Designspiration from the field of play

As a marketing designer at WooCommerce, most of the work that I create lives exclusively on screens. You might logically assume, then, that a large amount of my design inspiration would come from other digital designers in the same (or similar) industry.

That’s only partly true.

Since I can remember, I’ve always been slightly obsessed with sporting kit designs, and not just for one particular sport either; cricket, rugby, soccer, you name it, I’ve had a look and analyzed it. Perhaps it’s due to clothing being more tangible than pixels on a screen, or perhaps it’s just a natural collision of two of my interests.

Elements such as team logos, colour palettes, and a general “cool” factor, all coming together to make something that either works – or is an absolute assault on the eyes (see below). Even sponsor placement and colouring can make or break a kit.

Above: Some eyeball-chafing kit designs from yesteryear.

Some kits look hilariously dated now (many of the early ’90s football kits spring to mind here) whilst some, although older, have aged remarkably well.

One of my favourite sites to browse is Rugby Shirt Watch, a great site covering and reviewing the latest rugby kits from all over the world, both domestic and international. I also follow a few independent designers over on Instagram who put out their kit concept designs for the world to see, mainly in the hope that a major brand or equipment supplier picks them up to do design work for them. A lot of their creations are really good, and are sometimes better than the official suppliers’ designs that make their way onto the field.

Over the years, I’ve come to realise that the kits I favour the correlate to my favourite digital designs: less is more, clean, clear, and bold.

Above: Clean, classy – I’d buy these replicas any day of the week.

Where do you get designspiration from? Are you only looking at designs and designers relevant to your line of work or skill? You never know: your inspiration could be lurking in a completely different medium – or stadium.

By gareth allison

Person who wrote the words you're reading right now.