Earlier this season, the NFL debuted its new “Color Rush” uniforms for select teams playing on Thursday nights. Basically, these uniforms are one of the team’s two colors, with minimal accents on the shoulder and side seams. Sorry, did I say basically? Because that’s actually all they are. Literally. Just one solid color. The fact that someone actually got paid to design these “uniforms” this is good news for a lot of people: if that’s all it takes to design for the NFL, then anyone can be a designer! I hope you pick up on the sarcasm in this. If you know me well, then you probably know that one of my dreams is to design for the NFL. That’s the main reason I’m so interested in and upset about the color rush fiasco. With all the talented designers that Nike (who designed the uniforms) has, I really think they could have come up with something much more creative. What about a new twist on throwback uniforms? Or a holographic camo print to honor the military? Or an all over design that incorporates the team symbol? Those all seem more original than just one solid color.
On a more serious note, the NFL and Nike have received complaints from color blind fans – the color rush uniforms make it nearly impossible for them to tell the teams apart, especially when the Bills and Jets played a couple weeks ago (see below). This is a great example of the lure of profit standing in the way of careful, creative and well-thought-through design. Hopefully Nike does a better job the next time they create specialized uniforms for the NFL. In the mean time, go Colts! (Who, thankfully, will not be wearing color rush uniforms this season).