2019/20 third shirt by Umbro – First impressions

The new Umbro third kit was released on Tuesday 13th August, and said to be a homage to the ‘iconic colours of Boothferry Park’, a tagline that had us scratching our heads for a little while. The HCK Kitgeeks are here to ponder the deep meaning of the ‘Deep Lagoon’ colourway…

SombreEthyl: There was an interesting piece on The Guardian’s Sportblog recently, (Modern football kits are stretching credibility – they’re not worth the ballyhoo), and in it, Simon Burnton made clear his disdain for ‘credibility-testing explanations’ in kit launch text.

I chortled in recognition when he rightfully ridiculed Puma’s assertion that the new Manchester City third kit is yellow and peach to “embody the modernity of the club and its mission to play attractive, technically skilled and attacking football”, but it was the line “Gone, it seems, are the days when it was enough for a new kit to look good, or just a bit different.” that got me thinking.

Sure, we want a kit to look good, but we also want some thought put into it right? No matter how lovely the colour of a new third shirt is, you’d rather know that there was some club themed inspiration behind it than to think someone threw a dart at the Pantone Colour Institute’s latest brochure and therefore ‘Terrarium Moss’ it is.

As if to demonstrate the point, Umbro have released the 2019/20 third kit with a limited explanation of why the main colour is Pantone 19-4540 TCX…

‘Iconic colours of Boothferry Park’ said Umbro UK’s Tweet, posted just after 9am, accompanied by an image of a brooding Jordi de Wijs hanging out in one of the KCOM Stadium’s access tunnels wearing a smart looking shirt that was largely teal.

The Club’s official website gave away a little more: “The bespoke design pays homage to the iconic colours of sections of our former home, Boothferry Park – with the dug-outs and seats housing similar colours to what features on this contemporary third kit.”

Now I don’t recall seeing teal tones on dug-outs and seats in my near twenty years of attending Boothferry Park, but there was something familiar about it, and after a bit of brain racking I remembered the wooden hut at the back of the South Stand which sold tickets to the seating section of ‘Bunkers Hill’.

Though the hut was mostly painted amber and black, when the panel that covered the customer service windows on non-matchdays was dropped down, it revealed teal sections, perhaps the shed’s original colour.

Could the shed be considered iconic? Yes, because it was photographed and exhibited by Stuart Roy Clarke in his wonderful ‘Homes of Football’ collection, which was displayed at the National Football Museum in Manchester, the base of Umbro.

I frankly love this. I passed that hut every home game for years, never using it as I preferred the terrace steps of the South Stand, and when it reopened, Kempton. Using that as inspiration is all good with me, even if it did take me a while to make the connection.

As has become the norm this season, only the shirts were revealed, modelled in various poses by Reece Burke, Dan Batty, Robbie McKenzie and the aforementioned de Wijs.

The shirt has a simple V neckline that is complemented by amber panel that gives the illusion of a thin polo collar from distance. The amber is replicated on the sleeve cuffs and is a lighter shade of amber than what appears on the club crest, suggesting that tone has been extrapolated from the ticket hut photograph too.

There’s no need for a print or pattern woven into the fabric as we have on the primary and change shirts, the deep teal with amber trim is all this shirt needs. The ‘Deep Lagoon’ tone is lovely, a hybrid of blue and green that feels assertive and sophisticated.

We’ve not yet seen the accompanying shorts which are, according to the club’s site piece, rendered in ‘Medieval blue’, a tone akin to navy, and the socks will be a combination of that navy and ‘Deep Lagoon’.

Could the crest have been rendered in two-tone to fit in a little better? Perhaps, but it’s not an issue for me. I think Umbro have given us another lovely kit, and a really strong kitset for 2019/20.

I said I wanted a typically 90s tone and teal is pretty much THE colour of that decade, evidenced by its use by several sports teams in the 1990s, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, the Vancouver Grizzlies of the NBA and the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. The Deep Lagoon tone feels both retro and contemporary.

While I’m in broad agreement with Simon Burnton that some kit launch blurb is eye-rollingly corny, and I feel not every kit needs a narrative, I do appreciate knowing that thought and effort has gone into our third kit, we’ve not just been assigned an on-trend colour on a whim, there is a link to Hull City here. Keep your modernity signalling peach Manchester City, we’re fully immersed in ‘Deep Lagoon’.

@MikeCarterHKR: Umbro have revealed our third and final shirt for the 2019/20 season.

My initial thoughts? Yowie Wowie! This is absolutely wonderful!

You’d be forgiven for not getting the throwback to Boothferry Park, but it’s nice to have a shirt linked to our former home, after Umbro confirmed it’s based on the old South Stand ticket hut through emojis. It’s not something that I remember but I’m sure others will have fond memories.

I find it really interesting when clubs have a shirt which has a connection (to the club) or a story behind it. This fits that bill nicely.

I love the colour combination of teal and amber. They’re not two colours that I would have put together but they work so well. Once again Umbro and Sportpesa have colour coordinated their branding to add an easy on the eye finish. This is something which has become the norm, but complimenting it shouldn’t ever stop. Not every brand or manufacturer would do this like Umbro and Sportpesa.

We have the smallest amount of taping on the shoulder, but it’s enough to put a smile on my face. I asked, and Umbro delivered! (Yeah this had nothing to do with me).

The neckline on the third shirt is my favourite of the three we have this season. The fact it doesn’t flow all the way around doesn’t bother me, which does surprise me considering my quasi-OCD behaviours for things being complete, as it does come to an unnatural stop half way around the front. It could also be the closest we get to a polo collar, as it looks like one from the distance.

The neck and trim both have an amber finish, the usual nod to our primary shirt colour which once again adds a nice finish.

I’m intrigued to know which colour name and number set we’ll use. I would assume it would be white but how good would it look in amber if the EFL make one.

Umbro have delivered well on the whole once again this season, after seeing it in action the away is growing on me and the home beautiful. This third shirt completes the trifecta of shirts but it saddens me that we’ll have to wait almost 12 months to see what else Umbro has up their sleeve for Hull City. It’s certainly going to be tough to improve on in 2020/21, but I’m excited to see them try.

@Adz238: What an absolute shame……..

That we will only wear this a few times this season! Well, I said I wanted a green third choice shirt and teal is close enough, the throwback to the South Stand ticket shed colours is an amazing touch by Umbro , surely any fan must applaud that reasoning even if the shirt isn’t their cup of tea. Knowing we have a supplier that considers our club history and gives us kits that can be called Hull City kits and not just a recoloured template is just phenomenal.

Double-diamond taping on the shoulders is an element I have absolutely loved on the shirts for the last few years, so I’m glad it is back in some form here, and that makes the third shirt unique this season. I’ve said when discussing both the home and away shirts for this season shirts that the Sportpesa wordmark changing font and more importantly colour to complement the shirt has been a massive bonus and it’s a great touch again, making it the same as the trim and supplier logo gives the shirt an integrated, uniform look, I’d like to have seen the crest have a change to match, but isn’t that big a loss.

The navy peony third shirt of a couple of seasons ago is one of my favourite Hull City shirts and this runs it close, certainly one of my favourite third shirts.

Well done Umbro!

 

The new shirt goes on sale Saturday 28 August at Tiger Leisure

The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – episode 8

The Kitgeeks review the 2019/20 Hull City away shirt by Umbro, Mikey tells us his favourite white City shirts and Les takes an in-depth look at the 2010/11 away shirt.

 

2019/20 change shirt by Umbro – First impressions

It’s gonna be all-white! City’s new Umbro change kit that is, though we only saw the shirt in launch images on Tuesday.  The HCK Kitgeeks have had time to beard-stroke and form opinions, so what do they make of it?

 

SombreEthyl: Like a sash wearing ambassador serving Ferrero Rocher to his guests, Umbro are really spoiling us Tiger Nationals, and they’ve nailed it again with the 2019/20 away shirt.

City, in partnership with the double diamond brand, continue to channel the summer of 1992:  contrasting a garish but fun animal print home shirt with a restrained yet sexy, not to mention traditional, white change shirt featuring a Jacquard weave that elevates it beyond the ordinary. You’re not going to top the attention grabbing home shirt, and Umbro have been sensible to not try, instead offering up a minimalist alternative to a ‘challenging’ primary shirt, not everyone can pull off the tiger stripe look after all.

As a traditionalist, you’re halfway towards pleasing me with an away shirt if it’s white, that’s what I instinctively expect City to be wearing if they’re not able to wear amber and black. I accept that you can’t do that year on year in the one-year kit cycle era, so I like that City have established a rotation of all-white (2015/16, 2017/18 and now 2019/20) and all-black change kits (2014/15, 2016/17 and 2018/19) while with Umbro, keeping to the club’s palette for the first two dress options and using the tertiary kit for experimentation..

The details then…  I quite like the neck style, I certainly prefer this inverted triangle inset panel to the odd trapezoid of the home shirt, in fact I wish this collar was on the home shirt too to make it look part of a set, much as Matchwinner’s obliquely cut placket and sleeve arch did in 1992/93. The self-coloured crew necks on the Everton home and Derby County away shirts give them a training shirt look to my sensibilities, that isn’t the case here and it’s because of the contrast black and styling of the collar…

The amber piping separating the set in sleeves from the thin black cuffs on the short sleeved shirts is the only flash of amber aside from that on the crest, but that is absent on the long sleeved version which has just a thicker black cuff. It’s no dealbreaker, but I would like to have had the amber piping on the neck too, lest anyone of a Rugby League persuasion note that the shirt is black and white, like that of our co-tenants at the KCOM Stadium. The choice of having only a sliver of amber trim does make the crest stand out though, maybe that’s a conscious decision since the crest is new.

SportPesa have an updated version of their wordmark on the new season’s kits and it suits being on the chest of a shirt much better than previous iterations, this is a clean and classy looking sans-serif font with no outline, rendered in black, and it complements the shirt well. The shirt blighting vinyl patch on the 2011/12 home is still fresh enough in the memory to ensure that a carefully considered shirt advertisement is noted and praised.

The most striking feature is the Jacquard weave pattern of ‘shattered diamonds’, a motif that shows up on other Umbro jerseys this year, such as the Derby County and 1. FC Nürnberg aways. I think this feature really enhances the shirt, without it there’d be a functional change shirt but little to get excited about. I’m a big fan of Umbro as a brand, they have real heritage and authenticity, and since we regrettably missed out on double diamond kit in their mid 1980s to mid 1990s pomp*, I love seeing Umbro legacy references such as this Jacquard weave.

Only the shirt was shown in the launch images, and it was paired with black track pants, so it’s hard to get a feel for what the full kit will look like, but I like the shirt a lot. I think its understated nature is a strength, not a flaw, and I reject the notion seen a few times on Twitter that we should have replicated the yoke full of tigers stripes from the home on the away. Let’s face it, that wouldn’t make you think ‘Oh, a Siberian Tiger’, you’d think ‘that’s Zebra-esque’. No, the job Umbro have done show’s good taste.

As a guest at the Ambassador’s reception proclaimed… “ECCELENTE!”

*The Museum of Jerseys website encouraged us to daydream about 1980s Umbro Hull City kits, even rendering them as part of the ‘Fantasy Kit Friday’ feature. You can see the classic Umbro templates we went for at http://hullcitykits.co.uk/fantasy-kit-friday-umbro-80s/

@Adz238 Oh I do love playing away……

Fresh, clean and a little different despite white being a familiar change tone for City. We seem to go white/black/white/black these days with the away kit, and I’m not gonna lie, I love a white away kit.

The weave of broken double diamonds in the main shirt body is absolutely amazing but unlike the Derby shirt that looks a little like a training shirt, this really does look good as a match shirt. The amber piping on the sleeves is a great touch, and SportPesa’s new font works really well because of its simplicity. The black text ties with the neck line, cuffs and manufacturer logo.

Now on to that neck line… I’m not a massive fan of it – it’s the only part I’d change, maybe to make it join up in black would have been a better look.

All in all though Umbro have once again given us a belter of a kit, and it’s very fitting that we have a white away shirt to contrast a tiger print home as we did in the early Nineties. A solid 9/10 from me, Umbro take a bow!

Now let’s keep our fingers crossed for another throwback and have a green third kit.

@MikeCarterHKR: As Hull City fans we’re accustomed to having a white alternative shirt, and many of them have been absolutely beautiful, and I think Umbro are doing a great job with kits for Hull City. Unfortunately this one is not among the greatest in my opinion, though I suspect my fellow kit geeks will receive it well.

The shirt features a shattered double diamond Jacquard weave, which you’d be forgiven for not spotting straight away, it’s not obvious on all of the release pictures. This weave appears on a number of new Umbro shirts, it’s a recurring theme in 2019/20, and I can appreciate how it creates a little bit of character for the shirt and ties in very well with the brand, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if it wasn’t there. This is probably the shirt’s most notable feature, so since it doesn’t do anything for me that’s probably why I’m not in love with this shirt.

The sleeve edging is sleek on the short sleeved shirts, thin amber piping meets the black sleeve cuffs and looks a much nicer finish than that on the 2015/16 away shirt, which had alternated colours. I miss the Umbro sleeve taping of the last few years and some Umbro shirts this year, such as Burnley home and Bournemouth third, do have some double diamond imagery on the sleeves, but I do love the simplicity of the cuffs here.

I’m not a fan of the trapezium insert on the neck of the primary shirt and hoped it wasn’t going to be on all of our 2019/20 shirts as it feels over-complicated and cumbersome. To keep the theme of using shape nomenclature going, we have a white isosceles triangle on the away shirt underneath a solid black neckline. I don’t hate this, but I would have quite liked a discreet polo collar, which would have been an additional nod to the 1992/93 change shirt.

As on the home shirt, the SportPesa wordmark is rendered in black. Not all sponsors would be as accommodating as SportPesa have been with City so for that they deserve a tip of the hat, year on year their their branding has looked better on our shirts.

To summarise, this shirt would probably be included in a conversation of best white Hull City away shirts, well if I wasn’t in the discussion! It’s a simple shirt and given the edginess of the home that’s probably what was needed. It gives those who aren’t totally sold on the home shirt a good alternative option. I don’t think it’s got edge to better Umbro’s efforts in 2007/08 and 2017/18 but it is another shirt which has been very well received with me.

The new shirt goes on sale Saturday 20 July at Tiger Leisure

The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – Episode 7

The Kitgeeks review the 2019/20 Hull City home shirt by Umbro. Plus Hull City Ladies reveal their Hope and Glory home shirt, there’s an in depth look at the 2003/04 away kit and the Kitgeeks show off their latest acquisitions.

 

2019/20 primary kit by Umbro – First impressions

Umbro caught everyone by surprise on Friday when they released a primary shirt that riffs on the infamous 1992/93 tiger stripe home. So what do the HCK Kitgeeks make of it?

SombreEthyl: 

Well, it had to happen at some point. In the 27 years since the 1992 Matchwinner home shirt seared itself onto the footballing collective consciousness, it’s gone from ridicule to really cool. Once it topped every ‘worst kit ever’ list, but in the last few years the price of Matchwinner replicas on auction sites has rocketed and there has been a growing clamour to again have tiger stripes on a City shirt. It had become inevitable that a new shirt would reference the original sooner or later.

For my part, I wasn’t keen on revisiting the 1990s. Sure, I love the retro kitsch of the original, but felt that kind of lurid, all over print, belonged in the past. I was OK with using it as a warm up shirt design, but I feel such a tight pattern isn’t really appropriate for a match shirt. The purpose of a match shirt is to clearly distinguish a team from the opponent, to stand out, whereas a tiger’s stripes are a natural camouflage, they help a predator blend in to the background as it stalks prey. On a vertically striped shirt the amber stripes pop, they are easy to pick out, but the tight pattern of tiger stripes blurs together the black and the amber, from a distance the amber is hard to make out.

Umbro have recognised that, and in doing so have changed my mind about having a shirt with tiger stripes to an extent, because this is really good.

Their decision to have just a band of tiger stripes on the upper chest, and to have those stripes clearly defined and spaced out on a field of amber, is brilliant, and what makes this shirt work on every level. There should be no issue of ‘camouflaging’ here, it meets the basic match shirt requirement of distinctiveness in a way the 1992 shirt did not.

I like that the tiger stripe pattern on the shirts is uniform, it looks the same on every shirt, because a football shirt IS a uniform, the asymmetrical striping on the 1992/93 shirts was not a good thing. I’m OK with the stripes ending at the set in sleeves, and although I don’t love the collar, the inset trapezoid panel seems a bit unnecessary, I don’t mind it either.

My preference would have been for a small, black polo collar, but I suspect the window of such collars being used, such as on Manchester United 2013/14, France 2014 and Manchester City 2015/16 primary shirts, has been closed. (There’s a good article about this here… ‘The sunset of polo collar in football fashion’)

As much as having tiger stripes can be so, this is a really tasteful way of referencing both the club nickname and the 1992 home shirt, there’s nothing gaudy about it, and in contrast to the original, it doesn’t feel like a novelty affair. The sympathetic treatment of the sponsor wordmark is worthy of praise too.

The shirt has looked an orange tone in launch photographs, but I wonder if that’s just some over zealous Photoshop colour saturation, I’m hoping so.

It’s fascinating that very little has been made of the shorts and socks, the launch has been all about the shirt. We haven’t yet seen the 2019/20 home ‘kit’. There was an image of the black shorts and another of the amber socks, both seem simple affairs with minimal trim.

I believe Umbro have created a modern classic here. They’ve taken an iconic shirt as inspiration and given it a fresh, modern look that isn’t gaudy and anachronistic in the slightest. I was against a rehash of the 1992 shirt, but I’m not against this, it’s excellent.

We need to talk about the crest aesthetics though… Since it’s release and the seemingly rapturous response to it, something has gnawed away at me but I’ve left it unsaid. We’re all delighted to have the name back on the crest, but I think that delight is making people willing to overlook what’s happened to the tiger.

The great job Umbro have done in spacing the tiger stripes out, so that from afar it’s not a blurry mess is juxtaposed by what the club have done ‘updating’ the tiger head, which is now a blurry mess.

The stripes of the 1970s tiger head needed cleaning up, more definition, and what we have is less. A real tiger does not look like the creature on the new crest, and what the hell happened to the chin? It’s just been shaved off.

Now this can be easily fixed, we don’t need a new crest, it doesn’t need a total overhaul, it just needs looking at again.

@Adz238 So it’s here… the 19/20 home shirt, and I’m loving the throwback tiger print at the top of the shirt. Umbro have managed to do it with a lot of class and not make it to ‘in your face’.

I’m slightly disappointed that there’s no Umbro branding on the sleeves this season, I really liked the double diamond taping that’s been on the shoulders or sleeve cuffs the last two seasons.

I’m happy that Umbro is white to make it stand out from the rest and that SportPesa has stayed with the theme to keep a bit more black on the shirt, the way the badge goes in to a stripe makes the name on the badge pop out too.

All in all I’m very very happy with it, in a scale of 1-10 I’d give it a solid 8.5.

@MikeCarterHKR: When I am asked the question “who makes the best football shirts?” I always reply Umbro.

Why? Just look at what they’ve done with Hull City, again and again and again.

The new shirt is a clear throwback to our Matchwinner shirt from the early 90s. The stripes across the chest are just enough for me, they’ve been smart and logical with the placement, clearly showing club and sponsor branding. Umbro and Sportpesa have again colour coordinated their branding to give the shirt that finishing touch.

I would have liked to have seen what the shirt would have looked like if the stripes had extended to the sleeves too though, and the lack of Umbro taping disappoints me, but I feel I can bypass those feelings by hoping we’ll get some on the away or third shirt.

The neckline is something which confuses me a little. The solid black line meets an amber trapezium in the centre. I feel this is something which over complicates the neckline and a solid black crew finish would have looked better.

Our 2019/20 home shirt is the first to feature the new club crest, which sees the return of the club name to our shirt for the first time since 2013/14. The crest is again, presented in a parquet style on the shirt and I love this application.

I am happy that we haven’t gone down the route of stripes, pin stripes or twin stripes this season even though that is against our brand image. I feel clubs need to make changes every once in awhile to keep things fresh. I can see this shirt being a bigger seller for the club and I hope the reintroduction of the name, and the new club crest makes this shirt a must buy for all Hull City fans.

The new shirt goes on sale Saturday 29 June at Tiger Leisure

The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – UMBRO SPECIAL

Umbro, the venerable brand and current supplier to the Tigers, turn 95 this year and that warrants a Kitcast special. The Kitgeeks ponder the best Umbro City shirts of the modern era, and True Colours author John Devlin, the high priest of illustrated polyester, considers the wider appeal of the double diamond brand.

The Kitcast by Hull City Kits – Episode 5

The latest (and shortest) Kitcast is available for your viewing pleasure/displeasure. We cover the 2000/01 away shirt in depth, rank Umbro’s black kits, consider some of the WWC loveliness and a tribute to ‘La Società Ginnastica Sampierdarenese’.