Criticism is part of the process.
When you set out to design a football uniform, you go into it knowing that you won’t make everyone happy.
So when the Tampa Bay Times published Sunday morning a proposal for new Buccaneers uniforms, it was no surprise that 98 percent of the reaction was negative.
Those look like Ohio State’s uniforms!
Those look like the Tampa Bay Bandits’ uniforms!
Those look like Ohio State’s uniforms AND the Tampa Bay Bandits’ uniforms!
We received a few compliments, too. Like five or six. Okay, three. We received three.
Loved everything except the helmet!
I like it all!
One message stood out. It came all the way from Bozeman, Mont., population 47,000 — roughly about the size of a Bucs crowd this season.
“I think it’s a solid look!”
No, that wasn’t from Nana. Even she was a critic.
The message was from Angus O’Keefe, an editor at Mountain Journal, a nonprofit journalism site that covers the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
“If you’d like any help taking some of the Bucs redesign ideas and making them a little more photorealistic, I am happy to help!”
“I really just like mocking up unis.”
The next day, O’Keefe sent us an email. His mockups.
Aaaaand … wow. Just wow.
His mockups elevated our design to a whole other level.
Here’s what we started with:
And here’s what O’Keefe created:
We’re a bit biased, but that’s a vast improvement over what the Bucs currently wear.
And uniform design isn’t even O’Keefe’s day job.
“I have had a passion for uniforms since I was a little boy, reading King Arthur and enjoying the heraldry,” he told the Times. “As I grew up and participated in sports, it was a natural extension of that initial appreciation for design. Three years ago, I had an idea for a Montana State Bobcat football helmet, wanted to see it actualized and decided it would be easier to teach myself photoshop than try to find an artist to create it for me. That project was expectedly terrible, but I have been hooked on uniform mockups since then.”
A good uniform is more than just an outfit, O’Keefe said.
“It is a point of pride and a unifying experience for fans of that team around the world.”
Give O’Keefe a follow on Twitter (@SportsPSD), where you’ll find more uniform mockups, including a modern take on the Bucs’ Creamsicles.
And if you have some ideas for a Bucs redesign, here’s how you can get involved:
• Visit tampabay.com/fixthebucunis and download the uniform template designed by Times artist Ron Borresen.
• Design away! Use Photoshop. Or Crayola. Work with the Bucs’ current colors and logos. Or create new ones.