Friday, June 20, 2014

Evaluation of Major League Ultimate 2014 Jerseys

The MLU darks ("primary") and lights ("alternate") on PUMA apparel are newly designed for 2014. A home jersey breakdown has already been done. Now, Eli - as part of a pro Ultimate jersey review - critiques each team's jersey in the MLU:

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Boston Whitecaps

Primary: Powder blue jersey with wave/B logo in the center of the chest. Numbers on the left breast and sleeve are dark with white stroke and are nicely legible. I've written about the logo design elsewhere, but I'll say again that the whitecap looks more like a feather than a wave.
Alternate: Clean whites with "BOSTON" above the collarbone near the top seam. Dark blue numbers with a bright blue stroke outline on the center of the chest and on the sleeve. Shield logo on the left breast is too small to make out any details. Knocked out white type would be better, and inverting the black and white of the wave would also make it more legible.

New York Rumble
Primary: "NYR" logo with brass knuckles coming out of the Y to make it look like a bouquet of flowers is centered on the chest. The logo is gold with a white stroke around it. If not for the stroke the logo would be completely eaten up by the contrast against the green shirt.
Alternate: The word "RUMBLE" in a soft-cornered san serif runs all the way across the chest in black on the white jersey. The awkward "NYR" badge is relegated to the sleeve and this jersey is the better for it. Gold numbers with a green stroke on the left breast are nicely sized and colored.

Philadelphia Spinners

Primary: Royal blue jersey with a white sash, the full Spinners logo/crest on the left chest. The player number is placed so that half of the number is on the white and the other half descends below, into the blue field. Simple and balanced, but if you weren't familiar with the teams it would take quite a while to figure out which team this is.
Alternate: The Spinners chose the Puma design with a sash of color running across the chest; the Puma logo and the player number are on either side of this sash, with the Spinners' spinning vortex "S" graphic in the center. The gradients in this graphic render it muddy from anywhere but very close range.

Portland Stags
Primary: Portland also chose the jersey style with the contrasting sash across the chest. The "Stags" logotype is placed in the middle of this sash, with a small part of the logo breaking the sash and crossing over into the green field. This feels sloppy and forced.
Alternate: Small Stag logo and logotype on the left-side of chest is still legible because of the effective design of the mark. Large sponsor logo beneath has the entire jersey feeling like there is no point of emphasis - all the elements have the same visual weight so there is no movement or contrast in the design.

San Francisco Dogfish

Primary: Same placement of player number and Puma logo, with large "Dogfish" logotype across the chest. The slab letter and two outlining strokes make this a bit hard to read.
Alternate: Large Dogfish logo (without type) in the center of the jersey with Puma logo and player number up high on left and right. Font choice for the numbers is definitely the boldest choice of any team.

Seattle Rainmakers
Primary: More balanced than the alt jersey. The icon logo is used and holds up well at a smaller size.
Alternate: "Rainmakers" is a long word to stretch across the chest of this jersey - they do it and keep it legible. The position of the player number and Puma logo do not correspond and make the whole thing feel lopsided and off-kilter. It also seems a little off that the numbers are filled but the letters are knocked out to white.

Vancouver Nighthawks
Primary: The hand-drawn "NightHawks" logotype is just too dainty to look good across the chest of this jersey. At least the italic numbers match the slant of the type.
Alternate: Angry bird logo is centered in a black field with a black interior. The lines are dynamic and full of energy but are too small to be viewed well from a distance.

Washington DC Current
Primary: The oddly anthropomorphic DC crest is very legible at the size it is placed on the left chest. Silver ink for the numbers is a nice touch. Just above the numbers, the 3 stars and 2 bars (a nod to DC's flag) is fitting.
Alternate: Gray/silver type on an all-white jersey, with a sponsor graphic at the same scale as the team name leaves this jersey looking like a shirt you'd get for signing up for a corporate challenge fun run.


Purchase MLU replica jerseys at the MLU Online Store.

[IMAGES SOURCE: Major League Ultimate]

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