Football Shirt Culture

The 1992-93 season is one which is held in high regard by Aston Villa fans. Though they ended the domestic campaign trophyless, the West Midlands side gave eventual inaugural Premier League champions Manchester United a decent run for their money - beating them at Villa Park (along with a League Cup victory) and avoiding defeat at Old Trafford - and they looked very stylish doing it.

We recently featured a Liverpool FC kit history provided by Turkish graphic designer and sportswear designer Emre Gultekin, and below you’ll find him moving his sights onto his country's national team.

Turkey, for most of their existence, have had one of the most recognisable examples of “colours” in international football. Much like Brazil and Argentina, amongst others, the historical combination has been simple but specific to the team. It has, however, gone through periods of variation.

When you think of brown on football kits, what comes to mind? FC St. Pauli? Italy, perhaps? Special lederhosen-styled German club kits? Coventry City? Coventry City.

The Sky Blues became known for a slightly different coloration in the late 1970s, as that decade rubbed off on the club in certain matches away from Highfield Road. Admiral’s tramlines would be seen on plenty of kits, but this example focussed on by John Devlin was one of the most shocking, and now appears in plenty of “Worst Kits Ever” lists.

Rumours suggest that while the 2020-21 Internazionale Home shirt from Nike will carry a serpent-esque zigzag pattern, there will be a less subtle “Il Biscione” flavour to much of the training and leisurewear ranges. Graphic designer and sportswear designer Emre Gultekin certainly didn’t hold back in that regard with these designs from way back in 2013.

This beautifully-rendered Leeds United Home kit - as worn in the English Football League First Division in 1990-91 and 1991-92 - represents the last first-choice strip of a pre-Premier League Champions of England.

Leeds released a new Umbro kit on their return to the English top flight in 1990, and that tastefully-trimmed design - featuring measured use of secondary and tertiary blue and yellow on the by-now-recognisable white - with iconic Top Man sponsor, was carried over to the glorious 1991-92 season.

Following on from the Sheridan Bird and Rick Banks nonprofit release, Football Type, comes the now long-awaited and ideally-titled Football Type 2.

The book, like its predecessor, celebrates typography in football, with a particular focus on the names and numbers which appear on some of the beautiful game’s most iconic kits.

This detailed focus on the 1995-96 (and 1996-97) adidas Newcastle United Home kit - worn by Kevin Keegan’s “Entertainers” - is a real thing of beauty.

The design - considered one of the greatest football kits of all time - featured a grandad-style collar on the black and white-striped shirt, with a bulkier thread to the weave to give a retro-feel. The regular - and iconic - Newcastle-skyline blue star sponsor logo was replaced with Newcastle Brown Ale’s full bottle label, which no Magpies fan would now change for the world.

This early 1980s adidas Ipswich Town strip, rendered by True Colours author John Devlin, is fondly remembered by fans of the East Anglia-based English side and kit aficionados alike.

Classic in design, the pinstriped shirt with substantial v-neck began life in 1981 with the recognisable Pioneer logo and wordmark, before this was soon dispensed with and replaced with a stretched wordmark-only variant, with even this missing from some versions.

Classic Football Shirts