Creative Soccer Culture

The Best Nike 'Futura Logo' Football Shirts From Yesteryear

Riding a wave of nostalgia to return to the football replica scene, the Nike 'Futura' logo is back. The Swoosh have dished out 90s magic across the 19/20 third shirts of their leading European clubs this season and that move has left fans hungry for more. Chelsea, Spurs and Inter Milan have already unveiled their designs, and ahead of the next batch of releases we're taking a look back at some original Futura fire.

The Futura logo – which was was created by the graphic design student Carolyn Davidson and sold to Phil Knight and Bill Bowman for just $35 – was a 90s icon in the replica game between 94 & 98 and whilst for the last couple of decades it has been lent to Nike Sportswear products, the Swoosh have brought it back to a jersey market which is embracing a throwback trend right now. It's not just the Futura logo that has been clawed out of the archives, a number of these statement 90s kits with their oversized graphics and experimental patterns have served as inspiration for this new modern-retro market. Here, we take a look back at some our favourite shirts to feature that logo.


Whilst the Futura logo is very much a 90s throwback, the first appearance it made on a football shirt was actually back in 1978 when Nike’s original football division signed the Portland professional team to an equipment deal (the jersey shown here is from the 1979 season). The Futura stamp was placed on the sleeve. Is it one our favourite Futura shirts? No. But a bit of back story doesn't hurt. Let's skip a couple of decades to the good stuff, shall we?


The only Premier League club to feature the Futura logo was Arsenal. The home shirt for the 1995/96 season was a simplistic design but it was all about that graphic away shirt which is still to this day known as one of the greatest Arsenal shirts of all time. The home shirt was almost too safe to be given the Futura stamp of approval, but the away shirt certainly justified its presence.


To our surprise the new 2019/20 Chelsea third shirt actually received quite a bit of backlash aimed at the return of the statement collar design. For us it was a tribute to one of the best football jerseys of all time: the Borussia Dortmund 1994/95 shirt. We'll put the backlash down to the critics being too young to be swept up by the 90s nostalgia but you could never accuse the Nike designers for BVB in the early 90s of being boring. A beautiful era of shirt design typified by the German giants.


Gone are the days of PSG needing to flog every available shirt space to sponsors. Yes, those sponsors do add to the allure of the era, but strip them off and you're left with a 1994/95 design that rivals the Borussia Dortmund shirt for the best Futura design. that collar, those stars, that PSG crest. Perfection. Now you're keen to see the 2019/20 PSG shirt aren't you? Not long to wait.


Naturally this was always going to be an iconic PSV Eindhoven shirt thanks to the unstoppable Ronaldo. You can bet that at any point in the 90s if Nike were doing anything iconic then R9 wouldn't be too far away from it. The PSV 1995/96 home and away shirts with their little checkered collars definitely deserve a place on this list.


The Futura logo wasn't just restricted to club football, as Nike's sporadic approach to dishing it out ventured onto Nigeria's 1994 home shirt and Italy's official training wear for the 1996 European Championships in England. The collar and sleeve combo decorated with the Italian flag was an absolute winner.


Nike have clearly and successfully executed a strong 90s vibe for 2019/20 and built upon a streetwear scene embracing the retro feels right now. Kits have been inspired by streetwear for the past fews seasons and the transition of the Futura logo from Nike Sportswear to Nike Football has been a few seasons in the making, it's the next and natural step of a streetwear-influenced-football market.

The Swoosh aren't alone though; the 2019/20 season has seen brands almost work together to complement one another with a 90s vibe. Umbro and adidas have dropped numerous throwback designs, probably best defined by Umbro's work with West Ham and the adidas Arsenal home, away and third kits. It's a market shaped by streetwear and you know what? We love to see it.


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