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MJ Leg Series

Tim McCarthy

Michael Jordan was always a recognizable athlete and still is today. However, most people think of his shaved head, the iconic #23 jersey, a ferocious tongue or probably most famously, his Nike Jordan silhouette. The last thing anyone would ever mention are his legs. Right?

Wrong. Let me introduce you to the "MJ Leg Series" by Jennifer Hynds which is a collection of illustrations of MJ's legs for every year he played on the Chicago Bulls. It's smart, beautiful and by far on my favorite projects I have come across since starting this blog.

The great thing about these illustrations are that none of Jordan's famous features are shown and yet viewers are still able to identify the subject matter immediately. Yes, the shoes are definitely recognizable but I think that just enhances the composition. Everything else is striped from the moment: the ball, the hoop, the crowd and even most of the color. But because of the shoes we are able to place those legs to a year or season and maybe even the game in which that dunk happened. Viewers can use the shoes help fill in the blanks or allow themselves to see shapes and negative space that convey pure athletic motion. 

There's tons of Michael Jordan fan art out of there so when selecting what to post on this blog, I try to find work that is sometimes a little different. I applaud Jennifer in her decision to focus on beauty that is often missed. 

The Geometry of Sport

Tim McCarthy

Matt Stevens, the talented designer behind the Max 100 project and the retro rebranding of the Carolina Panthers, is at it again with a new project called The Geometry of Sport

On his blog, Matt talked about the common struggle as most designers of being in a rut of doing the same style all the time. He wanted to shake things up and ended up looking to some of the heroes of his youth as subject matter. The result was being able to focus on athletes that suggested geometry and energy.

He's Heating Up

Tim McCarthy

As an ode to the NBA greats of the 90's, designer Kitron Z Neuschatz has given himself the task of illustrating a new player every day. Very excited to see the finish product with this one. In the meantime, you can follow his progress here.

Prob Bets

Tim McCarthy

I can't believe there's only one game left in the 2014-15 NFL season. It seems like it flew by! Instead of recapping on yesterday's comeback win or the lopsided blow out, I figured I would share some illustrations done by Nathan Yonder for a Grantland piece titled "Bill and Sal's NFL Degenerate Gambling Preview done earlier in the season. Feeling nostalgic? You can check them all out here

The Nike Bowls

Tim McCarthy

This past weekend, four Nike-sponsored teams battled in the first ever college football playoffs and Nike didn't disappoint when it came to the uniforms. 

In the Sugar Bowl, the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide wore their official home uniforms while The Ohio State Buckeyes wore their away uniforms. Both schools are known for their traditional looks so not much changed. 

In the Rose Bowl Game, the Oregon Ducks wore their all-green home uniforms while the Florida State Seminoles wore their away maroon jerseys combined with gold pants.

Tonight, the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes will take the field to determine the first ever College Football Playoff National Champion. Again, both teams will suit up wearing some of Nike's best uniforms.

The Oregon Ducks will take the field wearing new away uniforms including a white jersey with tonal gray and silver accents, together with wolf gray pants and a white helmet with silver wings. The jersey showcases the tonal silver “Fighting Ducks” logo on the sleeve and the pants feature the words “Fighting Ducks” along the legs.

A very bold move for a team that almost never loses in green or yellow

The Ohio State Buckeyes will wear their home uniform, a scarlet jersey with white and gray accents reminiscent of the 1968 championship game, combined with gray pants and the team’s traditional gray helmet.

Although I'm a fan of Oregon's uniforms, I think their high power offense will win this game. My prediction? Ducks 37-21.

NFL Divisional Playoffs

Tim McCarthy

There's a lot of excitement with this NFL Divisional Playoff games. Will Luck beat the beloved Manning? Can Romo win a playoff game on the sub-zero climate...against Green Bay? Will a below .500 team beat the defending champs? Is Brady & Belichick going to make another run? Here's some illustrations from around the web showcasing the different match ups. 

Rafa Alvarez did a nice series of illustrations for's cover story

Some divisional matchups by Gyula Nemeth posted on dribbble. 

ESPN Hackathon

Tim McCarthy

Recently, designer and illustrator, Mikey Burton redesigned his website and I noticed a project I hadn't seen before; a series of posters for ESPN's Digital Media Hackathon. Although this happened back in 2012, it's still worth sharing. It's also good to know that a huge company like ESPN uses start-up tactics like 'hackathons' to innovate new products. 

Eli Neugeboren

Tim McCarthy

A couple months ago, I checked out a gallery event called 5 on 5 in Brooklyn, NY. The exhibit was focused on basketball and was filled with a bunch of artists that I have featured on this blog, including Aaron Hadley Dana, Nathan McKee, and Chelsey Boehnke. It was nice to see that the show was put on by artists themselves, one of them was Eli Neugeboren. Below is some of his work that I discovered on Double Scribble

NBA Legends

Tim McCarthy

I love the style of these illustrations by Van Orton Design. His original style appears to be a combination of stained glass windows and some 80s video game graphics. 

Return of the King

Tim McCarthy

Two commercials were shown last night in Cleveland's season opener against the New York Knicks about LeBron's return. 

The first one aired earlier this week and shows a shirtless James furiously pumping iron in his high school gym, St. Vincent-St. Mary, in Akron, Ohio. There's flash backs, rock inspired gospel music, and a voiceover, James' mom Gloria saying things like, "This is the city that raised you." 

RG/A did a pretty good job with this one but I think it got beat out by Weiden+Kennedy's Nike commercial "Together" that featured right before tip-off. In this one, the message was more about Cleveland and less about LeBron. (W&K was also the same agency behind the Nike commercial "Rise" of LeBron leaving Cleveland for Miami.)

I recently visited Cleveland for the first time about a month ago and literally everyone was talking about LeBron's return and how much it's going to help the city. Whether or not they win a championship this year, Cleveland will still benefit in multiple ways from LeBron coming home. The commercial definitely a struck a chord with the fans and LeBron got pretty emotional too. 

Unfortunately, the Cavs lost this one but Cleveland fans shouldn't worry. They have the best player on the planet and surrounded him with a pretty stellar cast. Once this team finds their groove, their going to be incredible watch. Best of all, LeBron's focus is on the city and less on himself.

That message is now displayed for the whole city to see.