet and uniform template and I think that’s fair. When I’m considering a design though, it’s important to me to remember that the design has to work not only on a SpeedFlex, but also on a Vengeance, or Vicis. For the sake of delivering the concepts, I’m using what I feel are the best 3D mockups on the market.

UW: Are you a graphic artist or designer by trade or is this just a hobby?

NH: I’m a designer by trade. Have been for about 10 years. I own a small branding and design studio and work mostly with startups and small business owners developing their new visual identities or re-positioning their current brands. I only started designing uniform concepts earlier this summer as a creative outlet outside my day-to-day client work and posted two Green Bay Packers concepts on my personal Instagram. When I pushed back 1,000 likes the first day, I figured I should start a separate page and try my hand at the whole NFL.

UW: What program did you use to create these?

NH: Almost all of my work is done exclusively in Photoshop, but from time to time I’ll make adjustments to team logos or create patterns in Illustrator as well.

UW: How long (approximately) does each individual uniform take? How long for an entire team?

NH: It really depends on how in-depth and thought out the designs are. I’ve done my best to streamline the process and create some repeatable elements. All in all, each concept takes 2-3 hours so an entire team can take anywhere from 4-6 hours.

UW: Do you have a website or blog or social media presence?

NH: Yes to all of that. The best place to see my concepts are on Instagram at: @prime8_sports. I post the concepts on Twitter a few days later and interact with the sports design community there. Same handle: @prime8_sports. I don’t have a sports concept-specific site yet, but plan to soon. For now, feel free to visit me at: http://nickwork.us. And please reach out. I love talking to other fans or designers.

UW: Do you have any other concepts besides the NFL?

NH: I’ve created a handful of collegiate concepts, but haven’t released them yet (they were a collaboration with another Instagram fan account). I’m working on an English Premier League-specific concept and I’ll eventually move on to hockey, baseball, and basketball but want to figure out the best timing content-wise. It felt great to provide NFL content during the off-season when less was going on…it gave everyone something to talk about.

UW: Anything else you think our readers would like to know about you?

NH: I’m looking to develop some other sports related design outlets. I used to design and run a Packers apparel shop with the great Jerry Kramer and would love to start up something like that again. Also – Phil Hecken rules!

UW: OK, that last part totally wasn’t necessary, but I appreciate it. Now, can we see your top 10 designs?

NH: I talk a lot don’t I? Without waiting any longer, here are the 10 NFL concepts.

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I asked Nick to pick his 10 favorite teams/groups, and to provide brief descriptions of each. He also has some very interesting “state” unis for some of the teams. (You can click any graphics below to enlarge)

Chicago Bears

The Bears’ stylized “C” logo is one of the most iconic in the NFL, but I felt the secondary bear logo was underrated and unappreciated. I thought it would be interesting to make that logo the star and let the classic Bears uniform styling support it. This one feels vintage and modern all at the same time.

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Arizona Cardinals

I wanted to incorporate several mini-series inside my 32 teams concepts. One of those mini-series was a “State Pride” line. This Cardinals concept showcases the Arizona state flag with its styling. The color inspiration is drawn from the flag on this concept and supported by a white-to-grey gradient from head to toe (or knee).

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Los Angeles (San Diego) Chargers

Another one of my mini-series explored what the NFL’s “Salute to Service” could look like if teams adopted the aesthetics of each military branch. The Chargers felt like a natural fit for a Navy-inspired concept and I didn’t hold back. With haze grey throughout and font stylings matching naval ships, there’s still just enough Chargers blue and yellow in this one to make it stand out.

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Philadelphia Eagles

In my opinion, there are quite a few color rush offenders, but the Eagles going with a black look feels like a complete misfire when considering their classic throwback Kelly greens. Eagles’ fans and Owner Jeff Lurie seem to be on the same page about bringing it back. Hopefully this mock-up expedites that process.

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New York Giants

Arguably my personal favorite, I wanted to celebrate one of the oldest franchises in the league by modernizing the Giants 1920s-30s era striped uniforms. I ditched the old school khaki/tan for a complimentary grey to balance the bold blue and red. A matte grey helmet and single-tone uniform pant compliment without making the uniform feel heavy or dated. [I gotta say, I LOVE this one, but I can’t get on board with a gray hat. Even though I love when helmets match britches, to me it’s sacrilege to give the G-men anything but a blue lid. But that jersey and pants are outstanding — PH]

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New York Jets

To be honest, I’m not sure if the Jets have fixed their on-going coloring issues. The helmet white doesn’t match the uniform white. The green stripes are a different color than the green pants. The shoulder stripes just sort of stop…it was kind of a mess. That said, the Jets have a grittiness to them that can be felt in their uniform designs, so I just wanted to finesse them a bit with a new green shoulder yoke and simplified shoulder and pant striping.

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Oakland Raiders

I get requests all the time to give every team a full black uniform concept. In my opinion, only a few teams really deserve one and the undisputed winner is the Oakland Raiders. I completely ditched all traces of white and really pushed the concept a dark, dark place. If Oakland wore these for a night game, they’d be in stealth mode.

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Baltimore Ravens

For my last mini-series, I thought it would be interesting to think of other ways the NFL might push promotions through uniform concepts (e.g.: Breast Cancer Awareness, Salute to Service, Color Rush) and created “Vegas Nights”– the league’s promotion of the Raiders upcoming move to Las Vegas. I picked 5 AFC teams–introduced a carbon fiber overlay and color panel to the helmets, and amped up one of their colors to full-on neon mode. The Ravens concept is another one of my favorites. It’d be hard to miss these ones even among the casino lights.

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Washington

I think the ‘skins color pairing is one of the best in the league. That said, their uniform designs and stylings makes me wonder if I’d still see Art Monk or Joe Theismann out there in a game. They’ve seen very little change since the 1970s so it was time to give them an update. With new technology in apparel like sublimation printing, I wanted to explore the idea of an “all over” pattern or splatter. This one just looks tough.

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Tennessee Titans

The great guys at Uni Watch just recently put on a Tennessee Titans redesign contest and this was my entry. There were a ton of great concepts submitted, but I still really love what I accomplished with this one. The Titans’ logo and overall visual identity is getting a much needed update this offseason so I built on what’s already being used or leaked. Their colors are already fantastic, so I updated the primary logo (bye bye weird flame trail), and used that new logo as inspiration for the styling: clean lines, new Grecian patterns, and opportunities for fresh new logo placements.

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Anthony also sent along a set of four helmets (three for teams shown in today’s splash photo) — and a closer look at the Cardinals helmet. The other teams are the Broncos, Bills and Texans…

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And there you have it — a “first” look at some of Nick’s designs. You can get a look at some of his other work by clicking on the links provided in the interview. I’ll be back with Nick again with some of his college concepts.

Hope you guys enjoyed — even if you’re not necessarily a fan of some of the colors or elements, you have to admit these are still some very solid concepts. Let him know what you think in the comments below. I’m looking forward to seeing what he has in store for some of the NCAA teams down the road!

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What They’re Wearing Today…

The following is a list of some (though by no means all, obviously) uniforms, patches or helmets teams have announced for their games today.

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And Now a Quick Word from Paul

Hi there. Just a few days left to get our latest limited-edition shirt from the Uni Watch Artist’s Series, designed by the great Sean Kane (shown at right; click to enlarge). It’s available here through this coming Monday, Oct. 9. Additional info here.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weekend content.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: Bad form from the Red Sox and Astros yesterday, as both wore their softball tops in the playoffs. The Indians also wore their softball tops against the Yankees (check out Francisco Lindor’s stirrups, though!). … C.C. Sabathia went either without socks or with ultra-low socks last night (from Zach Kindt). … The Dodgers’ Twitter account posted this image of one of their batting helmets last evening. Those numbers seem a little larger than usual, no? (from Ryan Feuerstein). … The Nationals are selling brown and blue playoff M&M’s, inspired by Max Scherzer’s eyes. Scherzer has heterochromia, one brown and one blue eye (from @OlegKvasha and William F. Yurasko). … The police department of Deer Park, Texas, a suburb of Houston, added the Astros’ logo to their shield for the postseason (from @igTXSalazar). … The statue of Bob Feller outside of Jaco…excuse me, Progressive Field got dressed in a red jersey for the postseason (thanks, Phil). … In last night’s Cubs/Nationals game, the RF Umpire (Far Right) had a peeling Postseason logo on his top and no New Era Logo (from Niko Goutakolis). … Tweeter Jon Rowland notes the Dodgers “obviously sewed (the) Postseason patch on Kershaw’s season long dirty cap… lol.”

Football News: The Giants have changed their captain’s patches as part of the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign (from Diego Quiroga). … The Rams will throw it back on Sunday against the Seahawks (thanks, Kris). … Robert Hayes gave the Browns’ social media guy the third degree and found out that they’ll be wearing all-white again this weekend, with brown socks for the second consecutive week. … Not uni-related, but Jason Hillyer sends along this great article about the man behind the Chiefs’ mascot KC Wolf. Highly recommended. … Calvin Farris was going through old Getty Image archives of the CFL and discovered that when Fred Biletnikoff was a player-coach for the Montreal Alouettes, he was evidently given an old jersey with the sleeve numbers ripped off and replaced by an Alouettes logo. Another image here. … Also listed in the hockey section: Tyler Wild spotted this backpack with a Jaguars logo and a Penguins wordmark at an Orlando retailer. … Steve Salayda came across this Instagram account from a former Northern Iowa football player who refurbishes old helmets. Tons of great photos. … The hosts of the new Covergirl-sponsored all-woman NFL pregame show wear Covergirl-branded football jerseys (from James Lee Gilbert). … Mitchell & Ness made a funny mistake on one of their new sweaters (from @FtWaynePistons).

Hockey News: Here’s out first look at the Golden Knights’ inaugural season patch. For whatever reason, Vegas didn’t wear it during preseason (from Paul and Nick Maggos). … Speaking of Vegas, the Golden Knights have added a “Vegas Strong” decal to their helmets, featuring the Las Vegas skyline in the shape of the state of Nevada, in the wake of last week’s massacre. No word on whether it’s temporary or a season-long addition (thanks, Paul). … The Stars have also added the decal to their helmets (many thanks to Tim PerkinsBrian Ogden, and the others who sent this in). … Bruins rookies are still receiving and wearing Reebok gear despite the changeover to Adidas. Presumably, other players on the Bruins still have and wear Reebok gear, too (from @TheGoalNet45). … The Devils’ new scoreboard is the world’s biggest in-arena. It evidently generates quite a bit of heat—one player said it felt 20 degrees hotter underneath the scoreboard (from Ted Arnold and Mike Chamernik). … Ryan A. Romano sends along this article ranking the uniforms of all 60 Division I college hockey teams. … Cross-listed from the NFL section: Tyler Wild spotted this backpack with a Jaguars logo and a Penguins wordmark at an Orlando retailer. … The Oilers’ legal department has told an Edmonton bar owner to cease his Oilers-themed promotion because the bar does not carry Molson, the team’s official beer sponsor (from Wade Hedit). … Atlantic Hockey, an NCAA Division I hockey conference, has added a fifteenth anniversary patch to every member school’s uniform (from Joe Werner). … Goalie Darion Hanson of Union College is such a big Allen Iverson fan, he added Iverson to his mask! (from Blake Fox). … Here’s something that’s so fantastically minor league hockey: the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL unveiled their new unis on beer cans (from @Outinthedark). … The 100 Mile House Wranglers, a junior hockey team  in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League out of 100 Mile House, British Columbia (yes, the town is called “100 Mile House”) are wearing wildfire awareness sweaters all month (thanks, Phil). … The Fargo Force wore 10th Anniversary jerseys last evening (from Patrick Thomas).

Basketball News: SB Nation has published a good piece about everyone’s least-favorite now-defunct uniform element: sleeved NBA jerseys (thanks, Phil). … Great shot of the Timberwolves’ new court design (from Sam Lebewitz). … It’s hard to find photographic evidence proving this, but many Celtics fans—myself included—have noticed that the Celtics’ new Nike Icon jersey appears to be a lighter shade of green. You can kinda tell when you compare this picture of Isaiah Thomas from last season and this picture of Kyrie Irving from last night’s preseason game, but it’s most visible in the actual game broadcasts (thanks Ricky Eddleston, whose tweet was the impetus for all that).

Soccer News: After being teased for weeks by leaks, Italy has finally launched their 2018 World Cup kits. Note the new crest (here’s the old one for comparison). Interestingly, they chose keeper Gianluigi Buffon to debut the kit. Because of rules mandating that keepers wear a different kit than outfield players, Buffon won’t be able to actually wear the kit he helped unveil in an actual match (from @captainIOW). … Scottish side Rangers have somewhat belatedly launched their new third kit. … The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL are wearing pink kits for tomorrow’s match and auctioning them off afterwards, donating the proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure (from @redbuppy).

Grab Bag: James Lee Gilbert sends along a link to a free download to an ebook detailing the history of NASA’s logos. Here’s a direct link to the online PDF. … Here are the new alternate rugby kits for England and Ireland (from Eric Bangeman). … Wired has an article about Adidas’ new “Speedfactory” in Bavaria, Germany (from Adam Herbst). … Austin Kaut, a lacrosse player for Penn State, has a pretty unique helmet design (from María Canales‏).

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57 comments to Meet Nick Heller – Primate, er…Prime8 Uni Designer

  • Kmcwil | October 7, 2017 at 7:46 am |

    From the ticker… Buffon wore the new Italy shirt yesterday in a game since the team was in white. He’s worn outfield jerseys in goal in the past for Club and always wanted to wear the blue for country.

    • Kmcwil | October 7, 2017 at 7:49 am |
    • Anthony Emerson | October 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm |

      Okay, that’s awesome! I’ll make sure it’s in tomorrow’s ticker.

      • Kmcwil | October 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm |

        So just ready today’s ticker before seeing this comment. Pretty cool seeing I made the ticker haha.

  • BurghFan | October 7, 2017 at 8:00 am |

    Proofreading:

    In the Hockey section, there are two different items about the new Devils’ video board.

    • Phil Hecken | October 7, 2017 at 9:55 am |

      Shit — that’s my bad, not Anthony. I removed the second reference.

  • Gary | October 7, 2017 at 8:52 am |

    Nick’s design concepts are uniformly great, both the concepts and the presentation.
    The Phila Eagles concept hits the mark with the Kelly Green treatment. But a firm no on the the helmet wings. The wings must be silver; no white, gray, or black graphic accents permitted.

    • Bill | October 7, 2017 at 9:57 am |

      All of Nick’s designs are terrible. They all felt forced and he is trying way to hard to incorporate too many angles. So much unnecessary grey.

      • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm |

        I appreciate your opinion, Bill. When I started this process I knew I wanted people to have a visceral reaction (love or hate, not indifferent), so I thank you for your feedback even if you weren’t into any of these concepts. The thing about creating concept art is that it should feel forced – it’s suggesting change to the status quo! All the best.

        • Jerry | October 7, 2017 at 3:16 pm |

          Love the designs, but one question – we almost never get white pants in anyone’s re-design concepts. Is that because many pants are already white, or because designers have to DO something to make them different. Or is it a millennial thing?

        • MJ | October 7, 2017 at 4:47 pm |

          Liked most of the designs, except where you used numbers that didn’t have enough contrast to the body of the jersey. It’s a design that actually draws penalty flags, besides defeating the purpose of having uniform numbers in the first place: telling which player is which. That said, nice work.

        • Nick Heller | October 9, 2017 at 12:49 am |

          Jerry – I can’t seem to reply directly to your comment so I hope you see this.

          To be perfectly honest, I think I shied away from white pants quite a bit because the end result can feel less “dynamic” on first glance. I never want my concepts to convey the message that I may have phoned in half of the concept (if that makes sense).

          There are a handful of my other team concepts on my Instagram/Twitter that feature white pants (and some of the collegiate concepts I’m working on), but I think your point is a fair one. I’ll definitely keep that in mind moving forward. Thanks for the question!

    • RSB | October 7, 2017 at 10:45 am |

      I thought Nick’s designs were great on the whole. The Giants has “iconic” potential. The Jets offer another aesthetic solution in a sleeveless world.

      The Washingtons, however, would be murder on announcers and number spotters.

      The Chargers is an awesome idea if only they didn’t decide to pull up steaks in San Diego.

      RSB

      • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm |

        Thanks, RSB. There’s something about those Giants jerseys, isn’t there? And you’re right about the Washington jerseys…something that would surely be altered if these concepts were to become reality.

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:08 pm |

      Thanks for the kind words, Gary. I’d love to see the Eagles in Kelly green again.

  • Gary | October 7, 2017 at 9:04 am |

    A big shout out to Ms Wilson’s Third Grade art class for MLB’s “Post Season” stickers design,
    Seriously, why do these ridiculous iron-on patches even exist?

    • DJ | October 7, 2017 at 10:19 am |

      Probably because of the very lightweight fabric that baseball jerseys are made of these days; it’s better to apply the patches via adhesive than sew them on.

      • RSB | October 7, 2017 at 10:47 am |

        Why go lightweight in October? all of these cooling an wicking features seem a terrible idea while you’re wearing a team cap with hunter’s earflaps. Time for the warm gear!

        RSB

  • Mangler | October 7, 2017 at 9:10 am |

    Tl; dr the pdf of the history of NASA’s logo, which includes the history of the logo for its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). But I did see page 91, which showed a cartoon about NASA changing its logo from the “meatball” to the “worm”. It shows a right-handed batter standing over the plate/where a left-handed batter would stand.

  • Rich | October 7, 2017 at 9:27 am |

    “Bad form from the Red Sox and Astros yesterday, as both wore their softball tops in the playoffs. The Indians also wore their softball tops against the Yankees (check out Francisco Lindor’s stirrups, though!)”

    Nah, it was fine. Teams have been wearing alts in the postseason since the A’s in the ’70s. Astros wear orange jerseys for Friday home games. Glad to see they kept that in place. Hopefully, they wear orange tops Sunday afternoon as they normally do for road day games.

    • scott | October 7, 2017 at 9:32 am |

      The aesthetics of the 1970s should be left in the 1970s.

      • Anthony Emerson | October 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm |

        I don’t mind the Stros’ orange unis too much, but I despise those navy Red Sox jerseys and I hate whenever they wear them.

    • Special K | October 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm |

      The Cubs also wore their blue jerseys yesterday.

    • walter | October 8, 2017 at 12:15 am |

      I would never tell the Indians not to wear their navy jerseys. They are one of baseball’s most enduring trademarks. In fact, if the rules allowed it I would wear navy jerseys and white pants on the road, too.

  • J.R. Clark | October 7, 2017 at 9:57 am |

    Nick Heller’s designs are hideous. I disagree with the comment made by scott…the aesthetics of the 1970s are superior to the 2010s.

    If I had absolute power over NFL uniform design, I’d force the teams that existed prior to 1970 to implement their 1970 uniform design and stay with it in perpetuity. For the teams that came into being after 1970, they would be obliged to implement their original uniform design and stay with it.

    • DJ | October 7, 2017 at 10:26 am |

      Really? A white helmet for the Eagles? A yellow helmet for Washington? Red jerseys for the Patriots (while nice, the whole point of changing was to avoid wearing Redcoat red).

      While 1970 was good in terms of uniforms, it wasn’t perfection. No Year is.

    • Wade Heidt | October 7, 2017 at 10:36 am |

      J.R., I agree that a lot of NFL teams would look better going back to their more vintage, earlier designs compared to what they wear now.

      I do not agree with forcing teams to wear a uniform and not have option to change anything. Owners need to have the freedom to change their team’s uniform (in accordance with NFL rules) and not bow down to a uniform dictatorship.

    • mild bill | October 7, 2017 at 10:46 am |

      J.R., I would gladly give you power over all NFL uniform design but request that the year be changed to 1976. Tampa would still be wearing Creamsicle and Seattle, well, enough said.

      • DenverGregg | October 7, 2017 at 11:06 am |

        I’ve never been satisfied with any of the Bronco unis, so I’d add one codicil. Elements from pre-1976 uniforms could be added. That way you could get the helmet, pants, and socks of the 76 Broncos with those sweet 65 jerseys.

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:18 pm |

      J.R. – Have to say I’m glad you don’t have absolute power over the NFL’s uniform policy. The 70s era stuff is great in its own right, but by locking franchises and their visual identities to a specific era like that, you’d push away any other fans that don’t agree with your affinity for 40-year old designs. Evolution is a good thing! Take care.

  • Joe | October 7, 2017 at 10:08 am |

    The Norfolk Admirals have been in the ECHL for at least the past 2 years now.

    • Anthony Emerson | October 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm |

      My bad. Fixed.

  • KeW | October 7, 2017 at 10:13 am |

    Very cool concepts, and very nice presentation and quality of the pictures. I especially like the Bears and Giants.

    Any word if the Cardinals are planning a makeover? Their current uniforms are very tired and the piping needs to go. They had such classics, I feel like they’d be easy to give a “modern throwback” look. The team must be discussing a makeover.

    • DJ | October 7, 2017 at 10:21 am |

      I can’t say much for the Bears concept. It’s just too divorced from the team’s history and tradition. That’s the problem with many of these concepts.

      • Sadxvb | October 7, 2017 at 1:13 pm |

        Agreed. Rounded numbers for the Bears. They were, for years, the only team wearing them. It’s a huge part of their visual identity

      • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm |

        DJ – I’d love to hear you expand on your comment. Of all of the concepts above, I’m surprised the Bears concept is the one you called out as a major departure. Thanks for your feedback!

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:22 pm |

      Thanks, KeW. Agree with your opinion on the Cardinals. They’re stuck in some weird styling from the mid-2000s (alongside the Falcons). I think a lot of Cards fans would be interested in a makeover as well.

  • Jim | October 7, 2017 at 10:31 am |

    Nick Heller’s designs feature too much gray for my liking. I would also like to see the Cardinals helmet done in red, and an Eagles uniform design in red, white, and blue. Is there a more fitting color scheme for a team with that name? Finally, reading “that said” over and over in his uniform descriptions got to be monotonous.

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:38 pm |

      Jim,

      I appreciate the feedback. That said (see what I did there?), grey is a great complimentary color to many palettes and combinations, but that’s subjective. I considered a red Cardinals helmet, but there are plenty out there if you do a quick Google search. As for the red, white, and blue Eagles hat, I created one for a Fourth of July promo. If you shoot me an email or reach out to me via social media, I’d be happy to send it your way.

      • Cole | October 7, 2017 at 8:44 pm |

        Nick – reading your responses to comments, and just want to say that you have a great attitude. It is challenging as a creative to hear from people who don’t like your work – constructive criticism or otherwise – and you really handle it in stride. Which is no small accomplishment bc most people get defensive, butt hurt, etc. I really like your designs, but I like your attitude even more.

        • Nick Heller | October 9, 2017 at 12:59 am |

          Thanks Cole.

          It’s true…reading critiques that are less-than-glowing isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but I know I’m not going to win over everyone. Also, I know the audience and knew what I was getting myself into. We’re talking about a devoted fan base that takes time to tweet about historical uniform references, different number stylings in games, or the size of promotional or playoff patches, but also people that clearly love the sports and sport designs they follow *so much* that they’re paying that much attention to details. I think that’s pretty cool considering that a lot of my time as a concept artist is taken up in thinking of ways to essentially dismantle the very things that this community is looking to preserve. I appreciate the balance in that.

          That said, I’ve got a healthy following of young people and athletes on Instagram and can confidently say I’ve had more positive feedback than negative. It’s fine if folks wish that only designs from the 70s were allowed or if they think I use too much grey or if I’m not worth featuring. Concept design–like art–is pretty subjective. Everyone deserves an opinion. I’m grateful that Phil reached out and look forward to sharing some more work in the near future.

  • Wade Heidt | October 7, 2017 at 10:35 am |

    J.R., I agree that a lot of NFL teams would look better going back to their more vintage, earlier designs compared to what they wear now.

    I do not agree with forcing teams to wear a uniform and not have option to change anything. Owners need to have the freedom to change their team’s uniform (in accordance with NFL rules) and not bow down to a uniform dictatorship.

  • RSB | October 7, 2017 at 10:50 am |

    *** Goalie Darion Hanson of Union College is such a big Allen Iverson fan, he added Iverson to his mask! ***

    Probably the first time Iverson ever made it to practise on time.

    RSB

  • DW | October 7, 2017 at 11:31 am |

    During game 1 of the ALDS between Boston and Houston, they showed footage of David Price pitching in relief in ’08 for the Rays (to highlight his relief experience in the postseason). His TB cap clearly has a squatchee. So when did he decide that a squatchee was an intolerable nuisance on his head? Just curious as to the when.

  • Joe Rodgers | October 7, 2017 at 11:33 am |

    Why does this “artist” deserve this platform? At best, his work is mediocre on a slick template that can cover for blah concepts. Not even one of these is an upgrade.

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm |

      Joe – sorry you feel that way. I’d love to hear some of your ideas some time and see if we can bring them to life on my slick templates.

      All the best,

      Nick the “Artist”

  • Greg | October 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm |

    Nike having issues colour matching green, where have we heard that before?

  • Mark | October 7, 2017 at 12:28 pm |

    That countdown of Division I College Hockey jerseys has solidified my opinion – college hockey is the most beautifully attired sport/section in all of sports.

    Sure, there is the odd horror story thrown in there (I’m looking at you, Quinnipac camo alternates), but every set in there has at least two really solid combinations. If Air Force’s uniforms are only coming in ranked 48 of 60, something is going right.

    • Wade Heidt | October 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm |

      Yes, I really like many of the college hockey uniforms.

      -Have some unique colour schemes (i.e. Brown Bears with the brown and red).

      -Some really unique, cool hockey helmets (Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State).

      -I like how some teams have 2 different sets of pants. Enjoy North Dakota wearing green helmets and pants with white jerseys, but wearing black helmets and pants with green jerseys.

    • Anthony Emerson | October 7, 2017 at 2:01 pm |

      I’m also very happy that a school near and dear to my heart came in at No. 2…

  • RICKAZ | October 7, 2017 at 12:55 pm |

    I’d love Nick’s perspective on the Cardinals black uniform. Not a fan, since it just looks like they throw on a black jersey to sell a few more. Also not a fan of teams using black when it’s not really one of their colors. I guess the Cards have a little black in the bird’s head, but it’s not a color people associate with the Cardinals.

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm |

      Rick,

      If you check out my social media accounts, I actually created a black Cardinals concept a few months back. Have a look and let me know what you think.

  • Sadxvb | October 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm |

    WHY would you get rid of the Chargers lightning bolt helmet? That’s pretty much the only good thing they have going for them right now.

    • Nick Heller | October 7, 2017 at 2:32 pm |

      Sadxvb,

      I wouldn’t suggest getting rid of one of the best helmets in the league. That would be a travesty. The Chargers’ “Salute to Service” concept is something I’d see teams wearing in a promotional capacity a lot like teams wear a throwback or anniversary style once a season. Surely wouldn’t want this concept to overtake the Chargers’ uniforms completely.

  • Jim Vilk | October 7, 2017 at 3:22 pm |

    The Devils’ new scoreboard is the world’s biggest in-arena.

    How many World’s Largest Scoreboards have we had in the past 20 years? Enough already. Please.

    Nick: good stuff…just one thing…female cardinals are gray. I myself don’t have a problem with a gray Cardinals uni (beats their BFBS one), but I don’t see that ever becoming a reality. I could be wrong though.

  • Cole | October 7, 2017 at 9:04 pm |

    I really like Nick’s designs. Modern but still crisp, not cluttered. It’s basically exactly my taste in uniforms. (I’d make some tweaks here and there, of course – e.g., readability on Washington, which someone already mentioned. But generally: very solid.)

    Re Use of grey. I know some on this site don’t like grey because it’s trendy and popular – but frankly, it’s a great neutral. It just is. And it’s not like grey was invented in 2015 (e.g., Tennessee 1914 football uniforms). Do some of the “GFGS” uniforms looks crappy? Of course. But I wouldn’t put Nick’s designs in that category. Yes, he uses grey. But in my opinion, in a way that compliments the design.

  • spinetingler | October 8, 2017 at 8:08 pm |

    Celtics this year seem to better match the green of my 80s Bird jersey (purchased at Larry Bird Ford in Indiana, of course).