To celebrate Nike’s new sponsorship deal with Chelsea FC, Nike Europe and Studio Makgill chose seven designers to create football shirt ‘busts’. Each designer was paired with a player from the club’s past, matching the designers’ country of origin. We designed a bust representing Dutch legend Ruud Gullit. The rules: include the player’s name and shirt number; use a limited palette of white, blue, black and orange. Otherwise: creative freedom.
In his playing days, one of Gullit’s most iconic characteristics was his mane of hair; he was known as the ‘Dutch Lion’. The lion is also the symbol of Chelsea and the Netherlands national team. Our approach was inspired by this leonine theme, combined with Gullit’s dynamic playing style and the spirit of classic Dutch design.
The main motif suggests both the open mouth of a lion and the slash marks made by a lion’s claws. With its distinctly modern typeface, angular lines, areas of flat colour and minimalist dynamics, the look and feel embodies the clarity and power of Dutch design at its best.
Seen in the context of the full Nike megastore exhibition, our design concept has genuine visual impact, celebrating the iconic role of Ruud Gullit in his prime.