2017 is the fourth year that we have been designing and producing the Matrix team kit and we thought we’d do something not seen before: we are going to take you through the development of the design.

But before we go through the process, it’s worth having a look at the way the kit has developed since we began back in 2014.

The team had previously been black, white and red when working with Prendas/Santini before a move to black and white with green and blue accents in 2013.

old

We came on board with Vulpine in 2014 and decided it was time for a clear change. Navy blue was adopted as the main colour with green accents for something completely different from the rest of the women’s peloton at the time. Yet we wanted something visually bold and arresting both to aid racing and for a clear brand that we could use for years to come – the navy, green and white stripes.

2014

The stripes were a hit with the team and supporters alike and we found new way to use then in 2015 before deconstructing them in 2016 with the laced version whilst beefing up the green with a touch more neon and a slightly darker navy.

2016

So to 2017 and a new era for the team. Less riders, more emphasis on individual development and performance targets. A good time to look in detail at the kit that they will wear.

The team and Milltag got together in September and discussed some potential routes that could be taken. Do we start from scratch? Move away from the navy, green and white? Feedback from the riders, staff and close supporters was that they loved the colours and that they were known for those colours. We agreed – to go away from a distinct brand look would be a wrong move for an established team.

Aimed with the team’s thought we decamped to the Milltag studios and put together some initial ideas. A brief was created that focused on having the fewest number of sponsor logos on the kit. The kit should look as stylish as possible and perhaps reducing the amount of green and white would help.

Here is the first set of ideas we shared:

2017v1

This may seem rather a lot of ideas but it’s what we do with every project we work on. Initial sketch ideas so we can get conversations started and work our way towards the final products.

In this case the team liked the first route best and gave us the following feedback:

A – Really like this. I think the design almost disguises the big matrix at the front, bringing that big logo back into play. It also would lead to easy deep blue short. On the flip side, maybe some highlights on the rear, with a “popping” green could give it that mullet tone [business at the front and party at the back] we’ve had in the past, while moving away from stripes.

B – I like the back, a lot more than the front, but perhaps that historical. It also makes me notice the nice green touches i like on the arms on A. They really stand out.

C – This is seriously bold. We’d be noticed. But if I was to strike one out of Route One, this would the poor soul that would get the chop. However, I’m still a fan of the small key logo on the front. But it really does look pretty cool in my opinion. I also like the logo placement on the rear, it would just just above the number line. I’ll review some photo’s in respect of logo position as they are secondary here, but we can be super smart with them to gain everyone better visibility than in previous years.

D – This is personally our favourite. I really like it. It’s really fresh. I can also see how a brand could be formed around it.

Our order of love is D, A, B, C.

With this information we started to develop the rest of the kit and make some iterations to idea D which was clearly preferred. We’ll save this till Friday when the final kit is unveiled.