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2018 World Cup Concept Series (Nov 15, KOR & SUI)


FlyingLamprey
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JAPAN

Samurai Blue!  The Japanese national team enters as the third Asian team in this series and as my choice for first in their qualifying group.  Them being in third is probably due to Saudi Arabia doing better than I would've liked and Japan dropping a game to UAE (thank god they beat Iraq and Thailand to salvage points).  Regardless, this is a very good Japanese team that has made every World Cup since 1998 and won three Asian Cups during that span (don't ask what happened in the last one, just go with "UAE is Japan's kryptonite").  I have full confidence that they can bounce back from this and return to their sixth consecutive World Cup.  For Japan, I kept the logo the same.  Having the yatagarasu as the symbol of your soccer team is both a great idea and also a little pretentious (your team is represented by a symbol for divine intervention? That's a bold move Japan, and one I can easily support).  The jerseys, however, are a little... outside of the box.  I do want to preface this with the fact that Japan has had some of my favorite kits - both current kits, the home kit the women's national team wore during the World Cup, the 2010-11 kits, etc. - so I took some inspiration from there.  The home kit is all-navy (not a traditional look, yes, but one that the team has gone with in recent years) with pink pinstriped hoops and accents.  The pink is probably going to be controversial to some, so lemme explain.  While watching the Women's World Cup last summer, I noticed that Japan had pink accents on their uniform, and I thought "that's a cool idea!".  When it came time for me to make their kits, I brought pink as an accent color for a couple reasons - aside from being aesthetically unique, it's a bold look that brings to mind the country's famous cherry blossoms.  Japan could totally embrace the whole "pink as a supporting color" idea.  The clash is also outside of the box, but for completely different reasons!  The colors aren't odd, as they've gone white/light blue/white before (2008-09 clash kit).  It's the application that's odd here.  As a sort of reference to Japan's name translating to "land of the rising sun" (yes that's a little bit of a rough translation, I will ignore anyone who comments with a "well actually" on this), I ended up creating an actual rising sun!  A red circle around the numbers rises over the block-gradient-to-light-blue ocean that transitions beautifully to the shorts.  The best part is that this might not even be the weirdest Japanese clash kit - thanks 2014 for giving us full-on chartreuse and 2004 for the out of nowhere tan/black/tan look!  Anyways, kits are made by Adidas as always, and the names are those of two Shinjis - Kagawa from Dortmund and Okazaki from Leicester.

 

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1 hour ago, FlyingLamprey said:

Thank you everyone for your suggestions!  For Iran, I did try to find a way to include green, but I ended up coming up short.  I can try figuring out something new for the clash kit (I have something in mind I'd like to test), but with how the current home kit is, it might be hard to include green there.  Since you suggested it, @kerlonmoura, do you have any ideas on what could work?  My only idea there is to change some of the spots to be green-based and red-based so it forms the Iranian flag.  And for Ireland, @Victormrey, I was actually very close to using orange instead of lime in the pinstripes!  I ended up not including them because I didn't really like how it looked - it was too distracting for my tastes.  The lime makes it a bit more subdued, and besides, this gives Ireland the opportunity to embrace lime as an accent (which I don't think many national teams use).  It's sort of a personal preference thing, and it matches the flag, so I totally understand where you're coming from!  I just like it better with the lime!  I hope you understand my reasoning.  Also, doing all three for the pinstripes is a no-go, because WOW that's not a good look.

Thank you all for giving me new ideas, though!  I really appreciate it a lot!  I'm gonna continue rolling through these teams with two of my favorite designs.

 

No problem! I love how the lime looks on the kit ;) Great work with Italy, BTW.

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Thanks for the comments, everyone!  Here's an update to Iran that I whipped up just now.  Nothing major changes in the home kit.  All I did was change some of the spots so that they were sublimated in green or red to create a subtle Iranian flag.  The clash has the biggest changes, although the idea of the original chevron still remains.  Green and white lines create three chevrons in darker red with the cheetah spot pattern sublimated onto it.  I'm especially proud of the clash here, as it could be used in multiple cases (switch around the red and green and it's a great Mexico kit, change red to navy and you've got a clean Melbourne Victory kit).  Let me know if you guys like these!

 

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Sorry for not posting in a couple of days!  Life caught up to me and kept me busy Tuesday and Wednesday, so I didn't have time to post.  Instead of bombarding you all with 6 teams in one day, I'm going to post four teams today (what would've been Tue/Wed) and four tomorrow (Thu/Fri).  With that out of the way, let's get started!

 

NEW ZEALAND

It's hard to be a soccer team in Oceania, for one main reason - you're not guaranteed a spot in the World Cup.  An Oceanic team has only appeared in the World Cup 4 times (Australia in 1974 and 2006, and New Zealand in 1982 and 2010), and that's because they're forced to participate in a play-off against a team from any other confederation (which is marginally better than just participating in Asia's competition).  The lack of a guaranteed spot is partially responsible to the recent exodus of Australia (and Guam), and has left New Zealand as the powerhouse of Oceania.  As I am one who cheers for the underdog, I thought it fitting to include the All Whites in this series (who knows? maybe they beat a CONMEBOL team?).  For the look, I kept it as simple as I could.  The Silver Fern is a classy look, so I kept it as the logo.  The jerseys are based off the current Nike template (different color sleeves with shirt and shorts in same color), with the only difference being which colors are used.  The home goes white/white/black with heavily pinstriped sleeves, while the clash reverses the black and white.  I would totally understand if you are upset by this move - as far as templated looks go, I'm not a fan!  But this was an intentional move!  Nike is very good at giving smaller countries older templated looks, and I have full confidence that they give smaller teams this look during the World Cup since they released the look between World Cup cycles.  Speaking of, Nike's back!  They've done fine enough to stick around a bit, blah blah blah, etc etc etc.  Names are those of Jeremy Brockie and Kosta Barbarouses.

 

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41 minutes ago, hendocfc said:

Well... that black kit looks identical to Nike's Vapor teamwear for 17/18! So you may want to change it up a bit...

 

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BTW that Japanese clash might be kit of the series. Incredible.

 

Perfect!  This is exactly what I was going for!  I know it's weird to be excited about my concept looking exactly like teamwear, but this is what I wanted - Nike being both lazy (reusing an old template) and prideful (bringing back an old template since they didn't get to use it in the World Cup).  By the by, thanks for telling me that Nike's 17/18 teamwear catalog is out, might get some inspiration from there...  And thanks on the comment on Japan!  I'm very pleased with it myself, and I'd call it a top 5 kit in the series for sure!

 

NIGERIA

Nigeria's Super Eagles may have the toughest group in World Cup qualifying.  Not just in Africa, in the whole world.  Nigeria, Algeria, and Cameroon all have made at least 4 World Cups, including both the 2010 and 2014 editions.  So the problem for me was choosing which of these three teams to bring in and which two would be left heartbroken.  The only thing I knew for sure was that Zambia wasn't gonna make it (pray for Chipolopolo by the way, there's a very good chance that they don't win a game in their group).  Nigeria was ultimately chosen for many reasons, notably geography - I was trying to make sure that the African countries were all spaced out and not just clustered in one area (another reason Egypt got chosen over Ghana).  My case is helped by Nigeria beating Zambia and Algeria and Cameroon tying each other.  So, Nigeria moves on!  Problem - they need a new logo.  God do they need a new logo.  The old eagle is showing its age, the red is weird and unnecessary, etc etc etc.  So I went and designed a new logo.  Problem: I'm not super happy with it.  It's got great framework - eagle on soccer ball with "Super Eagles" above and "Nigeria Football Association" below - but I'm just not satisfied with how it came out.  It's definitely my least favorite of the logos I've made for this series, and it doesn't help that making bird logos are haaaaaard.  So please please PLEASE, if you have any suggestions for how to improve on this concept, let me know!!!  As I mentioned at the beginning of the series, I really do want to improve as a designer, so your input here is needed!  Anyhow, back to the concept!  The jerseys are on the simpler side of things.  The home kit is head-to-toe green with white accents and a white center stripe.  This is a reference to both the Nigerian flag and the kit from the 1996 Olympics.  The clash is a little weird, but it's all white with green-and-white hooped sleeves.  It's supposed to be kind of like wings similar to the logo?  This could very well change with the logo, so don't get used to this look.  Nike just signed on in 2015, so I imagine that their contract runs through to this World Cup.  The names are those of Fanendo Adi and Ahmed Musa.  Again, please send me some C&C on the logo!  I would appreciate it a lot, and hopefully I'll have something better in place tomorrow.  Also, reminder that two more teams are getting posted today as part of getting caught up!  I understand if you didn't quite like the last two teams (teamwear + a not great logo), but I guarantee that the next two teams are some of the best!

 

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RUSSIA

Finally, we've gotten to the hosts!  Russia will be hosting the next World Cup, and as such I kind of don't really have a say in whether they make it or not!  For what it's worth, I probably would've included them in the series, but who would've known where they'd be drawn?  Regardless, they're here, and they save me the trouble of having to explain qualifying for them.  I can just jump right in!  I went for a more traditional look for the Russians for sure.  The federation logo stays the same, and so does the tradition of putting the Russian coat of arms on the jersey.  However, the kits are where I'm most proud with this team.  The home kit is traditional all-maroon with gold accents.  The chest carries an odd angular pattern that has a weird history - it started as tapering pinstripes meant to represent rocket imagery, I tried flipping some of them, did some rotations, and suddenly you have a cool pattern!  Yes, a cool pattern that's now at about 3 or 4 degrees of separation from the original inspiration, but a cool pattern nonetheless!  It's simple and to the point.  The clash has multiple inspirations, so buckle down.  The color scheme of white/blue/red is inspired after some of Russia's historical kits (see basically the entire 90's, 2006-07 clash kit, and 2016 clash kit), the blue sash references the 2012-13 kits, and the gradient effect in the middle (which I'm SUPER happy with btw!) hearkens back to the 2014-15 clash kit (as well as the pre-match jerseys from this summer's Euro tournament).  Adidas sticks around for the manufacturer, and the names are those of people I've definitely never heard of before this series (Vasili Berezutski and Artem Dzyuba).

 

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SCOTLAND

You ever think about the mistakes you make?  I do, often!  Here's one of them - putting Scotland in this series!  Yes, I've gone and made the mistake of putting Scotland, a team who is definitely not on a rise (they were the only one of the Home Nations plus Ireland to not make it into the Euros), and while doing research on them I came to the conclusion that I didn't know any of their players!  And early returns on qualifying are less than satisfactory.  After cruising by Malta, a tie to Lithuania and a 3-0 loss to Slovakia have the Scotts sitting in 4th in their group.  Not great!  So, let's say that Scotland does the impossible and comes back to win second in their group AND a playoff spot.  What happens?  Well, the good news is that they won't need to change the logo - it's already good!  For jerseys, I had a thought - why not some tartan?  Sure, the current home kit has a "tartan" pattern, but it's just teamwear, as the Bosnian national team has the same pattern as well.  So I went and did some research, and I discovered some interesting things.  For one, the UK has an official tartan registry!  That's cute and awesome!  And second (and more important), the Scottish Football Association has its own official tartan!  Check it out at https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails.aspx?ref=3716 (and look up the tartans of other clubs, it's fascinating!).  So naturally, I went and put that tartan on the home shirt!  It's a little hard to pick out, sure, but I like it!  The navy shirt is paired with traditional white shorts and navy socks.  The history of Scotland's clash kits is that there is no history!  Everything from yellow to white to purple to green to light blue to red to salmon to pink to black has been used by the team, so it was up to me to create something new and unique for them.  I ended up settling on a white shirt with purple accents and a sublimated pattern of thistle taken from the team's logo.  Purple shorts and white socks complete the look, and I gotta say, it's a pretty clean look!  Adidas remains as the manufacturer, and the names that I included and didn't know before doing this series are those of Darren Fletcher of WBA and Alan Hutton of Villa.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the long delay, everyone!  Classes got busy real fast, and I haven't had a chance to post for a week and a half.  I wish I could've given you warning ahead of time, but the past is in the past, and I'm so close to being done with this series!  I'm going back to my regular schedule of "two teams a day", and with eight countries remaining, this'll all be over by Thursday!  With that said, let's pick things up where they left off!

 

SLOVENIA

It always seems that there's always one or two Balkan countries in every World Cup, and who am I to discontinue that streak?  Bulgaria was the first Balkan, and now Slovenia is the second!  Yes, it seems weird to have Slovenia over traditional powerhouses like Croatia, Serbia, etc.  But here's my reasoning - they have cool colors.  My series, my rules!  The identity of the team is unsatisfactory at the moment, so I went and gave them a huge overhaul.  The logo is completely different - the weird circle cross is gone.  In its place is something based more on the country's coat of arms.  A blue-and-white shield has a light-blue-and-blue mountain pattern (based off the mountains in the coat of arms), the initials of the federation, three six-pointed stars (also from the coat of arms), and the country's name in Slovenian.  The removal of red for light blue was intentional - I know that tradition says that RWB is the clean look for Slovenia, but I'm tired of Eastern European teams using red, white, and blue, so I elected to add the light blue they've been using as of late.  I also used a lowecase font to give them this modern look which the team has embraced as of late.  Speaking of modern, the jerseys are very, very, VERY unconventional, so I hope you like modern looks!  The home kit is the simpler of the two - a mountain center stripe in blue and light blue that surrounds the front number is the defining feature on a white shirt.  This is paired with blue shorts and white socks.  The clash kit is the real doozy here.  Green is the dominant color, being the main color of the jersey and shorts and being brought back from previous Slovenia kits.  The accents for the green are light blue.  The sleeves are the real crazy part though.  A zig-zag mountain pattern in a light green and light blue gradient is a hell of an eyesore, but I'm very proud of it.  Oh yeah, it's on the socks too!  It's a lot harder to see, but the mountain gradient transitions to light blue socks.  Nike is the kit creator, and the names are those of Andraž Kirm and Rene Khrin.

 

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SOUTH AFRICA

Bafana Bafana!  Yes, South Africa is in this series, if only because who else makes it out of their group?  Looking at the collection of South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Cape Verde, I decided that South Africa was most likely to make it out.  And it's worked out well so far!  Being tied for first is pretty good!  Ignore that they're tied with a different team than I expected (Burkina Faso instead of Senegal), but not bad!  Good thing about this is that I get to give them a new logo!  Hallelujah!  I took inspiration from the secondary logo that's on their kits along with the normal logo.  A king protea, the national flower of South Africa, is centered around curved text ("Republic of South Africa" and "Bafana Bafana").  The coloration is a little weird, so lemme break this down.  On white, the order of colors on the flower from top to bottom is yellow, light green, and dark green; on yellow, the top becomes white; on light green, white is on top and yellow in the middle; on dark green, it's the same as light green but with light green on the bottom instead of dark green.  Simple enough, right?  The kits follow a tried-and-true RSA tactic: yellow and green!   I went with a lighter green to distinguish themselves from 1) Australia and 2) the rest of RSA's national teams.  The home kit is traditional yellow/green/yellow, and the clash is the reverse.  The only thing worth noting is the center stripe.  It's a Zulu pattern!  Just a little fun something that Bafana Bafana could really adapt as their own thing.  Nike stays on as kit manufacturer, and the names are those of Sibusiso Vilakazi and Mandla Masango. 

 

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Thanks everyone!  Rolling along with two more teams today!

 

SOUTH KOREA

One of Asia's most successful teams would have to be South Korea.  They've been in the top 3 in 10 of the 16 Asian Cups and have qualified for eight straight World Cups, including a 4th place finish when they hosted it with Japan in 2002.  So it was an easy decision to include them in this series.  I had them finishing second in their group behind Iran, and so far so good!  Victories against Uzbekistan, Qatar, and China, along with a tie to Syria and a loss to Iran, have them sitting comfortably in second place, and I'm confident they can hold that course.  For designs, there's not much to say.  The logo stays the same, as it's a good look and doesn't need any big fixes.  The home kit has a red shirt (a darker red than normal) with sublimated angled stripes, paired with white shorts and red socks.  The clash is an all-blue kit with sublimated tiger stripes on the sleeves.  The only other thing worth noting is the interesting NOB system I created.  The family name is the main focus, with the given name in a smaller size.  Nike stay on board as the kit manufacturer, and the players are Son Heung-min and Hwang Ui-jo.

 

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