Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wisconsin Artist Wins Griffins' Jersey Design Contest

Ryan Muraro of Waukesha, Wisc., has been selected as the winner of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ second annual jersey design contest, conducted earlier this summer through

Muraro’s dramatic vision of a vigilant, muscular Griff was chosen from 97 entries, nearly double the number received during last summer’s inaugural contest. Pending some minor adjustments and the City of Grand Rapids’ approval of Muraro’s inclusion of its logo in the secondary logo/shoulder patches, his design will be submitted to the American Hockey League and Reebok for approval, then worn by the Griffins during their 14th annual New Year’s Eve game on Dec. 31, 2010. The jerseys will be auctioned to the public immediately after that game, with all proceeds benefiting the GVSU club roller hockey team.

“Once again, I was extremely impressed with the nearly 100 entries submitted to,” said Rich Meyers, the Griffins’ director of game operations. “Choosing a top 10, let alone the eventual winner, was an extremely difficult task, one that I feel speaks volumes for the quality of the artists’ work.

“Like one of our winners (Chad B. Stilson) from last season, Ryan’s completely original design features an aggressive Griffins logo, yet he was able to keep the lines simple and capture the tradition of the game with use of the ties in the front of the jersey. And his creative integration of the city’s logo into an allusion to the famous ‘winged wheel’ put Muraro's design at the top. I'm looking forward to seeing this jersey come to life on Dec. 31, once we’ve converted Ryan from a Milwaukee Admirals fan to a Griffins fan,” Meyers added.

A 23-year-old industrial designer and illustrator with a degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Muraro already boasts an impressive portfolio, having previously designed suits for British speedskater Philip Brojaka as well as the Ukrainian national speedskating team.

“I wanted to make an accelerated evolution of the Griffins’ current look, making sure to keep the same sort of structure,” said Muraro. “For the jersey, I looked back to the jerseys the Griffins wore back when they began in the old IHL and wanted to emulate the feathered shoulders that were such a unique look. When I first saw them play the Admirals back then, I saw those jerseys and immediately identified them with the team, just as much as the logo itself.”

In recognition of his winning entry, Muraro will receive a customized jersey of his design and four tickets to the Dec. 31 game.