September 23, 2023


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The Evolution of Football Kits Design: A Complete Guide

Football Kits Design

Football kits are an integral part of the sport, representing a team’s identity and creating a sense of unity among players and fans. Over the years, football kit design has evolved, with new trends emerging and innovative technologies being incorporated.

This article will explore the different aspects of football kit design, including historical evolution, regional and cultural influences, colors, patterns, logos, materials, sponsorship, fan involvement, psychological impact, controversies, minimalist and bold designs, and future trends.

Historical Evolution of Football Kit Design

Football kits have come a long way since their inception in the late 19th century. At first, kits were simple, consisting of long-sleeved shirts, shorts, and socks in a single color.

As the sport became more popular, teams started incorporating their own colors and designs. In the early 20th century, striped shirts and contrasting shorts became popular, with teams like Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday sporting iconic designs.

In the 1960s, football kit design took a bold turn, with teams like Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur adopting eye-catching designs with bold colors and patterns.

The 1970s saw the introduction of the famous Admiral kits, which featured a distinctive design with a diagonal stripe across the chest. In the 1980s, Adidas and Nike emerged as major players in the football kit industry, introducing new materials and designs.

Regional and Cultural Influences on Football Kit Design

Football kit design is also influenced by regional and cultural factors. For instance, many African teams incorporate tribal designs and bright colors into their kits, while Japanese teams often feature intricate patterns and symbols.

In South America, many teams sport bold designs with bright colors, reflecting the region’s vibrant culture. In Europe, teams often stick to traditional designs and colors, with clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona incorporating their national colors into their kits.

The different aspects of football kits design

1. Colors

Colors play a significant role in football kit design, with each team having its own iconic colors. For example, Manchester United is known for its red home kit, while Liverpool’s home kit features a combination of red and white.

Colors can also have psychological effects on players and opponents, with teams often opting for intimidating or distracting colors to gain an advantage.

2. Patterns

Patterns are another important aspect of football kit design. Stripes, hoops, and chevrons are popular patterns, with teams often incorporating them into their designs.

For instance, Newcastle United’s famous black and white stripes have become synonymous with the club, while Celtic’s hoops have become an iconic part of the team’s identity.

Newcastle football club's kit
Newcastle football club’s kit

3. Logos

Logos are an essential part of football kit design, representing the team’s brand and identity. The placement and visibility of logos on the kit are also important, with many teams opting for prominent logos on the chest or sleeve.

In recent years, some teams have even incorporated retro logos into their designs, giving a nod to their heritage.

Newcastle football club's logo
Newcastle football club’s logo

4. Materials

The choice of materials in football kit design is crucial, with durability, comfort, and breathability being key factors. Modern football kits are made from lightweight, moisture-wicking materials that keep players cool and dry during matches. Some kits also incorporate special features like mesh panels and laser-cut ventilation holes to enhance breathability.

5. Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a significant source of revenue for football clubs, with many teams incorporating sponsor logos into their kit designs.

However, striking a balance between sponsor logos and traditional team colors and design can be challenging. In recent years, some teams have even incorporated fan feedback into their kit designs, giving supporters a say in the design process.

Fan Involvement in Football Kit Design and Feedback on New Releases

Football fans are passionate about their teams and often have strong opinions about kit designs. Some teams have taken advantage of this passion by involving fans in the design process.

For instance, Liverpool FC held a competition where fans could submit their own kit designs, with the winning design being incorporated into the team’s kit.

This approach not only creates a sense of community among fans but also helps teams create designs that resonate with their supporters.

Psychological Impact of Football Kits

Football kits can also have a psychological impact on players and opponents. Bright, bold colors can be intimidating and distracting, while more subdued colors can create a sense of calm and focus.

Some teams even have different kits for different situations, with a more subdued away kit for tough matches and a more eye-catching home kit for matches where they are expected to dominate.

Controversies in Football Kit Design

Football kit design has not been without its controversies. In 2016, England’s Euro 2016 kit was widely criticized for its plain white design, with many fans calling it boring and uninspired.

Similarly, in 2019, Tottenham Hotspur faced backlash for their third kit, which featured a striking zebra print. While some fans loved the bold design, others found it too flashy and distracting.

Minimalist and Bold Designs

In recent years, football kit design has seen a shift towards minimalist and bold designs. Some teams have opted for simple, understated designs with clean lines and minimal branding.

Others have gone in the opposite direction, embracing eye-catching designs with bold colors and patterns. Both approaches have their merits and can create a unique identity for a team.

Future Trends in Football Kit Design

As football kit design continues to evolve, several trends are emerging. One trend is the use of eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing practices, as teams become more conscious of their environmental impact.

Another trend is the incorporation of new technologies, such as 3D printing and smart fabrics, to enhance performance and comfort. Finally, teams are likely to continue exploring new color and pattern combinations to create unique and iconic designs.


Football kit design is an essential part of the sport, representing a team’s identity and creating a sense of unity among players and fans.

From historical evolution to regional and cultural influences, colors, patterns, logos, materials, sponsorship, fan involvement, psychological impact, controversies, minimalist and bold designs, and future trends, there are many factors that go into creating the perfect football kit.

As teams continue to push the boundaries of design, football fans can look forward to seeing innovative and exciting new kits in the years to come.