If illustrators designed football shirts…

Both Umbro and Nike have commissioned illustrators to devise emblems and badges to be embroidered on to alternative versions of national team shirts…

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With the World Cup just around the corner, it’s not surprising to find that various brands with strong connections to the glorious game are producing spanky new products for us to buy. Both Umbro and Nike have commissioned illustrators to devise emblems and badges to be embroidered on to alternative versions of national team shirts…

Anomaly has been working with Umbro on a project about to launch which sees illustrators from seven countries create unique and original badge designs to be embroidered on special versions of their national football team. The countries involved – England, France, Germany, Italy, Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay – are the only footballing nations to have victoriously lifted the Jules Rimet trophy since the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

Above is Hastings-based UK artist Eine‘s illustrated England crest, embroidered in red on a white shirt. Below are the badges created for the other teams:

France’s badge, designed by André

ZZK‘s badge for Argentina

Fernando Chamarelli, an illustrator, visual artist and tattoo designer from Sao Paolo created Brazil’s badge

Marok created this industrial emblem for Germany. Note the sausage…

Tanino Liberatore devised this gladiatorial badge for Italy

Martin Albornoz, a mixed media artist from Montevideo, created this badge for Uruguay

The project is great – and the shirts (which are in-store from May 15) are infinitely more wearable than official team merchandise offerings – although it does remind me of Nike Sportswear’s Six Collaborations project (now called True Colors) which launched several weeks ago and which saw various international artists creating a badge to be embroidered on an alternative national team kit. Actually, there was more to the Nike project – each of the six artists involved were asked to contribute a badge, mascot, print and an alphabet in their handwriting style. Each collaboration pack includes N98 Track Jacket, AW 77 hoodie, kit tee, polo shirt and short for both men and women; then tee for men and tank for women – not to mention a selection of Nike Sportswear footwear coordinated with the apparel.

James Jarvis was selected to create the graphics for an England selection of goods:

Umbro and Nike are all part of the same company these days, so we’re sure there’s no problem with both these distinct brands running slightly similar promotional projects. While the True Colors project was picked up by many-a-blog when it launched several weeks ago, none of the pieces we read about it gave much attention to the emblems and graphics designed by Jarvis and his various international counterparts. So we thought we’d showcase some of the project’s graphics right here and now:

As well as the badge to be embroidered on the chest of shirts, each artist was asked to render his country’s name, and the numeral 10 in a bespoke font of their creation. Above is Jarvis’ 10 and England.

Above is Sao Paulo street artist Nunca’s graphics for the project

So Me, perhaps best known as the art director of Ed Banger records represented France in the project

The same graphic elements, as produced by Delta for his country’s True Colors kit

Cape Town-based artist Kronk represented South Africa

And this is LA-based artist Mister Cartoon‘s graphics for the USA kit

To find out more about the True Colors project, visit nike.com/nikeos/p/sportswear/en_US/true_colors

To keep up to date with the release of the Umbro Crest Collaboration football shirt collection, visit umbro.com

  • The Netherland is the best of the bunch. Love the way it works across the T-shirts and the type.

  • These are great. So much official merchandise is in pretty bad taste but becausse it’s official, the fans have to lump it. What’s great about these is they are cool and original without falling into the usual ‘retro’ trap (Englad shirts harking back to ’66 etc.) They have my full support.

  • Tom

    Sorry but with the exception of maybe Holland and South Africa these are grotesque!

    I think what Nike, Puma and Adidas have produced for the World Cup and in particular the African Cup of Nations proves that it’s best to let the professionals produce sporting apparel.

  • *Uruguay

  • @Tom, agreed, this whole page reminds me of the dark days when my beloved Carlisle United allowed a local newspaper competition for fans to design our next season’s strip. The result was not good.

    Same story here, I think they look worse than the original badges!

  • Chamarelli did a great work for the Brazilian one – quite strong

  • I do like the dutch one although I would have loved to have seen an orange shirt with it. The rest… some nice ideas here and there but all not really well executed.

  • Ben Roethlisberger

    lol… that’s not REAL football.

  • Req

    Out of the top lot for the WC winners I like them all except the Italian one. Which is awful for me as I’m Italian. It looks like something made for a cheap toy or market rip off. There’s something great about the general shapes of crests and badges, and this ignores them. The Brazilian one is fantastic and the German one original. Ours is uninspired and dull. France almost contains as little thought but at least some effort was put into its style.

  • @Tom

    Agree. Some shocking work bar South Africa designs by Kronk. Leave it to the professionals.

  • The Brazilian one is easily the best.

  • piere phillips

    what a bag of balls (quite liked brazil)

  • They look hideous, they are all so weak.

    England one has too much detail that it just blurs together.
    Brazil is the only one that looks like an emblem.
    American one is typically over the top.
    One of them looks like ‘Animal’ from the Muppet Show.

    The majority of them look like dodgy bits of clip art to me.
    I can’t see these designs boosting team morale.

  • I think most of these designs are very clever, well thought out, tasteful and more importantly, strikingly colourful- a definite improvement on regular footballer clothing. What I think is most interesting is the amount of (not-even constructive) criticism from others. On visiting their sites, their credit in their comments dissolves. But, if it makes you feel better getting it off your chest…..

  • Damn! how were these Illustrators selected? Brazil prob look the best of the bunch but wouldn’t say its better than the current. It’s a shame cos these could have looked really cool!

  • Pete Blake

    emblems aside, some of the typographic work here is pretty poor – maybe due to giving a typography piece to illustrators/street artists. i was excited when i read about the project, but the work has let the side down (pun intended)

  • Jim

    I Love the Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina crests, the detail is unbelievable, I’m even tempted to get the Argentina shirt.

    Not so keen on the designs from Nike’s ‘true colours’ project though.

  • Mickrock

    Any more work on the ‘British Jarvis Number 10’ and it would be downright phallic.
    Some strange stuff here. Just from a colour and design perspective I an enjoying the Brazillian crest.
    Not too keen on the rest.

  • While I mostly agree that the designs aren’t great, I do like the fact that they don’t appear like an actual football strip, I would be more inclined to wear any of these than an actual kit.

    On the whole they feel like the illustrators haven’t been experimental enough with the overall designs, and then going to town on just an emblem, which strikes of wearing a badge rather than treating the item of clothing as a canvas to really express the culture of the country.


  • wwwwag

    brazil, argentina, south africa

  • JRV

    it’s an exciting time for the game…

    it’s good to see NEW stuff in production…even if only to get people talking and (even) walking!
    to anyone who thinks they could do better…we should prob do just that.
    for now, just for shipping this project: respect!


  • Started off OK, but the England one is terrible (in my opinion)

    Could like to see the same idea put to professional logo designers – keeping them clean and simple rather than being overly artistic could be interesting?

  • Darren

    I love design and I am PASSIONATE about football.

    However, I think most of these designs are very amateur, most are finished very poorly,
    and the USA one in particular is shocking.

    The only ones I like are the Brasil crest (which is well executed but a bit too busy),
    and the Netherlands 3D design which seems to be the only one that has been thought
    through with any conviction.

    Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but the World Cup is such a huge event which only comes around every
    4 years and these look more like an after thought than some of the world’s largest corporations offering
    the very best in ‘World’ design to a huge audience that deserves more!


  • Dougbowski

    The Brazil crest is by far the best, the England badge looks messy and Uraguay have 4 stars, sorry to be a stickler but they’ve only won it twice!!!

    The rest of the designs are god-awful!

  • talbot

    Call me old fashioned, but none of these are an improvement. I happen to think most of the badges are beautiful are already. Especially France’s.

  • marco

    the USA one is very very bad.
    advertisers need to get over the comercialized and poorly executed rip offs of “west coast style” tattoo. its very amateur and doesn’t do justice the amount of effort the players put into the team or the personalities of the fans. someone who doesnt know the sport probably tried to make that for the us, and I feel bad it was chosen for them.

    the south african one is awesome. i dont normally like busy badges, but that is cool. I also liked England and Argentine.

  • I think that they are all great apart from the USA, that is a slightly demonistic design, perhaps potentially agressive in the colouring. I’m not sure that the USA would want to be portrayed in that manner but then maybe I’m wrong. The Netherlands and France logos are a bit cheesey and not being to impartial, actually the England badge by Jarvis is probably the biggest success, but I would say that!!

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