Personal Insight

SEASON x UNITY:

SEASON's First T-Shirt Collaboration Celebrating Creatives in Football

Written by

Dawn Broadbent

16.08.20

Football has this incredible power to bring people - from all walks of life - closer together. Both on and off the field. From playing footie with mates in the park, to watching it on the living room TV with family, to celebrating your team’s triumph at the pub with friends, to playing for your local or national team, football helps us connect with others. Unity, in the context of football, means all of the above. It means friendship. It means celebration. It means community. Having launched just yesterday, 'UNITY' is SEASON zine's first T-shirt collection, which MANTRA Sport were asked to contribute to!

Trailblazing football and fashion platform SEASON zine’s first t-shirt collection UNITY is a collaborative project with eight talented individuals pushing football culture forward. Artists Corbin Shaw, Rosie McGinn, and Stephanie Francis-Shanahan, graphic designers Alice Issac, Dawn Broadbent (MANTRA Sport) and Texas Maragh, and illustrators Isobel Mehta and Ruth Davis. When the season was on hold, the SEASON team thought about how they could actively support creatives in football during the global pandemic. The team considered it imperative that we keep the momentum of groundbreaking football design going in these uncertain times. The goal of our project is to connect people creatively through football, design and style; reflecting the game’s current culture. The brief was to design a t-shirt that celebrates UNITY within football.

“Football, I hope, will one day hold space for everyone. Every gender, culture, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, nationality, body shape and size. Everybody.”

In the initial stages of this project I thought about what I love most about the game and its culture, as well as things I believe need urgently addressing and changing. The thing I kept coming back to was acceptance. Team sports, like football, can be so powerful in bringing people together and uniting them strongly as one. Being part of a sports team feels like you're part of one big, loud-mouthed family (well, in my experience anyway!) Being in a sports team is not just about winning games but about kicking a football around in the park with your mates on a summers evening, watching it in the pub with your mates with a few too many drinks, and disputing over who has the better touch. However, on the flip side, the game is too often stifled by discrimination and exclusion. From racial slurs in the terraces to players fearing that 'coming out' will put their professional careers in jeopardy, equality and acceptance remain a huge issue in football. 

Football, I hope, will one day hold space for everyone. Every gender, culture, age, ability, ethnicity, religion, nationality, body shape and size. Everybody. From grassroots to elite level, these issues discrimination and exclusion too often culminating in violence. How can the ‘beautiful’ game, intended to bring fans and athletes joy and a sense of community and belonging, be the agent for so much hate and hostility? So, my ‘Everybody’ tee is here to remind people to come together. To remind you to accept anyone and everyone who wants to play. Why create more destruction? We need to cultivate kindness. And that starts by welcoming and accepting EVERYBODY into the game.

In terms of the design details, staying true to my artistic style I wanted to use a bold digital typeface. Goudy Heavyface seemed apt as, not only does it have a bold aesthetic, but its rounded-edges offer a subtle gentleness and friendliness, aiding in the delivery of my tee’s intended message. When exploring the idea of containing the typeface within a shape, it seemed only fitting that it be within the rectangular shape of the football pitch. However, to add a subtle dimension within this, I explored a gradient - fusing the typical forest green colour of the pitch with neon pink. Pink is universally associated with femininity. And to align with everything that SEASON stands for (i.e. the crazy idea that females might enjoy football too!) I wanted to fuse the two contrasting colours together to represent the notion of unity and acceptance.

 

As MANTRA Sport’s mission remains to create meaningful projects that explore the intersection between sport and culture, it was very exciting to contribute to this fantastic project. The project is in partnership with Print Social. To cop a tee, click the link below! All our tees are just £25 each and I'm donating 20% of all profits to Football for Peace. Be quick, they're only on sale until 04.09.20! And be sure to drop a message in the comment section below to let me know what you think of my design. I'd love to hear your feedback!

Purchase my 'Everybody' tee here!

Written by

Dawn Broadbent

16.08.20