July 24, 2014

Thursday: Quarter Finals

Hey gang, welcome to another Thursday post from yours truly, William!

As you may have noticed, today is Thursday, so voting for the HJC Open Quarter Finals begins today.  Voting turnout was pretty decent for the first round, and hopefully it will continue for the rest of the competition.

Sadly my concept didn't make it, it bombed actually.  Spent too much time on the 3D model, and rushed the actual design and presentation (including clipping off the head of my models, oops).  But the scores were really close for the top 8 spots, with 12 artists that were half a point or less away from qualifying.  With that kind of fierce competition, it gets me excited to see the next rounds' concepts.

Now for something completely different.

Everyone has been doings some of their "my # favourite hockey-related thing" lists lately, and I've been missing out, mostly because everyone else beats me to the punch on what list to do.  Well I'm not as much of a jersey collector as some of the writers on here, and I haven't been to as many NHL games as others have. But I do have a big hockey card collection, and I think it would be cool to share my 5 favourite cards from my collection.

5. Wade Redden - 1996-97 SP Premier Rookie
 Nothing too special about the card itself, but it was one of the first cards I ever received, and it was shortly after I got to meet Wade Redden at a hockey camp.  He's always been one of my favourite defencemen in the league, and was the reason I was a Senators fan in the early 2000's.

4.  Sean Monahan - 2013-14 Black Diamond Rookie Gems
I took a bit of a hiatus collecting cards until earlier this year I decided to try my luck again. This was the first card I pulled.  I'm a big fan of Sean Monahan, and anything Flames-related is collectable for me, so this was a nice find.


3. David Leneveu - 2005-06 Hot Prospects Hot Materials
David Leneveu is from my hometown of Fernie, BC, and also helped my hometown Fernie Ghostriders dominate the league in the early 2000's. At one point, the team from this small Canadian town of 5000 people had the 3rd best "Jr A" team in the USA, and Lenevue was part of their backbone.  He also played backup behind Marc-Andre Fleury at the World Jrs for Team Canada.  Finding this card was particularly difficult, but I was happy to add one of my hometown heroes to my collection.


2. Jonathan Toews - 2012-13 SP Authentic Team Canada Moments Auto
Most of these cards have a sentimental value attached to them.  This isn't one of those, but it is likely my highest valued card in my collection.  It's a Jonathan Toews autograph with an awesome Team Canada moment attached to it. I could watch this shootout performance on repeat for days, it was that great.


1. Jason Krog - 2000-01 Pacific Autograph
This one is entirely sentimental.  Jason Krog was pretty much the guy who taught me the basics of hockey, how to skate, and have confidence in my game.  He's been my hockey idol since I first hit the ice at the age of 4.  He gave out these cards after one of his hockey camps, and it's been my most prized hockey possession to date.

Now it's your turn.  Anyone have any cool cards or collectables they'd like to show off?

Anyways, it's concept time!

COTW July 14-20 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Rd 2 Votes (ends Saturday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Washington Capitals Concept - Justin F.


Yay: Let's start today with some Winter Classic artwork from Justin.  Justin makes this concept with stripes aplenty, but otherwise sticks to a pretty traditional look.  The theme for the stripes is interesting and very suitable for a team like Washington.

Nay:  I like the idea of the stripes, but 13 stripes just doesn't work that well on a jersey, plus the design is so busy that it makes the plain yoke look really out of place. Maybe if there were some white stripes in the stripe pattern, and maybe some blue outlines on the yoke or collar, it could look a bit more balanced. The red outline on the name is way too much; I can barely see the blue text.

Overall: Like the idea, but it's not that visually pleasing. 6.5/10



Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Christian L.

 
Yay: Next we go down the coastline to Carolina, where Christian has this very interesting 3rd jersey design.  Considering how boring the Hurricanes look now, this would be a great way to stand out on the ice and on the jersey rack.  I like the (very subtle) inclusion of the warning flags, and like the execution of the collar and the equipment.

Nay: The problem is that the flags are way too subtle, especially in between two bright red stripes. I think the top stripe could be taken out, and the gradient be reversed so it gets more in view closer to the bottom stripe.  Everything else looks good, but I'm just not liking the look of the two red stripe pattern.

Overall: Close to a great design, but I'm not quite sold on the stripe pattern. 7.8/10



Boston Bruins Concept - Gerard M.

 
Yay: Next is a pair of Bruins concepts from Gerard. This one is inspired by jerseys from the 1920's and 1940's. I'd love to see Boston make this work as a 3rd jersey or future Winter Classic jersey, as it is looks perfect for old-time hockey.  This logo looks great on these uniforms, and would perfectly combine the new and the old Bruins identities.

Nay:  It's perfect as is if it wan't to replicate the old jerseys mentioned, which is the goal here. You could argue that the logo is too cartoony and modern, but I don't think it's a huge problem. I'd like to see the collar as the vintage-white, and move the arm stripes down the arm a bit, but that's really all I'd want to change.

Overall: I'd buy this. Twice.  8.4/10


Boston Bruins Concept - Gerard M.

 
Yay: Gerard's other Bruins concept is more modern, being a "fix up" of their current set.  This set doesn't have a lot of giant changes, but a few key subtle ones. The most noticeable is the away yoke being changed to yellow, and I really like how that looks. The font is changed, and the shoulder patch is edited on the away jersey to say "Boston" instead of "Bruins". These subtle changes are great, even to such an untouchable jersey as this one.

Nay: I think the black cuffs currently go right to the arm striping, and I think that looks better than the shortened cuffs on here.

Overall: It's hard to grade this too high, because most of the jersey is what is being used today. But the changes that are on here are well done. 8/10



NHL vs KHL - Team NHL Concept - s2dio
 
Yay: NHL vs KHL.  I think this idea is a matter of when, not if. This would be a huge hockey event if it ever did happen, so naturally the jerseys have to be perfect for such an occasion. Even though orange isn't really the NHL's colour anymore, everyone would love to see them use orange as a fauxback to the days where the NHL dominated hockey globally. The classy stripes and yoke perfectly complement this uniform.

Nay: Again, hard to see the fine details with a template like this.  The uniform isn't as flashy as most All-Star game ones, but if they are going for a pre-1990's look, then it would work alright. Unless the NHL logo is all black and white, I'd like to see some silver in the jersey somewhere as well, or else the logo will look out of place.

Overall:  Not flashy, but classy. A perfect way to represent the NHL. 8.3/10



NHL vs KHL - Team KHL Concept - s2dio

 
Yay: Next is the Team KHL uniform, which is donning a sleek dark grey uniform. The colour is kind of odd, considering the bright logo colours, but I think it contrasts well with the NHL uniforms, and it looks great as a backdrop to the red, white and blue stripes. The striping pattern, although I don't agree with it's use, looks just as classy and solid as the NHL's.

Nay: If the NHL's uniforms are meant to be a fauxback, then the KHL's uniform should be more modern, signifying the new era of professional hockey. Old vs New, North America vs Europe, Rocky vs Drago, etc. The jerseys should contrast not only in colour, but in style.

Overall: I wouldn't be as positive about the concept, but the double-grey colour scheme with the bright-colour highlights looks insanely cool. Execution brilliant as always. 8.7/10



Chicago Blackhawks vs Washington Capitals WC Concept - Thomas H.

Yay: We'll end the post the same way as we started, with a Winter Classic concept. Thomas shows us his idea of introducing "new" colours into these teams' jersey collection. I can't believe how sharp the Blackhawks logo looks black and white, and that uniform is probably the best fauxback to their original jersey that I've seen.  I wouldn't go that far with the Capitals jersey, but it still looks pretty solid.

Nay: The only thing I'd change for the Blackhawks is the pants, where I think going all-black with corner numbers would be the best way to go.  For the Capitals, putting the stars closer to the collar and the logo being higher like the original would be better, and for readability I'd make "Washington" white instead of red.

Overall: Not perfect, but a leap of faith in creativity for both jerseys, and it worked fantastically. 9/10

While s2dio and Gerard had some fine looking concepts today, Thomas's concept is well executed, and used ideas that are unique yet look so natural and believable for both teams. That's why Thomas' Winter Classic concept gets my COTW nomination today.

The last few weeks have had some great concepts, and I'm sure we'll see more as the HJC Open continues. Make sure you vote for your favourite HJC Open and COTW concepts!

That wraps up another post for me. Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

July 23, 2014

Wednesday: Clear As Ice

Seeing a Top 5 on HJC is nothing new, but I wanted to change it up from jerseys and logos. So here is a list of my Top 5 most memorable hockey games and events that I have gone to. It's long, but I hope you enjoy it.
   
1) 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field
2009 was the second year of the Winter Classic, and I don't think anyone knew how much the demand for outdoor games would grow. The Blackhawks had just signed a TV deal for the first time in years, and new Blackhawks fans poured into Wrigley Field to watch the game. The atmosphere of Wrigleyville neighborhood was unforgettable! The feeling of watching a hockey game where I had grown up watching my favorite team in all of sports, the Chicago Cubs, play is something that I will never forget.

2) 2014 NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field
Anyone who has read my Wednesday posts before knows that I love outdoor hockey, and that's why the Stadium Series comes in number 2. Outdoor NHL games had grown beyond anyone's imagination, and the league's solution was to play 6 outdoor games in 2014. There was so much snow falling, that I can't really remember much of the game itself. However, the view of the snow falling in the stadium lights is permanently enshrined in my head.
 
3) The Chicago Wolves Skates' Mates Festival
As a young kid living in the Blackhawks 'TV Blackout' Era, I would cheer on the local AHL franchise. I was such a big Wolves fan that I was part of their kids club. Each year, they had a festival for all of the members where kids could meet and get autographs from all of the players. During the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, I had my Wolves jersey signed by the entire team. Looking back at the names on that jersey, it has many names of players that would go on to play in the NHL.
 
4) Chicago Wolves vs. Michigan K-Wings at my local rink
Back in the IHL days, a hockey rink had just opened up right down the street from my house. To help the new ice rink, the Chicago Wolves played an exhibition game on the same ice that I was learning to skate on. I remember my mom taking me to that game, and I loved watching every second of that game!
 
5) Chicago Hounds Opening Night
This wasn't a good experience, but it sure was memorable. A new UHL team was set to play its first game in the brand new Sears Center, and the Hounds were looking to capture some of the long-time Wolves fans by making games an unforgettable experience. Well, that's exactly what they gave me. When I got to the arena, there wasn't any glass around the rink, and the center of the ice was visibly wet. The ice crew couldn't get the area over the team's center ice logo to freeze, and I remember them using fire extinguishers to try to help. When the fire marshal learned that they had used all of the extinguishers in the building, the effort was delayed until they could truck more into the stadium. An hour after the scheduled face off, the players came onto the ice for warmups. I've never seen fans so happy to watch a pre-game warmup. Almost two hours after the game was supposed to start, the UHL commissioner announced that the game was cancelled. I can tell you that I'll never forget all of the fans in attendance throwing their chuck-a-pucks at the poor guy.
  
COTW July 14-20 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Rd 2 entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

If you advanced into the second round of the HJC Open, make sure you get your concepts in BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! You wouldn't want to hand the win to another artist without putting up a fight.
As always, don't forget to vote for the COTW. There are some really good concepts this week. It was a really tough choice when I cast my vote.
  
Mario A. - Dallas Stars Concept
Design: When the Stars unveiled their uniforms, I was pretty disappointed that they ripped off the Blackhawks St. Patrick's Day jersey. Mario Seems to have fixed that problem, and he even reintroduces excessive black into the color scheme. The black reminds me a lot of the Stars last days in Minnesota. The arm stripes are good in that they are pretty unique to the Stars. I can't believe that they got away with using the distinguishable Chicago striping. I do really like that Mario kept the hem striping very similar to their current uniforms.
    
Score: 7/10 - Mario has showed some great improvement over the last few weeks. I think that this is one of his best concepts yet. There is one critical error though. The logo on the white concept still has a white background. It's subtle, but should still be removed for a cleaner concept.
 
    
Jamie R. - Winnipeg Jets Alternate Concept
Design: Jamie adds quite a bit of red to the Jets new color scheme, which makes sense considering it is the color of the nation's flag. The Jets new logo is already a tribute to the Canadian Air Force, and Jamie takes it one step further by using the Air Force Coat of Arms as the concept's shoulder patches. This jersey would look really good for the 2016 Heritage Classic that Winnipeg is set to host. I really like that the crest is outlined in gold, but I would add the same trim to the number to tie the front and back of the concept together.
    
Score: 6/10 - There is a lot of inconsistency on this concept. I am not a fan of how the stripes on the arms, chest, hem, and socks all have different spacing. I think this concept would look better with more uniform striping.
 
 
Garrett F. - Madison Capitols Alternate Concept
Design: The Madison Capitols will play their inaugural season next year in the USHL. Garrett has designed an alternate for the team, and it is a very good looking jersey. The light blue trim looks awesome, and really adds a lot to the jersey. I'd recommend showing the shoulder patch in the background, as it is difficult to see on this template.
    
Score: 7.5/10 - Aside from the shoulder patch, I think that the number and name on the back of the jersey is way too big.
 
 
S2dio - AIK - Djugarden "What If" Concept
Design: S2dio hits us with another concept, and another template. I don't know how he does it, but this template is one of my favorites as of late. It really allows the viewer to see all design aspects of the concept. Anyway, S2dio has created a solution just in case there is ever a shortage of hockey interest in Sweden. My brother actually owns an AIK jersey, and I wouldn't change a thing. But given the unfortunate circumstance that the team had to merge, this would make a good compromise. I am a bit surprised that S2dio elected to go with a yellow base, as both teams share blue as a base color.
    
Score: 8.5/10 - This concept is awesome, but I hope this template returns. But who knows? We may never see the same template twice!
 
 
Justin F. - Columbus Blue Jackets Concept
Design: It seems like everyone is creating Blue Jackets concepts as of late. I think that Justin's design is especially cool because it still uses the yoke that runs all the way down the arms, while still incorporating new striping. When you put the front and back halves of the concept together, the small stripes at the wrists would appear to create chevrons. This is really cool given the team's identity.
    
Score: 8/10 - The execution is really good on this concept. It follow all of the rules on hem stripes and arm stripes being sewn over the base jersey.
 
 
Gerard M. - Atlanta Thrashers AHL Concept
Design: Long before the Hurricanes added their nameplate to the yoke, the Thrashers did the same. But here, we're not talking about the same Thrashers. The concept that Gerard created is for the resurrection of the Atlanta Franchise as an AHL affiliate to the Nashville Predators. On top of being an unlikely event to occur, I think it would just be embarrassing to the city of Atlanta. Feel free to correct me, but I don't think a city has ever lost a pro team and had it resurrected as a minor league team of the same name. That is almost a more awkward situation than the whole Charlotte Hornets disaster. The home and away jerseys were some of my favorite jerseys when they were used, and Gerard has fixed the football style alternate back into a hockey jersey.
    
Home & Away Score: 6/10, Alternate Score: 6.5/10 - The home & away concept is very stylish, but there are a few errors that hurt it. First, the white socks and jersey are different shades of white. Also, the crest on the white jersey was never removed from its white background. Unfortunately, that background is also a different shade of white. The alternate has the same issue of using a different shade of white on the jersey and socks.
 
 
Well there it is! I'd like you hear some of your memorable hockey experiences. Feel free to comment, as I'm curious if anyone can top my Chicago Hounds story.

July 22, 2014

Tuesday: 22 on the 22nd

Hey there folks! Hope you're all having a good day. I sure am, yesterday was my birthday so I'm another year wiser and I hope to pass off some of that wisdom onto the concepts today.

Before we get to the concepts today don't forget to vote this week. Only one vote for you as of right now as we're waiting for the second round of HJC Open entries. I'm looking forward to seeing the new entries for the second round, we have a great group of designers sending them in.

COTW July 14-20 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Rd 2 entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)


Ottawa Senators Alternate Jersey Concept - Scott B.
The Senators lose all their gold in this concept and at first glance it looks like a Blackhawks jersey with a white yoke. I think the Sens gotta have their gold back. I didn't even notice that there was silver trim in the striping since it's blending into the white. There's a concept later that does that with yellow but I think that worked better than this. If the silver was gold here we'd be able to see it better. It'd be nice to see the equipment that goes along with this jersey.

Rating: 6/10


Los Angeles Kings Concept - Matt C.
We've got ourselves a hand drawn concept. Pretty nicely done one as well. Pretty simple approach to the design here with the exception of the pointy arrow thing (Ok maybe no new wisdom came my way this year) going down the torso pointing towards the crotch and butt. Not a fan of the jersey design but everything else is pretty good. Don't forget to ID your work Matt!

Rating: 6/10


Arizona Coyotes Alternate Jersey Concept - Gerard M.
Gerard also creates a new third jersey for the Yotes to go with his set. The striping is very vintage and is paired with a wordmark logo. I don't think the striping goes with the Coyotes identity too well and I'm not a fan of wordmarks on jerseys. I'd rather see that secondary logo on the chest.

Rating: 7/10


Vancouver Canucks Alternate Jersey Concept - Tristan M.
Tristan designs an alternate jersey for the Nucks and tries to implement a V design into the jersey, something that almost everyone tries. I feel like the amount of stripes that go into the V make the jersey come off way too busy especially with the yoke striping and the outlines on the numbers on the back. The logo choices are great. I think you either take out a couple of the V stripes or make them thinner to the point where the back numbers don't need an outline and the jersey comes out looking a little better. Other than that the jersey is very clean in its execution which is true of all Tristan's work.

Rating: 8/10


Hamilton Tigers Concept - Steven G.
Very simple design on a Tigers jersey and that's always nice to see. It fits with their classic logo well. The font is really nice. It's modern but not "in your face" modern. plus the angled lines in the numbers match the logo perfectly. The only thing I'm not sold on is the yellow helmet. I'm sure it could work and be a classic part of Hamilton branding but as of now I think it'd look silly.

Rating: 8.5/10


Arizona Coyotes Concept - Gerard M.
Gerard give the Coyotes a new set of jerseys to go with their Arizona rebrand. Not much is different about this set butt what really sets it apart is the Southwest pattern sublimated into the striping. Not something you'd see from further away, but up close it really adds something to the jersey. The new font is better than what they currently use as well, it's got some more personality to it than their current font.

Rating: 8.5/10


Team Canada Concept - (What If Series) - s2dio
Very interesting "what if" here. s2dio's new template really sets it apart from the others and the jersey design is very nice. The very thin yellow trim is something you can't see from further away as it blends into the white, but I really like it. The new main logo on the jersey is super great as well. Overall I think Canada not changing their flag wouldn't have been a bad thing for their hockey team.

Rating: 9/10 and a COTW NOM


We had some really good conversation in the comments last week and let's keep it going this week eh!?

July 21, 2014

Monday: Copy Cats

I have some jersey news, broken via the Manchester Monarchs. They have unveiled new jerseys that "reflect the design of their parent club, the 2014 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings". In other words, they are Kings jerseys (plus a hem stripe on the black jersey) with the Monarch's logo on the front and the LA Kings primary logo on the shoulder, not the crown. And it DOES have CCM branding, confirming that the AHL is shifting to CCM branding from Reebok. Since last week I presented that the new Anaheim Ducks jersey still had the Reebok branding. So we will have to see what happens with the rumored Flyers third jersey, the promotion of the Islanders Stadium Series jersey and the rumored new St. Louis set.

That being said, That brings me back to a rant topic. AHL jerseys that look EXACTLY like the jerseys of the parent club. Specifically Manchester now, Bridgeport (NYI), Albany (NJ), Charlotte (CAR), Oklahoma City (EDM), Abbotsford and potentially Adirondack (CGY), Providence to an extent (BOS), Rockford (CHI), Springfield (CBJ), St. John's (WPG), Toronto (TOR), Utica (VAN) and Worchester (SJ). Yes, It may be important to market to fans nearby, as is the case with Providence, Bridgeport, Charlotte and Rockford, but have your own identity. Minor league baseball teams are shifting that way nowadays, such as the SWB Yankees rebranding to the name RailRiders. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers even had their own jersey set, while owned by the Isles, with double blue and a trace of gold, and it was beautiful. BRING IT BACK! BE YOUR OWN TEAM!!

Ok, rant over, begin concept judging. Well not yet. Have to remind you to do this!

COTW July 14-20 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Rd 2 entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

Although my HJC Open entry fell flat (I'll submit it to here to get an explanation), eight artists moved on! Submit your Round 2 entries! Also send in your votes! I'll be voting this week. I have an awesome Leafs concept in there, so vote for it. Or not. There are four additional concepts, so we need a lot of votes to avoid a tie.

Now it's time.

Anaheim Ducks concept by Gerard M (and alternate):



I'm going to review these two concepts together, since its the same team and the same artist. Gerard lightens up the gold in the logo and removes the white trim of the webbed D. BAD MOVE. It flattens the logo and makes it look boring. It also makes the striping blend in when between the orange and white of the orange jersey. The OC logo on the pants is a nice touch. With the primary set, the stitching is supposed to end at the striping if it's there. Looks good without the yoke, actually. The alternate is the recoloring of the original jersey we all want to see, but also the recoloring of the original jersey we all HAVE seen, at least here. Also, please put Reebok back on the jersey instead of CCM, since this is an NHL concept that does not involve "de-EDGE-ing".

Final Score: 67%


Minnesota Wild Concept by Zach W:

An interesting attempt to bring back green as the primary color. At the same time, this looks like a paint bucket fill in of a more complicated template, one better suited for Photoshop rather than MS Paint or Paint.net. Main logo, name and number are too big. I do like what you did to the logo in terms of color, but I would make the shooting stars in the roundel cream and the main logo within the roundel green. This is a great idea for a concept that with some refining, either by design program change or template change, could be COTW worthy.

Final Score: 49%


University of Arizona (NCAA) Concept by Patrick E:


The U of A has had a beautiful simple logo that Patrick lends to a simple classic design. And there's little wrong with the design idea. Execution drags this down. Hem striping ending the vertical stitching is one, and proper coloring of the inside of the jersey is another. The inside by the tag should be red, the inside by the hem should be blue, both to properly reflect the outside of the jersey. That logo also looks a tad too big. A terrific idea that with a little more care for detail, could definitely be seen on ice.

Final Score: 67%


Carolina Hurricanes Concept by S2dio:


S2dio takes a stab at the often attempted LEAVE AN IDEA suggestion to give the Hurricanes the colors of UNC. And it looks very good. I have to give you a lot of credit for the template, but at the same time, it takes away from how the concept is presented. The striping as I can see it is uniform throughout the hem, arms and socks, as well as the yoke, the latter of which is a very nice touch. Seeing the Hurricanes in blue is a good look for maybe an alternate. We could use TV numbers though.

Final Score: 80%


Edmonton Oilers Concept by Scott B.


I see that Scott is moving away from the ABCDEF name plates or the wiseguy NOPQRST name plates. The striping is very interesting, and a style I would not mind seeing on an alternate jersey. I just wish you could remove that silver piping and phantom yoke and somehow re-purpose that silver into the logo. The silver in the numbers is a good idea, but it needs to be executed better. The good we can take from this is that Scott is getting much better, which is something we've all experienced and all like to see.

Final Score: 65%


Detroit Red Wings Concept by Tristan M:


This concept is specifically a CCM alternate, as per the description, which is entirely acceptable. Tristan takes the logo and font of the most recent Winter Classic jerseys and applies them here in a spectacular way. The full sleeve striping pattern is a common style, but applying that to the Red Wings is like taking a classic style to a classic team. It usually works. Having the other half of the sleeve solid red on the lower arm compliments the hem perfectly. The socks look strange but I don't see another way to connect the hem and lower arm to the sleeve striping. Well done.

Final Score: 91%


My Concept of the Week nomination goes to  Tristan M and his Detroit Red Wings Concept.

That's it for me, hopefully with more jersey news I won't have to rant, but rather complain that I don't have hockey. Although with the English soccer season starting up and MLS ongoing, it will soften the blow a little bit. Phil B. Over and Out.

July 20, 2014

Sunday: HJC's CORSI Stats...Nevermind

So I'm busy enjoying a Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine with my son and wife.

I will finish this post later tonight.

***** Edit by Ryan 11:00pm Eastern Sunday *****

Jake88's Charlotte Checkers Patriotic Night concept will be moving into the Semi-Finals of the 2014 Concept of the Year vote (occurring in January) after he won the 2nd Quarter Vote!
Full Results
Jake88 - 5
S2dio - 4
Steven G. - 3

Jake88 also won the COTW vote for July 7-13!
Full Results
Jake88 - 7
S2dio - 4

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The Top 8 in the HJC Open have been rated and determined by you, the HJC reader. Here's a look at the updated brackets.
The top 8 now have until the end of Wednesday to get their entries in. Check out the competition page for the full rules and details.

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The TEMPLATES page has almost everything you could need to make any type of hockey jersey concept you wish. If you haven't spent at least 5 minutes just browsing the page, playing with some different templates, and clicking on all of the links then you're holding your concepts back. I thought I would use this opportunity to highlight some of the cool things on the TEMPLATES page.

ColorWerx
This page shows you every official colour used by every NHL team, ever. Go poke around there to for a while and start clicking on the list of colours. This is a great way to make your concepts as authentic as possible. Use the "Color Picker" tool in almost any program to select a team's colour and apply it to your concept.

Download Blank Team Templates
This download link is near the bottom of the page in the "Other Resources" section. They're great for newcomers to the jersey concept community. As the title says, they are blank templates for every NHL team (a little outdated) using what seems to be the most popular template used on HJC. Start by re-colouring some of them. Then start mixing and matching hems, arm stripes, and collars. This is a great place to start.

Download Paint.net Effects
This is another download link that will be helpful for those of us that use Paint.net to create their concepts. This bundle includes effects such as Drop Shadow, Outline, and Aligning. If you use Paint.net, these effects are a must. Install them in the folder C:/Program Files/ Paint.net/Effects. Some of them also come with an installer that you will need to run.

I could detail everything on the TEMPLATES page, but there's simply too much to cover. Take some time and go check it out. I assure you, it will improve your concepts.

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Speaking of the TEMPLATES page, you can find a new addition there.
Some people have been using this template (mainly in vector format) in recent weeks here. Concept artist TG was kind enough to do a trace of the template to make it compatible with MS Paint, Photoshop, and Paint.net. You can find this on the TEMPLATES page under the name "NHLuniforms.com V2 Template".

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HJC Stats

I did a very quick and informal review of the concepts that were posted this past week and came up with some interesting stats.

- 45 concepts were posted
- 16 different concept artists had their concepts posted
- 8 different templates were used
      - 8 different artists used the "RBK Edge Template (from Sportslogos.net)
      - 3 artists used the "Shop.NHL.com template by HJC"
      - 2 artists used the "HJC Drag & Drop template"
      - 2 custom templates were used by S2dio
      - 1 artist each used the following templates; "Shop.NHL.com template by Dylan W.",
        "Reebok Premiere Jersey template", "Matt's CCM Template",
        "Nike Swift 2014 template by Colin M."

I always assumed that the "RBK Edge Template" was the most used on HJC and not I have proved it to myself.

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COTW July 14-20 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Rd 2 entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)