HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys

In HbD Breakdown
Jun 29th, 2017

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?

• More: HbD Breakdown: Adidas Adizero Jerseys
• More: HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights (Name and Wordmark)
• More: HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights (Logo and Alternate Logo) 


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).

• More: Stadium Series Jersey Countdown (2017)

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.

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.


Final Verdict

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?



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26 Responses to “HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys”

  1. The gold used here has been used on Ottawa’s crest for a while.

    The filigree in the crest and on the sleeves is stylized sagebrush, the state flower.

    I definitely share some of of the same thoughts on these at times regarding the number of colors and how they’re used and combined, but on the whole, these came out quite nice and I really like how the details came out; rich and extravagant up close (fitting of the royal aestetic), but invisible from a distance. I rather like the way the blandness of the black and grey is balanced by the glittery punch of the gold (and even the red, though I think it could be utilized better if it needs to be there).

    • JVDW says:

      Of course, forgot about Ottawa! Thanks for the reminder.

      Very cool to know about the sagebrush. It’s a nice, subtle connection to the state and city. Not sure even Nevadans would make that connection without being told, but like I said in the article, I think it works really well on the logo.

      It’s difficult to know exactly how much that gold will pop against the grey/black without seeing it in person, and it’s entirely possible that the pictures just don’t do it justice.

      As always, thanks for the comments and insight!

    • JVDW says:

      And what can you tell me about those white gloves on a grey/black jersey?

  2. Rob Myers says:

    The Jersey is alright. The red actually saves it in my opinion. I know grey isn’t exactly an exciting colour (tone, shade?) but it is nice to see a team go with a colour that isn’t red, blue or black for a change. I feel the Kings could try something along the lines of the anniversary jersey without gold and be onto something but that’s getting off topic a little bit.

    The whole VGK branding has just been off for me. The direction seems to be a bit all over the place.

    • JVDW says:

      They grey’s definitely unique within the league, but I’m not convinced yet it’s a great look (thinking of the Arizona Diamondbacks, for example). It will be interesting to see how it plays out over the season after we get a glimpse of it during regular game play.

  3. AE says:

    Marc Andre Fleury makes it look good though

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  5. astonisher says:

    The Kings have had metallic silver stripes and numerals on their jerseys since they changed from the Gretzky-era uniforms to black-purple-silver. This has continued since they removed purple as a team color (except for throwbacks).

    However, in the initial photos of the new Adidas jerseys, it appears that while the white jerseys retain metallic silver, the black jerseys do not. I’m hoping this will not be the case with the final jersey, as these jerseys need at least that much punch to keep them from being totally nondescript.

    Luc Robitaille is to blame for this boring palette (inclding , perhaps to totally separate from the NBA Lakers. And he seems to grudgingly allow very sporadic use of the original purple and gold throwbacks, while everyone else seems to love them. Guess it’s part of Luc’s power play that got Dean Lombardi fired so Luc could take over hockey ops as well as business ops.

  6. astonisher says:

    Not certain, but Carolina may have used metallic silver on jerseys at some point as well.

    • JVDW says:

      Yeah, I believe they did. And there’s also the afore-mentioned Ottawa who uses gold metallic striping on their jersey’s logo.

  7. […] More: HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys • More: HbD Breakdown: Vegas Golden Knights (Logo and Alternate […]

  8. Brant Gill says:

    Nearing the All-Star Break, Vegas are unfathomably in first place in the Western Conference and just beat League-leading Tampa (by only 1 pt) twice in a row. How does winning affect the perception of a team’s colours?

    I’ve appreciated the negative V in the primary logo design, but I’m still convinced there were better versions out there that wee more dynamic. Just a helmet, just a V. Could have been more… including Sparky Chewbarky’s knight/flag concept you even featured at #3 here

    Also wondering about your description of the primary colour as “grey”. It appears to be a teal-grey, as evidenced by the color codes (RGB: 51,63,66; and CMYK: 73,56,55,51). Also good to see the white/gold gloves are just worn with the away white jerseys. So that pre-season jersey reveal has been corrected by common sense.

    I don’t mind the inclusion of red as an accent to provide some energy. Yes, would have been better with some accent red in the primary logo. But, curious why you don’t like Vegas’ use of fifth colour as being too many when you refer to Colorado’s jersey as a better version – It also has 5 colours. So, 5 isn’t too many, then?

    But, how about their record! Though nobody from the franchise will admit it, most figured they would sell off expansion draft assets to build for future. Half a season in, and beating the top teams in both conferences, how could they not be considered as a legitimate contender. I wasn’t able to find team jersey sales numbers, and most sales lists are player’s jerseys. So, I understand Vegas’s Fleury, Neal, and Marchessault aren’t going to outsell Crosby, Matthews, McDavid, Ovechkin, but they must be selling way more than expected.

    So, does winning make a difference to the jersey’s acceptance?

    • JVDW says:

      Yeah, it totally makes a difference. Winning makes everything look great. I think what’s their unexpected success ensure is that these jerseys stick around longer than I would’ve originally thought they might, because now it has a new psychological dimension attached to it.

      For the red, it doesn’t work because it’s superfluous – tacked on in a way that doesn’t make sense. It’s not the 5 colours is too many (but it is, even for those Avs jerseys, as they could’ve ditched the black/navy blue in place of the lighter blue very easily), but it’s application is bad as well.

      Thanks for your comment!

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  10. Mike says:

    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I thought I’d add in my comments on the jersey and why I believe they chose some of the aspects of the jersey that they did. First, I believe it’s importnat to point out that the owner, Bill Foley, is a USMA/West Point/Army grad. He still has a strong affiliation with the school and had even named one of his companies “Black knight Financial” after the Army Black Knights. If I had my guess, he wanted to name the Golden Knights the Black Knights if he were allowed. The West Point official colors are Black, Grey and Gold because the primary components of gun power are black, grey and gold. I believe they went with grey as the primary color of the jersey because it resembles the West Point cadet’s Full Dress and Gress Grey uniform. The was likely added to mimick the red sash worn my First Class Cadets (seniors) with those uniforms. As for the sagebrush, I believe it was added because it nearly exactly resembles the brim of an officer’s hat in the US Army, which every graduate wears upon Graduation. Additionally, I believe he logo was chosen to be the helmet because it is simply a front-facing version of the same Athena’s Helmet used as West Point logo. These may appear as a bit of a stretch, however given Foley’s close affiliation with the school, and his history of naming entire corporations after his alma mater, I believe these are fairly plausible connections.

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  13. Dave says:

    Their uniforms are ugly. Sorry, they just are.

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