Friday, September 21, 2012

Black Ninjas and White Tigers

This soccer season, my sons wound up on teams with opposing color schemes. My youngest son, Aidan, is a member of the White Tigers, who naturally have white jerseys with black highlights. Gavin, on the other hand, plays for the Black Ninjas and sports a black jersey with white highlights.

As in seasons past, I was interested in designing logos for the teams. And as in seasons past, I was motivated to actually do so and to get iron-on patches made up from the designs by my friend and fellow coach Wynee Bullerdick. Wynee and I have never coached together, but her son was a part of the Soccer Monsters team many seasons ago from which have launched several different coaches, teams ... and logo-lovers! So as in seasons past, Wynee offered to help fund the patch order in exchange for a share of the booty, patches she could distribute to her own similarly named teams in different age-bracketed leagues.

I did the Black Ninjas logo first. The whole black/white thing took me quickly to the Yin and Yang symbol. I wrestled a bit with using the symbol due to its connection with eastern religions, but the general concepts of balance in life and creation seemed universal enough. Besides, given that I was designing a logo for "ninja warriors", a graphic that was suitable for, say, Christian worship services was already out of reach. In the end, I offered only an incomplete yin-yang symbol.

The White Tigers design was much more difficult for me, just in terms of how tedious the work was. As I've mentioned before, I'm a total amateur at this stuff, using (or abusing?) amateur tools. No tablets with stylus input devices here. Those curves are all painfully hand-manipulated in a vector drawing application.

One thing I did this season differently than in previous ones was to avoid putting the team name in the design. I wanted to design something that was flexible enough to be reused by someone else in the future who might have a different team name altogether. This will likely be the approach I take from now on for these un-commissioned works.

If you're reading this and you have a team whose name fits, I'll be happy to sell you some of my leftover iron-on patches made from these designs! Email me at