I thought I’d retired from the Grand Rapids Griffins’ annual jersey design contest but, as this year’s edition rolled around, I realized that I wanted to revisit my 2016 entry and try to tweak a couple things that bothered me from it.
In 2016, I didn’t like that the crest on my submission and the shoulder logo both used the same griffin silhouette. I thought it looked good but was just a little lazy. Also, I had intended to enter a red jersey in the contest and was convinced to switch to black at the last minute, so I wanted to return to that idea.
Additionally, at the end of the 2014 contest there was a lesson that I had learned and promptly forgot: Minor league sports teams like logos that have their team name included. I wanted to take that into consideration this time around.
Keeping all of that in mind, I created a new crest for the red version of my 2016 entry.
I changed the shape of the shield just to change things up a little. Across it is a banner reading “Griffins” in a vaguely old-German font that I think matches the heraldic crest. Above that is a stalking griffin in silhouette – because the griffin in the shoulder logo is standing on two legs, I wanted this one to be down on all fours (though only three are really seen).
Like the griffin in the shoulder logo, this new griffin features a pair of homages to other logos. The tail is the tail that was used in the Griffins’ original logo while the wing is based on the Winged Wheel logo of the Red Wings.
I put the new logo on the red jersey design from 2016 and I thought I was good.
But then I kept thinking.
In 2016, the jersey I actually liked best was the white one, which I wasn’t allowed to submit because the Griffins specifically asked for a dark jersey. This year, not only did they not make that requirement, but their promotional calendar has dates for fan-designed jerseys to be worn both before and after New Years’; which is when the American Hockey League switches from wearing white jerseys at home to dark ones.
I decided to switch to the white jersey. Which immediately gave me trouble with the crest again.
I designed the new crest to work best on red. It’s primarily black with a heavy white outline. That outline disappears on a white jersey, so what to do?
I tried out several different color swaps. Added outlines. Took the opportunity to play with the sleeve numbers a little, then immediately abandon that idea.
In the end, I decided to go with a logo that mixed elements from my previous submissions with some of my new ideas.
The extra outline on the shield helps set it off on the white jersey while not outlining the “banner” keeps the logo from getting too heavy.
And those are combined with the previously-created shoulder logo, which sits opposite the logo of the Griffins’ parent club, the Detroit Red Wings.
One final note is that I use a template that doesn’t allow for a laced collar to be displayed. I would expect one to be used, as shown here.