PantherU

From worst to first

While it remains to be seen whether or not the Milwaukee Panthers can pull the unthinkable and go from worst to first in the span of one year on the basketball court, we at PantherU are ready to predict that the Milwaukee fan base will without a doubt be more than pleased with the Panthers. In a sartorial sense, that is.

For those who have installed a mental block of the 2012-13 season, we’ll need to throw up some reminders. The team was 8-24, they spent the season in the on-campus decrepit Klotsche Center, and they did it wearing the worst uniforms any Panther team has ever had to put on. And this is a school that once used red numbers on black and gold uniforms, so you know it’s saying something.

The worst part, of course, was the font – reader Illwauk, he of the most beautiful concept logos, uniforms and courts (screw the Bucks) known to man, caught the reason. Adidas, in their infinite wisdom (we’re all counting down to when we can ditch your asses for Nike), decided that there are only a finite amount of fonts available for college basketball teams.  Therefore, Milwaukee was stuck with the same font that Adidas designed for Louisville. While the font looks great for the Cardinals, it didn’t do any favors for the Panthers. Since there is no “W” in Louisville, the shoe company tried to fit the W in Milwaukee into the space reserved for the “V,” which essentially made the letter look like the runt of the litter. Add in the fact that the grey-on-gold with minimal black looked particularly awful, and you’ll understand why you’ve blocked the uniform from memory with the rest of the 2012-13 season.

But 2013-14 is a new season. We have a new AD, a new marketing director (who created a new Facebook page), a return to the Cell, 11 new players, and what’s the best part? They’re going to look damn good out there.

Without further ado, your 2013-14 Milwaukee Panthers Basketball uniforms:

Home white uniforms Road black uniforms Alternate gold uniforms

The uniforms are classic. There’s just no better way to put it. Take that uniform and stick it on any Milwaukee team of the past 50 years and it would look totally at home. The colors are simple: white home, black road, gold alternate. It is this last one that is the best of the three, with its black lettering with white outline truly making the “Milwaukee” pop from the jersey.

For years, the font has changed frequently. The mid-2000’s saw the font with the tall bookend letters arching to small middle letters – it was cool on graphics, but hard to read on TV. The variations have gone from curvy to the futuristic “Louisville” font of last season. Chip MacKenzie, who for the first time got to design the uniforms himself, laid waste to the idea of a modern look and font, eschewing the trends for a completely classic approach.

The results are, frankly, outstanding. Not only is the “Milwaukee” clear and perfect for television, it is in a classic college arched block lettering font. In case you didn’t notice, we’re big fans of the college block lettering at PantherU.

There was one thing I noticed that was interesting: the Horizon League has decided to move its logo to the front of the left leg on the shorts, a move that stands out on the Panthers’ new basketball shorts.

Home shorts

We haven’t had a chance to see the uniforms in action, but the truth of the matter is that the uniforms finally look  complete. I’ve liked uniforms in the past; the crossing piping from a few years ago was a pretty cool look. But I look at these uniforms and think to myself, ‘they could keep the uniforms looking like this forever and I’d be totally fine with it.’

The best thing about these uniforms is how easy they should be to reproduce for the bookstore. Even if they don’t decide to go with a basketball jersey, that font face would be perfect to make a jersey t-shirt, the best development in sports merchandise of the past decade.

By the way, when you buy your jersey shirt  you’re going to want #30.

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Here’s another couple of looks if you’re interested:

2013-10-17 15.50.49 2013-10-17 15.51.05

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