There’s been a good deal of online chatter this week regarding third sweaters. Eighteen NHL teams will introduce alternate jerseys this season, according to the Fan590′s Howard Berger. Icethetics and Puck Daddy have been monitoring the fashion situation as well. So we put the question to the Caps: Any chance a third sweater is in the near future?
The answer is no. At least not this season, we were told. And that makes sense; it was just last summer that the team introduced two new sweaters, so some marketing “breathing space” is appropriate. And if you’ll recall, the Caps were one of 30 victims poorly served by Reebok’s initial uniform redesign. Additionally there’s the successful Rock the Red campaign; a third jersey so soon would just distract consumers from the home reds.
But in these ever-evolving uniform times, can a third Caps’ sweater be that far off? And what might it look like? This got our happy hour heads pondering this week, so after a few puck sodas we set off to the Photoshop to test out some ideas. Here are the design concepts that guided our final product:
- A base color of blue—the natural choice to complete the patriotic and team-colors circles.
- A classic look. The Caps’ redesigned uniforms of a year ago were a terrific success in incorporating the much-admired original look with a contemporary update . . . yet it’s an undeniably modern-looking hockey jersey. So with the third one we sought some distinction from the other two—a more classic look and feel—the type of sweater that would look at home on someone playing pond hockey.
- The team’s existing secondary logo didn’t necessarily have to be the new primary logo on a third sweater design, but blown up large on the blue background it stands out quite well.
- We used ONFROZENBLOG for the “player name”—a fairly long pseudo-surname—and it seems to still be readable. For instance, it’s one less character than KONOWALCHUK; Kono’s sweater’s nameplate seemed to stretch from elbow to elbow on the old Dome design, yet was still illegible. These letters are based on the current uniform’s font (with color changes) and seem like they’d stand up to long-distance reading.
- We love the three stars that accompany the Caps’ primary logo, representative of the team’s support in Maryland, the District, and Virginia; for our third sweater we placed them on the shoulders, signifying the region’s hockey hopes carried on the team’s collective shoulders. We’d considered rotating them 90 degrees and having them run down the shoulder’s seam (a la the Caps’ classic sweater); let us know if you have strong feelings one way or the other about the stars’ placement.
- Draw-string collaring was a must. The Caps have never had it; it hasn’t yet become so common a feature as to be cliche; and on a sweater design striving for a throwback, classic look, it seems like icing on the fashion cake.
So our final result is below. We strove for something more than minimalist, yet not cluttered. It is intended to represent the team and the region, and is hopefully something that would age well. But this is just one blogging team’s (admittedly fun) effort—we’re looking for your feedback, suggested improvements and, if you’re so inspired, perhaps your very own third sweater design posted as a comment.
So in the spirit of Marvel Comics’ old “What If…” title, we hope you enjoy this concept of a Caps’ Sunday Sweater as much as we did designing it: