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The Best Uni Watch Interview Ever Has Just Been Published

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People, I don’t usually like to toot my own horn quite this hard, but I have something very special for you today. Remember my recent interview with former Nike art director Tom Andrich, the guy who created the Color Rush program? I was so happy with the way that piece turned out that I asked Andrich if he’d be willing to sit for another interview. Fortunately, he was happy with that first piece as well, so he said yes.

The resulting interview, which I just published this morning on Substack, is an absolute must-read. Instead of focusing on Color Rush, this time we discussed the larger issue of what it’s like to design NFL uniforms for Nike, including the “Nike way,” storytelling, how Nike is perceived (and sometimes misperceived) by fans, how Nike designers feel about negative fan reactions, what it’s like when a uniform leaks, and more. Just like in the last piece, there’s lots of insider info, behind-the-scenes anecdotes (including the story behind the Bucs’ alarm clock numbers), previously unpublished graphics, and on and on. Clocking in at a whopping 8,000 words, it’s by far the most interesting, most informative, most illuminating interview I’ve ever done.

How good is this interview? After I ran it by Uni Watch proofreader Jerry Wolper — usually a pretty stoic guy, at least in our communications — he told me, “Congratulations! I’m guessing you’ve wanted to do this interview for as long as I’ve wanted to read it.” That, my friends, is a five-star rave review.

I should add here the real credit for this piece’s success (and the last one, too) goes to Andrich, who’s an unusually candid interview subject — frank, thoughtful, unjaded. A special guy with special knowledge — that’s an unbeatable combination.

I’m hoping to do at least one more interview with Andrich, but trust me — you don’t want to miss this one. You can read the first part of it here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll have to become a paid subscriber to my Substack (which will also give you full access to my Substack archives).



Too Good for the Ticker, Part 1

If you were trying to decide which banker to deal with, you’d probably choose the one whose letterhead logo is styled like a bank vault, right?

This sensational piece of stationery comes our way from reader Patrick Walsh, who writes:

I work at a state government agency archives in Austin. We recently digitized a four-box collection of letters that were kept by staffers over the years because of their letterheads and put it online here.
There’s not really intrinsic research value in these, but the digitization project was thought of as a good opportunity to share some unique documents with the public. You can search the collection by keyword. Lots of great images of county courthouses, hotels, saloons, stores, livestock, personal brands, etc., and you can click each image to zoom in for greater detail.
I spent some time poking around and can confirm that this is a true treasure trove (alliteration fully intended but also justified). Enjoy!



Too Good for the Ticker, Part 2

Something pretty awesome has just appeared on YouTube: an hour-long spring training special about the Mets that aired in 1963. I haven’t yet had time to watch the entire thing, but some quick skimming indicates that it’s pure gold if you’re a Mets fan and at least sterling silver for everyone else.

This video was brought to my attention by reader Hunter Hook. Hunter is the grandson of former Mets pitcher Jay Hook, who appears in the video. Jay’s wife and kids (i.e., Hunter’s grandmother, aunt, and uncle) appear as well! “That was a surprise to our family when we watched the video,” says Hunter. “Easter eggs, if you will.” Amazin’!




Can of the Day

Love how the green stripe looks like it’s being poured from a spout. Not sure why it’s green (seems like that would be more appropriate for antifreeze, not motor oil, right?), but I never complain about a good green-based design!

• • • • •

Our latest raffle winner is Claude Jacques (the guy who created those great DIY pocket schedules that we recently featured on the site), who’s won himself a one-year subscription to my Substack. Congrats to him, and big thanks to Kary Klismet for sponsoring this one. — Paul

Comments (17)

    There’s been a plethora of early 60’s spring training films released on YouTube recently. The ’63 Mets video makes mention that Shea would be open in the summer of that year. The 1964 film shows the new stadium full of fans.

    In the Mirror Star Trek Universe, Duckham’s was the jersey advertiser of the 1970’s Atlanta Hawks.

    Anyone remember in the comments a couple days (weeks?) ago when I had reviewed the Portland Storm (link) and someone pointed out the negative space “S” in the logo — and I said I didn’t see it until someone pointed it out? It’s pretty much the first comment on that piece.

    Anyway…Paul mentioned in his COTD the green graphic looks like oil being poured from a spout. I didn’t see that, but rather saw the funnel into which oil pours. But in re-looking at the can, I’m pretty sure Paul’s interpretation is what the designer intended….yet I saw something else.

    My brain apparently doesn’t look at things the way most others do.

    Great interview – more insider knowledge that I would have guessed Nike would have wanted out there…

    High performance motor oils such as Kendall GT-1 and Brad Penn/ PennGrade are known for their signature green color, I think due to the high level of ZDDP. It seems that Duckhams Hpergrade/ Q20w-50 also is a high performance green colored oil.

    There is also Redline synthetic racing oil, which is (you guessed it) red in color.

    Thank you! I was thinking that reminded me of an NBA uni, could not remember which one!!!

    Great interview, honestly has been hedging on the sub stack for a long time and stuff like this makes it worth it.

    I thought the parts about their perspective and and mission statement were enlightening while kind of confirming what we know. The process though is interesting. I’m curious if the story aspect is a Nike thing or an industry wide standard.

    Also as a Jets glad to hear he felt the same as the rest of us did. While I’m excited for the new “Concorde” unis I wish they had figured out a way to make the Namath style work with current template (and fix the green).

    Just finished the interview and am scrolling through the pitch deck for the Panthers and I LOVE the secondary logo on page 4.

    Your time at Uni-Watch is closing in spectacular style. You’re doing some of the best work I’ve read in my 20 years following Uni-Watch right here at the end of an era. Spectacular interview. Fascinating insight into how Nike works and great to have a human face to go with that.

    Years ago a co-worker bought an Emmitt Smith Cardinals jersey on ebay. When he got it, it was just a red jersey with a white 22 and SMITH on it – no NFL shield, no Reebok logo, nothing.

    I think that’s the reason teams started putting logos on their sleeves – the Dolphins may have been on of the first. And yes, custom fonts prevents counterfeit jerseys too.

    25 years! And as soon as you are about to be done with it, you go and land an interview like this!!!?? This was definitely my favorite NFL piece you have ever managed to do! Thank you for this in depth look into the mind of a former Nike designer! It has opened my mind for sure and now I realize I have been a little too hard on Nike. When we blame Nike a lot, it seems like a HUGE portion of the blame for bad unis should be put on NFL and teams themselves.

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