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Ye Olde Red Wings Block Font Letter Question

This note from ESPN's Paul Lukas, who penned a "Uni Watch" article discussing all the tweaks and changes in team uniforms, does indeed always arise during training camp and the preseason:

• The Red Wings will be wearing these gorgeous throwbacks for the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Additional photos and info here. Meanwhile, in an annual rite of September, the Uni Watch inbox has been flooded with alarmed emails from fans who've noticed that the Wings have been wearing straight, block-lettered nameplates for their preseason games instead of their usual vertically arched lettering. Don't worry, people -- the Wings do this every preseason, so their equipment manager doesn't have to go through the trouble of making the vertically arched names for all the players who don't end up making the final roster cut. The arched lettering will return when the regular season starts. Promise.

In the days of hand-cut letters, where the "arch" was literally made by hand, the block-font was incredibly necessary to reduce time, energy and effort when making jerseys for 60+ prospect camp and training camp attendees...These days, I'm sure that it's easier to sew the block-font letters, but most places that customize jerseys use CNC machines and computer software to get things right, so in the present moment, the tradition is about tradition more than saving time.

It's about the privilege of earning your name in arched letters on a Wings jersey via a regular season appearance, and it may or may not be about selling unique training camp jerseys. That, and whatever the Wings' equipment manager wants to do, it's his workload, so Paul Boyer gets what he wants.

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Comments

Primis's avatar

It’s another thing that makes the Wings unique and a special place to play.

Putting on the Winged Wheel for the preseason *still* isn’t “making it”.  You want the REAL one, the one with the arched lettering?  Make the team.

Posted by Primis on 09/27/13 at 03:59 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Obviously not everyone is a Red Wings fan, but come on, who the hell doesn’t know this?

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 09/27/13 at 04:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

You’d be surprised how many people freak out about this every year.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/27/13 at 04:26 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I may be just halucinating , but several years back (2-3-4) the font used on the Wings jerseys changed. I’m no font expert, but it definetly changed from the font used in say 2002-2003, and i didnt like it and still dont.I guess this can easily ve confirmed by comparing images from the past few seasons. Maybe it had something to do with everyone switching to those reebok uniforms.

Posted by Down River Dan on 09/27/13 at 04:39 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The numbers are a little bit narrower than they used to be. There’s no doubt that the “edge” jerseys tweaked that…

What pisses me off, honestly, is that Hockeytown Authentics and the Joe personalize jerseys with person-sized instead of jersey-sized numbers—think a 10-point font on a 14-point-font-sized back—so they sell very expensive jerseys whose numbers look scrunched and only take up 2/3rds of the available space. Do NOT buy from them because the numbers look terrible.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 09/27/13 at 04:57 PM ET

Zqto's avatar

Obviously not everyone is a Red Wings fan, but come on, who the hell doesn’t know this?

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 09/27/13 at 05:11 PM ET

I didn’t!

I never watch pre-season games, as they are unavailable here, so…  =D

Posted by Zqto on 09/27/13 at 08:58 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.