The Shirt 2020 Design Story

Author: Max Perry

April 17th, 2020: This year’s design of The Shirt is intended to capture the experience of a Notre Dame game day. To accomplish this, we wanted the front of The Shirt to contain elements familiar to the Notre Dame community. We designed the word “Irish” in a Celtic style - in reference to the mascot, gameday traditions such as the bagpipe band, and the 2020 season opener in Ireland--and wrapped it around a circular window of the Golden Dome--the University’s most-popular landmark.

The goal for the back of The Shirt was to depict the excitement of game days at Notre Dame and the immense amount of loyalty that the fans show for Notre Dame football.  Every game is a crucial part of reaching a perfect season, so each game has a great importance around it, causing a lot of anticipation throughout the week leading up to the game. There is a plethora of iconic traditions that make fall Saturdays at Notre Dame an unparalleled experience. From waking up early to tailgate with friends and family, to filling the stands hours before kickoff, this experience starts early. At kickoff, so much pent up energy is released as the game begins. Thus, we decided to highlight the excitement of kickoff through the 2 tickets on the back using elements from Notre Dame football present and past.

We begin telling this story with the kickoff itself. This is the first design in The Shirt’s history to primarily feature a kicker. The kicker wears #31, representing the 31st year of The Shirt Committee. Sporting a retro helmet and a historic logo, we gave the kicker a vintage look to reflect the timeless excitement that comes with kickoff. We also gave the kicker a green jersey, traditionally worn for special games. With plenty of high-profile games scheduled and many returning starters, each game this season is a must win. The seat number on the ticket is 1842, which is a nod to the year Notre Dame was founded. The kicked ball flows from the left ticket to the right, linking the storied success of Notre Dame’s past to our recent success and high expectations for the upcoming season.  

The ticket on the right captures the student section during kickoff. This inclusion of the crowd on our 32nd design was very intentional, as it captures the “unshakable spirit” that Notre Dame fans have with their relentless dedication to Our Lady’s university. We highlighted this spirit by drawing out the student’s loud and passionate kickoff chant. This cheer can also represent a similar motion done at the end of the alma mater. The 1887 found at the bottom of the ticket represents the first year of Notre Dame football. 

Surrounding the tickets is a leaf design taken from the tile floor design found on the floor of the Golden Dome. The phrase, “with unshakable spirit, we live out our legacy,” captures both the passion that fans have for the team as well as the tradition of success that stands behind the Notre Dame football program. This is a level of excellence that we try to maintain every year both on and off the field.