3... 2... 1... Ta-da!
Get it? Today is 3/21 and I just unveiled— nevermind.
In about six weeks, Icethetics turns 10 years old. Double digits. I can hardly believe I've been at it for this long. But the time has come to reinvigorate my decade-old labor of live. The site has gotten a bit dull if I'm honest. The last redesign was in 2015 and it was barely noticeable.
This time around, as you can see, the changes are more substantial. But it's not merely skin deep. I'm rethinking what Icethetics is and should be. Things are a little barren at the moment but don't worry, all the stuff you love will slowly make its way back — but perhaps in new ways.
Here's an overview of what you can expect to see on the site going forward.
The blog will always be at the heart of Icethetics. It's been a little ignored lately, I admit — not even a dozen posts over the past three months — but I've had to step back a bit for personal reasons not worth digging up here. As I ramp up again, I aim to expand the blog a bit.
News is the priority, of course. When a new uniform or logo is revealed — and that'll become more frequent this summer with the Adidas switchover — you can bet on reading about it here. But don't bet on leaks. The league and its partners are getting better at keeping things to themselves and there's nothing wrong with that. We can all have a little patience.
Beyond the news, I plan to bring more features to the table. One item I'm preparing is a new weekly feature called Seven. The internet loves lists so every week I'll have a list of seven things to discuss on a range of topics. Why seven? You could say it's because Icethetics was founded in 2007. Or maybe it's like making a top 10 list without the filler. Who knows.
For more than five years, I've posted new concept art daily from Icethetics readers. That will certainly continue. While submission numbers aren't what they used to be — and you're probably noticing the same artists being featured over and over — I'm hoping to revitalize our community.
The weekly Freak Out Friday series will be reduced to an occasional feature, but coming in May will be Matchup Mondays in which two concepts will go head to head for your vote. We'll also have monthly challenges where artists will be encouraged to design for a particular subject.
I also want to remind our newer readers that the Concepts page has been a jumping off point for artists who have gone on to be hired by pro teams to design logos and jerseys. As an example, Matt McElroy's contributions got him noticed by an AHL team who hired him to design their new logo last year. And there are similar stories among artists who began by contributing to our fantasy hockey league.
Speaking of which, the IceHL remains a big part of Icethetics. For artists who want to stretch themselves creatively, beyond the limits of existing teams, there's nothing like creating franchise identities from the ground up.
Founded in 2008 as little more than a design contest, the IceHL became an online fantasy league in 2010-11. But this past season was an unusual one. It didn't carry the excitement of the seasons before. As ever, I have a plan to breathe some new life into it. I'll reveal the details after the 2016-17 league champions are crowned in April.
This is the one you were waiting for. What justifies all this talk about taking Icethetics to the next level? Blog, concepts, the IceHL... what's really so different?
I've always wanted to make Icethetics into a sort of one-stop-shop for hockey fans who love the art of the game. At the moment, there are great sites out there with very specific niches. Some just do logos. Other just do uniforms. Still others focus on patches alone. But shouldn't there be a repository for all that information in one place? A sort of Icethetics Wikipedia?
It's still in the planning stages, but when it's ready, the Almanac will be the perfect place to look up dates and designs and patches and banners — all things Icethetics. This is where the jersey galleries will end up. As I see it, it will forever be a work in progress with information and graphics constantly being added. It'll be a collection worthy of its own museum. Or at least that's the goal.
More to come as Icethetics' 10th anniversary approaches. The big day is May 9, 2017.
For now I'll leave you with one last look at what Icethetics looked like up until this past week.
To be honest, I won't miss it.