OKLAHOMA CITY — After over 10 years sporting their original Uncle Sam-inspired uniforms, the Arrogant Americans today unveiled a logo and uniform set that 'Mericans owner Justin C. Cliburn hopes will get the two-time champion franchise through the next 10 years.
"The 'Mericans actually pre-date the OIL and came into existence as two wars were starting and America's place in the world was up for debate," Cliburn said. "The 'Uncle Sam flipping the bird' logo worked for that era as a tongue-in-cheek manifestation of the times. But, over a decade later, the logo has lost its punch. Four OIL Bowl appearances and two championships later, the franchise can afford to be more subtle in its bravado."
The new logo, Cliburn noted, encompasses the spirit of a patriotism-inspired mascot in a much more subtle fashion — "in other words, we've dropped the 'in-your-face' image of Uncle Sam raising his middle finger," Cliburn said.
The makeover includes dropping Uncle Sam entirely, replacing him with a stylized 'A' wearing an Uncle Sam hat. That precipitated a uniform rebranding as the Uncle Sam logo had graced the helmet, jersey, and pants from the beginning, Cliburn said. The redesign includes a new tertiary logo that incorporates both an 'A' and an American flag-style star, which is used in the new wordmark:
The changes to the actual uniforms are more subtle, Cliburn said. "We've moved to the primary roundel logo on the pants hip, the secondary 'A' logo on the helmet and collar, and TV numbers on the sleeves," he said. "Further, we've moved from a very text-heavy "ARROGANT AMERICANS" on the front of the jersey to the shorter, cleaner "'MERICANS. The pants and jersey and helmet stripes remain the same, however."
The franchise explained that it wanted to update the logo and uniforms before winning their third championship jersey in December. The redesign was developed by Michael Taylor Design.
The 14 franchises in the OIL1 recently unveiled new uniform sets. In some cases, teams released new logos or completely re-branded their franchise. But, whether it was a refresh or a re-brand, one man was behind all the work: Andrew Krause of AndrewKrauseDesign.com. Commissioner Cliburn did a Q&A with Krause so his work could be showcased and the OIL could know him better.
How long have you done graphic design?
KRAUSE: I’ve been a graphic artist full-time coming up on two years, previously I was an educator in the Boston Public Schools system. While I’ve only been full-time for a short period, I was always drawing logos and the like in notebooks at school or at home with those weirdly scented markers in the early 90’s.
Where do you live?
KRAUSE: I’m originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts but moved to Boston about 8 years ago when I turned 20. I’ve bounced around from neighborhood to neighborhood but have settled in the Allston section of the city, sandwiched between Boston College and Boston University. Neither of which I attended, but I hold BU hockey close to my heart.
What type of clients do you typically serve?
KRAUSE: Hard question to answer, I serve a wide variety of clients. Anywhere from you guys to the NYC Food Bank. My expertise is in sports branding but I have no trouble straying from the course if the job is interesting.
How many designs do you typically do in a month?
KRAUSE: It can vary, summer months are usually the quiet ones – mostly by choice. The work really kicks up between October-May.
What are you favorite types of projects?
KRAUSE: I don’t necessarily have a favorite type of project per se, just ones where the client allows the designer to trust in their vision.
What are your favorite logo/uniform designs?
KRAUSE: My favorite design as of late has to be Joe Boscak’s work with the Hershey Bears. They did a great job capturing the feel of Hershey while also maintaining a classic brand for the Bears. Stunning work. The Dallas Stars come in a close second. They weren’t in need of a brand overhaul, but they sure knocked it out of the park.
Do you play fantasy football?
KRAUSE: Who doesn’t? I’m in a rather hotly contested league and another with a ragtag group of hometown friends. I’m not the best fantasy player out there, but I did win a championship with Tebow at the helm three years ago – I’m oddly proud of that.
As you should be. Does your team have a logo/uniforms?
KRAUSE: They do, but I won’t share. It’s essentially Tim Tebow and Mr. Hankey combined. I’ll let your imagination take over from here.
Which OIL franchise did you enjoy designing the most? Why?
KRAUSE: I’m keen on the look of the DARC NARCS. The basis of the design was an 8-bit video game with the not-so-blended gradients. That red uniform is probably my favorite in the OIL. The Roughnecks, of course, get an honorable mention as that being the sole franchise I designed from the ground up.
How can fantasy football owners contact you about designing their franchise?
KRAUSE: A simple e-mail to Andrew@AndrewKrauseDesign.com will suffice. We can continue the discussion there.
What would you recommend owners provide when they request franchise design or re-brand?
KRAUSE: I usually like to have them fill out a four or five question card which includes mostly their thought process on how their name came about. Fantasy football names are pretty egregious and/or have an inside joke connection. It helps to get the owner's viewpoint on the name before beginning work. Colors are pretty helpful, as well.
What work are you most proud of?
KRAUSE: My work with The Basketball Tournament (TBT) is easily the staple of my portfolio. We started from the ground up with them. When I signed on all that was certain was Frasier Davidson was going to make some killer team logos, which he did. Outside of that work, they left it up to me to design each of the 32 entrant’s uniforms, signage, gear, programs. A lot of work, but it was satisfying to see such a big project come to fruition.
Thanks for all the work you've done for the OIL, Andrew. We'll keep in touch.
If you want your franchise to look as good as those in the OIL, send Andrew an email and discuss your ideas with him. It will be worth it.
Original OIL manager Matthew Leal released a full uniform set for his Norman Nobodies franchise today after previously releasing an updated logo. The uniforms were designed by Andrew Krause.
In early 2011 (just after the 2010 season), OIL managers Adam Duffy and Justin C. Cliburn ordered custom jerseys from HopcoSports. Three years later, they are still happy with their purchases. Cliburn caught up with HopcoSports to discuss the recent OIL team uniform designs. Here is how Duffy and Cliburn's jerseys turned out:
HopcoSports.com is owned by Earl Hopson.
Where are you located?
Hobson: Fountain, Colorado.
How long have you been in business?
Hobson: Nine years.
How did you get started?
Hobson: I got started by designing jerseys for local fantasy leagues, and it grew from there.
How many jerseys a year do you typically manufacture?
Hobson: Between 800 and 1,500 jerseys and custom sport apparel and equipment for all different sports and office casual wear too.
Do you have a jersey for your own FF team? Yes If so, what is your team name?
Hobson: Yes. It's the Red River Bandits.
Do you have a day job? What is it?
Hobson: Yes. I work for the U.S. Air Force as a civil servant. I'm retired Air Force.
Can you replicate the jerseys recently unveiled by the OIL?
Hobson: Yes. Although the jerseys for Dirty Hippies and DominationStation will need to be sublimated. The railroad tracks over the numbers and sleeve pattern would all need to be sublimated (a process where the ink is dyed directly into the fabric). This process is better than screenprint where paint is applied on the top of jerseys. The sublimated print will never crack and does not add noticeable weight to the jersey as sewn-on tackle twill does. Pretty much that would be the only way to do those two jerseys and the Seattle-style Lucky Enuf jersey is by sublimation.
How much would it cost to recreate one of these jerseys?
Hobson: Refer your league to my email address, and the price will be $90.00 each, which is a discounted price. If you can get them to submit one big order that is shipped to the same address, the cost will only be $85.00 each. If I sublimate the jerseys I can get them done in three to four weeks.
These designs are based on NFL teams the Patriots, Raiders, Packers, Seahawks, and Bengals, as well as entirely original designs based on no NFL team. Which is your favorite?
Trovillo's Dirty Hippies uniforms couldn't have turned out any better. They were designed by a user at Fiverr and modeled after the Bengals uniform. A.J. Green is portrayed wearing the uniform below.
For Jessen's DominationStation, we told the designer at Fiverr to take the idea and run with it . . . he did. Playing on the train theme, the jersey and pants have railroad track spanning from the top to bottom with the train logo on the helmet. Jessen is a San Francisco 49ers fan, and the uniform is worn by Patrick Willis.
Yancy Baldwin's Reapers now have a uniform to call their own. It was designed by a user at Fiverr. The uniform is inspired by the existing Reapers logo, the Oakland Raiders and the slicing-and-dicing of the Reaper's weapon of choice.
Michael Rogers is spending the 2014 season in scenic Afghanistan, but that doesn't mean he's neglecting his AmmoDogs. A user at Fiverr took his classic AmmoDog logo and turned it into a uniform worn by Ndamukong Suh. It's easy to see the influence of the underlying Detroit Lions uniform, but the design had nothing to do with the Lions.
Two-time OIL champion Jack Bruesch's SoonerJack was given a makeover by a designer at Fiverr. The new uniform is represented below on Drew Brees: Bruesch's QB on the 2011 OIL Bowl champion squad.
The uniform is based on Bruesch's beloved Oklahoma Sooners. The helmet logo is based on his love of poker. Clean. Simple. Overall, a good luck for the two-time champs. The designer did a great job turning the New Orleans Saints uniform into the perfect uniform for SoonerJack.
It was a long process, but readers of the OIL have chosen a winner. Shane Maddox's and Anthony Wustenfeld's Oklahoma City Infantry ended up garnering 34% of the votes to beat Blake Campbell's Roughnecks (26%) in our "NFL in OKC" design contest.
Congratulations to the men. And thank you to everyone who submitted designs, shared the page, and voted in the poll.
A special thank you goes to Uni-Watch, who linked to the contest multiple times. Click the image to see the complete Infantry submission.
Shane and Anthony can now choose something from our online store as a prize. Let me know what you'd like by emailing me and I'll make that happen.