Ever wonder what pro teams consider when designing a new uniform? Tina, director of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders, had a few things in mind when she came to The Line Up needing a fresh, new look for her team. The ladies had been wearing the same uniform from The Line Up for several years, and were long overdue for something new and innovative!
Changing their look was serious business, and the process took well over a year! Many pro teams want to ensure their uniform is unique to their team brand, to create their own "signature" look. Designing the Raven's uniform was a collaborative effort that involved a lot of discussion about goals, several design iterations, a couple different sample garments, approval from the Raven’s organization, and numerous tweaks along the way!
So, how did they make it happen? Here's a sneak peek behind the design process:
Step 1: Goals
Tina sat down with us to identify the most important things she wanted to incorporate into the design. The wish list included:
- An athletic yet feminine look.
- The ability to mix and match the new uniform with other existing pieces in the team's wardrobe.
- Prominent Ravens branding on all the pieces, through logos and colors.
- Either white or black as the primary color – Tina wanted to look at both options to determine the best look as seen from a distance on the massive football field.
Step 2: Digital Designs & Prototype
Taking these requirements in mind, designer Emily got to work sketching some design options. The illustrations went through a couple different versions, and we collaborated with Tina until the designs were just right. After a few initial ideas, the sweetheart look, below, was chosen.
Notice the two different sleeves? That was no mistake! There was a lot of discussion on the best look for the sleeve design, so the prototype was actually made with two different sleeves for comparison! The Ravens also needed to determine what color would look best on the field – black or white? So two sample garments were made - one in each color!
Step 3: Tweaking the Prototype
On to the second prototype! The white uniform was the winner, along with the fitted sleeve. Based on feedback from the coaches at the Ravens, they added a couple more design elements: mesh at the shoulders and trim to accentuate the neckline.
Step 4: Final Touches & Production
Time to start making the garments! The trim and mesh additions were a hit. However, something did not look quite right - the top looked too ‘chunky’ in person. The Line Up designers, Deb and Emily, offered a simple solution to this problem: change the angle of the trim and blocking to create a more flattering look.
A New Signature Look
Although this is one of our longest and most involved projects, it was well worth the wait! The Ravens ladies are rocking their new uniform this season, and design changes - though they extended the project schedule - helped perfect their look! Our favorite element? The trimmed neckline and mesh shoulders, which added that unique element of feminine-athleticism Tina was going for. Gorgeous, Ladies!