Today we’re back with the final volume of Chris Diamond’s “Uniform on 11” Project.
For each Volume of this series I’ll be including Chris’ introduction so you don’t need to check prior posts.
Click on images to enlarge.
Uniform on 11 – Just How Much More Uniform Could it Be? (Vol. 4)
by Chris Diamond
This site is Uni Watch and we are all UWers obsessed with sports uniforms. Currently the NFL’s uniform standards feel like they are in a fairly lamentable state with the “sock shit show” and untucked shirts for individual players and mono-mania, icy-whites, BFBS for teams (to name but the worst) ruining things for a lot of people. Often we hear “why can’t the NFL be stricter over uniform standards?”. I think people are mostly thinking about making existing uniforms more… well, uniform! But what if the NFL had a much stricter set of rules that it enforced on all teams? And here I don’t just mean enforcing uniform deportment, but mandating style in the same way that some soccer leagues enforce a common number and name font or rules on contrast between team uniform elements. Setting Uniform to 11!
Back in the 50s style was much more uniform between teams, with either plain jerseys or a few different stripe styles and college block numbers almost ubiquitous. So I came up with a “What If?” scenario based on a set of uniform rules being devised at that time and enforced ever since. What might that look like for the NFL teams now? These are the rules I have come up with for this project:
- All jerseys, pants and socks must be the same for all players on a team (apart from number digits)
- Teams must have a colour home and a white road jersey
- Jersey and pants must be different colours
- Pants and socks must be different colours
- Helmet must have central stripe in 1-2-1 pattern
- Helmet must have a team logo or wordmark on both sides
- Face mask must be in team colours
- Jersey sleeves must have stripes in Northwestern pattern in a single contrasting colour to the sleeve
- Jersey stripes may be outlined in a different colour
- Uniform must be unique within the league
- Numbers must be college block, 10” front, 12” back and 4” TV numbers on shoulders
- Number must be edged in contrasting colour unless team uniform is two colour only in which case edging can be the same colour
- Pants must have side stripe in 1-2-1 pattern
- Socks must have stripes in Northwestern pattern in a single contrasting colour to the sock
- Sock stripes may be outlined in a different colour
- Jerseys must be tucked into pants
I have created graphics for each team based on these rules using a simplified version of my usual template for the sake of clarity. For some teams I have done more than one version as the rules means the current colourway doesn’t work that well, or the team has several different looks I want to try. Before we crack on, some of you may remember that the WFL had a uniform ethos known as The Corporate Look that was along these lines. But the Birmingham Americans decided to get their uniforms made locally and messed the whole thing up, but still the idea was sound :)
So just how much uniformity is enough? Is this too much? I must admit it tickles my colours+sets OCD (in a good way) to see the NFL uniforms like this. Rather like the satisfaction you get from a good set of pool balls or the London Underground Map! But I can imagine it’s going to drive some UWers crazy, especially fans of teams with long-standing looks that this violates like the Cowboys or Bears.
Denver Broncos V1
The actual set are due for an update and I think something along these lines would look good.
Denver Broncos V2
Of course they could go back to the reflex blue instead and these look even better!
If you squint these are very similar to the current set and so look pretty solid.
Las Vegas Raiders V1
The Raiders are a two-colour team but for some reason unlike the other two colour teams this just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the double stripes?
Las Vegas Raiders V2
Adding in white makes the unis look a lot better to me, especially since it echoes the shield logo.
Los Angeles Chargers
The actual unis are so bolt focussed it’s hard to imagine them without that. But the combination of powder blue and gold means they still feel like Chargers unis to me. I really like the use of the LA+bolt as helmet logo — gives me USFL LA Express vibes (again a good thing).
Arizona Cardinals V1
The recent Cardinals re-design brought in silver as a secondary colour. I think with this template it looks quite smart but it doesn’t feel like the Cardinals.
Arizona Cardinals V2
If the Cardinals had stuck with black as the main secondary colour then we could have something like this instead. Feels closer to a Cardinals look to me, but still a bit off.
Los Angeles Rams V1
The Rams are the original non-standard side helmet logo team, but like the Chargers that is out here. The LA+Rams horn logo is the obvious choice for the helmet, but I think they would have mirrored logos so that the horn always faced forward. I’ve also incorporated the number trim colours from the 2020 re-design.
Los Angeles Rams V2
They could also have stuck with just blue/yellow/white and I think this is a cleaner look.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers already use a very similar template so this looks pretty familiar. I’ve tweaked the helmet logo slightly to make it more like the pre-1996 logo as the current one belongs to the 96 redesign and doesn’t really go with this more classic look. Oh and of course no grey facemask!
Seattle Seahawks V1
The current Seahawks unis are over fussy but when all that is removed, I feel the colour scheme is pretty solid and makes for a strong look. The only flaw is the lack of contrast betwee the action green and silver. Oh and I swapped out grey for green in the helmet logo stripe as the blue really belongs with the 2002 look.
Seattle Seahawks V2
Of course the Seahawks classic blue/green/silver look is superior and that is true for this template too. It has echoes of their real pre-1983 design for me.
Thanks, Chris! Another wonderful set of concepts — and looking forward to your next creation.
Readers? What say you…