The WA bid took everyone by surprise when they switched their branding from the Reds to Pirates. The brand is “almost there” but still needs some fine-tuning, which I have set out to do here.
Black/red/yellow is a strong colour scheme, but it reminds me of Vegemite and PNG. It had been suggested to me a few months back that the Reds (at the time) should use a metallic old gold, which I wasn’t keen on at the time. Since the change to Pirates, and seeing that they are planning on using black as a primary colour, I decided to follow suit but use the old gold in small amounts in the place of yellow. Looking at it now, I’m happy with the change as it suits the pirate identity.
Though the new name is campy, the logo artwork was well done and wisely uses the skull and crossbones approach rather than the flamboyant buccaneer. However, I think the logo that they chose to use has way too much going on with mismatching and over-the-top wordmarks taking away from the centrepiece of the design. The alternate logo with the skull/swords/shield alone is a much better mark so I decided to use that and shift the simplified wordmarks below it.
With the relatively small number of top tier teams in WA, there is a lot more leeway in establishing a look without stepping on the toes of other franchises, allowing for simple designs to be adopted. I wanted to incorporate ragged elements to match the pirate aesthetic without going cartoonish (such as how the Titans have managed to do on all of their jerseys). The primary jersey uses black on black tonal hoops with subtle rips at their edges (which are repeated on the socks, minus the rips). The eyes are drawn to the butcher stripes on the sleeves which were a means of balancing out the red and gold the way I wanted. The butcher stripes are also repeated on the shorts and socks for continuity. The secondary replaces black with white, except in the sleeve striping to maintain strong contrast. The retro alt is a replica of the Western Reds jersey of 1995-96.