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 projects featured in this celebratory post were published between October and December 2019. From a new sports magazine taking a thoroughly progressive stance on the current and future state of women's sports, to a dynamic brand identity for a cycling shop in Detroit, 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
SLOWE is a platform dedicated entirely to women’s sport. Its founder and editor-in-chief, Ro Jackson, created the online platform in 2017 after being fed up with the lack of decent coverage for women’s sport and the gender imbalance in sport as a whole. Two years on and SLOWE is now on the printed page. Its inaugural issue, The Future Issue, is packed full of previously unheard stories of women’s sport. From advice to performing on your period, documenting female sumo wrestlers in Japan, to a first-person experience of learning to swim as an adult, the glossy new magazine takes a look at this booming industry through the eyes of a diverse group of women.
SLOWE's presence opens up a much-needed space to discuss the barriers women face in sport. Not only that, but it also offers advice wherever possible and provides readers with reading lists, websites, and useful contact information, as a way to gently encourage readers to get involved in change themselves. As for its design, Zeb Jackson (Art Director of SLOWE) has ensured its design is adventurous whilst still maintaining a feeling of accessibility for those who wouldn’t usually pick up an independent sports magazine. It uses a variety of paper stocks to accentuate the beautiful photography and illustration. The magazine also uses a cool, spray-painted smudginess on its title pages. Overall, this chic new mag is just excellent - giving a voice to professionals and amateur sportswomen alike, as well as female artists, journalists, and administrators.
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
SEASON is a trailblazing London football and fashion platform and magazine that counters the male, pale and sometimes stale state of modern football culture. A cross between a football fanzine and fashion magazine spanning biannual print issues and original stickers, events, social media and now a podcast, the evolving interplay between football, fashion and personal style is also explored. In their latest issue, SEASON explores how sustainable the game is, on and off the pitch, in the aftermath of the triumphant Women’s World Cup 2019.
From inventive measures like ‘up-cycling’ to supporting great initiatives that are changing the game, SEASON’s highly anticipated seventh issue sheds light on ways we all can make the game more sustainable. The zine is jam-packed with meaningful content and not to mention, beautifully designed (Caitlin Clancy, Callum Stephenson). To reflect the issue’s environmental message, the magazine uses an eye-catching neon green for its logo, and page furniture i.e pull quotes and sub-titles. Matilda Hill Jenkins, among other talented photographers, fills pages with vibrant imagery of the stars and players at hand. Overall, SEASON have outdone themselves with their latest issue.
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!