[Disclaimer: I’m not a graphic designer, so pardon the terrible syntax and inaccurate jargon in the following post. And just refer to Paul Lukas’ Uni Watch for all uniform related interest.]
I got the third kit in the mail last week. Its long sleeve, gold, collared, and a gem.
But the best part about it is the Johnny Haynes “jacquard” print on the lower right torso. Sublime.
And it got me wondering: why don’t we see similar graphics on footy kits? Even if it’s the third kit with bizarre colors so it won’t offend the die-hards, why not get a little creative?
As some of you may know, I play Ultimate Frisbee. It’s probably one of my favorite sports for a whole myriad of reasons. But what I love most about the sport is the creativity in design teams (club, college, et al) have in their uniforms. Here’s a quick sampling of photos from club regionals, via usaultimate and ultiphotos.com. It may seem like a select sampling, but notice they don’t have the logo/text/etc on their chest. Instead it’s on their torso, back, or, well, everywhere.
But, after some searching for footy similarities, I found that only a couple of clubs, Marseille and their awesome designs aside, incorporate design elements (stripes aside; more on that later) into their kits. Marseille seemingly do it every year, whereas Juventus and Union Berlin tried it for this season with great results:
Personally, I think they look amazing (okay, the color of the Juve kit is suspect. But the idea is wonderful). I might even go buy the Union Berlin kit right now.
It’s the same if you look at other major sports. The logo/text/etc is almost exclusively on the chest. I don’t know if there is some edict from each specific league (very well could be), or just the uniform designers being conservative (University of Maryland Football aside). The only design elements that appear on a players torso are either stripes or solid colors.
Sometimes teams decide to rock the boat and get a bit more creative than the bland, narrow horizontal bar(s), but still don’t go “all-out” per se.
So why are uniforms so, well, predictable? If you Google “worst football kits” you can probably see why so many clubs are scared into doing something out-of-the ordinary. And for good reason; the Hull and Norwich kits from the early 90s look like a designer discovered the pattern function in the old MS Paint and thought it would make a good background color.
But then there are kits that are listed but shouldn’t be: the away Liverpool from ’94-‘96 and Manchester United from ’92-93. I’ll agree that they’re not executed well, but they incorporate the club’s crest in a unique way.
I get that Johnny Haynes probably won’t feature on the clubs actual third kit when they play, well, shit…they probably won’t be using it for the rest of the season huh? Oh well.
(How does the kit look after all? Oh right, here ya go…)