In my inbox today, I got a notice from LinkedIn about some graphic designer from Nike that they deemed a “superstar”. Well, I have news for Nike and all the other major sports apparel companies: your design people are clowns and should be fired! The uniform du jour for abuse is the Notre Dame uniform and, yes, it is butt-ugly. There is no excuse. Last year’s overwhelming winner for “Designers Who Have No Clue” goes to whoever was responsible for that abortion of a uniform that belonged to the University of Maryland. Bad. Ugly. Stupid.
I think this crapola started when the sports apparel companies started heavily competing for the exclusive rights to production for the various colleges and the NFL. If I’m wrong about that, I don’t care because they have all failed miserably at producing uniforms that retain some semblance of dignity. It started with that overhaul of the Denver Broncos uniforms with those pointless pointed shapes going up each side of the jersey and going down the legs to a curved point. The college teams couldn’t jump on that bandwagon fast enough (or was it that the sports apparel companies couldn’t shove it down everyone’s throats fast enough?). Then it was the ridiculous piping that showed up on nearly everyone’s uniforms. And then it was every variation imaginable until you had some jerseys or pants that had geometric shapes on them that made no design sense at all! And let’s not forget the University of Oregon Ducks and those putrid uniforms in their endless variants. They suck and it has nothing to do with the school colors! Like the sorry excuse designs the Seattle Seahawks wear, both Oregon and Seattle’s uniforms look like bad 1970s track suits. BURN THEM and never even think about doing those types of color block designs again!
Among other artistic fields, I am a graphic designer by trade, so even if my complaints don’t matter to anyone else, this type of thing matters to me. These apparel designers are being lauded for making bad designs and people don’t seem to realize how bad they are! It’s frustrating because I know the motivation behind it all is not improving the look of a team, it’s making money on production and merchandising from fans who have to have the team jersey. And if you want to plunk your money down on these travesties, be my guest, but don’t tell me they are great and expect me to take you seriously because I won’t – ever!