Evolution of colours in football shirts through colorimetric measurements: Fiorentina's case.


  • Alessandro Farini CNR INO
  • Elisabetta Baldanzi CNR INO
  • Marco Raffaelli CNR INO
  • Francesco Russo




colorimetry, purple, colour in textiles, colour in sports, aging of textiles


Football fans express their identification with their team especially with colours of football shirts. The respect of “tradition” is something so important that very small changes can provoke anger in fans, who express their opposition in news and social media. This could create problems for  merchandising. Fiorentina (Florence’s football team) wears purple shirts, very uncommon in football world. In collaboration with Fiorentina Museum we have measured, with two different spectrophotometers, colours of shirts from the fifties to nowadays. We have evaluated the problems related to ageing and we have measured different points from the same shirts, different shirts from the same season and details different from the purple colour (e.g white used for numbers). Measurement show a clear change in colour during the considered years, strictly related with the introduction of colour television and new strategy of merchandising. Furthermore it is evident that every kit manufacturer prefer creating its own colour despite the existence of an “official” Fiorentina’s colour. Such measurements, made on shirts of proved authenticity, permit to improve the analysis about “historical shirts”, helping to discriminate between authentic or fake shirts: an important topic because an original shirt from Fiorentina first Italian league winner season could be sold for 5000 €. One example of very well done fake shirts is illustrated.

Author Biographies

  • Alessandro Farini, CNR INO

    Alessandro Farini - is a physicist with PhD in Optics. He is the head researcher of the VisionLab at the CNR- National Institute of Optics in Florence, lab devoted toApplied Psychophysics. Farini’s research work isaddressed to lighting, ophthalmic optics and colorimetry. He is teaching Geometrical Optics and Physical Optics at the University of Florence, degree in Optics and Optometry. Farini is involved in science outreach.

  • Elisabetta Baldanzi, CNR INO

    Elisabetta Baldanzi - Degree in physics at Pisa University with a thesis entiled "Collisional Coupling between the Stark components in the rotational spectrum of CH3F", Scholarship in Science Communication at the National Institute of Physics of Matter in Genoa, Targetti Foundation Lighting Academy Coordinator. Currently at the National Institute of Optics of the National Research Council based in Florence in the Laboratory of Ergonomics of View, research on issues related to psychophysics of vision, lighting and ophthalmic optics.

  • Marco Raffaelli, CNR INO

    Marco Raffaelli - achieved in 2013 his bachelor degree in Optics and Optometry at the University of Florence,with a thesis entitled: “Photometric and psychophysical characterization of some mobile phone displays”. SinceNovember 2013 he has been working at the CNR-INO of Florence as diagnostic technician for the non-invasive study of artworks and as collaborator with the laboratory of psychophysics of vision.

  • Francesco Russo

    Francesco Russo - was born in Florence and studied as an electrical expert at the Meucci Institute in Florence. He took a degree certificate in optics and optometry at the university of Florence in 2014 and, in the same year, the optical diploma at Vinci. He has been employed of Gestione Silo (Florence) since 2015. This paper concerns his degree thesis.


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How to Cite

“Evolution of colours in football shirts through colorimetric measurements: Fiorentina’s case”. (2019) Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science, 11(01), pp. 41–46. doi:10.23738/CCSJ.110105.