We caught up with illustrator Angelo Trofa to discuss all the great things happening right now in football design and style. Oh, and the killer Eight by Eight kit below!
Born and raised in Bletchley, England to an Italian family, Angelo Trofa discovered two great loves as a child: football and design. In his creative work, Trofa brings his passions together, creating innovative football kit designs and artwork. We caught up with Angelo to talk the future of football design, his favorite club, and the incredible Eight by Eight shirt that he designed with us in mind.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer and illustrator?
As far as I can remember I have always drawn characters, superheroes and football kits. I was always fascinated by the idea of drawing something which then gets made. Luckily my uncle runs a local design company, so from the age of 14 I was exposed/ working in a design environment, which gave me a great understanding of the professional world from a young age.
I love to draw, but I also love to design: logo’s, patterns and magazines, I don’t think I’d like to be more one than the other. Instead I try to combine the two on anything that I work on.
How were you introduced to football? Is there a club that you support?
Growing up in an Italian community football is everywhere, I think I knew who Maradona and Baggio were before I could walk. But I didn’t really get into it passionately till quite late – 9 years old (ancient compared to some of my peers) 1998 World Cup, haven’t looked back since.
The team I’ve supported since then was Inter Milan, everyone I knew was either a Juve or Milan fan…I guess it was the Pirelli logo that did it.
How does your interest in football translate to your work? Why kit design?
I was always intrigued by superhero costume”s, and I loved the way so many Batman action figures came with alternative ‘suits.’ I like to look at the football kit as something very similar, players and kits become immortalised depending on victories or defeats and whether they look good or bad. I like how it moves and how it means so much to fans.
Football has a very tribal nature to it, so the jersey becomes a powerful symbol to show your love for the team’s colours – and yet it houses so many company logo’s and changes season to season. Plus what could be a better compliment than to walk into a stadium and see so many fans wearing a design you have created?
Do you agree with the direction modern kit design is heading in? Would you change anything?
Personally I feel we are living in a great time for kit design, we are seeing a fusion of the past mixed in with the modern performance technology and fit. As opposed to what we saw in the experimental 1990’s. I guess I’d love to see a break in the monopoly of Nike and Adidas, just so that we see more diversity in template’s released every season.
Are the major brands doing enough to push the boundaries of what the modern football kit should be, in a design sense?
Yes, mostly. Nike nbso online casino reviews have annoyed a few supporters groups by changing the traditions of the club home colours, Inter last season and Barça this year. So you can see that they are trying to switch it up somewhat. Lazio’s homage to the past by Macron last season, and West Ham’s this season are both sumptuous.
With so many kits and designs coming out every year its amazing to see how the brands try to distinguish between one year and the next. It’s been interesting to see how the uniform is evolving too with shirts getting tighter and layers being added here and there.
Earlier this year you designed a concept Bolivian national team kit inspired by the Whiphala flag, which represents the indigenous population of Bolivia. The project received significant backlash. Can you tell us why it was such a contentious design?
Whilst traveling in Bolivia earlier this year, I was intrigued by the double identity the country has. On one side you have the indigenous population which account for more than 50% and on the other, the “white Spanish” Bolivians. The 2009 election of Evo Morales gave more power back to the Indigenous people, and even saw the colourful Whipala flag elevated to co-flag for the nation. It’s a pretty soft spot for many who refuse to identify with a flag which represents the Indigenous population.
I felt the home & away kits were a great way to showcase the two sides of the nation – Home kit = more traditional Bolivia, Away = Indigenous Bolivia. If football can’t bring a country together then nothing can…right? The idea got picked up by local papers, then national papers, then the news and then the primetime political TV show. followed by hundreds of pretty strong worded comments on social media. But also some pretty cool ones too.
Did you expect such a strong reaction?
I knew that I had picked a touchy subject, but the internet is a crazy and unpredictable world. There’s no way I thought I’d end up called onto national TV!
Bias aside, the design of your Eight by Eight kit is incredible. Can you walk us through the process of designing it? What was your vision?
The magazine has a pretty loud layout, but at the same time is so slick and well designed I felt it would be wrong to go down a floral or neon pink route. I liked the lines used within the logo,hence the pinstripes, but it needed an edge so the halved design with accents of red were added for spice. I wanted an eye-catching distinctive understated but at the same time loud design, which also looked slick but could also be considered classic. I hope I achieved that
The creative scene in world football is growing rapidly. What are your dreams for the future? What do you hope to accomplish?
I just hope to be a part of it, if I can be a designer plying my trade in the football design world that would be amazing. A World Cup winning football strip design wouldn’t be bad either.