We’re doing a lot of jersey talk of late. The Red Wings unveiled their Stadium Series jerseys yesterday and I took a look at how they could have been better this morning. Then the Blackhawks unveiled the jerseys for their outdoor game with Minnesota, who followed up quickly by unveiling their own.
Amid all of that, the Grand Rapids Griffins alternate jersey design contest ended.
Last year I took a look at the submissions and narrowed it down to my top ten. Both of the eventual winners came from that group. One of the winners was one I was certain would be worn but it was before the team announced two winners would get picked.
I’m going to take a look at this year’s submissions but I’m specifically not labeling this a top ten (even though there are ten listed). With the upheaval in the Griffins identity – new logo, new colors – I frankly have no idea what the team is looking for this year. Will they allow submissions that still use blue and red? Will they want something that uses their new primary logo as another opportunity to show it off? I don’t know.
Something I found interesting was that last year there were 114 entries while this year there were only 75. I don’t know if it’s because this one started later in the year or disillusionment with the results of last year’s or what.
I’ll start by taking a look at designers from my top ten last year.
After a two-toned design that was a fan favorite last year, Matt McElroy comes back with a more traditional design this year. I don’t love the G superimposed over the griffin, I think I’d have gone with his griffin over a wordmark, but I think this is a really sharp concept that could easily win.
Scott Markiewicz puts forth an effort similar to McElroy, red with black and white trim. The shoulder logo appears to be a hybrid of Markiewicz’s and McElroy’s from last year. I don’t love the forward-facing griffin head, I think you can’t tell it’s a griffin rather than just an eagle.
Like Markiewicz, Jen Harley uses a forward-facing griffin head as the primary logo. I have the same problem with it here. I also don’t like the predominately-black jersey and the lack of shoulder logos. It’s all rendered very well so I don’t think it can be counted out.
The operator of Hockey Jersey Concepts puts forth a design using the same logo as he used last year, which he’s used before. I love that logo. As I said last year, I wish I had come up with it. I think it’d look fantastic on my jersey design. Unfortunately, I think his black with dark grey and red trim sweater looks too much like a street hockey jersey.
We come to my own submission, based heavily on my design from last year. The Griffins picked a griffin silhouette in a shield last year, I doubt they’ll do it two years in a row. I like the design, though, so I tried it again. I wrote more about it on my personal blog.
Next we have a batch of interesting designs from people who either didn’t submit last year or didn’t make the cut for my review.
I’m not quite sold on the barberpole shoulder yoke but I kind of love the letterman-jacket-style G as a logo. It’s a simple vintage design that looks pretty sharp. I’d love to see a predominantly red version.
If this had come in last year, I think it might have won. Being predominantly blue, I don’t know if the Griffins will go for it this time around. I do think the crest is a little busy and I don’t love writing the team name as “The Griffins of Grand Rapids” but it’s a well-executed original design that’s different from everything else. That said, I think the numbers and nameplate are a little uninspired, as is the interlocking GR. The rest makes up for it.
We’ve got another griffin silhouette in a shield. While this one is predominantly black, I think the liberal use of gold as a trim color makes it unique enough to get a look from the team.
Every previous winner has designed their own logo. If the Griffins decide to buck that trend in favor of promoting their new primary, I think this grey jersey with black and red accents will get a serious look. It’s my favorite of the ones that reused the current primary logo by far.
I had some design input on this one so it’s easy to say why I think it could get a look. Last year the Griffins picked a jersey that was not an original design, where the Grand Rapids Rockets were morphed into the Grand Rapids Griffins. This does the same thing, taking a Grand Rapids Owls jersey and fitting the Griffins into it. Will the team go that route again? I doubt it but if so, this one is waiting.
Of this set, my favorites are my own (of course) and Matt McElroy’s. If I had to guess who will win, I think it’s McElroy and Scott Garland or Nick Burton.