Thursday, May 10, 2012

But Can They Do Pleather?

The Washington Redskins have unveiled throwback uniforms to celebrate their 80th Anniversary:
Washington Redskins
This is worth our notice for the unique faux-leather treatment they've given the helmet:

Helmet treatments have been the bane of NFL throwbacks since the first ones were rolled out in 1994. When throwing back to an era before helmet logos and striping, the standard conceit has been to wear a plain, unadorned shell:

The originals look great, but the modern interpretations look unfinished and awkward. The rich texture of the leather is missing.

In an earlier post, I proposed a different approach to the blank brown shells with gray facemasks. Perhaps, I thought, if they added some subtle shading, a slightly darker shade of brown, it might hint at the old leather strips:

This takes my approach to its logical conclusion, and fixes what I think is the biggest problem with leather helmet-era throwback uniforms.

The Redskins didn't specify, but that leather-like finish is undoubtedly the work of Hydro Graphics Inc., Nike's standard supplier of custom finishes. HGI has already created helmets for the Giants in the last Super Bowl and commemorative helmets for the outgoing Jaguars owners.

Shame that we won't be seeing the Packers' throwback blues this season, but if and when they return for 2013, I expect that we'll see their helmets outfitted with a similar finish.

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