2016 USA Olympic Rugby Home Kit Concept
Create an original design for the home kit worn by the USA Olympic Rugby Team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Research. Research. Research.
Any great uniform design begins with extensive research in a number of categories before putting pen to paper for a single design. A great uniform should accomplish more than simply "look cool" — it should be a story and representation of the very team that wears it.
The research for this project focused on a number of areas:
• The Country: this includes the country's history, location, culture, etc. This includes any & everything that makes the country unique from their flag to their primary exports to their own folklore.
• The Team: every team has a specific history, style of play, current trajectory, etc. Even the team name and mascot can potentially inspire/impact designs.
• The Uniform: most rugby teams have seen their fair share of uniforms. The uniform history can play a critical role in providing knowledge to avoid repeating past failures while inspiring fresh designs that continue the legacy of the team.
• The Fanbase: the kit's primary role will be on the pitch, but the design needs to also appeal to the dedicated fan base purchasing gear to support their team. It's critical to understand the culture and history of the fanbase and the aspects of the team's uniform they hold dear. A simple changes to the traditions of a team's kit can be received as sacrilege among dedicated fans if not handled correctly.
• The Technology: the methods, materials and processes for creating sportswear are constantly evolving and play a vital role in kit design.
Rugby has not been a part of the Olympics for nearly 100 years — its last appearance dating back to 1924, where the gold medal was won by none other than the United States (who also won the gold in the 1920 Olympics). This proud bit of history was an essential inspiration for the development of the 2016 kit design.
The aim of the design was to accomplish more than an homage through a simple throwback. Despite the fact that rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports in the U.S., many American sports fans are still unfamiliar with the sport. As a result, the design aimed to appeal to the audience enthralled by the uniforms & technology of the States' favorite sports — football, basketball, etc. — while still exposing this audience to the great traditions and style associated with classic rugby kits.
• "White on White" Hoop: the kit features the classic & beloved rugby hooped design in a subtle white-on-white application that remains visibly predominantly white as an homage to the white uniforms worn by the gold medal U.S. Olympic teams.
• "Star-Spangled Grip Tape": the goal was to create a timeless & classic design that avoided the cliché stars & stripes designs of the past while still honoring the classic symbols of the U.S.A. in a more refined way. The clear grip tape applied to the upper portion of the shirt is applied in a pattern of stars inspired by the 50 stars found on the U.S. flag.
• USA Identity: in classic Olympic form, "USA" is proudly displayed on the front of the jersey and shorts. The U.S. flag is also included on the left sleeve.
• Collar Quote: printed inside the collar is a quote taken from the diary of the 1924 team captain, Colby "Babe" Slater. The night prior to their win over France in the 1924 final, Slater wrote: "We are sure going to let them know they have been in a battle." The quote is flanked by two gold stars representing the U.S.A.'s gold medal wins in both 1920 & 1924.
• All-American Shield: on the back of the jersey between the shoulders the shirt features the All-American shield that was featured dominantly on the front of the kits worn by both the 1920 & 1924 teams.
• American-Made: though the U.S. National Team's jerseys are currently designed and produced by Australian manufacturer BLK, it seemed only appropriate to have the U.S.A. Olympic jerseys produced by Under Armour, an American manufacturer.
• Match Details: the front bottom of the shirt has been reserved for stitched individual match details including the classic Olympic Rings, location, teams involved and date of the match.