By Matt Walker | July 29, 2011 | 2 Comment
First off, I am just crazy about Matte colored helmets. I just love ’em! Ever since you started seeing that come into vogue in the snowboard world, I have been a huge fan of it. Nike obviously is too, because they are pushing it on any team with a black or grey helmet. Just today on campus at ESPN I walked by the Game Day set out on the quad and they had the new Arizona State helmet on hand for Pac 12 day. It was part of these new Combat uniforms that Nike has developed (just like OSU) and they now have a black helmet with Matte finish and in person it was so striking. The way the stickers pop off it showcasing the logos are perfect.
Secondly, I love the attention to detail. So many of the other apparel companies are trying to copy Nike when it comes to unique custom stripes or panels on the pants or jersey, but the rest of them all feel clunky and forced. The new Maryland jersey is a perfect example. They had some nice ideas here or there, but went off the deep end with mixing harsh gradients and chunky stripes that do nothing to enhance the look, but rather detract from it. In OSU’s case, you can really see where they took advantage of functional parts on the uniform to find a place for stripes or even the detail of adding the secondary Cowboy head logo to the hip to make it feel specific to the school.
I am also happy with them pushing the use of grey scale on their second or third uniforms. I have always been a fan of the grey monochromatic look and then splashing an orange or a red with it to make it really pop like they did here or on the new Washington State uniforms. I always feel the best way to focus on your color is to use less of it and be strategic with your placement so it will really jump out at you.
I do recognize that all of my giddiness here with these things will most likely soon come to an end. As much as I like it when Nike hits homeruns (they have there fair share of failures too), I also know that as a designer I thought that the Denver Broncos Nike Uniform was great in the 90’s and now over time makes me fairly ill. But for now I say lets drink it in. I love when the helmets are matte (like this all time classic for Oregon State last year) and I REALLY love when they have a perfect on brand pattern as well (like this awesome one for TCU). So until Adidas and Under Armour and heck even Nike go to far and make us all sick of it, lets just enjoy it for what it is and hope it leads to better design down the road,