HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys
Last week, when we dissected all the new Adidas Adizero jerseys, we didn’t say much about the Vegas Golden Knights jerseys. That’s primarily because, as a new franchise with a brand new jersey set, they really deserve their own full post so that we can fully dissect them. We haven’t been a huge fan of the Golden Knights brand in general so far…but could these jerseys turn the tide for this newborn franchise from an aesthetic perspective?
Color Me Bad(d)
(To the ah, tick tock, you
don’t) Stop, stop with all these colors.
I’ve said in previous posts about the Golden Knights visual brand is that there’s just too many colors in there, with steel grey, black, gold and red. That’s one or two colors too many, and the obvious unnecessary inclusion is red. It’s nowhere in the primary logo, used sparingly in the secondary logo (which is now a shoulder patch on these new jerseys) and generally absent anywhere else, even on their website.
Know what is used dominantly on their website though? Black and gold, which is a great colour combination as the Bruins and Penguins use to their great advantage. A suggestion: the G’Knights could’ve used their unique shade of gold, thrown in some steel grey with the black and you’ve still got something unique to your franchise. Even just getting rid of the red, you’d already improve the jersey.
Is it more boring and less impactful? Maybe. But then why is the most exciting and impactful aspect of the jersey a single thin stripe on the sleeves? Why not spread the red out more throughout the jerseys so it’s a little more balanced? Oh, because then there would be too much going on? With too many colours? Exactly. So we’re left with the sleeve stripe being the focal point of the jersey. Just remove it and make the impact happen elsewhere.
Chunky Gold (Medina)
Aside from just the colours, the most obvious aspect of the jerseys are the stripes. Or, chunks of colour may be a more apt description as they resemble something closer to what’s been used recently in Stadium Series jerseys than traditional striping (although you could make an argument against that, drawing some evidence from Pittsburgh’s new/old jerseys).
If you look at Colorado’s Stadium Series jerseys from 2016, it’s a good example of making the chunks of colour work. Here’s what we said about the sleeve stripes: “…[T]he thick simple stripes on the sleeves are a really nice look and let the Avs flaunt their branded colours on an otherwise all-white jersey.”
These Vegas jerseys have the same general DNA in them as those Avs jerseys, but with an additional thick stripe added to the bottom (this time without a superfluous red stripe). But where the G’Knights jerseys differ is from a less visually-interesting colour palette than the Avs. The gold is a nice addition, but black and grey are not generally known as the most exciting colour combo. It makes everything look a little bit flat and uninteresting, although adding numbers on the sleeves does certainly help.
Again, it goes back to the colour palette. There seems to be a competition happening between the gold vs the black and/or grey. On the home jerseys, the black/grey is dragging the gold down, instead of the gold popping against the grey/black. On the road jerseys, the contrast between the steel grey and the white is too distracting and deadens the gold.
In the end, I’m not against the more modern chunks of colour replacing the traditional stripes at all. It can work, and it can work really well as Colorado has shown. But with the team’s colour palette and how it’s been used here, it’s not nearly as effective. That’s why I found you don’t play around with the chunky gold (Medina).
Nothing But A G(‘Knights) Thang
Remember that golden fabric/ribbon you used in primary school crafting? The one that had the rough texture and actually glittered a little bit in the light? It seems Vegas used something similar for these jerseys, a new and innovative element for hockey jerseys and unique for the G’Knights within the league. It’s used throughout the jersey: on the sleeves, on the number outlines, and even on the logo.
I don’t mind doing something a little more visually striking and, in the case of a location like Vegas, it makes a certain amount of sense. Plus, there’s no questioning whether it’s gold or yellow/beige. It’s definitely gold because it has the metallic effect.
As well, there’s some subtle texturing/embroidery on the sleeves and logo the depicts organic flourishes reminiscent of feathers you’d see coming out the top of traditional knight helmets which is a great inclusion in general. It reminds me of what Team Canada did at the 2010 Olympics with their logo crest to great effect.
(Note: In the comments below, one of the designers at Adidas informed me that the organic flourishes (aka filigree) are depicting sagebrush, the Nevadan state flower. It’s a great an subtle connection to the state and the kind of details that I love to see, and this is no exception. The only thing is I’m not sure how many Nevadans would ever recognize it?)
In Vegas’ case, it really works well with the black-on-black effect on the logo crest, both from it’s subtlety but also making sense given its proximity to the knight’s helmet. But it’s overdone when used in combination with the glittered fabric on the gold sleeve stripes. Too many effects/elements/novelties, like that and like this and like that and uh, no matter how subtle and integrated with each other, can come off as cheesy and contrived. Unfortunately, that’s the case here. Although, when you’re in a location like Vegas, “cheesy and contrived” aren’t necessarily missing the mark too much.
That being said, on the image above, you can see some gold-on-gold rivets on the logo’s knight mask. That, I think, works well because the additional elements are small, simple and much less ornate than feathers, as well as making logical sense to include on the helmet.
Forgot About D(r)e Font
One other element that I have to point out is the typography they used. I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike of the Vegas typeface used on their wordmark and subsequent promotional materials. It’s a strange, quirky typeface that looks poorly constructed and available for free at dafont.com.
Sorry, but that typeface is looking worse and worse, the more I see it. https://t.co/ZaYsh8YI6n
— Hockey By Design (@HockeyByDesign) June 2, 2017
But, I’m glad to see that they apparently forgot about their branded typography for the jersey names and numbers, going with something that looks (a) better constructed and (b) better considered within the content of the jersey. While it’s a little more generic and traditional, it’s still simpler and works for longer names, as “golden knights” conveniently shows off. They didn’t quite totally forget about it though, as you can see on the inside of the collar. So while it’s been drawn in a little bit, that typeface isn’t gone for good.
Also, the inclusion of a dotted pattern on the numbers are a nice touch and seem to compliment the shimmering gold outlining the numbers well.
There are some elements that work, as well as some more innovative and unique elements that give the jersey some interesting subtleties and push hockey jersey design in general into a new and more modern direction. It that sense, it’s a compelling jersey.
But the integration of some of those elements with the chosen colour palette just don’t mesh well together and leave a jersey that’s surprisingly flat given the shiny new things on it.
But, can we now talk about the complete idiocy of white gloves with the grey/black jersey?