Editor’s Note: This post was written by professional graphic design artist and Atlanta United season ticket holder Larry Luk. Larry is a principle at Sons & Sons agency in Atlanta and oversees branding, content creation, and marketing strategy. He’s graduate of both Emory University and Portfolio Center, and currently sits on the design faculty at Portfolio Center. Larry describes himself as a sneakerhead, trend aficionado, and 100% ATLien. Larry also hosts Way Down South Radio — a podcast exploring the intersection of sports and design in the southeast. Follow him on Twitter @larryluk.
The new ATL UTD primary kit just launched with very few surprises to most. Many of us roughly knew what was to be revealed at the official kit reveal event because we’ve all either seen an artist rendering on social media, had a friend text us a leaked image off of an Adidas server, or straight up overheard a passionate conversation between founding members. Before you get those angry Twitter fingers fired up, perhaps some perspective would help? Here are five things to keep in mind before blasting off some angry tweets.
1. Respect the Lead Time
As is often the case with athletic wear, fashion, and other consumer goods there is an 18 month lead time from final design sign-off to the products being available in stores. As much as we all want the team and adidas to listen to our thoughts, they just can’t do it fast enough. So whatever the vibe was at adidas and the team’s front office 18 months ago — that’s what we’re finally seeing now. Hey, a black kit is forgiving to many of us who aren’t built like Miles Robinson. Remember 2 years ago when everyone was mad that the new primary kit didn’t have 5 stripes like the OG? Well, you get what you ask for. We have 5 stripes — albeit 5 thin boys — they’re still 5 stripes. They listened to us. Sorta.
2) Never Judge a Replica
Why is it that 99% of kit leaks are of replicas? I really wish an authentic kit would leak for once. Replicas don’t tell the whole story. There are so many small details and embellishments that an authentic has that a replica doesn’t do justice, especially when it comes to seeing the kit on field, on a player. The kit Josef Martinez wears can bear sponsor patches, league patches, collar details, cuff details, jock tag details, player customization, and most importantly, a championship star that a plain replica never does justice. Yet, folks always get real mad before taking this into account.
3) Fan Concepts Gotta Stop
I know all y’all love to get on your Photoshop and start mocking up ideas for “better” uniforms. But, please stop. There are league mandates, sponsor mandates, and BASIC design principles that most professional designers employ when working on the IRL kits. Y’all just willy nilly draw your Deadpool-inspired-combination-golden-spike-five-stripe-sash-blackout kit concepts and they really gotta stop. Please. My eyeballs cannot. I do not care if your 3 friends retweeted you saying “This is so much better”. It is not. And if your concept was real I promise it wouldn’t sell like ATL UTD kits sell. Which leads me to my next point.
4) We Have Options
Atlanta United was the only MLS team that sold enough kits to qualify our squad for a 3rd kit this season. We put up big numbers and we’re getting another option for something to spend our hard earned money on. Get excited! We win again! Also, I have a weird theory that the folks at the club know how much our college football teams mean to us in this part of the country, so they give us regional college football colored kits masquerading under other themes. King Peach = Tennessee Volunteers. King’s Kit = Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Whatever this new kit is called = Florida Seminoles.
5) Nothing is forever
Guess what. These kits aren’t permanent. If you’re not happy with the new kits, they’ll be gone in 2 years. Take a deep breath and save that energy for something productive, like trolling the OCFC comments.
What are your thoughts on the new kit?