Bengals Uniforms are Defined by Stripes


Sports illustrated is hosting a contest challenging designers to reimagine the Bengals uniforms. As tacky as some may view them, many fans find the stripes bizarrely charming.

Aspiring designers be warned, If you intend to redesign the Bengals uniforms, your efforts will eventually be seen by Bengals fans. Thus, be prepared to respect the stripes

There are people in the world who simply think that animal prints are gaudy or tacky. Those people probably shouldn’t even attempt to redesign the Bengals uniforms. If you were to poll all Bengals fans and ask them  why they chose the team, there would be a meaningful portion of the fanbase that would say they simply liked the stripes.

For some people, it was the helmets that first caught their eye as a kid. For others. it was the stripes across the shoulders. The nostalgia associated with the stripes is strong. There are people who love some of the most criticized Bengals uniforms in history, just because it was the stripes that they fell in love with.  The 1981 uniforms were pretty poorly received at the time, but are viewed favorably by some nostalgic fans today.

Still, there is nothing wrong with attempting to create a more simplified aesthetic. For example, this design submitted by graphic artist Brandon Moore.

There’s no denying that the look above has a more traditional feel. While it does have stripes, It is a steep departure from the traditional Bengals stripes.  Moore responded to this critique by submitting the following variation. He even mentioned me in the tweet featuring the second design.

Moore is only one entrant in this competition. It will be intriguing to see what other variation ideas emerge from the Sports Illustrated contest. With a name like Stripe Hype, we are in trouble if the stripes ever really do go away.

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So, how important are the stripes to you? Are you amongst the fans who are fine with a more conservative uniform, as long as they don’t touch the helmet? Do you want the next iteration of Bengals gear to repeat the controversy of the gaudy but trend setting1981 uniforms? Let us know in the comments or on social media.