I’ve been told many things on Twitter – some good advice, the rest probably just nonsensical ramblings – but what I’ve recently been told is wearing replica football kits is for children. Bad news, you might think. But TBo4 has a way you can pay tribute to football and not feel like you’re breaking any laws of fashion. I caught up with Dan Gribbon, the man behind 3nil, a site dedicated to designing excellent apparel for the everyday football fanatic…
TBo4: For those that may not know about the brilliant 3nil, what is it you do?
3nil: I founded and I solely run 3nil in Melbourne, Australia. It is a brand that pays homage to every facet of the beautiful game. It was founded in August of last year and has had a great response so far. I have a passion for football and minimalist design so 3nil is the brand that brings them together.
TBo4: You say you’ve sold t-shirts worldwide, what countries have you reached so far?
3nil: Honestly I can’t keep up with how many countries I’ve sold to now. I’d have to go through every order to answer that correctly! 3nil apparel is now worn on 6 continents (just waiting for that Antarctic order) which is a great feeling for me personally. Off the top of my head my shirts are in countries such as the UK, USA, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Ukraine, Singapore, Japan, UAE, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, Bulgaria, Canada, Ireland and a few more on top of that!
“3nil apparel is now worn on 6 continents – we’re just waiting for that Antarctic order!”
TBo4: Your latest design, La Mano de Dios, is a tribute to the ‘Hand of God’ goal scored by Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup. How did you go about designing this top?
3nil: That design took quite a while to get going. I had a range of ideas with how I wanted to approach it but ultimately came to the conclusion that the hand itself was the key to it all. You can’t do it. It’s illegal. Yet Maradona did it and got away with it. It’s amazing how different parts of the world interpret the topic. In some parts it is deemed to be a disgraceful act of cheating yet in other parts it is looked at as clever or genius. So in the end that pushed me to just focusing on the hand. I made sure it was the left hand too!
TBo4: So what’s the process behind designing a new t-shirt or print?
3nil: I have a list of ideas in my head that try and focus on ideas that cover many parts of the game. From tactics to players and even focusing on the laws of the game. After that I sketch out my ideas on paper then start mocking them up using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. From then on it is a lot of fine tuning until the completed design is perfect.
TBo4: What has been your favourite design so far?
3nil: That’s a tough one to answer as every single design so far has been from my own personal work! I really loved seeing a fantastic worldwide response to the ‘Onside/Offside’ shirt. It’s not a player or team getting any major attention. It’s just a law in football combined with a unique way of explaining it through typography. That was fantastic to see.
TBo4: … and what’s been the most popular with the customers?
3nil: So far the most popular design has been ‘Leo’. It sold out within a week the first time I had it then after a big restock it went again!
TBo4: Did you expect to have as much interest when you first started 3nil as you do now?
3nil: When you first start any project it is always a bit daunting. I never expected to have such an incredible response from football fans in so many countries. It has been less than a year so it really is a great feeling and completely unexpected.
TBo4: Personally, are there any footballers you haven’t designed anything for that you really want to?
3nil: You should see my ‘to-do’ list! I have a vast amount of players I’d love to focus on in the future. Puskas, Yashin, Eusebio, Müller are some I can’t wait to bring out. Each design takes some time to complete so as long as the support is there then there will be a plenty more to come.
TBo4: So, tell us, what does the future hold for 3nil? You’ve covered t-shirts, art and now even iPhone covers, what’s next?
3nil: I have my eyes on some new areas but I can’t reveal anything just yet! If the support stays strong then there is so much potential to turn this into something truly great. Stay tuned!
Stay tuned indeed! Head on over to threenil.com now for great football apparel, cool artwork and general awesomeness…