June 21, 2012

Design & Typography at Euro 2012

With the Euro 2012 tournament now well under way, as well as spending many an evening watching the matches, we have been keeping a close ‘design-eye’ on the kits and the typography used. In fact, it has certainly been a topic of many pub conversations across Europe – which kit do you love?


The England Kit, as shown above, was designed by an Umbro-led team. Commercial Type partner, Paul Barnes, also designed the type for the new shirt (as detailed below).

The clean, hand rendered san-serif is brought to life by a two-tone, almost 3D looking motif. Vaguely reminiscent of DIN, (an office favourite) the slim, elegant ascenders and decenders of this uppercase typography are surely as much about aesthetics as they are legibility.


Leading industry magazine Design Week has picked up on the importance of typography in ‘the beautiful game’ and has interviewed Barnes this week. He explains, ‘We tried to make something that had its roots in English lettering and type, particularly from the 19th-century when football became codified and the first international games were played’. For inspiration, Barnes studied pub and shop signs from that period and attempted to merge these ideas with the colouring of the shirt.


Of course, for most, the France shirt, designed by Nike, has been particularly popular. Speaking with EPL Talk, John Devlin, football kit expert, says that for him, ‘… the best kit of the tournament is without doubt the French home shirt.’ Its military subtly-striped style (below), is a marked departure from the previous blue and white kit.


Not only have Nike created new and interesting kits, they claim that each kit is made from 13 plastic bottles, thus enhancing their environmentally-friendly image.

More than anyone else, Umbro’s designs seem to have captured a good mixture of style, originality and sophistication, as seen in Sweden and the Republic of Ireland’s kits.

Consultancy GBH’s campaign for Puma has also been on display throughout the tournament. This is a typography-led concept called ‘gaffer’, this name being a double entendre of the fact that the type was created using strips of gaffer tape and, of course hinting towards ‘the gaffer’ or manager of a football team. The type is used in adverts but also adorns kits, for example, the Italy shirt. GBH created the Gaffer font by folding ripping and sticking gaffer tape before forming a full Roman alphabet and set of numerals. It is estimated that they used 150 rolls of tape!

Overall, the Euro kits are creative and innovative, marking this the most design-led international football tournament yet – in our opinion! Why don’t you get involved in the debate and let us know your favourite footy images of Euro 2012 on Twitter, @logicdesign.