In our fifth edition of Project Picks, (and first of the new decade!) we want to share with you some more of our favourites from creatives designing sports-focussed content. All of the projects featured in this celebratory post were published between October and December 2019. From retro motion designs of Brazilian football cards, to a high end football and travel publication, as well as a collaborative exhibition of cycling flags and memorabilia, 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 produce more creative work of your own!
Women's Sport: The Future Issue by SLOWE
To launch the new collection of the Brazilian team, inspired by the hundredth anniversary of the first conquest of the Copa America by country, Wieden + Kennedy Sao Paulo and Nike created a campaign titled “O Team Brasileiro.” The campaign brings back the concept of “the Brazilian Team,” as the national team was called back in 1919. The new yet retro cards transform Brazilian players Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, Casemiro, and Marquinhos into collectible cards for various sports from that era.
The visual language of this project, mixing illustration and a sort of retro, vintage look, is simply stunning. Player illustrations valuing retro aesthetics and a process of calcography, printing on a metal matrix, capture the detail of the historical cards. The collection combines the classic retro look of football from that era with the modern style of contemporary sport. In particular, the stunning range of flashy motion design graphics, designed by W+K's Motion Designer, Eduardo Oliveira, make this campaign really stand out and capture the attention of football fans.
CEV EuroVolley Brand Identity by Alphabet Design
EuroVolley is the flagship competition for Volleyball in Europe. As part of a full rebrand of CEV (The European Volleyball Confederation) Manchester based design agency, Alphabet Design, helped build a sub-brand for EuroVolley that encapsulates the future of Volleyball. Born from inspiration of the flags of all 56 European Nations, the Volleymark is the centrepiece of the brand identity. The shapes and angles illuminate the spectacular moments that transcend the sport. The angles in the design of the Volleymark directly reference the angles used in the country flags. The final design is contained within the circular shape representing the volleyball itself.
A stunning and clever element to Alphabet’s rebrand is the creation of a graphic device, from the volleymark, that can be cropped and used as a brand asset across multiple compositions. These cropped graphic devices are used on court-side advertisement boards whilst smaller logos are used on finer details, like the net. The display typeface is a classic geometric sans serif with a modern and energetic twist. A number of interesting angled letterforms represent the movement and fast-paced nature of the sport. Overall, Alphabet have created an elegant rebranding of EuroVolley that can be dialled up or down depending on the touchpoint, and thus still allowing the players be the stars of the show.
DEBUT Personal Brand by Jorge Espinoza
Jorge Espinosa is a Graphic Designer from Heredia, Costa Rica. His ongoing personal branding project, DEBUT, depicts the journey of a fictional amateur basketball player called ‘Larry’. In his own words, Jorge describes DEBUT as “an opportunity, it is to begin and demonstrate. It is the future, the promise. The design is a constant debut for doing something relevant that inspires and that we like ourselves.” He says, “The visual appeal that surrounds it [basketball] catches my eye and also all the possibilities that may exist from the basic elements such as the ball.” Since starting his personal project, Jorge has developed multiple different design assets including a series of posters, magazine, illustrations, and merchandise.
Jorge uses the images of deformed and melted balls as the centrepiece for his project. The iconography represents life’s successes and failures. It is simple yet effective and works particularly well across his merchandise pins and prints. The underlying message of overcoming adversity and stepping up to the plate when necessary is an integral part of sport and one which ought to be explored more in design. Jorge does so in a creative and authentic way.
BSPOKE x 826 Detroit by Noah Watson
Noah Watson is a photographer and communication designer from Detroit, USA. His latest work, published in November 2019, is a new brand identity for BSPOKE x 826 Detroit - an inclusive bike shop catering to the needs of all its city riders. Noah created a communication system that spans environmental, print, and media communications such as envelopes, business cards, store frontage, and a 'how-to' guide for cyclists.
Noah’s branding of the cycling shop is somewhat left field to other specialist sports shops. Noah subverts the traditional ultra-chic, modern aesthetic in favour of a more rustic and colourful appearance. The contrast of bright orange to black and white photography in his ‘how-to’ guide is particularly eye-catching. Equally the imagery of dismantled bike parts on business cards and packaging is well-crafted. The subtle variations in thickness of line and distorted characters offer a distinct typographic system across all products. Overall, this is a refreshing brand identity that subverts the typical brand aesthetic of cycling brands.
SEASON: Sustainability (Issue 07) by SEASON Zine
To mark the arrival of the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, collaborative exhibition Hup Hup Hup will feature cycling flags created by nine designer cycling fans around the world. Paul Smith, a renowned cycling aficionado and memorabilia collector, is among the list of flag makers, along with Anthony Burrill, Build’s Michael C. Place, David Millar from CHPT3, Taylor Phinney from Manifest Butter, BBUC, Death Spray Custom and James Ockelford.
The project is led by Conductor (which has also created a flag), Hypergram and North Brewing Co, paying homage to the passion of cycling fans, who spend hours crafting homemade flags to cheer on their heroes.
For anyone with an interest in cycling memorabilia or vexillology, Hup Hup Hup's creations are simply beautiful. With striking colours and bold typography, these flags are effortlessly and wonderfully designed. The collaboration - consisting of North Brewing co, creative studio Conductor, and digital agency Hypergram - coming together to celebrate their passion for cycling and share it with other fans through the medium of flags is very unique and one for cycling fans everywhere to look forward to attending.
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!