HbD Breakdown: Buffalo Sabres 50th Anniversary Jerseys
On the heels of breaking down the Sabres 50th anniversary patch designs, the Sabres recently unveiled the jersey to coincide with their season of celebration. It’s unique, it’s gold and it’s full of details that highlight the 50 years of Sabres hockey. Let’s take a closer look after the jump…
All that Glitters is Gold
The first and most obvious design detail is the use of gold on the jersey in the form of the logo, striping and number outlines. This actually works quite well for the Sabres. Because a golden yellow is one of their primary colors, it doesn’t feel forced and easily translates into the actual golden color without significantly altering or diminishing the logo.
The navy pairs very well with gold to round out an overall look that comes across as cohesive and well thought-out. This type of execution would go horribly awry for any team that doesn’t already have yellow as a primary color. Imagine a big golden orca within Vancouver’s logo paired with green and royal blue…no thank you. (Ed note: See also: orange Flyers jersey with gold)
This jersey does what a single year commemorative jersey should do, it fits within the overall brand while also being “special” enough to celebrate the milestone season.
It’s All in the Details
Undoubtedly the best design feature of the jersey is the embroidery and stitching work of the chest logo. Just look at those intricate details. Here’s a larger image of the buffalo that really shows the gorgeous detailing of it.
The buffalo within the Sabres logo has always been a flat, 2D outline in previous iterations. That all changes in this case, depth and dimensional details are brought to life through the layers of golden stitching. This is the type of detail that uniform design enthusiasts love, and this is done so well that even those not well-versed in all things jersey design will appreciate and enjoy it as well.
Safe to say these jerseys will most likely fly off the retail shelves at the arena and stores around Buffalo because of this feature alone.
A Nod to History
Attention to detail is a recurring theme with this design. At first glance it may appear that they got a little heavy-handed when it came to the jersey striping. However, it’s a clever nod to the 50-year history of the Sabres with each of the five stripes representing the five decades of Buffalo hockey.
Again, it’s a design element that works well for a special edition jersey as opposed to a permanent fixture on all jerseys moving forward.
The inside collar of the jersey features the “50” numbering from the anniversary patch design flanked by historical Sabres logos…yes, even the infamous “buffaslug” logo.
It’s touches like these that really embrace the commemorative nature of the jersey design. It’s meant to be a keepsake and a celebration of 50 years, and it hits the mark.
Additionally and interestingly enough, with the unveiling of this jersey Buffalo also proactively announced that this season will be the last year for navy as their primary color. Next year the franchise will return to their royal blue roots…a move many Sabres fans have been wanting for quite some time.
For this season, the golden jersey should be a nice transition from the current uniform set to the future (retro) jerseys.
The One Complaint…
…and it’s not even a feature of the jersey.
At Hockey by Design headquarters (a fictional, magical place), the one consensus complaint was the incorporation of white gloves. It’s the only element that feels unnecessary and forced.
White gloves are always hard to pull-off, and an argument could be made against the Golden Knights white gloves as well. In the Sabres case, the inverse would have sufficed quite well: navy gloves with gold branding and a little bit of white trim. It’s a little nit-picky, but hey, that’s what we do.
Well done, Sabres, well done. This design checks all the boxes for a unique, 50th year celebratory jersey. It embraces the history of the franchise, it utilizes gold embellishment in the best way possible and it just feels like a special jersey that’ll only be worn 13 times during this golden season. Looking forward to seeing this look hit the ice for the first time on October 5th.
For more photos of the jersey, visit the Sabres’ dedicated site here.