HomeLeague HistoryThe CollectionImagesVideoWantedFor SaleAbout MacGilleContact MeResources

Enter subhead content here

So how did the original 1991-1992 World League get such new and futuristic looking designs for their teams? 
The answer is... Dave Boss.

Learn more about Dave Boss here: http://company.uspresswire.com/davidboss.aspx

High Designs for a New League

by Richard Keller

The project officially began in November 1989. "We met in Dallas to talk about names and other things. Then we met again in April to review everything we had been doing," Boss said. "We invited people from the NFL Properties office in London to offer a European viewpoint. We brought in the licensing people from New York. Together, we sat down and began trying to solidify a list of names to work with."

That proved a complicated proccess in itself. "There was no criteria other than wanting names that were contemporary and didn't go back to the traditional names of animals and the like. For the European teams, we sought names that related to the history and culture of their city," Boss described. "we had to run all names through legal search to make sure they cleared in licensing categories for apparel, games and toys and other promotions and products."

The final name selection -- The San Antonio Riders -- was not finished until late December [1990]. "We had been looking at a lot of names down there. At one point, they were going to be 'The Alamo'. Another time, it was the 'Lone Stars'. Then it went to 'Trail Riders' and finally to 'Riders'," Boss said. "Owner Larry Benson wanted a concept that was unmistakably Texas. So we designed a logo with a stylized version of the Texas flag and accompanied it with a silhouette of a horseman, which we had deveolped for Sacramento when they were to be called the 'Pioneers'. The colors of chocolate brown and gold make it a very pretty uniform."

From the start, Boss was limited by the colors available to him. "I went into this thing hoping we could create colors people had never seen football players wear before. I wanted to try candy apple metallic paint on some of the helmets to give the appearence you see on some automobiles. But Wilson, who manufactures the uniforms, and Ridell, the helmet people, only wanted to work with the standard colors, given the time constraints. That meant we had to take those basic colors and use them in new and distinctive ways."

Serious design work began in May, when the first tame names gained clearance. The case of the Barcelona Dragons was typical of the evolution. "They wanted the name 'Dragons from the very beginning, but we went through many dragon designs before the final version was chosen. It was designed by Los Angeles artist Jayme Odgers, who paints with a strong influence of Picasso in his work. He drew me 27 dragons, ranging from the traditional to cartoon. The final version has that Picassoesque touch. Meanwhile, we had royal blue, gold, and red as the color combination, but they insisted on green since that's the color of a dragon. I relented, because they've seen a dragon and I haven't."

The London Monarchs proved a simpler case. "We wanted to give a sense of tradition to London. That's why we chose a monogram "M" for 'Monarch' and made it in the shape of a crown. We did the uniform in royal blue with a touch of red to somewhat reflect the Union Jack, supported by a gold helmet and pants to represent royalty. Overall, it made a fine looking uniform, and I know the people in London are very, very happy with it."

"The Sacramento Surge was an interesting case. [NFL head of Marketing] Bob Sloane backed the 'Surge' as the name because it represented the computer industry in Northern California. An electronic surge. I also thought of the Sacramento River and its surging water. We took the triangle, the delta shape because Sacramento is a delta area, and placed an electronic surging "S" on it. Aqua and gold work very well for the California colors. I like it a lot, it's very simple and direct."

Design decisions for Raleigh-Durham were similarly straightforward. "They wanted red uniforms," said Boss. "We worked with a lot of different names before we finally settled on 'Skyhawks'. The idea was to come up with something futuristic that represented powered flight, of which the Carolinas are the birthplace. We wanted to come up with something unexpected, so instead of a bird, we went with rocket trails."

The Orlando Thunder was another relatively easy scheme to produce. "We had that one nailed down real fast," Boss said. "We got the name cleared early. The name 'Thunder' produced six early designs, any one of which would have been successful. That was the one concession by Wilson to use a fabric they did not have, a fluoresent lime green. It's the one jersey that's different than anything else in pro football."

Montréal's format was an idea waiting to be applied. Said Boss, "Paul Biederman, art director for the creative services group in our New York office, came up with that concept. THe idea was to use an 'M' as iff it were created by a large stamping press to project that feeling of a big, powerful entity. We tried a lot of variations on the letter, and this one was the most successful over the long haul. We colored it machine gray and placed it on a burgundy background to make it stand out."

In Birmingham, Boss stated, "The fire image was one that everybody liked. I decided one day driving into work that we should put the flame on the sleeves and helmet. Everybody liked it immediately. We picked up the navy for Auburn and the Crimson for Alabama and combined it in a way that was an entirely different color combination. It makes a very strong uniform symbol.

The decision process for the New York/New Jersey Knights was a study in contrasts. According to Boss, "The people in New York told me early on that they wanted black and silver. For the name, they quickly chose 'Knights'. I wanted to get away from the swords and shields, the classic knight symbols. We tried some things with the New York skyline and art deco approches to capture the sense of New York at night. Then it occured to me that a knight is also a critical chess piece. So why not take that symbol of a horse and give it a modern twist with a starburst in the eye."

In the end, the evolution of the Frankfurt Galaxy design became a microchasm of the entire undertaking. "Galaxy was always the name for Frankfurt, althought it went through many, many changes before we ended up with what we have. We worked with a purple background, with burnt orange and crimson as supporting colors. One day, I picked up the Los Angeles Times and on the front page was a full-color reproduction of a photograph taken by a new telescope of a heretofore unknown galaxy. It was a kind of spiral nebula, a beautiful shape in the sky. We took that image, put it into a computer and applied the printout to our design."

Aside from the inevitable sublte adjustments to the basic form, the weighty project of giving graphic life to the World League was completed three months before opening kickoff. Already Boss was convinced that the results more than justified the expended energy.

"I relly feel it was a success", he concluded. "The feedback I'm getting is very, very good. Every team has embraced their logo and colors with enthusiasm. Everyone thinks theirs is the best of the bunch".


Taken from Gametime Magazine April 6, 1991 (Opening Home Game) 


Barcelona Dragons

Colors: Dark Green, Red, Light Gold, Black


Birmingham Fire

Colors: Navy, Light Gold, Red (Crimson)


Frankfurt Galaxy

Colors: Purple, Burnt Orange, Red


London Monarchs

Colors: Red, Metallic Gold (or Vegas Gold), Royal Blue


Montreal Machine

Colors: Maroon, Navy, Metallic Silver (or Gray), Red


New York / New Jersey Knights

Colors: Black, Metallic Silver (or Gray), Metallic Gold (or Old Gold)


Ohio Glory

Colors: Red, Blue


Orlando Thunder

Colors: Royal, Columbia Blue, Yellow


Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks

Colors: Red, Kelly, Black


Sacramento Surge

Colors: Aqua, Light Gold, Black


San Antonio Riders

Colors: Brown, Metallic Gold (or Vegas Gold), Red, Blue

1995-2007 New League, New Designs


Amsterdam Admirals



Berlin Thunder


Cologne Centurions


England Monarchs


Hamburg Sea Devils


Rhein Fire


Scottish Claymores

Enter supporting content here