Friday, 26 November 2010

Duck. Duck. Lose.

Black Friday was appropriately celebrated by the Anaheim Ducks as they unveiled their newest look with their new alternate uniform. I say it's appropriate for Black Friday because Anaheim just can't seem to stay away from a black alternate uniform. In 2003, the then-Mighty Ducks introduced a brand-new alternate uniform that went away from their eggplant colour. They, of course, chose black. These Mighty Ducks alternate uniforms weren't the best sellers, but they weren't the best looking uniforms either. Today, though, the Ducks went a little more radical, although we're not seeing anything like this once-worn alternate jersey.

Here is your 2010-11 Anaheim Ducks alternate uniform. Much like the Blue Jackets yesterday, there are points about this uniform that I like, and some that I would rather see gone like the Wild Wing jerseys. We'll go through these individually as we always do, and I'll give the old thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

First off, I like the new logo. It's not necessarily "new" in the full sense of the word as the Ducks wear it on their normal home and road jerseys, but removing the word mark now makes this a true logo. All NHL teams need a logo to give them a recognizable image, so keeping the webbed "D" foot makes complete sense as a logo since most people already know that it's part of the Ducks' image. Thumbs-up for this idea.

The rear font on the new alternate jersey is the same as their normal font they use on their other jerseys. Again, continuity is important for a franchise with a unique font as it really does become a selling point for retailers. There are no added costs for a different font or different number of layers, so fans know exactly how much the name and number on the back will cost. Thumbs-up for keeping the unique font and making it easy on fans.

The Ducks have also brought back a little history as the shoulder patch shows the old Mighty Ducks mask logo. There's nothing wrong with a little nostalgia on a patch as I'm sure that a lot of Ducks fans have those old uniforms, so this brings the new jerseys and old jerseys together. I like the patch, and it gets a thumbs-up from me as well.

The image of Selanne showing the patch is also fraught with problems. What is going on down the side panel of that jersey? Stripes that go nowhere and do nothing are, in a word, useless. You can see that they don't continue down the pants, so why add them? While I appreciate Anaheim's black, orange, and champagne colour scheme, there are so many reasons why the orange and champagne should only be used as accent colours. They just don't blend well together when used in large blocks against a black background, and stick out vividly like a sore thumb. Speaking of thumbs, thumbs-down for the side panels.

We just went over why the accent colours don't work well, yet there are the Ducks wearing those two colours as the main colours on their new socks. Those socks look horrid, especially when the pants slide up a bit. I don't know if the designers watched a lot of children's shows before getting into the design process, but the Anaheim Ducks' socks look fairly similar to Big Bird's legs - mostly orange with a contrasting colour for definition. In fact, if you strapped a pair of skates onto Big Bird's feet, his legs would look a lot like the Ducks' socks. Big thumbs-down for the socks.

I get that the Ducks use black as their main home jersey, so I'm not sure why they couldn't add some colour to their scheme. They re-introduced the Mighty Ducks logo on the shoulder patch, so why couldn't they wear the Mighty Ducks uniform like they once did? Does anyone think this is a step back if they swapped out the "Duck mask" logo for the webbed "D" logo? It honestly doesn't look that bad at all, and I clearly have little to no graphic designer ability. Thumbs-down for another black uniform in the Ducks' closet.

Overall, it's a 3-3 tie, but the aesthetic of the jerseys just bring it down another notch. I've gone on record a few times that hockey is a sport where colours are important, and black is simply choking the life out of a once-vibrantly colourful sport. Anaheim could have done a lot with these alternate jerseys, but they chose to remain inside the box that is their uniform scheme. And that's unfortunate.

I don't think I'll ever have one of these uniforms in my closet unless I can get one on the thrift. Orange and champagne aren't really my colours, and I don't need or want any black clothing. Sorry, Anaheim, but these just aren't your best effort, similar to what we saw in the game against the Chicago Blackhawks today.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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