Uniform Concept – Georgia Tech football

Uniform Concept – Georgia Tech football

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m a huge Georgia Tech fan. And as I stated in my 2011 college football uniform updates post, I am not a huge fan of Georgia Tech’s football uniforms. I’ve always seen uniform concepts presented online in that Nike Pro Combat style using these great uniform templates (thanks to the super-talented Fraser Davidson for creating them), but I’ve never opened one up and played around with it, mostly due to lack of free time. I’m a graphic designer by profession, so I thought I’d finally sit down and give it a shot.

First, a little Georgia Tech uniform history, because all good design is informed by what came before it. If you just want to see my design, jump to the bottom.

For years, Georgia Tech had very traditional uniforms. They’ve worn white, gold, and navy blue tops (and even black for a little bit) and always had gold helmets with the exception of a few years in the late 60s/early 70s when they wore white.

Once the arm stripes you see in the pictures below were established, they stuck around for a while. One thing you’ll notice below is the thing Georgia Tech (and their fans) can’t seem to get straight – the shade of gold.

Russell is Georgia Tech’s uniform supplier, and GT is the only BCS conference school that uses Russell. I believe the founder of the company is a Georgia Tech grad or something… Once Paul Johnson was hired for the 2008 season, Russell ditched the traditional uniforms, and this is where things went bad.

That first year, they tried to go back to Tech’s official “old gold,” but I’m not sure which shade they were going for… it looks like a blend of the school’s official “gold” and its official “metalic gold.” And they did so in a matte finish, which doesn’t tend to work so well for gold, so it came out looking like mustard.

The next year, they went back to the lighter “Vegas gold” the team had used in the Chan Gailey years. It’s not Tech’s official color, but it looked much nicer. Then in 2010 the uniforms changed, and I actually really liked those ones. This year, they’ve gone back to the previous design with all Vegas gold, including the numbers. There were actually so many complaints about seeing the gold numbers from far away that they’re getting a new set tomorrow for the rest of the home games.

One thing Tech did bring back when Paul Johnson came aboard that I do like is wearing white at home. Getting gold jerseys to match gold helmets is tough, and Tech’s white jerseys generally look better.

So when I sat down to design what I wish Georgia Tech actually wore every week, the first problem I had to solve was the shade of gold. I used the most logical approach I could come up with, and that was to use the school’s official Pantone color – Pantone 874. The Vegas gold can look nice, especially when it’s more metallic like in the Chan Gailey years, but it’s not the school’s official color. Using this darker gold would set Tech apart from other, lighter gold teams like Vanderbilt, Purdue, and Colorado. And Georgia Tech wouldn’t look like mustard bottles or, as Paul Johnson said when he got to Tech, “french fries.”

As far as design, I wanted to come up with a modern update to what Tech had worn for years before Russell abandoned it all. I always thought the sleeve stripes on the old jerseys were a little boring, and the two stripes were too far apart. But Tech had used them for years, so I didn’t want to abandon them – just refresh them.

I wanted to make sure to keep the main school colors, old gold and white, prominent while using the third, navy blue, as an accent. I came up with three sets: 1) an all-white away jersey, 2) a white home jersey, and 3) a gold alternate. Click the image below to see the full size.

With the away jersey being all white, using navy blue numbers made gold very tertiary, so I used gold numbers. Even though that’s creating problems now, they worked in the 90s when the gold was darker, and this gold’s even darker than that. And I gave them a thicker stroke than the other jerseys’ numbers. With gold being plenty prominent in the home version, I used navy blue numbers, but made “Georgia Tech” gold to keep more gold on the jersey.

One thing I knew I had to do was something like the throwbacks Tech wore a few years ago that pretty much every fan loved, myself included. The one thing I didn’t love was the mustardy gold. Keeping the same gold here makes them Tech’s third uniform in a matching set. And it becomes necessary about once a year when a visiting team chooses to decline Tech’s request to have them bring their dark jerseys.

I believe simpler is better in most design, so I simplified a lot of little things. The collar on Tech’s old jerseys was a little too busy – there were 5 colored lines on them. I made it a simple navy collar and added the mascot, Buzz, who hasn’t been present on the uniforms previously.

The arm stripes I mentioned were way too far apart, so I brought them closer together and cut the top stripe off on the outside of the shoulder pad since jerseys rarely have much sleeve to them nowadays anyway. And I think that gives it a more modern look than simple lines all the way around the sleeve.

Another thing I simplified was the pants stripes. Again, the old version had 5 stripes. I brought it down to 2 (3 if you count the thin, pants-colored line between them) and gave them a little updated feel, kind of merging the old pants stripes with the current, stinger-like ones.

I also changed “Yellow Jackets” to “Georgia Tech” across the chest on all uniforms simply because I like that better. And I used a bolder font than what is used now, which is also more similar to the lettering of the GT logo.


So there you have it. I wrote a lot more than I anticipated, but it’s because this was a lot of fun. Whenever I have the time, I’ll try some other schools, and I’ll do the same for basketball come hoops season.

What do you think? Do you work for Russell? Can I send you these files? Please?

52 Responses to “Uniform Concept – Georgia Tech football”

  1. Jeremy
    September 16th, 2011 at 12:00 pm


    Good stuff. This post caught my attention because, yes, indeed there are 2 issues with GT uniforms and colors, the first is that their official school colors are Old Gold and White, which of course is why so many old boosters, etc., get mad when they put too much blue or god-forbid black in the unis. The second is that the mascot/logo of Buzz has his own official gold color, which if I remember correctly from my 3 years as an assistant SID at GT, was Pantone 124. Another issue that has caused the mustard coloring, etc., is that the 124, which they prefer as a color comes out mustard when used as a fabric color, which is why you see the 874/Vegas Gold used more. The white helmets they have worn look awesome and like you have in yours, would work here. The players love to wear the Blue unis, but the alumni raise hades when they do so that’s always an issue. Finally the biggest issue is that Russell produces their uniforms, they make great baseball unis and sweatshirts, but not football unis, of course, not much you can do about that.

    Anyway, love the blog, great observations, just wanted to share what little insight I had on this topic. Keep up the good work.

  2. The Sports Design Blog
    September 16th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for the inside info, Jeremy!

  3. David Spalinger
    September 16th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I will have to say that these look absolutely awesome. A good modern look with the classic style left in tact. Russell, are you paying attention? This is how a uni combo is supposed to look. Great job Steven!

  4. GT_Jason
    September 16th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    This is great work! Last season the basketball uniforms did a beautiful a throwback. All white fabric with metallic #874 old gold lettering and simple stripes. I’m sure you saw them. We played UNC. I’ve always thought Russell could do a special uni for a big game (Nike does ProCombat, Adidas does an equivalent of that, UA does…um…Maryland) BUT they could do it based on this clean, simple scheme.

    Here’s what I’m suggesting: A matte-finish white helmet (no stripe or maybe a very thin single old gold stripe) with a metallic #874 Old Gold GT with the thinnest dark pinstripe liner needed to make the logo pop. White facemask. The rest of the uniform would be all-white with Old Gold stripes similar to yours. All the stripes would be matching. Collar, sleeve, leg and optional helmet stripe would all be just a thin stripe in metallic #874. Chest logo would be simple collegiate block lettering “TECH” like the basketball uni’s were. For style, do Old Gold laces on white shoes. Maybe Old Gold palms on white gloves.

    You have skills, and I’d love to see this mocked up if you like the basketball throwback as much as I did and think it could transfer to a football uniform. It was just striking and traditional, in my opinion.

  5. Lex Williams
    September 17th, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Steven, I really like you designs, I hate the Russell uniforms and have appealed to Drad and Wayne Hogan (Assoc. AD in charge of Public Relations). To my surprise Wayne Hogan asked to meet me and give my grievances a hearing. I thought you might be interested in what we talked about…..

    I had my meeting with Wayne Hogan yesterday. We met in his office and he spent about an hour with me. He told me about his background and a little about Drad’s background, then launched into all the trials and tribulations of marketing Georgia Tech football. He spoke at length about the uniqueness of Georgia Tech’s fan base, location, market competition and student body. He went into detail about their marketing methods, surveys they’ve taken and the results, complaints they’re getting, how they’re responding or not responding. Then I shared with him my thoughts and concerns. /he was very nice and cordial as you said he would be and I liked him. These are some of the topics we covered…..

    Game experience…I told him that I was very distracted by the blaring speakers, the rap/hip hop music, the tv commercials and the corny audience participation games that are played between every play on the field. I told him that it was an assault on my senses and that most of the time I couldn’t even discuss the game with the folks around me. I told him that I had stopped going to Braves and Falcon games for the same format that Tech seems to be copying from them.

    Wayne told me that a lot of the music etc. had been added to keep the kid’s (students) connected because of their short attention spans (sounded like an odd thing to say about engineering students). He said that he had told the scoreboard operators to turn the volume down and they had cut back on some of the ‘stuff’ between plays. He said they would continue to play rap/hip hop during pre-game warm-ups because the players liked it

    Uniforms…I told him that I absolutely hated the uniforms and I hated the fact that they changed them every year. I said to me they don’t even look like football uniforms, that they look like halloween costumes. I told him that I could not make the identity connection because the Russell styles were so different. For me I have an emotional attachment to the Tech uniforms and they had destroyed that tie that bined.

    Wayne surprised me at this point. I could tell that he doesn’t like the new styles either. He did make a feeble defense saying that’s what kid’s like these days and to compete with other schools in recruiting the coach’s wanted new styles and the kid’s picked schools based on what the uniforms looked like. I countered that Alabama, LSU, Auburn, USC, Florida and yes UGA didn’t seem to have a problem recruiting and wearing traditional uniforms. As I said I think he agrees that the uni’s are lousy, but it was obvious he had no input into uniform styles

    Tech Gear/Apparel…..I asked him why it was so difficult to find Tech apparel and why Tech had allowed UGA to completely dominate that market. Again he agreed with me that Tech needs to do a better job of product licensing and broader distribution of the Tech brand. But he told me that GTAA had absolutely no authority to grant licensing to use the GT logo, that was controlled by the ‘Institute’ and those few people that had control was very restrictive who they gave it to.

    We discussed other things but this e-mail is already too long. He was very gracious and told me to call him or e-mail him anytime I had concerns. I told him that I wanted to be part of the solution and not the problem. So now you know the rest of the story…

  6. Hector Alejandro
    September 17th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    All I care about is the stinger on the pants. I love the subtle stinger!

  7. The Sports Design Blog
    September 18th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks everyone.

    Jason, i LOVED those basketball throwbacks Russell did. I had planned on including them as an alternate whenever I get around to doing a basketball concept. It would be interesting to see them adapted to football, though, so I may give it a try. Thanks.

    Lex, thanks for the info. That’s great that they met with you. Maybe Wayne would let me design some new uniforms!

  8. Lex Williams
    September 22nd, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I’ll send Wayne you blog site and uniform designs and tell him ‘That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Use these!

  9. john taylor
    November 17th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Steven, these designs are awesome!!!!! Simple, clean yet modern. I hate Tech’s current uniforms. I don’t buy the argument that the current uniforms appeal to the “kids’. Ugly is ugly and people no matter their age can see that.

    Can’t agree with you more about deciding on what shade of gold to use. I like your choice.

    Well done, let’s hope we can get Russel and the school to do something like these.

  10. January 9th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    [...] read my blog, The Sports Design Blog, you know I’m a huge Georgia Tech fan. I recently designed a Georgia Tech football uniform concept, so now I am moving on to design a Georgia Tech  basketball uniform as [...]

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    [...] last football uniform concept was an attempt to bring back and update elements of the past from a set of uniforms that I missed [...]

  12. Ozum
    February 3rd, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I really liked the all white one and the white top and metallic yellow bottom one. I wish we can make them listen to us.. But CPJ said that he doesn’t care about the uniforms and he leaves that to the players..

  13. Rand
    February 4th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I like all three of your designs. I like the Pantone 874 because it is different from other golds typically used for football uniforms. Have you discussed your designs with Russell, the Tech administration, or Tech’s athletic association? If you have, what were their opinions of your designs?

  14. The Sports Design Blog
    February 4th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks, Rand. No, I haven’t sent them at anyone at GT or Russell. I’ve tweeted them to a couple people at GT just to have them see, but haven’t pursued actually talking to anyone about it. That would be awesome, though!

  15. Todd
    April 9th, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I loved these uniforms. Also how did you make these designs online??

  16. The Sports Design Blog
    April 10th, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Thanks, Todd. I used these great Photoshop templates by Fraser Davidson:

  17. Peyton
    April 18th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I think that these designs are awesome! I hope to see these jerseys in action soon.

  18. Lee
    May 11th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    A friend on a message board sent this to the GTAA, this is great stuff, I wish they would consider using these designs, they would make everyone happy I think.

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    May 25th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Very nice site!

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  21. John
    July 27th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    GT and Under Armour would be a great fit for both sides.. Who the heck wears Russell? I’ve read that Russell is a GT alumni or something to that effect..
    Maybe that is the reason.. UA gear would substantially increase sales to the GTAA. Provide better designs, including modern look to all team uniforms..

    In turn it would be a great, great fit for UA to be in the Atlanta market with all the youth sports programs around the city.

  22. Dave F.
    August 1st, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    The more recent unis are AWFUL. All the piping and the bib-effect as a result – simply horrific. Go back to the throwback from the UVA-GT ESPN game a few years back….and IMO, GT needs to feature a blue jersey. I know the loyal GT fans might say “blue isn’t a main color” but there is no better combo in sports than a blue-gold combo.

  23. Pharmg139
    August 6th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

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  24. Burleske
    August 20th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I’ve been to 4 games with John over the years some great ones! And I’ll be joining him on his epic jorueny a couple oftimes to catch some more games! Cal at Oregon, Oct. 6 andVirg. Tech at Georgia Tech, Nov. 10. Woo hoo!

  25. Nick
    October 25th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I just made a concept. What do you think?
    In my opinion the gold needs to be more rich because the lights tend to wash out the unis. We need colors vibrant enough to compensate…

  26. Nick
  27. Nick
  28. Craig
    August 27th, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Just wanted to resurrect this post…..these uniform designs are amazing and need to happen.

  29. Brody Martin 13 years of age
    November 16th, 2013 at 3:22 am

    I really like the old look to them. I really like the gold jerseys with the white pants and the two stripes on the shoulder pads really do make the uniforms pop

  30. Brody Martin 13 years of age
    November 16th, 2013 at 3:25 am

    I think we should have an old look like all blue jersey with white letters and gold pants without the stripe son the side

  31. Brody Martin 13 years of age
    November 16th, 2013 at 3:26 am

    I think Addidas or nike could make us some cool uniforms

  32. Thomas
    November 23rd, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I agree with Craig. Tech needs these uniforms.

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