By Phil Hecken, with Bowen Hobbs
Hey kids! Hope everyone is doing well this fine last Sunday in the month of July, 2020.
You guys will probably recall a couple weeks ago, I brought the art and artistry of Bowen Hobbs, via “posters” he has created. Bowen is obviously a talented graphic artist and designer, and he has also concepted some of the major sports leagues as well. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of his NBA redesigns (he’s done every team, plus a bunch of defunct teams), and there’s a LOT of graphics — so I’m going to divide this into several parts. For each of the images below, you can click to enlarge.
There’s a lot to get to so let’s get to it! Here’s Bowen:
Hi everybody! Bowen Hobbs here again. Today we are going to look at a collection of redesign concepts I developed for NBA teams. Each team has a handful of logos, a custom font, four uniforms, and a court design.
Facing one of the most iconic NBA teams head on, I developed a clover/basketball hybrid icon, a modernized leprechaun mark and a typeface that blends elements of Celtic lettering and athletic block fonts.
For some reason the Nets have never had a logo showing a net. My redesign addresses that and blends the ball-and-net icon with a mid-century typeface and a touch of argyle to remember the Kid-Carter Era teams.
New York Knicks
I decided to go with a Big Apple theme for the Knicks, combined with some Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building influences. The overlap on the shorts trim is reminiscent of the subway system.
This Sixers redesign focuses heavily on the Liberty Bell and a ring of 13 stars that recall the Betsy Ross flag. The ring of stars replaces the seven and six stars that run down each side of their current uniforms.
For such a young team, the Raptors have a lot of visual history. My concept features an updated dribbling raptor as well as a basketball/dinosaur/maple leaf hybrid icon. The uniforms use a version of their chevron theme while keeping the T on the shorts.
The Bulls logo is iconic and synonymous with the team’s ‘90s dynasty. My concept shows a bull charging forward with four six-pointed stars representing Chicago. Hints of powder blue are worked into a Pride uniform that celebrates the city.
The Cavs currently use wine, black and navy to complement athletic gold in their color scheme. One of my goals was to reduce the number of dark hues in the scheme. A cavalier hat, a basketball with crossed swords, and a C-shield mark rendered in multi-tonal wine and gold set the stage for a new era. Segmented trim and a black Pride uniform acknowledge the team’s multiple eras with Lebron James.
While the Pistons currently employ a sophisticated take on their classic uniforms, I felt they could use more Motor City imagery. The primary logo is based on a vintage Ford hood ornament, while the crossed pistons give the team a Bad Boys feel. The scripts also recall classic car culture.
For a team based on the state’s racing heritage, their identity has typically kept some distance from that world. My redesign changes that with a checkered motif, a winged P logo, and an open-wheel race car mark.
Since 1993, the Bucks have relied on a front-facing deer to communicate their brand. I’ve always thought the front-facing deer communicated a dead, mounted deer on someone’s wall. My redesign places the buck in nature turning its head. The home uniforms are cream, and a modified Cream City rainbow is used throughout.
The Hawks have played with their color schemes a lot since the 1990s, but red and athletic gold remain a fan favorite. To that end, I developed a stylized hawk holding a basketball in its claws. The uniforms are modernized from the Dominique Wilkins Era.
The Hornets currently have a one of the best logos in the Association. My version uses the legs to create a basketball instead of the stinger. A CH honeycomb mark complements the logo set. The uniforms feature a sublimated honeycomb pattern and stinger side panels.
The Heat pretty much nailed their logo on the first try, with the exception of trading the gradients for solid colors later on. My redesign loses the hoop and adds subtle shading to the ball. The uniforms play off the Miami Floridians throwbacks the team occasionally wears.
To give the team more of an edge, I added a skeleton magician wearing a top hat to the scheme. The top hat also appears in the secondary logo. The uniforms opt for the pinstripes of the Shaq Era with stardust behind the player number on the front of the jerseys.
Since becoming the Wizards, Washington has yet to use a logo of a wizard that isn’t too abstract for its own good. My redesign shows a bearded wizard looking into a basketball/crystal ball with elements of the DC flag in the background. The DC flag elements are carried through to the uniforms.
Wow. Thanks Bowen — that quite a lot of effort! And it’s not even half of what we have in store for you. Readers, what do you think? Please let Bowen know (good or bad) in the comments below.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
Today’s scoreboard comes from St. Stephen.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
I was recently contacted by reader Tanith Harley who has a question for the readership and was hoping you guys might be able to help.
Any assistance will be greatly appreciated! Here’s Tanith (click on any image to enlarge)…
I hope this email finds you safe and well. Alan Fillipczak passed on your email address to me after some discussions regarding researching baseball uniforms. Alan suggested I contact you in hope that you may be able to reach out to your audience on your Uni Watch blog in search of some identification on some baseball uniforms I have.
Firstly, it’s a great site, I have read a number of articles. I live in Sydney Australia so there are very few baseball collectors over on this island, let alone female ones. So I’m lucky that I can reach out to this wonderful community of baseball researchers.
I have two (at the moment) uniforms which I have been unable to find any further information on so far.
The first one, a women’s softball (possibly baseball) uniform from a woman in Cleveland, Ohio. I bought it online so I was unable to get any further info from the lady who originally sold it. What is interesting about this uniform is the Health patch on the arm. I am a collector of women’s baseball memorabilia and I have not ever come across a uniform with a health patch before. My question is, was it perhaps a charity match? Or even military, navy? It seems odd that a women’s uniform would have this patch on, considering it’s not from the AAGPBL. I would be so thrilled if anyone could point me in the right direction to track down some further information.
The second uniform is a recent purchase. A 1930s Spalding uniform with the word “Snyder” across the front. Being Australian, my geography of the United States is limited so I am a little stumped on this one too. I understand there is a Snyder County in Pennsylvania, so perhaps from this area… Again, any leads would be wonderful.
Thank you so much for your time Phil. I very much look forward to chatting with you further.
OK readers, can you help Tanith out? Even if you don’t have an answer, perhaps you can point her in the right direction? Paging Chance Michaels…
The “BEST OF” Kreindler’s Korner
Hey guys & gals. You’ve enjoyed Kreindler’s Korner for several years now, mostly on the weekends, on Uni Watch, but with the recent coronavirus outbreak, Graig’s time is just too precious and he needs to tend to other things besides coming up with a new writeup each weekend.
So, going forward, for as long as the COVID-19 situation is bad in New York, I’m going to run a few “Best of’s” until Graig returns.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Sandy’s No-No”
Subject: Sandy Koufax, 1964
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 24″ x 33″
This was a tough painting to pull off. With the background element of the lit scoreboard, I knew that most of the contrast had to come from those lit numbers, which because of that difference in value, was where the viewer’s eyes were going to go first. In this case, that was fine, though I couldn’t have them dwell TOO long there, as I still wanted Sandy to be the focal point. The best thing I could do to facilitate that was to make sure my edge control was just right. Each number had to stay on the softer side, with very few – if any – hard edges. And most of the nuance would go to Koufax and that mound he was on.
I had a good guide, as the photo the painting was based on (by the master, Walter Iooss) had some of that work done for me. Even though I changed elements of the scoreboard itself (making the scene from a later inning and including final scores from out-of-town games), it retained a lot of the original characteristics found as a result of his lens. But when these images enter the realm of color via paint, it can – and should – change some of those dynamics. I was able to separate Sandy from the background even more with the surface texture I could develop with the medium (while keeping the scoreboard flat and smooth by comparison), in addition to making him more three-dimensional with the manipulation of his edges. It also didn’t hurt that he was the most recognizable human element of the piece, as we are often drawn to that detail above others if one is presented in an image.
However, there was also a bit of an issue with the player in the background. This is one of those situations where if I had to do something over or make a change, I would have done so. I placed center fielder Willie Davis in the picture, which in itself was the right way to be, but I believe he’s probably a bit too big. Reason being, I made him that size as it would have been a bit more true to how we would see him with the naked eye, rather than how compressed he becomes because of the camera. Though as a result, and because we don’t see Dick Tracewski in frame, most viewers might assume that I mistakingly depicted a left-handed second baseman. I often have to explain that when I post the painting on social media, but even then, shouldn’t have made the decision that required me to do so.
A tough painting to pull off, indeed.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Li’l More Help?
As you’re aware, Paul usually takes a month-long sabbatical from Uni Watch during August (sometimes he travels, and the remaining time he spends preparing his massive NFL and NCAA Football previews). This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans have changed — he won’t be taking the entire month off, but will definitely be taking a much-deserved couple weeks off.
For the past four years, I’ve hosted the Griffins Jersey design contest, and I had hoped to again do so this August, but … also due to the COVID situation, the team will be taking a break from the contest this year (they will return to partner with UW next August). So, while that usually took up a couple of posts, I won’t be able to bring that content and contest to you this time around.
So, I will be doing several weeks (Paul and I haven’t quite decided on our schedules yet) during August, so without the Griffins contest and also the Olympics (which I’d also hoped to cover), I am in search of content. That’s where you guys come in.
I’d love to feature some articles from you, the readers, as I have during past Augusts. So if there is a uni-related subject or topic you feel passionately about, and would like to share with your fellow obsessive students of the athletic aesthetic, give me a shout at Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com and we can discuss the parameters. Many of you have submitted guest pieces in the past, and some of them have been really outstanding. A couple of you have already contacted me to express interest, but I can always use more — so please HOLLA if you have a uni-related column idea!
OK? OK! Looking forward to running some of your guest entries next month!
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: In the 7th inning of the Twins/White Sox game Friday night, Josh Donaldson lost his “RC” patch sticker on a swing (and miss). Then he picked it up and slapped it back on, only to lose it in a subsequent swing, grounding to third. He returned to the dugout without it. Submitter Chris Bruno says, “I’m guessing this is not a memorial for the entire season or there wasn’t time to properly sew them down?” … In an unusual move, the Orioles wore their black jerseys on a Saturday. They usually wear black on Fridays and orange on Saturdays. Submitter Andrew Cosentino adds, “Moreover, they wore their normal road caps instead of the “O’s” caps that they usually pair with the black jerseys. The Orioles never wore this combination last year.” … In Friday’s post, Paul referenced, without a clear picture, the initials for recently deceased umps. Here’s a clear picture (from Jerry Kulig). … During the Cubs/Brewers game on Saturday, we were shown a glimpse of the 2020 edition of Wrigley’s NL standings pennants. Good spot by Alan Filipczak who noticed “The Padres pennant needs an update. The brown is back!” … Sorry, no pic but reader Alex Moggridge notes, “Looks like Gabe Kapler is wearing his spring training/BP cap in (yester)day’s game. He’s sure not doing much right so far.” Check that — Jakob Fox to the rescue. … On Saturday, Angels reliever Keynan Middleton sported a glove with the team’s 1980s logo (from Chris G.). … Ross Stripling’s glove has “Chicken Strip” on it, his players weekend nickname (good spot by Jakob Fox). … “So this is new. Game 1 at Nats park was a #BLM logo. Game 2 is a PNC bank ad” says bryanwdc who asks whether there are new ad rules/space for the 60 game season? … Michael Lorenzen was wearing Vans on the mound (from Christopher Milz). … The short season has already produced a number of firsts, and here’s another: First time two players wearing #96 play in the same game and it’s not spring training! (Marlins: Alex Vesia, Phillies: Tommy Hunter) from David E. … “Cool tidbit from this 1953 book “How to Hit” – The section about how to avoid bean ball or wild pitch teaches that you never take your eye off the ball, step out with forward leg, and lean back. Totally different than what is taught today. Why? They didn’t have batting helmets.” Great tweet from Kevin Kozlowski. … Several people noted this yesterday: looks like road team bat boys are wearing the home team’s away uniforms this season. Here’s the Cardinals and Phillies — there’s more in this thread (started by Samuel Lam). The bat boys are not traveling with their respective clubs this year, so that explains why the home team’s road unis. … The six new members of the Astros Hall of Fame also have a display in the alley. The Class of 2020 is Lance Berkman, Cesar Cedeno, Roy Hofheinz, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner, and Bob Watson. They will be officially inducted next year (from Ignacio Salazar). New displays in the Astros Hall of Fame Alley include highlights of the Negro Leagues 100th anniversary, 40th anniversary of the 1980 NL West champs, and 15th anniversary of the 2005 champs. … Interesting observation from Joe Carrillo: “I don’t think I’ve seen this before, but I’m likely wrong. Typically border colors on baseball jerseys are *beneath* the lettering/number, but the Padres are using a soutache-esque piping *above* them.” Chris Covers offers an explanation. … The Nationals again wore their gold trimmed (WS Champs) unis last night against the Yanks. … If you read yesterday’s lede, you’ll recall Nathan Eovaldi ended up wearing Catcher Christian Vazquez’ jersey for an inning in Friday night’s Red Sox/O’s game. Yesterday afternoon he explained why. … A new service called Home Plates, will start delivering Dodger Stadium food favorites, including Dodger Dogs, to the Los Angeles area (from Timmy Donahue). … Last night, Gleyber Torres had a custom logo on his elbow pad, which has home plate integrated with the G for his initials (from Sal X Traction). … Frank McGuigan asks, “How many outdated logos can @CBSSports use in their standings? I count three definite; possibly five (Tigers, Phillies, Padres… Orioles, Twins?) Any others?” … Cleveland Baseball Club owner Paul Dolan says executives will meet with Native American groups to discuss name change. … Speaking of the Cleveland Ball Club: they wore red softball tops last night. Looks like the team is still The Indians.
NFL News: Here is your first look at new Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams in his Seahawks uniform (from Nicklaus Wallmeyer). … Oops: when the Washington Football Team revealed their “new” uniforms and helmets, someone forgot to remove the image of a soccer goal from the graphic.
College Football News: The Alabama Crimson Tide won’t be changing their uniforms anytime soon (at least I hope not), but here’s an article ranking the top 5 uni concepts anyway. … SMU was the first team to wear one helmet at home and a different one on the road. From ’57-’61, they wore white helmet at home and red helmet on the road (from Blaise D’Sylva).
Hockey News: “Who says uniform ads are a recent thing?” says Wade Heidt. “Checking out the really unusual uni worn by the WCHL Winnipeg Clubs. Was a skating beer label for Labatt’s Club brand beer. Winnipeg’s junior team using this name ’73-’76.” … Flyers goalie Brian Elliott has a new mask for thr NHL playoff run, complete with his nickname “Moose” and antlers (from Timmy Donahue).
NBA/WNBA News: Here’s a list of the NOB’s the Toronto Raptors will wear in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in the Orlando bubble. … The Atlanta Hawks just got new (and much needed) uniforms this week, but this article takes a look at the 5 best and 3 worst unis in the teams long uni history. … Here’s a look at the court for the WNBA this season.
College/High School Hoops News: Several colleges and high schools have unveiled new basketball courts recently, including the University of New Orleans, Reinhardt University, Rock Springs (Wyo.) High School, Brenham (Tex.) High School, Columbia City (Ind.) High School, Northland Prep in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Hoover (Ala.) High School (from Kary Klismet).
Soccer News: Pretty neat article here on how U.S. Soccer turned old jerseys into new Coronavirus masks for frontline workers. … Louisville City FC wore their white away kit at home last night (from Josh Hinton). … In Keita Endo’s final match for the Yokohama F. Marinos they brought out all of his home jerseys (from Jeremy Brahm).
Grab Bag: Check out this amazing arrangement of Canadian Bacon in a pan (from Jeremy Brahm). … Also from Jeremy — there is a new logo for USA Team Handball. … The Indianola (IA) City Council voted unanimously to remove Native American imagery from city property, including the police department’s cars, badges & patches (from Timmy Donahue).
And Finally… big thanks to Bowen for sharing his NBA uni, logo and court designs with us! Please let him know your thoughts in the comments below.
That’ll do it for me for this weekend. I WILL be back next weekend (even though it’s August) due to the *new* August schedule, and then Paul will take the first week and I’ll take the second week (I already have some great stuff in the hopper, but can always use some more!) and we’ll figure out the rest of the month after that. Everyone have a great week and I’ll catch you back here next Saturday.