February 7, 2014

Olympics Uniforms: Star-Spangled Banner?

I am not quite sure how I missed this gem last night:

According to the person responsible for the design, Spyder’s Production Art Manager, Matt Strackbein, 
“when creating the [U.S. Ski Team Olympic] race suit graphics we knew it was crucial that the racers felt a sincere sense of patriotism, so we utilized ‘stars and stripes’ in a less traditional, more dynamic way … as important as it was to represent the U.S.A., it was equally important that the athletes look and feel fast. imageWhen I began the design process, I thought about times when I feel that same degree of patriotism and I immediately thought about the National Anthem, so I decided to use the song lyrics from the Star Spangled Banner for inspiration. Per the song, one of the most meaningful sightings of the American Flag happened the morning after Francis Scott key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry. There, ‘by dawns early light,’ Key saw that ‘our flag was still there,’ albeit a much larger flag than the small storm-flag that had flown over the fort all night during the battle. But what stood out most upon reading the lyrics was that, because the air was so laden with smoke after the battle, Key recognized it rippling in the water off the edge of the ship on which he was being held captive.image

“I tried to imagine what he was feeling in his heart at that moment – surely a deep sense of pride, not unlike the feeling an athlete must have when they win Olympic Gold. So, for the race suit, we used blue and white fades in the design to represent that early morning setting, and thinner red and white stripes to represent the flag rippling in the water. The goal was to capture as much of that imagery in the race suit as possible so that the U.S. Ski Team Athletes can potentially feel that heightened sense of hope, pride, courage and determination.”

At least the man knows his history. Having served on the Board at Fort McHenry for six years, and having done a ton of research for a project I am working on, I am not sure how I feel about this. image

What do you think? Can you even imagine what Francis Scott Key would think of these uniforms?

9 comments:

  1. the white stars outlined in red, wrong. the blue ombre foreboding, the sleeves are busy, why not a postal uniform ? we deliver the GOLD!!!!

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    1. I am not really sure I'd want to see my postie in a skin-tight outfit!

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  2. I think they're fab. Red, white, blue, and very streamlined. Anyone in good shape is going to look amazing, what with the way the shoulders are set and the angled red striping. Dressing like one of the medals would be tacky, methinks. Wear something subtle and make the performance the thing that gets people's attention. Nothing worse than prancing out dressed like Liberace and getting beat by someone in a tee shirt. Best to keep the profile low and then wow them with a win.

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  3. Well... looking at them don't really inspire feelings of patriotism in me like it is apparently supposed to do. That said, I don't think they're that bad, either. They're a little cheesy; like the graphics on the side of old stand up arcade machines. But they don't offend my eye and they could be worse (see: your post on the Polo uniforms.)

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    1. They don't inspire any patriotism in me, either!

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  4. The designer appears to be very sincere in his efforts to inspire the athletes! I hope they can feel their amazing heritage and bring home a WIN!

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    1. Most people don't know that much American history!

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  5. I like this uniform much better than Ralph's. The subtle, then larger images of the stars, along with the diagonal stripes show movement. Along with the subtle gradation of color, I see reserve, yet strength. I enjoyed the thought that went into this design, as opposed to just bold symbols popping up everywhere. I'm assuming these athletes are fit and would look good in a more snug outfit, unlike myself, who wouldn't be participating in the Olympics anyway! I say, "Good Job!"

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