The Detroit Transplant is a very cool Detroit-focused sports blog, penned by a graphic designer named Doug. Last year, he (along with the rest of us) learned that that the NFL had chosen Nike to begin supplying all uniforms and apparel in 2012. Doug mulled the possibilities, and late last year applied his considerable talents to four possible Lions Nike Pro Combat uniforms.
Here’s my favorite, a reboot of the infamous black alternates:
I loved this one, especially the detail of the blue tire tread patter on the numbers, sleeves, and socks. However, I was less enthused by the liberal application of black in the home and away concepts; in my mind they look very “Panthers” and not very Lions. Doug responded to similar feedback with a second set of three Lions Nike Pro Combat concepts; they’re very much to my liking. The white helmet, especially, intrigues me.
However, as cool as these designs are, and as much fun as we’re about to have discussing them, I feel compelled to note: I love the current unis. I think they’re the perfect balance between unmistakably the Detroit Lions’ uniforms, and being fresh and up-to-date. They’re clean, they’re classy, they have a touch of style in the numbers. I think the Lions finally got the uniforms perfect, and I’m worried the move to Pro Combats will mess them up.
As you can see in Doug’s designs, the busier, Oregon-esque stuff looks really cool on the second-skin fabric . . . but simple, clean looks just don’t look clean. It’s almost as though the fit and finish of the Pro Combat uniforms not only enable intricate patterns and nontraditional design elements to look good, but demand them. Otherwise, it just looks like dudes out there in long johns.
To that end, Doug Tweeted (@drdougfresh) that he's going to start working on a complete brand ID package for the Lions. He warns that "traditionalists" like myself may not care for it . . . but I'm looking forward to it anyway. Thoughts'?