Since the time Jacques Plante first donned a mask during an NHL game, goalie masks have evolved from fibreglass shells to lightweight polymer and titanium protective gear. Designs have also evolved; early masks were typically plain white, but goalies such as Gilles Gratton, Gerry Cheevers and Ed Belfour revolutionised the sport with their industry-leading designs. If you're a goalie, you can buy a plain mask, plan a design and have an artist airbrush it on to give you a customised look.
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Look at hockey websites, books and magazines to see different goalie mask designs to help give you an idea of where you want to go with your design. There are numerous books and sites dedicated to goalies and their masks, which will give you an opportunity to see what works and what doesn't.
Download a blank image of a goalie mask (see Resources) and make several copies of it. With a pencil, sketch a different design on each copy of the mask until you decide which elements you want to include in your final design.
Consider your team's logo and colours. If you're likely to play for a certain team for a period of several years, you can develop a design that suits the team's logo and colours. If you switch teams often, you may prefer to design a mask that is more compatible with your personality than the team.
Incorporate elements of your team's logo into your designs. If you play for a team named the Wolves, Bears, Lions or another ferocious creature, a common design is to have the mask painted like the head of the animal with its mouth open around the cage. To achieve this design, draw a top and bottom row of teeth above and below the cage and eyes and a nose on the top of the helmet. If your team has a name associated with fire, such as the Heat or the Blaze, design your helmet with colourful flames flickering away from the cage.
Design the rear head plate of the helmet according to your personality. The majority of NHL goalies have team-designed helmets and personality-influenced rear plates. On this plate, you may wish to add your name, nickname, number, influential message or something else important to you.
Tips and warnings
- Take your design and your mask to an airbrush artist and have him transfer your design to the mask.
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