Tat’s Nice

So the Intertoobz are abuzz with the rumors of a new Thorns secondary strip.

Here’s an example:


So first, let me say this. If this IS a thing – and there’s still some doubt, at least according to some of the comments over at Stumptown – I’m not hating on it.

If you remember from back in 2020 I did a long review of the Thorns kits and my single most consistent takeaway was “Jesus fuck but our second kits have been BO-ring!”


Boring? This ain’t it.

I actually like the idea.

I LOVE having the original full-color crest back! Love it!

I like the tat theme in general – the Riveters did a fun collaboration with local tattoo artists to make temporary tattoos that this kit really reminds me of:

So if this really is our secondary? I’m fine with it. Not loving it, not hatinf it…like the idea, just think the execution is…not quite there.

Because tattoo artists work with ink on skin. Graphic designers and couturiers work with fabric.

The two don’t always work the same, and I think that’s the issue here.

The tat portion is fun…but…it’s really cluttered and busy! Roses! Vines! Scrolls! Roman numerals, daggers, and some sort of hashmarks/exclamation points!

But the rest of the shirt?

White T-shirt FC. That part’s Bo-ring.

The whole thing isn’t tied together. It looks like somebody stitched the shoulders and breastpiece onto a plain white shirt…and the shoulders and breastpiece are rioting while the rest of the shirt is just kinda…there.

As a tat? It’d work! You get an awesome sleeve, you don’t worry what your other arm looks like – the art is just there.

But as a shirt? I’m not sure that works.

I’m not a graphic designer, but my thought (as someone who’s done a fair bit of graphic design) that it needs some tie-ins down the body of the shirt – a screened thorn pattern, or side stripes a la the 2015 primary? Or maybe combine that with a little less up top.

For example.

I do haaate the dagger-stars.

They’re hard to see, and the third is buried up in the Roman numerals. The point of championship stars is to be immediately visible. A boast. We won, you lost, good for us, too bad for you.

There’s a reason that those stars are traditionally right over the crest. They’re a physical reminder of the times the people wearing this crest kicked your fucking ass.

They should be there, in your face, not hidden in the design.


Here’s just a suggestion for how this could have been done:

I took out the dagger and the weird little hashmarks/exclamation point things. Put the stars where they belong. And I replaced the RCTID slogan on the scroll (this ain’t the fucking Timbers!) with our own BAON (which was there but so tiny you couldn’t see it…).

Then I added a vine scroll down the sides to tie the bottom of the shirt in – obviously in the “real” version they’d match the color and style of the top, but there’s a limit to what I can do with Paint.

Apparently the Oregonian did a poll on this thing. A quarter of the response was positive – the hipsters love it – another 40% haaate it (the traditionals, no way they go for this) – and about a third are like me, kinda “Wellll….”

Whatever…there it is. Could be, might be, our change strip.

So you tell me. Whaddya think?

Update 3/14: The kit is official, so this is the Thorns’ change strip for 2023.

Thoughts, in order of appearance:

1) I like it better than I did on the hanger. Still don’t love, but “like”, as in “…makes me smile the way seeing Sam Coffey cut the pins out from under Jess Fishlock makes me smile”. WAY better than our traditional “boring White T-Shirt FC” secondary.

2) I still love (like luuuuuurve!) having the original badge back. It was beautiful in ‘13 and still is today. The shorts are even better! There’s little rose leaves surrounding the badge there – sadly because of the dark green base you can’t really see them

3) The “RCTID” thing still bugs the shit out of me because it feels like a last-ditch attempt to link the two clubs as they’re in the process of separating. The Thorns have their own traditions, why not rep them? Plus “RCTID” is a sad song sung after we concede AND IMO kind of a lame “well…what ELSE we gonna do?” steal from the Timbers Army. So, no likey that part.

And last but loudest:

4) For $195? Dollars? Are you fucking kidding me? Two hundred bucks? For a shirt? Get the fuck out! There is no AU where I pay two hundred bucks for a freaking shirt.


Like it!

Will never own it (unless a used XL shows up at Goodwill for $20 in a couple of years…).

John Lawes
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3 thoughts on “Tat’s Nice

  1. Check out Twitter #ThatKit for some funny commentary if you dare, apparently the kit has a life of its own ala Chris Rifer et al.

    1. Apparently Twitter has turned pretty nasty now that it’s official. Too bad. Like I said, I don’t love it but there’s a LOT worse – in the sense of “Boring AF” white kits out there.

  2. I’m with you in that I appreciate that it isn’t boring (I despise this year’s US kit b/c it is so uninspired and blah). I’m not in love with it in general, but I’d like to see it on someone before I totally weigh in. Do we know if they’ll wear the new kits for the preseason games? I like your improvements- the RCTID makes me think this isn’t really the kit b/c it’s not really Thorns- centric. I guess we’ll see.


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