Kit designs, graphics and type at the Brazil 2014 World Cup

With the Brazil 2014 World Cup in touching distance Nike, Puma and Adidas have all unveiled their football kit designs for competing nations, which feature a host of graphic and typographic embellishments.

Wesley Sneijder models the Dutch home shirt with type insired by Wim Crouwel
Wesley Sneijder models the Dutch home shirt with type insired by Wim Crouwel

Yesterday we featured England’s new kit design, which sports a Neville Brody-designed typeface that he says is inspired by ‘the intersection between flair and workmanlike reliability.’ 

Fans seem up in arms about the £90 shirt price but may be appeased by its nod to the all-white Mexico 1970 kit and wowed by the valiance of various metallic finishes which Nike believes conjures the spirit of heavily armoured English knights.

On the point of prices it is worth noting that the Stadium shirt is £60 and the Match shirt £90, the difference being the figure-hugging design of the latter, which might not be too flattering for everyone.

The Nike shirts, which are made from recycled plastic bottles, boast a number of features including laser-cut side panels for ventilation and other such sport design wizardry.

Somewhat worryingly, the shorts on all of the Nike kits also feature laser cut vents to aid cooling and ‘allow for moisture management.’

The Netherlands, home
The Netherlands, home

Elsewhere across the football world other teams have been preparing for battle and the Dutch are looking positively luminescent  in their traditional orange home shirt.

Nike took inspiration from Dutch graphic designer and typographer Wim Crouwel for the typography to give the shirts what it calls a modern look with a retro aesthetic.

‘The lines inside the numbers are reminiscent of the numbers famously seen in football in the 1970s,’ Nike says.

Just the one lion on the Dutch crest but it’s bigger than ever, symbolising ‘a new era in Dutch football and the team’s core values of simplicity, honor and unity,’ according to Nike.

Underneath this is the Royal Dutch Football Association’s founding year of 1899, and the year 2014, to commemorate the side’s 125th anniversary.

Brazil's new third, away and home kits
Brazil’s new third, away and home kits

Tournament hosts Brazil will also play in a Nike kit and have worked with Brazilian designer Bruno Big on the pennant tab inside the back of the neck that shows the Southern Cross, the constellation of stars on the nation’s flag.

Meanwhile names and numbers have been cast in a font which is inspired by hand-printed posters seen on streets across Brazil according to Nike. The shorts also have ‘micro fine’ pinholes so moisture can escape, and a fluorescent outline for improved visibility. 

A gold coloured weave has been added to the crest, which has been enlarged, and behind this on the inside of the shirt is the slogan ‘Nascido para jogar futebol’, the Brazilian Portuguese for ‘Born to Play Football,’ a phrase notably absent from the England shirt.

Brazil
Brazil away shirt

Brazil will have three kits for the tournament, with the away shirt featuring blue tonal stripes covered in tiny geometric circles and diamonds taken from the Brazilian flag.

‘The blue background also reflects the beauty of the ocean on Brazil’s coastline and the nation’s renowned surf culture,’ according to Nike.

Portugal home shirt
Portugal home shirt

We also want to give the Portugal shirt a mention, another tonal stripy number from Nike, this time designed to give the effect of ‘speed and exhilaration’.

The pennant tab features an Armillary Sphere, a navigation tool and symbol of pride for 500 years for the nation, which has a rich seafaring history.

The names and numbers have been inspired by old type faces used on traditional Portuguese signage and Nike says, ‘The custom font is a modern take on Art Deco lettering.’

Portugal home kit
Portugal home kit

Puma’s kits are looking bold, particularly the ones designed for the African nations it has deals with. As with the Nike kits there’s more mind-boggling sports technology at work. This time its ACTV tape, which provides player’s skin with ‘micro-massages’ helping to generate a ‘more effective energy supply to the active muscles’.

Ghana home shirt modelled by captain Asamoah Gyan
Ghana home shirt modelled by captain Asamoah Gyan

The real Puma highlights are the Cameroon home kit and the Ghana away strip, both of which sport rich patterns, which are far more visible than some of those on the Nike kits (Apparently a St George Cross emerges from the England away shirt when observed from distance.)

Cameroon home
Cameroon home

The Cameroon shirt is inspired by the team’s nickname, The Indomitable Lions and features a tonal graphic print of a lion, the country shape of Cameroon, stars from the nation’s flag, and a football field.

Ghana home
Ghana home

The Ghana home shirt has graphic print inserts on the neck and sleeves which honour the team’s nickname The Black Stars, and the stars are again picked up in the patterning of the away shirt.

Pick of the Adidas shirts are probably Germany home, which features a red chevron graphic, and Mexico, which quite brilliantly has been inspired by Mexican wrestling masks.

Here’s the Adidas design team in a slightly cringy video talking about these and the Spain home shirt, which features extra gold in a design seen to be fitting for the world champions.

Hide Comments (1)Show Comments (1)
Comments
  • fahim ataulla January 18, 2014 at 3:21 am

    what

  • Post a comment

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.