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‘It’s dope’: The inspiration behind the Clippers’ new jerseys and rebrand with Mister Cartoon

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Clips/Roxfan, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

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    [​IMG]
    By Jovan Buha Oct 16, 2019

    Last season, the Clippers honored their past with their City Edition jerseys. This season, they’re celebrating their present — and their future.

    On Tuesday, the Clippers’ new City Edition jerseys were revealed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The white-and-black jerseys, which were designed in collaboration with Los Angeles artist Mister Cartoon, feature “Los Angeles” in Old English script across the chest. There are hints of red and blue — the Clippers’ primary colors — on the sides.

    The Clippers will also use an alternate City Edition court with a matching Old English font when they wear their City Edition jerseys at Staples Center.

    Six months ago, the franchise reached out to Cartoon to help design not only their new jerseys, but all of the artwork around the rollout and subsequent gear. The goal was to find a way to connect the Clippers with Los Angeles’ street art, to use Cartoon’s artwork to create what he calls a “capsule” — jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, hats, events and street art.

    After several meetings with Clippers staffers, Cartoon liked the team’s vision and embracing of Los Angeles street culture. According to Cartoon, the Clippers already had the white-and-black jersey and Old English font in mind before he made final adjustments.

    “My job is to take that and make the twist to that,” Cartoon told The Athletic. “No one’s seen the stuff I’ve done yet.”

    Cartoon has been selective with his collaborations throughout the years. The Mexican-American artist won’t offer his services just for the check. His decision to work with teams and companies like the Los Angeles Kings, Nike, Supreme, Vans, Stussy and Levi Strauss was calculated and on-brand.

    The Clippers’ recent branding as the team for the people in the back appealed to Cartoon and his roots in the tattoo and urban communities.

    “I think making this stand out as blacktop, street guys playing, less glamour,” Cartoon said. “More about including other people from the outside to come in. I’m honored to draw these pieces, to draw an L.A. icon logo. I don’t take it lightly. I love the direction. It gives me the ability to do street art. It’s dope they have an open mind to this.”

    Reading between the lines of the Clippers’ new primary court and jerseys, the organization is leaning into its gritty, blue-collar culture it’s established over the past two seasons. That includes featuring more black, which the team officially added to its color palate in 2015. This has been gradual build toward a larger rebrand, as owner Steve Ballmer suggested could be the case earlier in the summer. With the franchise aiming to open up their new arena in Inglewood in 2024, they’re shifting their look and identity before then.

    One of the team’s internal sayings last season was black top over the big top. Outside of being a subtle shot at the Lakers, this is the ethos this iteration of the Clippers — from Ballmer, to Lawrence Frank and his front-office team, to Doc Rivers and his coaching staff, to Patrick Beverley and his teammates — subscribes to.

    Cartoon’s standard type of tattooing — black and grey fine line — aligned with the Clippers’ sensibilities. The jerseys’ lettering has drawn comparisons to the cover of the “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” video game — which Cartoon also designed.

    “I don’t do color tattoos,” Cartoon said. “I only do black and gray. Really, 90 percent of my artwork is done in back and white. It’s natural for me to draw that way. Everything looks better on a white and black drop.”

    The reaction from the players has been overwhelmingly positive. Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley and Landry Shamet each shared the SI cover on social media.

    “Pretty clean,” Shamet said. “First time we were all pretty excited about them. I don’t know when we’re gonna be able to wear them, but whenever it is, it’ll be cool. So I’m excited.”

    “I like the look,” Rivers added.

    Cartoon said he’s working with the Clippers on a documentary about his sketching process, with interview clips that will run during timeouts and halftime of games this season. He’s hoping to inspire the next Mister Cartoon with this project and the forthcoming artwork and outreach.

    “It opens it up for up-and-coming artists, young artists,” Cartoon said. “If Cartoon can do it, I can do it.”

    Cartoon considers himself a neutral L.A. sports fan. “My family members tend to go crazy with it,” Cartoon said. But Cartoon said he will now attend Clippers games with his family and in his Clippers fitted cap this season.

    “I wish you could look at it,” Cartoon said of the upcoming collection. “But I want to surprise people. I can’t leak everything. It’s top secret.”

    (Top photo of Mister Cartoon: The Walt Disney Company / Image Group LA via Getty Images)
    https://theathletic.com/1295877/201...-new-jerseys-and-rebrand-with-mister-cartoon/
     
  2. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

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  3. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    It's GTA nice.

    Reminds me of Brooklyn's uhh urbanized redesign.

    Not sure if gentrifying Inglewood area is good or bad. Snap really ****ed up Venice.
     
    tinman likes this.
  4. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

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  5. Juxtaposed Jolt

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    ^ I dunno if I'd call Leonard and George "loyalists." They should have gone with another word.

    Leonard didn't want to stay in Toronto despite coming off winning a title and George didn't want to stay in OKC despite liking Westbrook.
     
  6. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Honestly don’t like it.... it’s dated and not in a good way.
     
    Jayzers_100, jklb and Pizza_Da_Hut like this.
  7. B-Bob

    B-Bob my celli weighs a ton
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    [old guy] Am taking Montrezl's tweet as pure criticism / do-not-like. Am I misinterpreting it? Seems like he doesn't like gang references. [/old guy]
     
    Pizza_Da_Hut likes this.
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy 99ers STAND BY
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    Hope they don't get shot on landing when they visit the Mavs.
     
    Pizza_Da_Hut likes this.
  9. Pizza_Da_Hut

    Pizza_Da_Hut I put on pants for this?

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    No, that'll only happen if they are in their own homes.
     
    Nook likes this.
  10. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    GRAND THEFT AUTO CLIPPERS!
     
    tinman and Ubiquitin like this.
  11. ParaSolid

    ParaSolid Member

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    Yeah not a fan.
     
  12. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    I think I could’ve done that in Microsoft Word.
     
    abaker28 likes this.
  13. jev5555

    jev5555 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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    I don't get it. They took old english font and put it in a 36 degree arch and called it a day? This is fire?
     
  14. JW86

    JW86 Member

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    Yeah as much as I respect art, what did Cartoon do to the font to make it different from any other old English fonts out there? It’s not that creative and just slapped on a white canvas.
     
  15. BHannes2BHonest

    BHannes2BHonest Contributing Member

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    it looks like toon just added the red and blue on opposite sides of the jersey to rep the LA streets

    it looks better than their EA Sports jerseys but thats not saying much
     
  16. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    Agreed. I don't think they're nice at all.
     
  17. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Contributing Member

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    They need the sunglasses too to make the look complete.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. rhino17

    rhino17 Member

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    Looks good

    Much better than our crap unis
     
  19. Williamson

    Williamson HARTENSTEIN ONLY FAN

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    I think I'd like them better if they were reversed. Black with white font. If you're going for that NWA look that's the only way to go.
     
  20. SLRokJok

    SLRokJok Member

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    Wow really, they needed a special artist to come up wit that? Agreed, take a look at GTA game covers. Outside of that, to me, that font style does not have a good connotation.
     

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