Editor’s Note: In this week’s post dedicated to graphic design trends, guest blogger and FIDM Merchandise Marketing Instructor Andre’ Barnwell shares insights into how collegiate football uniforms are being adapted to cater to a new generation of consumers. Read below and observe how subtle design elements can reshape a brand’s identity, a topic of discussion for students earning their degree in Graphic Design at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Tell us about your favorite team uniforms on Twitter @FIDMDigitalArts.
By Andre’ Barnwell
Brands are important to expose your products/services to your customers, and college football teams are no exception. Colleges and universities typically use their name, acronym or mascot symbol along with their school colors in its team uniforms not only to differentiate players from their competitors, but also to give their fans branded products to purchase and wear, which increases fan loyalty.
Sports apparel companies have recognized a difference in how Millennials (or Generation Y) purchase and wear clothing, and as a result, are pushing the brand envelope beyond the traditional product offerings and rebranding their football teams’ uniforms to reach a new generation of fans and prospective high football recruits.
I find that this nontraditional rebranding falls into two categories. First, the “throwback” look where current uniforms are a remake of the school’s traditional uniforms from the past. Second, a radical break from the school’s traditional look using elements of design and color outside of the school’s original uses of name, acronym, logo and primary colors. The new emphasis is to use a broader array of visuals that are intended to emphasize new “memorability” elements as it relates to the school’s football brand.
As a former high school football player (strong safety), I like taking chances, but with any changes in your team’s uniform, it is more effective if your team is winning on the field during your rebranding efforts.
Below are my top 10 picks for fashion-forward collegiate football uniforms:
1. University of Maryland
2. University of Oregon
3. U.S. Air Force Academy
4. University of Michigan
5. Temple University
6. University of Missouri
7. Rutgers University
8. Bethune-Cookman University
9. University of Wyoming
10. Arizona State University
With access to leading fashion trend reports at the FIDM Library, one of the largest specialized fashion libraries in the United States, students earning a degree in graphic design or digital media at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising stay current with upcoming trends for fashion, color, graphics design and more.
Browse more graphic design trends here.