IceHL Podcast: Episode 12

The IceHL Podcast returns from its summer vacation as host and Snipers GM Tony Pomposelli is joined by rookie Colonials GM Eric Scheib, veteran Pioneers GM Jon Bravard and IceHL Commissioner and Barracudas GM Chris Smith. The foursome delves into the results of the 13 Weeks of R&R project as well as what the future holds in terms of team relocation.

Recorded 8/10/13

Resources: Music Provided By Overclocked Remix. Opening: Countdown to Infinity by Willrock. Closing: Dusty Dune Devil by Vurez. Both tracks from the album Mega Man X: Maverick Rising.


Winning Jersey Designs Unveiled!

These last 13 weeks have been quite a ride for the IceHL Project. Eleven teams got rebranded and today I'm announcing the winners of the jersey design contest, the final phase of 13 Weeks of R&R.

With 39% of the three-way vote, Alan John Herbert had the winning design for the Boston Colonials. He's a regular concept contributor but this is his first IceHL jersey win.

As previously reported, Bastian Schmülling's design will continue to represent the Calgary club, now known as the Calgary Stallions. A second-round vote was unnecessary as Bastian's design was the only one to receive a net positive rating during the first round.

In the end, this team's name was changed but the logos and jerseys remained the same as before. The one thing that will change, of course, is the wordmark. You can get a peek at it on the Stallions' Twitter page. It will be officially unveiled in the yearbook this fall.

Stefan Lundrigan added another winning IceHL jersey to his portfolio as his Detroit Chargers entry garnered 65% of the two-way vote. Stefan created the winning looks for the Kodiaks and Gators last year.

Derek Heilmann became a first time contest winner. His Halifax Dragons jersey picked up 58% of a three-way vote. The Dragons now join the Hitmen, Lagers, Narwhals, Armada and Aviators with Canadiens-style chest striping. As commissioner, I don't mind saying I'm somewhat disappointed.

The winning Hamilton Steelcats jersey design is from newcomer Daniel Otters. It grabbed 38% in the three-way vote. In his submission, Daniel explain a key element of his striping design. He said the unique design is meant to be the "front view of a steel girder," also known as an I-beam. It also appears in the collar, emulating Reebok's "hanger effect." Daniel points out that if you rotate the I-beam it can be seen as an "H" for Hamiton. Very clever design.

Colin May has entered a lot of designs in the IceHL's jersey contests, but this year he finally enters the winners' circle with his Montreal Olympiques efforts. He won with 36% of a four-way vote.

With 40% of a three-way vote of Philadelphia Aces jerseys, Matt McElroy became the first designer to create the winning uniform of a team for which he designed the winning logos. Matt made his foray into the IceHL Project last year, creating the winning jersey for the Narwhals.

Now if you look at those last two jerseys, you realize we may need to do some tweaking to the final designs for Montreal and Philadelphia. Because of their color schemes, they're awfully similar. More to come on that.

Jon Wold may have been unseated as the designer of the Olympiques' jerseys, but he's back on top with the Saskatchewan Snipers. His work garnered 37% of the three-way vote.

Also unseated from the team he originally designed for was Gary Beatman. His Renegades jerseys were replaced when the team relocated but he's back with the winning design for the Texas Outlaws — and interestingly, another black jersey. He got the edge with 53% of the two-way vote.

Another newcomer joins the fray as Coin Magee had the winning design for the Vancouver Lumberjacks. His submission earned 45% of the three-way vote.

And finally, Caleb Fuller took a slim 35% margin in a three-way vote to be declared the top jersey designer for the Washington Sentinels. He's also a first time winner.

That gives us six first time winners out of a possible 11 jersey designs this year. Herbert, Heilmann, Otters, May, Magee and Fuller are now part of the IceHL's brotherhood of designers. Congrats to them!

Unfortunately, these guys managed to remove a handful of artists from that group. Kevin Dallatore designed the original Colonials jerseys. Mike Szalay did the original Outlaws. And Ryan Hawkes created last year's Steelcats jerseys.

Justin Nahhas, the previous leader in winning jersey designs with four, dropped to three when he lost the Lumberjacks. He's now tied with Stefan Lundrigan and Brendan Nashman, all with three apiece. But the designer who'll be taking the rebrands the hardest is Ricky Hajduk. He had two winning designs last year for the Motorheads and Arsenal. Both of those teams got rebranded this year.

13 Third Jerseys project on hold

All right, I've been saving the bad news for the end. After seeing how the jersey voting went for these rebranded teams, I'm not eager to start on a third jersey project using the same format. I think middle-of-the-road designs aren't bad for primary uniforms, but they don't work as alternates. And I'm afraid that's what we'll get by using this format again.

I'm currently working up new ideas for this project. I'm also considering whether to scrap it altogether. Before you panic, let me explain.

First, a new format could save this project. I'm open to new ideas. The original format had three of the teams being assigned an artist rather than using an open competition format. This would allow one person to really get behind their vision. Would we want to do something like that with all 13 teams?

Others have suggested a voting committee. I could perhaps gather 100 IceHL diehards and designers to put together a handful of designs then choose the best amongst themselves. But that breaks away from the original goal of the IceHL Project — a crowd-sourced league where the decisions are made by the community.

However, if these community votes aren't yielding the best winning designs, maybe that premise needs some rethinking. I don't know. Like I said, I'm open to new ideas. Feel free to share yours.

The other option would be to cancel the third jersey project altogether and replace it with something else. A while back someone suggested the idea of teams having a primary jersey and a contrasting, or "clash," jersey not unlike what you see in the world of soccer.

That idea has really stuck with me. And my thinking is that maybe we drop the third jersey idea in favor of changing the entire format of IceHL uniforms next spring. It would be another big project involving all 32 teams. We could start by selecting a primary jersey from the existing designs. Dark or light, doesn't matter. Then we'd do a competition to create clashing designs. Of course we'd still have to revisit the voting format, but later on down the road.

So let me know what you guys are thinking. I'm eager to figure out what's next for the IceHL, as I'm sure you are as well.


Week 11: Jersey Design Contest

As the IceHL's 13 Weeks of R&R begins to wind down, it's time to move on to the final phase of the project. From now until Sat., July 6, jersey design submissions will be accepted for the 11 teams that have been rebranded this summer.

There are 3 rules to the contest:

  • Design 2 jerseys (light and dark) using team colors and logos only. You may not alter or add to the official colors or logos for each team.
  • Assemble your final design on the PNG template provided and submit it to icethetics@gmail.com. Please keep the image transparency intact.
  • Include your first and last name and email address in the graphic where designated as well as in your submission email. (Unlike in past competitions, your name WILL be displayed during voting. However, your email address will remain private.) 

IceHL Jersey Design Kit – 13 Weeks of R&R (.zip/622 KB - updated 6/26)

Download the jersey kit and keep in mind that eligible submissions must use the official jersey template provided. It was created to be compatible with almost any graphics software out there from Microsoft Paint to Adobe Photoshop. I also recommend GIMP and Pixelmator for Mac as other software options. (To be included in the voting, your design must be submitted in PNG format.)

Recommended link: Paint Users Paradise at SportsLogos.net

To assist you in your designs, feel free to implement or mix-and-match aspects of existing hockey uniform templates. There are many available at at the link above. The copy and paste functions are your friends in this case and make designing a great jersey so much easier. But feel free to experiment on your own too.

The template includes the front and back of a jersey as well as gear like socks and pants. All you have to do is design the jerseys. Designing the gear is up to you. I'd also request that you include a full alphabet and number set as seen in the Design Kit sample. You may choose to leave out any of the elements, but keep in mind that if you do, I reserve the right to design those elements myself or disqualify your entry.

Last thing. Simply submitting your jersey design doesn't guarantee it will be included in the voting process. If it doesn't meet a certain level of quality, I'll give you the opportunity to try again as long as you meet the deadline. But I always accept far more than I reject.

For customization purposes, you may use any name and number you choose to customize your jerseys.

Remember to stick to the official team colors and logos. You may sample the colors in the logo graphics using an eyedropper or similar tool in your chosen graphics software. If you need assistance with RGB codes, feel free to ask via email.

One last note about your jersey designs. Do something creative and original. Avoid copying existing jersey designs. We want IceHL teams to stand out and be unique!

Deadline: Saturday, July 6

You have two weeks to design and submit your work. Good luck to everyone!


Final Winning Logos Unveiled!

Last week, everyone cast their final votes in the logo design contest portion of the IceHL's 13 Weeks of R&R project. After the first round of polls, five races were still too close to call. So one more set of polls has determined our winners!

The Olympiques become the IceHL's first single-color team with this rebrand by Francis Matte, who picked up 64% of the vote over the incumbent from Craig Wheeler. Francis now has three logos in the IceHL.
Prepare to witness the domination of Matt McElroy. With 65%, he topped Francis Matte's entry for the newly-relocated Aces. This gives the IceHL two warplane logos, but from very different eras and in very different color palettes.

Unseating the existing Sharpshooters/Snipers logo by Dave Delisle, Matt McElroy wins another one, this time with 56% of the vote. Going forward the Snipers will have this updated look.
Is that Matt McElroy again? With a whopping 73%, his Lumberjacks logo win gets him a fourth logo in the league, overtaking Francis Matte for the most wins this summer.

Lastly, like a cherry on top, Matt McElroy completes the sweep with four winning logo designs in the final week of voting. His efforts beat the existing logo by Rik Oko with 56%, as an eagle, instead of a solider, now stands watch over the capital city.

It was truly Matt vs. Matte this summer with some epic logos from both designers. The pair combined for eight of the 10 new logos we got (Calgary's remained the same). Eric Poole revisited his Colonials concept and Slavo Kiss added a fourth winning design with his take on the Chargers.

Designer updates Huskies branding

Speaking of Slavo, he joined Eric in refining his work from five years ago. Today, I get to introduce updated branding for a 12th team! Check out the revised Alaska Huskies logos from Slavo Kiss.

Only slight updates to the primary, but certainly for the better. The secondary is also much-improved but it's the new wordmark that really solidifies the Huskies' identity. If you'd like to compare the new logos to the original, I recommend downloading a free copy of the 2012 IceHL Yearbook.

By the way, here's the email Slavo sent me with his redesign. Thought I'd share it with you guys.

[A] lot of teams will get brand new logos, so I thought I'd make some improvements to these old designs. Hope you don't mind.

It's nice to see some great new designs and artists showing up and participating in this project. Hope the uniforms will be as good as the new logo sets produced! And maybe we could come up with some new uniform designs for some of the old teams as well... similar process as we just did with the logos. It's just suggestion.

[For the Huskies,] I kept original color scheme because I think that dark night sky blue along with the silver and white is quite a unique combo and represents [the] cold Alaskan wilderness well. Hope new secondary logo, where the mountain and sea wave form the letter A for Alaska is clearer and more readable now. I also simplified the primary logo and created brand new wordmark.

I'd also love to thank this way to all the fans, who supported me and voted for my designs. I appreciate that! It's [a] really great feeling to have designed official identities for four IceHL teams. It's a 100% success for me as all four logo sets I've ever submitted to the IceHL design contests won (Huskies, Archers, Narwhals and Chargers), which makes me very happy and thankful for the support my work and I have had from Icethetics readers and fans of the IceHL.

Thank you guys! Thanks for your support!


Six Winning IceHL Logos Revealed!

At this late stage of the IceHL's 13 Weeks of R&R project, I'm pleased and excited to announce the winning logo designs for six of the 11 IceHL teams undergoing rebranding this summer.

Based on the first round results, there's no need for any further voting for these teams. Scores (out of 100) were determined for each design based on the voter evaluations. Any logo whose score was at least 20 points higher than the next highest — demonstrating a clear favorite among the voters — automatically won for their team. Here are the victors!

Eric Poole decided to refine and update his original Colonials logo from 2008. The designed earned a score of 84/100 — the second highest in the entire contest. The runner-up for the Colonials this year was Matt McElroy's design, which earned a 64.
Chris Smith (the other one) retained his place as the logo designer for the IceHL's Calgary franchise — even with the new name — with a score of 77. Chris is hard at work on a new wordmark for his logo set. Once again, Matt McElroy was the runner-up for the Stallions, earning a 53.

Slavo Kiss got his second contest win in as many years. The Narwhals logo designer created a clear favorite for the Chargers, earning an 82 for his efforts. Once again, Matt McElroy was the runner-up with a 55.
Francis Matte's logo design will represent the Halifax Dragons. With a score of 87, it was the highest-rated logo of the entire contest! Jesse Feltner had the runner-up design, which earned a 62.

Finally, after multiple second-place finishes, Matt McElroy has a winning logo design! His Steelcats set picked up an 84 — tying Eric Poole's Colonials entry for the second-highest-rated design of the summer. Unseated was Chris Smith's original 2008 design, which earned a 61.
The talented Francis Matte is a winner twice over this summer. His Texas Outlaws logo earned an impressive score of 83. Mark Morgan had the runner-up design with a 55.

If you're curious about how the scoring worked, it's pretty simple. We use the percentages from the polls. Take the positive score and round to the nearest whole number (45.5% becomes 46). Take the neutral score and round it up to the nearest whole number, then divide that in half (round up again if necessary to get another whole number, so 36.5% [37/2=18.5] becomes 19). Add those two numbers together and you have your score.

Five more logos still to be decided

That leaves five teams with logos still to be decided. Those polls go up first thing Monday and will be open for a week. The top two designs for each team will be included in this next round. Next weekend we'll get started on designing jerseys for these 11 teams.

If you want to know which designs will be facing off this week (and you don't want to do the math yourself), I've got you covered:

  • Olympiques: Craig Wheeler (current) vs. Francis Matte
  • Aces: Matt McElroy vs. Francis Matte
  • Snipers: Dave Delisle (current) vs. Matt McElroy
  • Lumberjacks: Matt McElroy vs. Tim Schellenberg
  • Sentinels: Rik Oko (current) vs. Matt McElroy

So clearly, Mr. McElroy is the man to beat! He already has one winning design in Hamilton and now has the potential for four more. Matt entered logos for all 11 teams and was the only designer to do so. But he's got stiff competition for these teams.

I'm excited to see how it all turns out. Until then, what do you think of the winning logos we already have?

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