Illinois Football Uniforms

#77      
Coming up with distinctive, helmet-ready logo (The Shield) and then never attempting to put it on the helmet is such an Illinois outcome I feel silly for assuming it would ever be any different.
The I is about the most boring letter possible. The fact that Nike came up with such a distinct, new-yet-traditional-looking logo for us is really a huge accomplishment. Think about it. We gave them an I and an undefined "fighting illini" team name to work with. Then of course we decide to just throw it away for the Block I, of which we now have 2 different versions (football and basketball) that still get mixed up with old block I's of the past 30 years. It's just such an embarrassment and probably the exact opposite of how you would want to actually market and create an identity.
 
#78      
Coming up with distinctive, helmet-ready logo (The Shield) and then never attempting to put it on the helmet is such an Illinois outcome I feel silly for assuming it would ever be any different.
Just imagine the Clemson helmet, with the shield in place of the paw (and of course navy instead of purple striping). Tell me that wouldn't be a beautiful helmet.
 
#79      
The fact that Nike came up with such a distinct, new-yet-traditional-looking logo for us is really a huge accomplishment.
Yeah this is really underappreciated. Nike had an impossible task (make it classic and timeless, except all of the historical record you're working with either has Native American imagery which you can't use, or an interlocking U and I which you can't use because of Indiana) and they knocked it out of the park.

But nothing Nike could have done stood a chance up against:

1. Being coded as the hip new thing to appeal to recruits, as against the preferences of the Army of Peoria Dads
2. The association with Mike Thomas
3. The absolutely pathetic performance of our two revenue sport teams following the rollout of the rebrand stuff

Now, the rebrand font, which is an immeasurably worse job and worse product by Nike has survived and will continue because it wasn't given anything to compete against. But the Shield and the Block I were pitted against one another, with the barely hidden subtext that going full-Shield in the snap of the fingers in 2014 felt like too big of a shock to the system, but they were confident the Shield would quickly out-compete the Block I and leave it in the dustbin of history. A miscalculation, in retrospect.
 
#80      
Richmond, VA
I just want to see the block I on the back of the helmet, much like what Oregon has done. Open to other ideas for the sides.View attachment 6917

What about wrapping :illinois:LLIN:illinois: around the back (e.g. take our current helmets with the block I's where they are and from left to right around the back connect them with the middle letters)?
 
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#81      
Yeah this is really underappreciated. Nike had an impossible task (make it classic and timeless, except all of the historical record you're working with either has Native American imagery which you can't use, or an interlocking U and I which you can't use because of Indiana) and they knocked it out of the park.

But nothing Nike could have done stood a chance up against:

1. Being coded as the hip new thing to appeal to recruits, as against the preferences of the Army of Peoria Dads
2. The association with Mike Thomas
3. The absolutely pathetic performance of our two revenue sport teams following the rollout of the rebrand stuff

Now, the rebrand font, which is an immeasurably worse job and worse product by Nike has survived and will continue because it wasn't given anything to compete against. But the Shield and the Block I were pitted against one another, with the barely hidden subtext that going full-Shield in the snap of the fingers in 2014 felt like too big of a shock to the system, but they were confident the Shield would quickly out-compete the Block I and leave it in the dustbin of history. A miscalculation, in retrospect.
Weirdly, the shield wasn't super prominent on the uniforms from the rebrand. It was on the football collar, and I believe the basketball shorts waistband, but the 2 biggest logo areas in football and basketball, the helmet, and the side of the shorts, both had block I's. It's like they never wanted to use it. If I had any sort of design skill, I'd put something together. I think if you made the shield front and center, you could market the school and teams so much better. They'd have an identity. Even now, if you consider the Block I their identity, there's still countless versions of it being used. There's no uniformity. I'd put the shield on the helmet, mid-field, mid-court, sides of the shorts. I'd use the new typefont but with the outline colors, no single tone. I'd standardize the striping similar to the original rebrand helmets and the current basketball uniforms. It seems like there's nobody that has any idea about marketing or branding in our athletic department.

Also, I think it was technically called the "victory badge." Someone commented on it not even looking like a shield. It's not literally a shield. It's a cool way of making a distinct logo with the letter I. It's similar to what Green Bay and Georgia do with the G. It's a distinct, identifiable logo and something that would be great for the Fighting Illini brand if used correctly.

Edit: I'd also really push "Fighting Illini" as that's unique to us. Put it in small font across the football jerseys and around the front numbers on all 3 colors of the basketball uniforms similar to the blue ones now. Make "Fighting Illini" and the Shield our brand and put it front and center for everyone to see.
 
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#82      
Yeah this is really underappreciated. Nike had an impossible task (make it classic and timeless, except all of the historical record you're working with either has Native American imagery which you can't use, or an interlocking U and I which you can't use because of Indiana) and they knocked it out of the park.

But nothing Nike could have done stood a chance up against:

1. Being coded as the hip new thing to appeal to recruits, as against the preferences of the Army of Peoria Dads
2. The association with Mike Thomas
3. The absolutely pathetic performance of our two revenue sport teams following the rollout of the rebrand stuff

Now, the rebrand font, which is an immeasurably worse job and worse product by Nike has survived and will continue because it wasn't given anything to compete against. But the Shield and the Block I were pitted against one another, with the barely hidden subtext that going full-Shield in the snap of the fingers in 2014 felt like too big of a shock to the system, but they were confident the Shield would quickly out-compete the Block I and leave it in the dustbin of history. A miscalculation, in retrospect.
If the Shield would have been rolled out as "the new Block I" in April 2016 by Whitman and Lovie, there would be a giant sticker of it on the bumper of every single Illini fan who ever spoke ill of it. That's what's so frustrating. It could have had a 100% approval rating, but because flukes of circumstances swept it up into the broader culture war, we now have to have subpar branding for the rest of my life.

(I had let this stuff go guys, this is tearing open old wounds!)
 
#83      
If the Shield would have been rolled out as "the new Block I" in April 2016 by Whitman and Lovie, there would be a giant sticker of it on the bumper of every single Illini fan who ever spoke ill of it. That's what's so frustrating. It could have had a 100% approval rating, but because flukes of circumstances swept it up into the broader culture war, we now have to have subpar branding for the rest of my life.

(I had let this stuff go guys, this is tearing open old wounds!)
The biggest problem is that it got pitted directly against the Chief when they had absolutely nothing to do with one another. They should've never redesigned the block I with that thick, curved outline. The Shield needed to be the primary logo. Then use the plain Block I that is literally the inside of the Shield as a very secondary logo.
 
#84      
Richmond, VA
Weirdly, the shield wasn't super prominent on the uniforms from the rebrand. It was on the football collar, and I believe the basketball shorts waistband, but the 2 biggest logo areas in football and basketball, the helmet, and the side of the shorts, both had block I's. It's like they never wanted to use it. If I had any sort of design skill, I'd put something together. I think if you made the shield front and center, you could market the school and teams so much better. They'd have an identity. Even now, if you consider the Block I their identity, there's still countless versions of it being used. There's no uniformity. I'd put the shield on the helmet, mid-field, mid-court, sides of the shorts. I'd use the new typefont but with the outline colors, no single tone. I'd standardize the striping similar to the original rebrand helmets and the current basketball uniforms. It seems like there's nobody that has any idea about marketing or branding in our athletic department.
Agreed, add in Design! Also, why do they keep using the outline of the state like it's some logo of ours? It sucks. It's lazy. šŸ¤¬šŸ¤¬šŸ¤¬
 
#85      
Agreed, add in Design! Also, why do they keep using the outline of the state like it's some logo of ours? It sucks. It's lazy. šŸ¤¬šŸ¤¬šŸ¤¬
Yeah. That state outline needs to go when the Shield takes over mid-field and mid-court. I will say, the outline at least looks decent on the basketball court. The football field is an abomination. A thick white outline? Also those weird block number yard markers that don't match any font we've ever used? Who put that field design together? Probably Beckman after a few too many lasagnas.
 
#86      
The biggest problem is that it got pitted directly against the Chief
Implicitly, yeah, there's an aspect to the Block I that says "something else used to go here." It connotes a rejection of the idea of moving on from the Chief.

I still stand by my take about the potential 100% approval rating for the Shield under the right circumstances, even though you make a good point.

The Shield could have been our University of Arizona logo, which is also a simple letterform that nonetheless is easily renderable in any size or context, instantly recognizable even without color cues, and even in its simplicity manages to evoke something about the place and institution it represents.

RIP to a real one
 
#88      
Implicitly, yeah, there's an aspect to the Block I that says "something else used to go here." It connotes a rejection of the idea of moving on from the Chief.

I still stand by my take about the potential 100% approval rating for the Shield under the right circumstances, even though you make a good point.

The Shield could have been our University of Arizona logo, which is also a simple letterform that nonetheless is easily renderable in any size or context, instantly recognizable even without color cues, and even in its simplicity manages to evoke something about the place and institution it represents.

RIP to a real one
I guess that's where we differ. I still think it can work. Seriously, if BB puts that at midfield, and on an orange helmet with white facemasks and Blue White Blue strips and we start winning. That's the clear Illini logo for the foreseeable future.
 
#89      
Richmond, VA
Yeah. That state outline needs to go when the Shield takes over mid-field and mid-court. I will say, the outline at least looks decent on the basketball court. The football field is an abomination. A thick white outline? Also those weird block number yard markers that don't match any font we've ever used? Who put that field design together? Probably Beckman after a few too many lasagnas.
Still bothers me to no end
 
#90      
I guess that's where we differ. I still think it can work. Seriously, if BB puts that at midfield, and on an orange helmet with white facemasks and Blue White Blue strips and we start winning. That's the clear Illini logo for the foreseeable future.
Oh it could, sure, and I'm sure we still have all the necessary copyright and whatnot. But it has been totally buried, you basically never see it anywhere in official places or merchandise anymore. It is still on the waistband of the basketball shorts actually, but most of our guys roll their shorts down these days, so it gets hidden.

The DIA and Main Campus have also since unified their branding under the Block I logo. The war is over.

It's probably more likely that the DIA adopts the main campus font than anything.



A little bit of a "this porridge is too hot, this porridge is too cold" thing going on with that font and the DIA 1LL1NO1S one.
 
#91      
Implicitly, yeah, there's an aspect to the Block I that says "something else used to go here." It connotes a rejection of the idea of moving on from the Chief.

I still stand by my take about the potential 100% approval rating for the Shield under the right circumstances, even though you make a good point.

The Shield could have been our University of Arizona logo, which is also a simple letterform that nonetheless is easily renderable in any size or context, instantly recognizable even without color cues, and even in its simplicity manages to evoke something about the place and institution it represents.

RIP to a real one
Looks like a pocket protector.

With hints of the Purdue train.

;)
 
#92      
The Transfer Portal
Let's not overthink it, this all begins and ends with the football helmet. Which means it's always "one coach liking it" from happening. Basketball is always going to have some sort of script as the centerpiece (and honestly we've now got two incredible throwbacks that we dabble in pretty frequently). We might end up right back with what was the supposed reason for the rebrand (our sports have different visual identities) but it's a trade I'd make to get Shield/Badge (Shadge?) on the helmet.
 
#93      
The Block "I" on the helmet is about as good as we can hope for(providing they are on straight), unless something new pops up. I prefer block numerals(with trim) on both fb and bb unis(although I am intrigued by a well-executed Clarendon font(see below). For alternate uni, replacing the grays, I prefer the '60's retro
Clarendon_Uniforms_4_medium.png
 
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#94      
I am intrigued by a well-executed Clarendon font(see below).

View attachment 6947
Ew.

Neither LA school should mess with perfection, honestly probably #1 and 2 in the whole country.



The Pac 12 probably has 4 of the top 5 for me (Washington and Colorado being the others). You also have to have Michigan up there, as much as it pains me.

Orange and blue isn't the easiest color combo to work with, but Auburn is right up there too, so it can work.
 
#97      
So USC, UCLA, Michigan, Washington, and Colorado are the Top 5. Auburn and Texas are tough omissions, but I'll go with that.

Let's do the bottom 5!

Virginia Tech - I'm sorry, but no. I get it, it's a "V", very clever, but no


Iowa State - :sleep::sleep::sleep::sleep::sleep::sleep:


And they get extra demerits for constantly throwing in black and white elements out of context for no reason



Ole Miss - They are on this list until they pick a blue. These blues are totally incompatible



And there's a reason they went to that deep navy in the first place, their "classic" look is not very good



Syracuse - In some sense on this list in lieu of Illinois, but they have more to work with and have made bigger mistakes than us. First of all their boring block letter logo spurned two better available choices

And in the past few years they've done both "bad modern" and "bad traditional"


And of course they also really screwed up in going to "Orange" from "Orangemen". But here's a free tip: bring back the drop shadow!


Oklahoma State - Imagine trying this hard



And they are still on the totally played-out train of never wearing the same uniform twice, made doubly lame by the fact that all of the individual elements look terrible!

It's a real shame, because when the every-week-a-new-combo stuff was fresh and interesting, I thought OSU had some of the best unis in the country, and were one of the only schools that made gray look good



A dishonorable mention should go to Minnesota, who are also still on the million-different-combos lame train and who have given over their branding to the car saleman whims of their slimy little head coach.

 
#99      
Implicitly, yeah, there's an aspect to the Block I that says "something else used to go here." It connotes a rejection of the idea of moving on from the Chief.

I still stand by my take about the potential 100% approval rating for the Shield under the right circumstances, even though you make a good point.

The Shield could have been our University of Arizona logo, which is also a simple letterform that nonetheless is easily renderable in any size or context, instantly recognizable even without color cues, and even in its simplicity manages to evoke something about the place and institution it represents.

RIP to a real one
Do you reckon you could dig up the Shield that groundhogday mocked up (or perhaps others) that had some smoother/rounded edges, angles, etc.? I seem to recall liking those a bit more than the original.