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Word on the street is my San Francisco 49ers are planning to change their uniforms for either the 2009 or 2010 season. I’m sure they have or are doing research on it and are maybe designing it right as we speak. I, for one, have taken it upon myself to give it a try and redesign not just the unis but the brand as well and hopefully help re-energize this franchise to return to greatness.

So my first step was to look at the current uniforms. Believe it or not, they have been in use for a decade already. The colors are “cardinal” red and 49ers gold (as described in Wikipedia). I wonder why is it called cardinal red, after all, they’re not named the Arizona Cardinals?

Let’s look at the good and bad of the current unis. The good: First, it stands out from the rest of the teams. There are only two teams that use gold predominantly in the NFL, San Francisco and New Orleans. St. Louis changed from yellow to gold as its secondary color in 2000. Their pants are gold on occasion as they also have blue and white pants. Second, the current design hasn’t strayed too far from the original design.

The bad: Someone went too far with the stroke tool in Photoshop. The excessive gold trim and black shadowing on the numbers and names is a little too much. Have you seen it in HD? Sheesh! In design and sports uniforms, simplicity is the way to go. Finally, the black striping…I mean, I get it but on this uniform it just doesn’t work. Black striping was added to give the uniform “street-cred” for marketing purposes and more jersey sales. But honestly, IMO, it doesn’t add any more “street-cred” than it already had.

So my second step was to research better looking unis. Matt Barrows from The Sacramento Bee ranked the NFL uniforms in this article. He had some interesting points but I disagree with his top 5. Here are my top 5: 1) NY Giants – Their redesign in 2000 went back to their old-school roots. They kept the same colors and kept the design simple (that’s the magic word). 2) Browns – Their colors are orange and brown and they do orange and brown better than anyone can do it. And it’s simple. 3) Raiders – As a Niner fan, it pains me to even write this but its silver and black…nuff said. 4) Colts – Classic horseshoe logo with blue and white color scheme. It’s just that…classic. 5) Buccaneers – Nothing was uglier than their old orange creamsicle and white garbs with that swashbuckling pirate logo. But the change to pewter and “Buccaneer” red with the pirate flag on a sword logo was design genius. They’d be ranked as the no. 1 before and after REDESIGN ever. I mean, PEWTER! I’ve never even heard of pewter until they used it. The Niners current unis would rank somewhere in the teens if I did a complete list.

After that, I researched past 49er uniforms. Of course, the ones that stood out to me were the uniforms from the eighties. Research has shown that most of the Niner fans have that look in a special place in their heart. But just trotting out the old unis doesn’t cut it.

In my redesign, I’m going to take the old-school design and replace the “cherry” red and “matte” gold to what I’m calling Deep Scarlet Red and Metallic Gold. Remember this logo? Why did they get rid of it? It’s way better than what they replaced it with. So I redesigned it to bring it to the 21st century. The intertwined SF logo is so embedded in the team’s history that any change to it would be blasphemous. It’s one of the best intertwined logos ever. So here’s what I came up with for the new 49ers script logo.

This logo would be used in all aspects of marketing and will be placed in the endzones, helmets, and on the front of the jersey as you can see in the home jerseys above the numbers.

Now for the road unis, I thought they should be different. So when I did my research on past Niner uniforms, I noticed the late 50’s & early 60’s road unis were different. They were white with red stripes above the shoulders instead of the sleeves. So I thought, let see what it would look like modernized.

I think it really stands out and makes it different from the home unis. I really like this look. It still keeps it simple but doesn’t over do it.

As you can notice, the alternative pants for both home and road unis are white. For me, personally, I liked the white pants from the ’94 season, our last Superbowl championship year. So I thought they could do some good for the new unis in alternative form. It makes for fond memories but it’s a pretty clean look especially for road unis. Also, notice what I like to call the “wicked witch of the west” socks. They’re dope to me so I think they should be mandatory along with mandatory black shoes for both home and road unis.

Now that’s the look of a 5-time Superbowl Champion, no?


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