In our third edition of Project Picks, we want to share with you some more absolute gems from creatives designing for sports! All of the projects featured in this celebratory post were published between April and June of this year (2019). From the contemporary branding of field hockey products to a ‘work in progress’ design concept for an NBA card collecting and trading environment, these projects are some of the most innovative and exciting we've seen and felt inspired by in the last few months. In turn, we hope these picks will inspire you and have you itching to get back to your workspace to make more creative work of your own!
Adidas Basketball Next Level by GrandArmy
Multi-disciplinary creative agency, GrandArmy, worked closely with Adidas Basketball to develop an overhauled identity, visual system, and relaunch campaign for Adidas Hoops SS19. Together they introduced three groundbreaking new basketball shoes: N3XT L3V3L, Pro Vision, and Marquee Boost. The collection represents a reset for the entire category – introducing a new approach to product design, voice guidelines, illustration and art direction. The campaign is built around a highly flexible visual system. Each shoe has its own voice and personality, but is able to compliment its counterparts through custom typography, editorial compositions, copywriting, photography, and video direction.
With a beautiful blend of bold typography, gritty visuals, and clean photography, GrandArmy have pulled off another design masterpiece with this project. They've kept to Adidas' aesthetic style whilst still managing to add their own touch. In particular, they've effectively layered the imagery and their use of negative space is unusual yet brilliant. Some creative line drawings and outlined type add a touch of delicacy and a nice contrast to the bold, gritty visuals. Certainly, this is a project every sports-focussed designer should take note of and appreciate.
VEX Hockey by Studio Deploy
Studio Deploy are a creative design agency based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. They pride themselves on creating strong brands through strategic thinking and development. For new Dutch field hockey brand, VEX, Studio Deploy created a strong logo type for the sports company to apply to their website, promotional materials, and products. VEX wanted to show movement, energy, and being the bold new player in the saturated market of hockey branding.
With a dynamic, bold logo type it would appear Studio Deploy have managed just that! VEX stands out from the crowd for its raw, elongated logo type and fluorescent colours. What’s most impressive though is that, despite the stretched type, the design system works across all their products and promotional materials. It’s not what you’d expect from a hockey brand, but that’s what makes this project so eye-catching and captivating.
NBA Stack by Gera Frascaroli
NBA Stack is a ‘work in progress’ design concept for an NBA card collecting and trading environment. It stems from its creator, Gera Frascoli’s, nostalgia for collecting basketball cards. Gera Frascoli is a Design Director from Bologna and currently based in New York. In his own words, his project is “an attempt to reawaken the sense of anticipation, surprise, and wonder that comes from opening a fresh foil pack of NBA cards, following their trade value, and hustling to get one's favourite players and series, in the digital age.” The cards are to be released in limited quantities, can be redeemed for physical versions, change value in real-time depending on how well a player is playing, and can be traded instantly with other Stack collectors worldwide.
Whilst the branding and design are yet to be produced, Frascaroli’s project stands out immediately for its innovation and imagination. It offers sports fans a sense of nostalgia, transporting them back to their youth when physical trading cards were cool and popular but also gives them something new to reignite their passion for trading cards. By modernising the age-old tradition, it can also be anticipated that a younger generation will find interest in the activity, unlocking a whole new breed of sports card collectors! Frascaroli’s graphics feature iconic NBA players against a variety of bold, quirky designs. This is a super fun concept project filled with passion and stylishly executed.
Reebok Aztrek Seeding Kit by Bravo
The new Reebok Aztrek Seeding Kit is a time capsule from the nineties! It's a retro-designed shoe box for the Reebok classics. The box was created by Bravo - a creatively led, independent design studio based in Singapore who specialise in identity and brand creation, print, web, and art direction. Its made for global Reebok fans who have stood with the brand since its beginning.
With retro stickers slapped across the packaging, slanted type, and photographed using a polaroid camera, Bravo have successfully captured the nineties aesthetic and made it fashionable once again. This project is bold, quirky, and sure to be loved by Reebok fans. It reminds us of the day when Reebok and Umbro were ‘must-haves’, making this a beautifully nostalgic design project.
UEFA Futsal by Lumbre
UEFA reached out to a number of different creative agencies for a new cool, urban identity for their Futsal tournaments. Multi-disciplinary creative studio Lumbre, who are based in Buenos Aires and specialise in television and entertainment, created a proposal that captures the speed and excitement of the sport. They created a wide variety of title cards featuring iconic players and dynamic typography.
With its distorted text, bold colours, imperative language, and iconic players, Lumbre’s conceptual work maintains an explosive and exciting feel to it. It’s simple but slickly executed. They repeat phrases ‘Keep an eye on the ball’ and ‘Run fast’ across multiple designs but each with a different twist on the design elements, making each title card interesting and varied. This is a beaut project which we hope got taken beyond proposal!
So we hope you enjoyed scrolling through our favourite sports design projects from various different creatives in our latest edition of Project Picks. We look forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store for these few talented sports designers and hopefully continue to showcase their work on our blog. Of course, if you’re working on something and would like for us to see it don’t hesitate to get in touch. You could be featured on our next round of Project Picks!