When graphic designer Mark Yesilevskiy decided to put his free time to good use for a passion project, soccer was among the first subjects he turned to. A Bolton Wanderers fan from New York, Yesilevskiy wanted to create pieces that celebrated the iconic looks of some of the game’s best kits, but wanted to avoid the focus falling to individual players. The solution was a collection of illustrations that took the player completely out of the equation; using a “ghost” technique that is now garnering attention across the globe, Yesilevskiy created a stunning portfolio of kits you have to see. KCKRS also reached out to the designer for some thoughts on the inspiration and effort behind the pieces.
KCKRS: Why create these pieces with the “disembodied” look?
MY: I went with the “ghost” look (as it’s come to be known apparently) because I felt that individual team kits were better at defining an era or moment for fans than a specific player ever really could. As a Bolton fan, I fondly remember 2005-2008 and the two kits that the team wore in that period. Those kits saw Bolton in Europe, drawing away to Bayern Munich and beating Atletico Madrid over two legs. The same can be said for a number of different teams for their fans, both club and country.
KCKRS: How much effort goes into each design?
MY: Each design takes me between five and ten hours depending on the complexity of the design. I do them around a full time job so they take about a week from start to finish. Some definitely take longer than others but I’ve found that those are more enjoyable to do.
KCKRS: Is there a method to picking which kits you want to take on, or is it whatever strikes your fancy on a given day?
MY: When picking kits, I tend to go for kits that I’ve always admired either for their design for the moments that they represented. I like doing unusual colors (there are apparently a lot of teams that wear white) and stripes. I’ll be doing Holland’s 1988 shirt eventually because I think it’ll be a nice challenge.
I’m always curious in what other fans like and what they want to see so I do take suggestions and I will add them to the list. As an American fan, I also do want to do an illustration for each MLS team. The great thing about soccer is that there is so much variety in design and it changes year to year but people remember those designs for years.
There are many more designs at Mark’s Society6 page, where you can also buy prints. Don’t just sit there, go buy something.