Football kit templates are much maligned – unfairly in my view – as a lazy way to supply teams with kits. Whether the side is sponsored by a major brand or merely using a teamwear outfit, templates have always been around and they’re here to stay, especially with the average lifespan for a kit being a single season making totally unique designs for every club almost impossible
Its important though that, especially when it comes to teamwear, that the template designs keep moving forward. Nothing infuriates me more than a side adopting a design thats 2 or 3 seasons old purely for the sake of changing the strip.
The best templates allow for little tweaks here and there to make the designs a little more unique. It might be including non-contrasting collar and cuffs or simply revising slightly another design element.
After a mediocre 10-11 season kit-wise 11-12 is shaping up to be a cracker and some great templates are leading the way.
I realise this may be a controversial choice, but for me the latest Puma template as employed by their lower league sides is one of the greatest kit templates ever. Gushing words perhaps? After all it has attracted criticism by being worn by virtually every lower league and Scottish club on Puma’s roster. But its just a great design – simple, classic, flexible and, most importantly, it allows a combination or 2 or 3 colours to be incorporated into a kit without impinging on the overall integrity of the clubs identity by inserting unnecessary large panels of colour willy nilly. Puma’s branding is strong, without being overpowering and it could be said that it provides an almost anonymous design that is both practical and effective and provides a solid foundation for the club’s brand/tradition and primary sponsor logo to stand out.
With hints of the 70s and 80s all squeezed together its a functional kit template that just screams football.
Shirt variations include V-neck or collar, dual colour or single colour shoulder trim which can be applied on both sides or asymmetrically – it even can handle contrasting sleeves, hoops, stripes or in Motherwell’s case a chest panel without breaking swear. There’s even the odd shadow badge design in there too!
There are two types of shorts (although some Scottish clubs have opted for plain pairs) and two designs of socks, one with a single band and one with two.
There are a few anomalies, for example Crawley Town have decided to pair the shirt with last season’s Puma shorts and there some very slight variations on the template (such as Cardiff’s questionable third kit and the ‘training kit’ style third kits worn by Stevenage and Crawley that feature broaded trim down each sleeve) but on the whole the design options are consistent throughout the range.
I’ve illustrated what I hope is the entire English and Scottish renditions of this great template (let me know if I’ve missed any!). It may take a while to load, click on the image to view at a larger size.
Top row, l-r, Burnley home, Burnley away, Cardiff home, Cardiff away, Colchester away, Partick Thistle away
Second row, l-r: Leyton Orient home, Leyton Orient away, Reading home, Reading away, Stevenage home, Dunfermline away
Third row, l-r: Preston home, Preston away, Rotherham home, Rotherham away, Hibernian away, Hibernian third
Fourth row, l-r: Crawley home, Crawley away, Sheffield Wednesday home, Sheffield Wednesday away, Dundee home, Dundee away
Fifth row, l-r: Stirling Albion home, Motherwell home, Motherwell away, Raith Rovers home, Raith Rovers away, Morecambe home
Sixth row, l-r: Greenock Morton home, Greenock Morton away