Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Death of Creativity

If the above image is what the CCSLC and Adrian Dater are claiming to be the new third for the Colorado Avalanche....this could be the deathblow to the ideal of creativity of jerseys in the NHL and we shouldn't look forward to seeing any new, creative designs.

While I know that the "college" style of jersey and use of nickname/city name is in vogue for the NHL teams, I hate it. To me, it shows a bit of laziness on the part of the people who are putting together the jersey itself. I mean, not only is this lazy in terms of using a city name, but it's basically the Avalanche's old third jersey , but with color changes here and there. I loathe the Dallas Stars identity with "Dallas" on their jerseys; the Atlanta Thrashers atrocity speaks for itself, and while the Lightning and Senators hit it on the head in terms of jersey design, the use of nicknames when they could have done so much more with it makes me shake my head.

It just makes me wish for happier time where people were somewhat excited to see what a new third jersey could be. Recently, the use of nick/city name for the third jersey or a retro design shows that people within the organizations making up these third jerseys are just phoning it in and not really caring about what actually looks good, because they know it will sell. Once a third is on the market, regardless of how it looks, it will often sell hot when they reveal it and sell better than some other jerseys in the cartel. That's why we saw a lot of third jerseys become the regular jerseys in the pre-Edge NHL; like the Capitals black and coppers, the Senators reds, and the Stars star jersey to name a few.

Even the logos and jerseys that fail should be given credit for effort to think outside the box rather than be a cookie-cutter design or style. I mean, the Kings third jersey had a great logo for the Burger King, but the fact of the matter was that they were utilized horribly with the logo being on the top left hand side of the jersey. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks had Wild Wing bust out of the ice on the jersey and while it was campy and totally for kids-- it was something unique. In the same era, the Lightning's first attempt was something unique with rain and raging seas on their jersey. The Buffaslug was even something of a risk, which didn't pay off, but it tried to combine the era of the Buffalo Sabres to a hybrid, which has fallen short. While these jerseys aren't looked at highly in the court of public opinion, they took a risk and should be commended for trying something different and thinking outside the box. Hell, even the Blues un-used jersey was different, but horrendous at the same time.

While the marketing and creation (if they exist) departments of each teams should be definitely question in terms of decision making when making the final approval, you have to wonder how much input Reebok has on this whole process. It could be a long shot, but you have to wonder why we have gone from one extreme of teams taking a risk on something to just minimalist approach where it's just like creativity has gone out the door while we have much more technology and design tools than we did back then. It seems savvy to hate on Reebok for the Edge jersey and Nike for the Swift design.....but it could be a smoking gun.

I've spoke the praises of the CCSLC on FOHS and maybe on here, I can't remember-- but there are so many great designers with great ideas, why aren't their stuff picked up and ran with by the teams?? It's something that they may need to look into if things like this fail again. Especially with the notion that the Ottawa Senators may be changing their thirds to something that has been presented online from a designer making a mock-up.

If push came to shove-- I'd love to have 30 risks on the third jerseys and have all of them fail than one use of a wordmark if there's something that could be done. There's so much out there for some teams with their identity that they can create something spectacular, but more often than not they will play it much too safe and end up ruining something that could have been so great. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm getting tired of the laziness that recently has come about when it comes to third jerseys.

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