A few days ago I wrote about some classic USFL gumball helmets and the display project that my Dad and I worked on with them. In today's column I wanted to give you a look at another project I worked on at the same time. I had helmets for the USFL and the NFL, but was frustrated that there was no set for college teams. Being the industrious future designer I was, I set out on a journey to create my own.
Keep in mind that this was the 1980's and printing technology was not like it is now. I didn't have vector logos and inkjet printers to work with, so I had to get creative. I ended up buying several rolls of colored electrical tape and got out an old swiss army knife and used the little scissors to cut out the designs. I researched the helmet styles of each team at the time and got underway in my quest to create their logos and stripes.
I took a big bunch of my NFL helmets and cleaned off all of the decals and stripes to use as the base for my college project. I then began to painstakingly cut out the different logos. Some of the more detailed logos like Kansas required me to cut out several different pieces of colored tape and put them together to create the mascot. On a team like Michigan, I had to make the shape on the front fit the helmet and then match up the stripes over the top. If I didn't have an NFL helmet that matched the color I needed, like the OU example, I just went to the store and bought a small can of paint and sprayed it on there. I even tried to use colored facemasks when possible (time has not been kind to the Kentucky mask).
In the case of the Georgia Bulldogs, I used the decals from my Green Bay Packers helmet to create the G on the side. The logo for the Miami Hurricanes proved to be tricky, so I ended up using a green and orange marker to color up a piece of white tape to create the logo. I took a great deal of care creating each one of these beauties. I tried to be as accurate and detailed as possible, given the stuff I had to work with in 1984.
After completing the project, I took one of the display cases we created for the NFL and placed my college collection in there. I spent a great deal of time on the project and used a ton of creative energy to get everything the way I wanted it. I remember the great feeling of satisfaction I had when I was done at the one-of-a-kind set of collegiate helmets I had created.