Friday, April 13, 2012

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: Here We Go Now

April 3, 2012. Anticipation runs hot. Twitter is abuzz. After much pomp and buzz-building, NIKE is about to unveil the new NFL uniforms, featuring a complete redesign of the Seattle Seahawks look. The moment has been HYPED.

Along with other devoted #12s, I turn on NFL Network to find...a re-run of Draft pre-coverage. Huh.

So, hit the web for a live stream...Nike's - a live photo blog? That's it?

Yes friends, so the buzz goes bust on Day 1 and now we are a week past the unveiling and we have a little sizzle but no red hot combustion - most polls show 50% of fans in favor tempered by lukewarm or even hateful feelings among the remaining half. Yah, a lot of you talk about how we look like the "University of Oregon Seahawks" now. Maybs. But Kam Chancellor made it look Good at the official unveiling:

Kam Chancellor at the Nike unveiling, Apr 3, 2012 via Twitter @seankjensen
For me, I had to let the details settle in and get used to the design before offering a full rundown of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And I'm posting these backwards so they'll make more sense when you read the blog. I'm tricky like that.

And the words of Mr. 12theHardWay, "Here we go, Now!"
Celebrate... The GOOD
Witness... The BAD
Shudder at... The UGLY

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: The GOOD

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all - right? Well, I CAN say some nice stuff about the new uniforms. In fact, here's a lot of nice...

12th Man - Represent!
No other team can touch what the Seahawks have in #12. You can't tell me any different. The details infused in the new uniforms are worthy of a fan base that has performed epic Waves, had their own number retired, caused earthquakes, and gone to hell (1992) and back (2005-6) for their team.

The 12th man emblem is the last thing Seahawks players will see before slipping that jersey on, as it features prominently inside the back collar of each jersey. I'm 100% in love with this detail.

On display for all to see are 12 "feathers" running down the pant legs and around the jersey neckline. Do I love the feathers? No. Have I ever even once thought of feathers in relation to the Seahawks? No. But I appreciate the thought and will grow to love these. I hope.

Away Power
For the first time in the history of the Seahawks, I prefer the Away uniforms to the home unis. This can only help us with our away game performance, with a less-than-stellar record. (Don't get me started on maybe practicing at 10am to get used to time changes. whatevs.)

Color Combo Bonanza
Listen, I like new stuff. I like options. The Seahawks will have plenty of options with jerseys and pants each in 3 colors - officially dubbed (by NIKE), "College Navy, Action Green and Wolf Grey" (gag). Yah, we went from "Seahawk Blue" to "College Navy" and "Wolf Grey"...whatevs.

'College Navy' Home; "White" Away; "Wolf Grey" Alternates and Respective Combos

Neon Details
I love those blasts of neon green. Eye of the 'Hawk. Soles of your shoes. Deion Branch's first gloves. Now the neon outlines our numbers and has even been commented on by major fashion blog, But just to set the record straight, Fashionista, the Seahawks were ahead of the neon trend by several years. We roll like that in the PNdub.

Technology Abounds
Slicker, faster, stronger, is crystal clear that this uniform redux was inspired by and for the players - and not necessarily the fans. Let me be the first to say that these new jerseys are not going to do any favors for the typical football fan's physique. Ya get what I'm saying? But if our receivers can jump a little higher, or 'backs can slip a little easier out of tackles, that's all good.
The jersey is 20 percent lighter and 50 percent stronger than what teams have been wearing the past 10 seasons. The hydrophobic material also repels water while maintaining what Pro Bowl strong safety turned model Kam Chancellor called “a clean look.”
The Gloves
We saw a preview of the new Nike glove design at the Pro Bowl in February. My dad summed it up perfectly when I showed him a picture of the awesome 2-palmed logo design: "someone was told to design to sell a whole shitload of gloves." You got it, Pops. Get me some for Christmas, 'kay?

Next Up:

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: The BAD

...and then someone said "If you don't have anything nice to say...come sit next to me."

Have a Seat. Let's chat.

We Are NOT the Chargers
WTF are those stupid white stripes on the chest? The Seahawks have a hard enough time getting noticed on the East Coast - why do we need to basically look like the old school San Diego Chargers, or worse, what my dad said when he first saw the new look (one guess which stupid NFC rival he likened us to - that one with the kicker-who-shall-not-be-named).

We Are NOT Nike
Seriously, NFL? Seriously, Paul Allen? Are we really giving prime uniform real estate to Nike? Nike Swoosh on the sleeves, Nike Swoosh on the pant. Where did our logo go? Look at the shot without the uniform and tell me what team it's for. THERE IS NO SEAHAWKS LOGO. This better be for prototype purposes, but I can't imagine WHY they would unveil a prototype, so something tells me I'm going to be pissed come August 11 when the uniforms take the field.

Check out this historical rundown of Seahawks uniforms. You'll see that the Seahawk was added as an arm band motif in the Chuck Knox years. You'll also see the various locations of SMALL manufacturer logos. I don't know who Nike slept with to get this real estate, but this is one of the worst ideas ever, if true.

Bring back the Hawk! Do it for Coach Knox.

We ARE the Seahawks...But The New Logo is Weak.
Read here about why it's bad.

Next Up: The UGLY.
Can't take any more? Go Back to The GOOD.

2012 Seahawks Nike Uniforms: The UGLY

Yep. There's the Good. There's the Bad. And then there's the things-that-make-you-go-GAH!

Colonial Seahawks
I just cannot embrace the colonial look in the home uni press photos. Please ban black shoes from the team. I like "Tradition" and the Founding Fathers just as much as the next American, but there are so many better options than looking like olde-timey Williamsburgians out on the field. Here's one place where we gotta go modern.

Ducktail on the Helmet
Can't. stand. it. This downward swoop where the 2 Seahawks logos meet at the back of the helmet makes me think every player has one of those stupid rat-tails that were popular for a minute in the '80's. And, by the way, logos should never point down - rule #493 in the branding world. Down is pessimistic. Down is sad. Down is not what we want for our Seahawks.

Even Seahawks-alum Robbie Tobeck will tell you the real deal:

Back to:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 Seahawks Logo: Where's the Revolt?

After introducing new uniforms AND new logo (if only a change to one significant color) last week, public opinion has ebbed and flowed. I gave myself a week to comment, lest I rush to judgment too quickly.

My opinion: NO thank you on the new logo. More importantly, WHERE is the backlash from #12?

Here's what you need to know about me before I get into the Why-I-Hate-It.
1. Lifelong Seahawks fan. Seriously. The team is a year older than me.
2. I created this blog for the fan viewpoint, which I monitor via Facebook, Twitter, and personal convos/emails/etc.
3. For "real work" I am a branding consultant and have worked with logos and marketing for over 15 years.
4. I like change. I really do.

Sometimes too much change is overwhelming; sometimes a new "improvement" is just so "so-so" that it doesn't move people to embrace it OR revolt against it. They just go along without feeling. And this, #12s is what I imagine may be happening with our new Seattle Seahawks team logo.

The significant change to our 2002 logo is in the coloring. Our dark navy blue seems to be ever-so-slightly brightened and lightened, while the officially-named "Seahawks Blue" on the lower stripe has washed away to the Nike-termed "Wolf Grey", a silver-grey that matches the daily cloudcast we Seattleites are so familiar with.

First off, let me tell you that I painted my walls a similar shade of grey 5 years ago and lived to regret it. When you live in grey Seattle, the last thing you want to look at is grey. Hey, I get it. Grey will be a hot color in the decade to come. The Nike-designed wolf grey uniform is pretty hot. But that doesn't make it a strong logo color. To do away with a color that is NAMED for the team is a pretty major decision, not to be taken lightly. Not to mention my "Seahawks Blue" car, nail polish, shoes, etc have been rendered non-Seahawk colors.

When the logo first leaked, I thought it was a red herring - seriously. I thought there was no way we would have a washed out logo like that, as it was presented on a white cap with a barely visible lower stripe. For the past week the Seahawk's official Facebook page has used the logo on a navy field where the top of the logo blends into the background and I officially hate it more each time I see it. It isn't growing on me. It won't grow on me. It is weak and "unfinished" to quote another #12.

Don't see it? Bring up the new logo and then back away from your monitor/screen and look at the colors. Now imagine you are in the stands at a game. Which color combo is stronger - with Seahawks Blue or with Wolf Grey? You know it's the blue.

But as talk about the new logo lulls, I have lost hope for a Gap-style logo recall. After their epic fail at a logo redesign caused a stir in 2010, Gap quickly switched back.

Not going to happen here. So I'll leave you on an up note. Here is a really cool look at the influences that went into the original Seattle Seahawks logo back in 1975. That's all I can give you for now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fashionista-Fashionist12: When 2 Loves Collide

I love the Seahawks. I love the fashion world. I'm waiting to let the new uniforms sink in before I comment on them, but how much do we love the fact that the Seahawks' new look made one of the top fashion industry blogs?

It's MA-jor. blog April 3, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Change. It be a comin'.

In the case that you may have been living under a rock for the past 6 months or so, let me be the first to tell you that new NFL uniforms by Nike are being unveiled tomorrow, April 3.

With new uniforms come new color schemes and a nasty little rumor that the Seahawks are changing their logo to navy and gray, instead of navy and "Seahawk Blue".  I doubt that, but I am completely psyched for new unis, thanks to this epic/hyper/faster/stronger/nuclear/breakthrough/electric/wicked promo video by Nike:

"Nike Football Epic Transformation" video

I would love to tell you that I have some insight on just what the new Seahawks uniforms will look like. There are a lot of red herrings out there on the Internet, and rumors abound. It is safe to say we are getting three options - home darks, away white/light, and a 3rd option we hope is not neon green. Mr. 12theHardWay happens to have spent a lot of time working at Nike and has seen some NFL sampling, but will not share, even with me (especially with me?) as everything is highly classified.

So we wait for Tomorrow...wonder what it's like for Reebok.