Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all inhabitants continue to be safe, healthy, and (mostly) sane. Hope the same is true for your home.
Now then: The Browns will be unveiling their new uniforms the day after tomorrow. Lots of people have asked if I’ve seen the new designs — no, I haven’t. But I have seen what the designs looked like as of a year and a half ago, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.
Here’s the deal: Over the weekend I had multiple interactions with an industry source who has requested anonymity. The source, whose background I have vetted, sent me visuals that showed what the Browns were planning for their 2020 uniforms as of October 2018. It’s possible that some aspects of the designs could have changed since then, especially small details on non-retail uniform components (the striping on the pants, say, or the design of the socks). But at the very least, these visuals show the direction the Browns were taking 18 months ago, and they are likely to be very similar to what gets unveiled this Wednesday.
My source would not allow me to publish the visuals, so I can’t share those with you. But I was permitted to use the visuals as the basis for my own mock-ups, so I once again called upon Uni Watch Photoshopper Nic Schultz, who has created new renderings.
It’s worth noting that my source for the recent Buccaneers leak showed me visuals but would not send them to me or allow me to take my own photos, so the Bucs renderings that Nic produced were based on my notes and memory. But my Browns source sent me the visuals, and I in turn sent them to Nic (with the source’s blessing), so these renderings I’m about to show you are basically an exact match to what the source provided.
Ready? Here we go, beginning with the home uniform. Again, remember that these were current as of October 2018, so some details may have changed since then (for all of these, you can click to enlarge):
Some quick thoughts:
• The Browns have been hinting for more than a year now that they’re getting back to basics, and this design is certainly in keeping with that: old-school sleeve stripes, no wordmark on the chest, simple pant striping, and even striped socks (although it’s a little disappointing that they paired white socks with white pants). The main holdover from the previous uniform is the brown facemask.
• The number font is interesting. It’s sort of a modified block, by which I mean it registers visually as a block font, but some of the corners are rounded instead of linear. I’d need to see more numerals to assess it fully, but I like what I see of it so far.
• The visuals did not show the back of the uniform (same goes for the other designs I’m going to show you), so we didn’t mock that up.
Next up is the road uniform:
• I would have preferred orange pants instead of brown. Still, this isn’t bad.
• The visuals my source provided don’t show the lower portion of the road socks, so I don’t know for sure that they were white toward the bottom, although I think that’s a reasonable assumption. Obviously, I’d rather see these socks with the white pants and the white socks with these pants, but NFL hosiery is pretty much a lost cause these days, so whaddaya gonna do.
And finally we have the Color Rash uniform:
I’m not a fan of mono-colored NFL uniforms in general or of the mono-turd look in particular, so this gets the thumbs-down from me. Unlike the outgoing mono-turd design, this one is seriously minimalist — no sleeve stripes, no pant stripes, not even any TV numbers.
Interesting stuff, right? I’ll mention yet again that while the Browns had settled on these designs as of October 2018, they could have made some tweaks since then. Still, it’s fascinating to see that they’d already decided to do basically a complete about-face on the set that Nike had designed for them three years earlier. It’s a pretty strong repudiation of that initial Nike approach, and makes you wonder how everyone made such a colossal misstep the first time around. Like, what were the Browns thinking? How did they misjudge their fan base’s preferences so badly?
Anyway, if Wednesday’s unveiling gives us anything even close to these designs, it’ll be a huge upgrade. We’ll find out soon enough.
Meanwhile: Remember how I recently asked whether the pandemic would redefine the uni-verse’s definition of heroism? We appear to have the start of our answer in Peter King’s new column, just out this morning, which includes the following:
[The Browns are] rolling out a uniform redesign on Wednesday, and the net proceeds from all new jersey sales will go to COVID-19 relief in Greater Cleveland, a program the team plans to unveil today. Two points:
• Jersey profits will go to a fund, “Hats Off To Our Heroes,” aiding health-care professionals, first-responders, education professionals and others on the front line of caring and servicing those affected by the virus. “Having a uniform launch now, we asked ourselves, ‘Are we being tone-deaf?’” Browns executive vice president J.W. Johnson said. “We thought we needed some positivity in a tough time for a lot of people.”
• This will be the third team in a week (Atlanta and Tampa Bay last week) re-launching the uniform. If it seems it wasn’t that long ago that the Browns changed unis, it wasn’t. It last happened in 2015, and the reaction was pretty sour. “Our fans wanted us to get back to our roots, to our tradition,” Johnson said. “We’ve always had a classic, clean and iconic look. We’re a traditional team, like Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Dallas. Our fans weren’t super-thrilled with our uniform [change] the last time. Now we’ve been able to figure out a way for us to go back to more of a traditional look while giving back to people and to families who need it.” It’s a smart way to help. Now everyone who buys a Browns jersey knows they’re contributing X dollars to those helping the afflicted.
Good for them.
(My thanks to Jerry Wolper for the Peter King link.)
ITEM! New haiku feature: Lately I’ve been writing uni-related haikus in my head while I’m out on my daily exercise bike ride. I know myself well enough to know that this is something I’ll probably be really into for a week or two, and then it’ll play itself out and I’ll move on to something else. For now, though, I’m enjoying it, and I figured I’d make it a regular feature on the site by sharing a new haiku every day or two. We can start today with this one:
The cherry on top
Proof that little things matter
I love you, squatchee
I’m thinking that each haiku could also be paired with an illustration to create a line of Uni Watch Haiku T-shirts (or prints, or whatever), but that’s down the road. For now, I’m just having fun writing these.
Meet the Uni Watch Team — Bob Sullivan: If you order a Uni Watch membership card, Scott M.X. Turner designs it (we’ll be doing a “Meet the Team” entry about him shortly) and then I send the files to Bob Sullivan, who prints them out on sheets of cardstock and mails them back to me so I can trim and laminate them.
For many years I used a local Brooklyn print shop to produce the membership cards, but they shut down last fall. When I mentioned that here on the site, Bob, who lives in Pennsylvania, was one of several readers who stepped up and offered their services. He runs his own press and is a pretty fascinating guy. Take a few minutes to check out the video embedded above — really interesting!
If you want to help keep Bob busy, ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice.
As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,500 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: ESPN explored how the runs/hits/errors totals became part of baseball box scores and then TV graphics (from Mike Chamernik). … Reader Robert Redis sent us this painting of Negro League players featuring two Homestead Grays players wearing grey uniforms with red lettering, which he can’t find anything else about — though since it is a painting, I suppose the colors could be inaccurate. … Calvin Farris sent us a picture of Wichita State’s Eck Stadium from 2005, when it had a turf infield and grass outfield. It doesn’t anymore, though.
Football News: Reader Jamie Burditt sent us some pictures of what was allegedly a prototype jersey considered when the Giants modified their uniforms in 2000. … The CFL’s season is currently set to start in July, but commissioner Randy Ambrosie says some of the league’s stadiums can’t be used in December — yes, in Canada — if the Grey Cup is pushed back. Only one CFL team, the BC Lions, plays indoors (from Wade Heidt). … We had an item in yesterday’s Ticker about Deion Sanders not wanting new Falcons RB Todd Gurley to wear No. 21, but apparently he was kidding (from Mike Chamernik and Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … UNC posted a GIF of every football uni combo. As a fan of a rival, mono-Carolina blue for me, please (from multiple readers). … A graphic designer made some college helmet concepts that are also supposed to look like painted Easter eggs (from Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: Chiefs DL Tanoh Kpassagnon created a set of Andy Reid Easter eggs! … You may know that the Jets wore a helmet decal featuring an ichthys, or “Jesus Fish,” after DL Dennis Byrd, a devout Pentecostal, suffered a career-ending neck injury in 1992. But did you know that Byrd also had an ichthys inscribed on his ankle tape?
Hockey News: DIYer-in-chief Wafflebored sent us an Easter egg painted like the Canucks’ Flying V jerseys. … The senior league Allan Cup Hockey’s Hamilton Steelhawks made an Easter graphic that features a bunch of their logos, including a fifth-season logo (from Ross Taylor).
Soccer News: Italian team AS Roma released modified versions of their first and third shirts from this season, with proceeds going to the team’s coronavirus relief efforts. … New shirt for Belarus’s FC Isloch (from Ed Żelaski). … Manchester City’s apparent first shirt for next season sure is something, because multiple respondents to Josh Hinton pointed out the pattern looks like the pattern light makes on the bottom of a pool. … Chris Cruz caught Australian striker Mark Viduka having NOB issues while with Leeds United in the 2000-01 Premier League. … The blog Museum of Jerseys looked at times during Manchester United’s first period with Adidas, from 1980-91, that they wore more than one of a same-color kit element in a season: multiple pairs of white shorts or black socks with different accents, for example.
Grab Bag: Virginia’s field hockey team appears to be replacing its distinctive blue turf. I believe they had one of the only blue pitches in Division I, and its similarity to the surface used at the 2012 Summer Olympics led the U.S. women’s national team to train in Charlottesville before that tournament. … Ever since I wrote about cap numbers last summer, I’ve been finding additional places where they’re worn, the latest being on Australian Football League umpires.
Click to enlarge
What Paul did last night: As you can see above, a new (blue!) car has appeared in front of our house. Normally there’s a lot of parking turnover, in part due to normal travel churn and in part due to NYC’s parking rules. But nobody’s driving anymore and the parking rules have been suspended, so cars now sit there in the same spot for weeks at a time.
So that’s what qualifies as big news for us these days: Hey, look, there’s a new car out front!
In addition to the Uni Watch haikus, I’ve also written another Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ haiku, as follow:
A miracle cure?
Just gimme a beer
As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos here.
Our latest raffle winner is Sam Marcheschi, who’s won himself a Uni Watch membership card. Congrats to him, and thanks to Mike Engle for sponsoring this one. We’ll have another raffle tomorrow. — Paul
Would rather see orange britches for the Browns, rather than the brown. But beggars can’t be choosers. I will be soooooo happy to see these on the field.
I would bet a large sum of money that they have an orange, brown, and white jersey AND orange,brown, and white pants in their arsenal. Also, JW Johnson stated in a Building the Browns episode (The Browns YouTube show) while showing Baker the new uniforms that they have (paraphrasing) a surprise uniform in that they’ll “have in their closet”. Many have speculated it’s all orange, as there’s also video of Odell saying “all orange”.
I’m with you; Orange pants wold be much better. However this is a HUUUUGE improvement over those Arena Leauge looking abominations they’ve been wearing. It’s a promising trend to see both the Browns and Bucs going more retro. But then we get the crap the Falcons pulled last week!
The Tarrant Theory at work again.
Let’s imagine that there never had been a team in Cleveland. Then the NFL awards them an expansion team, and it is revealed that they will be known as the “Browns”, and wear these uniforms with plain helmets.
What would the internet’s reaction be? Overwhelmingly negative, there is no doubt.
But because this is basically a return to an old design, it’s a “classic look” and people will be happy with it.
This is silly. You can make all sorts of assumptions about how people would respond to something devoid of any context. But context matters. In this case, the context is that there HAS been a team in Cleveland, and that team has a decades-long history and heritage that is closely aligned with the style being presented in these designs. The issue isn’t that these designs are “old”; it’s that they’re in keeping with the team’s long-established visual style.
More context: It makes sense that the only team with a blank helmet would have a conservative, non-flashy uniform.
Can’t remember exactly the year (1990?), but Tulane had made the decision to fire Football Coach Buddy Teevens (since having returned to Dartmouth) just before the last game of the season against LSU. In protest, the team removed the Tulane helmet logos from their White helmets, leaving only a single Green stripe. I was at the game, up close to the field, and I must say, being a Tulane season ticket guy for many years and seeing them without a helmet logo for the very first time in my experience, the helmets and the team looked pretty damn good.
So, you never really know how people will react, it all depends upon how it actually looks.
Daniel, you should get the Tarrant Theory trademarked. Or it could become the Heidt Hypothesis ;).
Well, maybe, but as Paul pointed out, the context of the team’s history, visual and otherwise, actually does matter. What also matters is what the uniform was originally designed for, viz., to look good on the field and to visually identify the team, not to mention to actually play football in them. The “old” uniforms tend to look better and be better-suited to those purposes, because that’s what they were originally designed for; the “new” or “modern” uniforms are designed with different purposes in mind, viz., to sell retail merchandise, and to reflect or reference unrelated elements of pop culture (see, e.g., the “ATL” on the Falcons’ jerseys).
Simply put, speaking for myself mainly, fans who like the “old” designs better tend to do so because the “old” design looks like a football uniform, or for fans of a particular team, because it looks like a [that team] uniform. As Howie Rose used to say during the link, on those rare days that the Mets wore the pinstripes and blue caps, they “look like the Mets.”
The reaction to any new uniform in the Tarrant scenario would be negative, because the iron law of the social-media era is that Everyone Hates New Things. This phenomenon renders the Tarrant test moot, in that it unfalsifiably predicts an inevitable outcome.
Personally, I think the leaked uni designs are terrific, though only for the Cleveland Browns, precisely because context, location, and history matter in these things. A brand-new NFL team in a Cleveland that had never been home to a previous Browns team should not adopt uniforms anything like this. But that’s not the real actual world we live in. In the real actual world, this is an example of excellent sports design.
I think about this all the time!
If the Yankees were an expansion team, would their uniforms be the greatest in baseball still?
If the Jaguars were around in the ’30s, and wore something similar to the somewhat plain uniforms that they wear now (which I like, but few people view as Classic), would we consider these modern classics?
Would modern decorum allow the Blackhawks to unveil their logo in today’s political climate?
I think it goes back to a few main points that may vary by person:
1. Team success in said uniform throughout their history
2. The uniforms that you grew up knowing the team in. Not necessarily what they wore when you were a kid, but what your first impression was. (for example, I was born in 1981, but knew the Pirates in their Bumblebees as a kid because all the old baseball cards that my friends’ older brothers had were of the bumblebees)
3. What uniforms came in between. I personally hate the navy blue outlines in the Bills uniforms, but their last set was so abhorrent that we’ve all overlooked the addition of navy blue, whereas if they had skipped the 2000’s uniforms, and strictly added navy to their Superbowl era set, we would have trashed them for it.
To be fair, some of us regard the Yankees as having decidedly mediocre uniforms already. Which they do; no new team would ever consider adopting uniforms anything like the mess that the Yankees wear. They’re classic uniforms, but they’re not very good. There are relatively little-changed classic uniforms that are also very good. Dodgers and Cardinals, for example.
Among the teams I root for, I have decidedly split opinions about the uniforms they’ve worn over the years. On the one hand, I regard the Twins’ 1987 uniforms as the best, by far, the team has ever worn, though it’s also true that I was a pretty hardcore fan and 13 years old when they debuted them, and they won two World Series in rapid succession immediately after adopting those uniforms. But I’ve also been a soft fan of the Milwaukee Brewers since I was the same age, and I’ve never been a fan of anything the Brewers wore before the late 1990s. So I like to hope that my aesthetic opinions on those teams aren’t entirely due to sentimental attachment.
Another “Tarrant Theory” post…by Daniel Tarrant.
I equate this to referring to one’s self in the 3rd person.
It’s bad form to name ‘discoveries’ after yourself (that is a tribute bestowed upon by colleagues who deem the work worthy of a proper name) and to self-promote/ram this moniker down our collective throat.
I still feel the NFL got it wrong allowing the expansion Browns to retain the original Browns name/look/franchise records but that ship has sailed and is not worth debating, but I’m pleased that this new/classic/historical/whatever you’d like to call it design the Browns put out is a great improvement over the Sears Wish Book jerseys and wordmark pants. DoublePlusThanks to whoever decided to steer clear of the gray facemask!
I’m a fan of these Browns unis. I wonder how much may have changed from when these were mocked up to when they found out how popular the “color rash” was with the fans and elevated it to the primary.
Either way, we’re gonna need some orange pants.
I hope they realized the only reason the Color Rash was so popular was because it was the least offensive of the lot. I definitely agree that there should be some Orange pants in the mix.
I haven’t paid much attention to the NFL in many years.
Whenever I see anything about the Browns’ uniforms, I have to ask myself, “Isn’t this what they always looked like?”
I mean, they’re pretty much all variations on a very narrow theme for Cleveland by this point, aren’t they? The differences are essentially just in the small(er) details, right?
Peter, you know what website you’re on right?
We’re all about the minutiae!
Those color rash uniforms are horrible. I honestly would’ve been happier if they kept the color rush from last year. Serious question, when is the last time an NFL team didn’t have tv numbers on the sleeves? I guess I just kind of assumed it was a rule To have them, but I guess not.
Pats color rash also forgoes sleeve numbers to fit both a UCLA stripe and their logo. Could be color rash is exempt from the TV numbers?
It is a rule, but some teams get a waiver. Pats’ CR design, for example.
The Bears “Monsters of the Midway” throwbacks from recent years did not have TV numbers.
And of course the same is true of the 49ers’ throwbacks:
I’m not a fan of NFL jerseys that don’t have the TV numbers. The TV numbers are truly key when watching the game. However, I remember the Browns once had a throwback with uniform numbers on the helmets instead of TV numbers on the jerseys. (Those throwback helmets also had one sole white stripe down the middle, not brown-white-brown. I forget when this was.) That’s good in my book. Cleveland should do that again. It was still an orange shell, so that would be one-shell-rule compliant.
“The TV numbers are truly key when watching the game.”
With the TV tech/capabilities of decades ago…yes.
With today’s coverage…not really.
The Browns used those throwback helmets you mentioned between ’06(60th* anniversary season) and ’08.
I don’t know; there are plenty of situations where you can’t see the chest or back numerals but can see the sleeve or shoulder. I don’t think HDTV has changed that.
Last NFL team with a regularly worn jersey with no TV numbers were the Cincinnati Bengals, who did not have TV numbers from inception in 1968 through 1979. In 1980 they radically changed the uniform to current helmet and tiger stripe detail.
Paul, does the NFL have a say in when these new unis are unveiled? We’re set to get like one per week, it seems, till May. I wondered if that is intentional. Or do the teams just coordinate on their own? Do you know if there are any league rules about how this part of the process works?
No rules I’m aware of.
As a long time Browns fan I love these over the current set but if this is the finished product I’m going to be a bit disappointed. Yes, they’ve gone back to a more classic look but does it match the look from the hype video last week which featured players from the 60’s, 70’s and 80:s? Nope. The brown pants and color rush are call backs to the expansion era Browns and not the Otto Graham, Jim Brown, Kardiac Kids or Kosar era teams. No orange points is disappointing too.
There is a good chance, as Paul stated, that they’ve changed their plans in the roughly 18 months or so when these visuals were created.
Actually, I did not say there’s a “good chance”; I simply said it’s possible. Let’s please not distort, or round up, or anything else that spreads false information. Thanks.
I misspoke, what I meant to say was Paul stated there was a chance they changed since it was ~16-18 months ago. It’s not my intention to round up or distort…my bad
Thanks, Rich — appreciated!
What about that “Retail” leak photo of potential Browns jerseys, which included the Orange jersey?
My gut feeling tells me that they would sell a lot more Orange alternates than that bare-bones brown “Color Rush” jersey.
Just thinking out loud, and somewhat following the money ….
Paul, fantastic stuff on the Browns uniform details! Really appreciate it. As a die-hard Browns fan and a guy that Gets It, seeing two things I care a lot about intersect is awesome.
If these uni’s are indeed what they go with ( I think we all know they’ll be pretty similar) where do we put the Browns duds in the rankings of the NFL? I mean they have to be back to middle of the pack at worst, no?
Hope these uniforms are what we get. Agree with Paul that the socks should be switched, but otherwise a great return to normalcy (rash aside). Wish they added the uniform numbers to the helmet.
Re: Who approves these new Nike looks (which are quickly being ditched for a return to traditional designs)? I think the answer might just be Nike has more power than we think when pitching these good awful sets, and NFL execs are somehow that clueless that they completely buy into the pitch. I assume they are incredibly vulnerable to the storytelling aspect of it all.
So the Browns “new” uniforms are basically their old uniforms tweaked a bit. The brown pants are horrible, but then so is the rest of the uniform. Old, New, Tweaked it doesn’t matter, you can’t polish a turd.
Glad I’m not a Browns fan. I couldn’t imagine wearing any of their memorabilia.
Why does everyone cry over the brown pants? They look good in that photo.
But I’m the guy who thought the 2019 Falcons looked pretty sharp.
I know, I know….what am I doing here?
I thought you were just here for the historical stuff..?
Uni Watch haikus?
Is that what we’re doing now?
Hey, sounds great to me!
If this best guess is accurate, it is more than acceptable and a massive upgrade over the garbage the Browns have been wearing. I like the tweak of the number font – it is classic-adjacent, totally legible and not overwrought. Orange pants would be the squatchee on top. The sock stripes are great – even if the players wear tights now, they can get tights that have appropriate stripes. Little details like that work. Not a fan of mono-anything, and definitely not mono-brown. But I can forgive it if this is what we get for the Browns.
Actually, it’s not a “best guess.” It is in fact what they were planning as of 18 months ago.
Count me as excited if that’s the Browns “new” look. I’m not a fan of the brown pants and I bet they would go mono-white a lot like they used to.
Paul, is there a reason cars in front of your place always seem to end up in that position between the trees? I am sure I am not the only one bothered they aren’t centered between the trees from the perspective of your porch.
I’m guessing parking in that spot allows for other cars to also fit in the spaces between driveways?
Perhaps so the passenger can get out of the car without banging the door into the tree?
If the car was parked between equidistant between the two trees it would be farther from the tree than it is int the picture above, and impossible for the passenger door to hit the tree.
If one of the trees fell and Paul wasn’t on his porch, would it make a sound?
Am I the only one who thinks a brown (possibly matte) helmet could work for the Browns? Given that virtually all leather helmets used to be brown, it’s interesting that they’ve never explored it.
A recent faux leather helmet for reference: link
The Browns never wore brown leather helmets; their original helmets from the AAFC (1946-49) were white. They started mixing in orange leather helmets around the time they joined the NFL in 1950, and had switched to orange plastic helmets by the mid-’50s.
Interesting…though I don’t think it worked well for the Broncos:
Wasn’t the orange helmet an innovation to improve receiver visibility for Otto Graham?
The Browns had white helmets when they joined the NFL in the 50s. For night games, the NFL used a white ball and banned teams from wearing white helmets for night games. The Browns still wore white helmets during day games but would wear orange for night games.
Could NFL teams that have new uniforms this year (Bucs, Falcons, Browns, Chargers, Rams, etc) take their old merch and turn them into facemasks? They could donate the material and/or sell the new PPE gear with proceeds going to COVID19 relief funds. Thoughts?
Would the breathable fabric the jerseys are made from be a drawback to their effectiveness?
Remarkable how much “repudiation of that initial Nike approach” has been going around the NFL lately, notwithstanding the Titans and Falcons pushing in the opposite direction.
I see this as a five year placeholder.
Phase out the orange as a primary/secondary color. No orange pants this time, no orange helmet the next.
Add a secondary color in the beige/grey family. Use orange as a third/highlight color similar to the lime green in Seattle.
That Giants prototype is big news to me. Imagine if the New York Giants had side panels and goofy fonts?
That Giants number font is actually pretty similar to the one the Browns have been planning.
To me it resembles the numbers and nameplates the Jaguars used c. 2010.
RE: Virginia’s field hockey turf
As far as I remember, the only other Smurf Turfs used by field hockey teams are at Yale and the University of New England.
Longwood has one as well.
I’m still awaiting Deion Sanders to make a tackle.
Paul, you would. LOL
I am constantly going back and forth…do I like the San Diego Padres colored house across the street more than I like the house to the left of it with the green doors and red trim? I think I like the brown and yellow house better…today.
I’m very pleased with the browns jerseys and pants options here (well, not the rash, but that’s extracurricular in my book), but the socks don’t make sense. Match the white with the white jersey regardless of pants color, and make the brown match the brown jersey. They currently look to match the soon-to-be-eliminated rash jersey rather than the new primary.
I’m a lifelong Browns fan and having none of the stripes matching has always bothered me. They had (will have) four different stripe sets when they wore/wear their brown jerseys.
Helmet (3 stripes, brown/white/brown)
Their last set fixed that for the most part but they went overboard and did too many other stupid changes that completely ruined the fixes.
They’ve never worn the brown jersey with white socks… The stripes on jersey and socks either matched or the socks were plain and matched the brown jersey. Until the redesign in ’14.
I apologize if this has been asked or covered already, but I have to know why if the UniWatch renderings are going for accuracy, why have the Nike logos been omitted from the jerseys and off most of the pants? You know they’ll be there :(
Oh — honestly, I forgot! Just didn’t think about it when examining and revising Nic’s renderings!
On the red-lettered Grays jerseys, I can’t find photos online but the Nationals wore Grays throwbacks in that style at one game I attended in Nats Park circa 2009-11, and the Pirates regularly wear the same style of red-lettering Grays uniforms for their Grays throwbacks. So I assume there’s some photographic or artifact basis for the style depicted in the painting. Though there’s a ton of evidence-free flimflammery regarding every Negro Leagues team, but especially the Grays. Like, you see a lot of retail sales of black Grays caps, for which as best as I can turn up in research, no evidence whatsoever.
Yeah…it’s tough to sift through all the instances when the Nationals celebrated DC baseball history rather than their own franchise history ;)
Last season’s Expos throwback game healed that wound for me.
Maybe this is from the game you attended/uniform you recalled(5/3/08)?:
Not sure if this is just me, but visiting uni-watch.com is redirecting me to:
Tried it in three different browsers, same result each time
The browns number font looks identical to New Athletic M54. That may just be a product of the mockup however.
I know most people prefer traditional but I’m bummed with the redesign. It’s entirely recycled elements and styling, no real artistry.
I was not familiar with that font — but now that I’ve looked it up, yes, that appears to be what it is. Thanks for that!
The new number font would match the teams current wordmark font
New ideas = Bad. The lesson, kids – don’t try new ideas, you’ll get mocked! Stick with the old ideas! They are much safer!
Examples from our uni-verse:
– The “BROWNS” wordmark on the leg. New idea! Nobody does that! BAD!
– Gradient color schemes, like LA Rams logo, or Falcons jersey, or others: New idea! BAD!
– Alarm clock number fonts, spiky number fonts, different number fonts: New! Bad!
– Oregon Ducks: Eyeroll! Silly! Bad!
– Pretty much any new aesthetic idea i’ve seen applied in the uni-verse? BAD!
I kid (kind of). Paul what would be a good example of a visually innovative uniform feature (say last 10-15 yrs whatever) that you’ve found to be good and an actual step forward? I’m sure there are some. I just can’t think of any!
Paul what would be a good example of a visually innovative uniform feature (say last 10-15 yrs whatever) that you’ve found to be good and an actual step forward?
Two examples that immediately come to mind (at least for me):
As I said here on the site just a few days ago, I like chrome facemasks.
I also *usually* like raised/3D batting helmet logos.
The problem with putting a big, honking wordmark on the pants isn’t that it’s a “new idea”; it’s that it looks like shit. The problem with alarm clock numbers isn’t that it’s a “new idea”; it’s that the numerals are illegible; and so on.
As I’ve been saying for many years: If it ain’t broke, why fix it? As I’ve also been saying, this is what happens when the uni-verse is driven more by merchandising concerns than by on-field concerns. Merchandising puts pressure on teams to create new product, even if there was nothing wrong with the old product. It’s the tail wagging the dog, and it’s why uniform design would be much better off if jerseys and caps had never been made available for sale. (Interestingly, the two positive new developments I cited above — chrome masks and 3D batting helmet logos — have nothing to do with merch concerns. They’re strictly aesthetic moves.)
There’s a very, very old saying: Form follows function.
Once upon a time, football uniforms were designed to be … well, football uniforms. Meaning, they were designed first and foremost to be worn for playing the game of football, and then, as football became a professional spectator sport, for people watching the game to know which team was which. Numerals then came about so that people watching (and playing) the game could know which player was which.
The “older” or “classic” or “traditional” uniform designs tend to look better because they were originally designed for the foregoing purposes. In particular, varsity/block numerals came to be the standard for football uniforms because they were best-suited to the aforementioned purpose of having numerals on the jersey. Sleeve stripes helped to distinguish teams whose jerseys were of the same or similar colors.
Smaller details like helmet decals didn’t really come about until the television era; prior to that, fans in the stands couldn’t see or recognize such things from a distance. TV allowed fans to see their favorite teams, players and uniforms up-close, and the designs followed suit, viz., not just what looked good on the field, but what looked good on television.
As such, by, say, 1970 everyone had an idea of what a football uniform was supposed to look like. Things like colored facemasks (1970s), sleeve logos (1980s), custom numeral fonts (1990s) and chest wordmarks (2000s) came about in part because they became easier to manufacture/duplicate, in part because they helped distinguish the jerseys from those of other NFL teams or generic store-bought football jerseys; i.e., to enhance the uniqueness of a particular team’s brand. (Note that in other sports, the most prominent element of the jersey front is the name/wordmark or logo of the team, whereas in football it’s the numerals.)
Take, for example, the Broncos’ and Eagles’ numeral fonts (and, for that matter, the Bears’). Any jersey with numerals in those fonts is instantly recognizable as a Broncos, Eagles, or Bears jersey. And those fonts are perfectly appropriate for a football uniform; simply put, from a distance, they unmistakably look like numbers and, perhaps more importantly, aren’t meant to invoke anything else.
It’s when designers start designing numeral fonts to evoke something other than, or in addition to, numbers, that we start to get into trouble. The Bucs’ now-abandoned “alarm clock” digits (which were supposed to resemble sword-blades or something like that), the Titans’ current (ancient Greek carvings) and Falcons’ new (beaks & talons) numerals, are examples. They simply don’t look good, and one of the biggest reasons they don’t look good is because form doesn’t follow function; it precedes it.
Same for the Browns’ pants wordmark, for which it’s hard to fathom how form could possibly follow function. Consider that in the modern history of the game, fans and observers have identified football teams primarily by either (a.) the helmet profile, or (b.) the jersey front. Pants, although typically designed to match or at least complement the above-waist elements of the uniform, have never really been a source or basis of identification, so putting a giant, prominent wordmark — which has no function other than identification — on the sides of the pants seems incongruous and is jarring to the viewer. In addition, the function of pants stripes has been, traditionally, to cover up and/or reinforce the side seams, and also to enhance the image (moving or still) of the player’s leg movements; a wordmark doesn’t have either effect, and if anything distracts from it.
Paul, I think, says it best:
And one of the biggest reasons it looks like shit is because form doesn’t follow function.
If form followed function in baseball, every team would be wearing pullovers and sansabelt pants.
Does Uni Watch HQ support that move?
I can’t speak for Uni Watch HQ, but I don’t see how that follows. Baseball players were wearing button-down jerseys and belts for 100 years before pullovers and sansabelts, the “function” of which isn’t any different, came into vogue for a short while. The fact that they went out of vogue relatively quickly suggests that there really wasn’t any function for the form to follow.
I would LOVE to see the return of pullovers and striped waistband sansabelt pants. Powder blue back on the road uniforms, too. Would it be too much to see Pittsburgh go back to the bumblebee mix-n-match? I LOVED 70’s baseball.
Good point about ‘form vs function’ although at the professional level i have to think that merchandising, insofar as it acts as a key connection point for the community of paying fans, is in fact part of that function. Paul is critical of merch sales driving uni design – but why wouldn’t it? As long as it doesn’t interfere with actual game play. (I suppose some numeral fonts could be accused of doing that…)
Paul is critical of merch sales driving uni design – but why wouldn’t it?
Because the uniform’s primary function is to be, you know, a uniform, that’s why. If it weren’t a uniform first and foremost, there’d be no reason to base merch on it.
I don’t know if it requires any theory to know these are boring. More boring than what the 2015 unis replaced. Need to replace the white pants with orange ones (with stripes) and only use the brown pants in a Color Rush/alternate scenario. I really hope these are fakes or been replaced long ago. Otherwise, another disappointment by ownership.
Has any car that’s parked in front of your house since you started posting porch pictures been centered, intentionally or not, between those trees? It’s the first thing I look for!
Why not look at the full set of photos and see for yourself?
This seems to suggest that the white socks will be paired with the dark pants.
Hopefully, as the goal was to go old school, they’ll go mono white at least on the road. Maybe the Brown pants were just them relenting to Nike pressure.
FWIW, noon wednesday.
I don’t usually buy jerseys, but I might have to get one now since it helps the community.
New logo/font information on the Indianapolis Colts:
I’ll have full coverage/assessments of this tomorrow, of course.
Beat me to it slightly but god I hate that C
The secondary logo is a bit of a dud; I don’t know if they were consciously trying to do link, but it doesn’t work nearly as well.
I love the serif numerals, and the wordmark is fine.
I would love more information on that Giants template that was posted in the ticker. Very interested to see what road the Giants would have gone down
Since these are basically the new Falcons unis, I guess we can just read their press release. lol
Any information on whether the Bengals are ditching their current set for new ones?
Nothing new in 2020 for the Bengals.
Got new uniforms?
Make the changes worth our while
Don’t make ’em stupid.
The Browns tried to fix their mistakes but end up with something worse than what they had two uniforms ago.
Another gray facemask :(
Another gray facemask :(
What are you talking about? The Browns haven’t worn grey masks since 2014.
Is this the closest a team has ever come to returning to the uniforms they left before their most recent redesign? (The Bucs might be second)
If you look at the Browns 2014 uniforms, they look just like this with the minor exceptions of the brown facemask, the stripe on the brown pants and the color rush set.
I always thought the Browns would be a candidate to incorporate the off-white like the Oklahoma throwback set. The off-white would play well with brown in my opinion.
If you look at the Browns 2014 uniforms, they look just like this with the minor exceptions of the brown facemask, the stripe on the brown pants and the color rush set.
Also: 2014 had chest wordmark, these new home/road designs don’t.
“Is this the closest a team (NFL) has ever come to returning to the uniforms they left before their most recent redesign?”
1998 Jets and 2009 49ers come to mind.
2000 Giants, also the baseball Giants got rid of garbage redesign from the 80’s and returned to a great classic look
If true, the Browns “repudiation of the initial Nike redesign” is not a divorce — it is an annulment. Like the initial redesign never happened. Going back to what they had before.
The numbers… the wordmark… the fucking swoosh?
“Anvil black” as a new trim color? But not to be found anywhere on the uniforms or logos because they have classics and know not to mess with that. BUT they make the swoosh black so they can say it is a team color and eventually roll out a BFBS color rash.
Love the haiku at the end.
Thank you Jesus, love the home brown jerseys,I dont like the road brown pants,just go with white.In the last 30 years many NFL teams have destroyed a classic look and then rectified it years later;i.e.Frisco, the Giants,Jets(although they screwed up AGAIN last year)and the Browns.The Dolphins Chargers and Redskins(i966)need to go back to the 60’s look,just my opinion……
Well thought out,educational, and very well written,look how good Notre Dame looks without a stripe or cheesy logo to be found.Thanks.
I can’t express enough gratitude to Wafflebored, for demonstrating I was right all along about the Vancouver Canucks’ Flying-V uniforms.
How in thew world did it take 2 years to develop this uniform? They scrapped everything Nike did the first time and just went back to the old look with maybe 5 minutes of tweaking to some stripes.
And the end result is fine. Not great, not good, just the same old thing which is now being passed off as something amazing because the previous effort was so horrific.
Actually, they haven’t passed it off as “something amazing” or as anything else. They haven’t even unveiled it yet!
And the reason these things take two years has little to do with the design itself. It’s mostly about the merchandising supply chain.
Won’t the Browns just wear their white pants with their white jerseys like they seem to do already
Maybe. Like I said, this is what they were planning as of 18 months ago.
As a long time Browns fans (since 1968), I like these new unis , color rash excepted. I also have to look back and laugh as I recall many fans bitching about the Browns unis being “boring and old” in 2014 and before. Some were blaming the Browns losing on the unis! It turned out to be a “careful what you wish for” deal with the arena league unis they have worn since 2015.
Haiku entry, if that’s allowed:
Black for black’s sake, sigh
Isn’t two unis enough?
They just don’t get it
Coincidentally, I also play goalie at the rink displayed on Bob’s sweater. Small world!