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Padres Unveil New Uniforms and No One is Happy–Including Me

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So, my favorite team in my favorite sport unveiled new uniforms and nobody, except the Padres of course, seems happy about it. The club claims it’s a nod to tradition, and I see some of the elements they tried to bring back, but I think they’re just too… blah. I’m going to try to stay impartial here and look at it from a design perspective and not a rabid fan.

New Padres Uniforms New Padres Uniforms

Most noticeable is the lack of any unique color. They are simply navy blue and white (not counting the military uniforms, of course. I commend the Padres for sticking with that tradition. It’s a good one). Apparently everyone hated the sand. Not sure why. Maybe the sand accents weren’t as distinctive as orange or mustard yellow but I thought it was classy and understated. And different! Why do they want to look like every other team in the MLB and use gray for their away colors?

The primary text on the home jerseys is now without the sand, solid drop shadow and simply stroked in sand. This is also a throw back to old uniforms but took away the dimension and interest to the logo. Plus, this is the only use of the sand color and it seems a bit out of place now. At least before, they integrated it into the Blue tops (my favorite) and in the trim. Now, the blue jersey looks like any other team and not really distinctive. I think a good move may have been to place that sand colored text from the old blue jersey on the white and add a blue outline around the white outline. You’d have the apparent continuation of the blue piping around the text and a more prominent use of the sand. Don’t know unless I see it though.

On a positive note, I do like the consistency they’ve created. The uniforms were lacking that before. The piping on every jersey is a classic look (even if it does look like a corporate softball team) and the typeface on the road grays is no longer that funky bow tie. That’s a good thing. But I still miss the sand color. They did away with that last year in favor of the gray but I think the sand was a good neutral color which made them different. The typeface was the worst part. That’s what they should have changed first.

New Padres Logos New Padres Logo

Besides the emblem that goes on the caps, every team has a primary logo and the Padres also changed theirs. Previously they used the script Padres on a home plate which I liked. Nothing ground breaking but I think it felt like San Diego. The new primary logo is a simple circle enclosure with the emblem in the center and text around the perimeter. VERY baseball. I actually like the new secondary logo more. It incorporates the ballpark and the Padres script with the emblem and established date at the bottom. Maybe not groundbreaking either, but definitely tells more about the club than the primary does. The swinging friar is back as well but he just seems completely out of place now. Another attempt to “honor tradition” but looks more like an afterthought.

Overall, I just think it’s a step back. I know many weren’t happy with this look’s predecessor, but it was implemented with a new ballpark right on the water and I think it brought a lot of San Diego into the mix. It was classy and, I believe, widely acceptable. Let’s not kid ourselves, the main point of a redesign like this is to sell more products so acceptability is key. People tend to want the latest thing and the last look has been going for over 7 years now, so a change may have been due. I’m just not sure this is going to accomplish that. You’ll definitely see them out there, but I’d be interested to see what sort of corrections the club makes on next year’s unis.