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Glory Glory

In aid of the British Blind Sport foundation, graphic designers were asked to create large posters depicting their take on football chants. Among the participants were a high number of Dutch designers. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 22-08-2013

Almost seventy designers offer their views on football chants for the project Glory Glory. Among them are the likes of Studio Dumbar, Floor Wesseling, Experimental Jetset, Wim Crouwel, The Stone Twins and more. The brief was simple: design an A1 poster depicting a football chant of your choice.  

The project was initiated by young London-based graduates from Kingston University Nick Blakeman and Alex Brown along with music designer Craig Oldham. For the project they asked over sixty graphic designers to create a poster based on the football theme, these would result in a one-day exhibition and (already sold-out) book, the proceeds of which go to British Blind Sport.   

One designer not unfamiliar with the football theme in his work is Floor Wesseling. His series named Blood in Blood out has been showcased internationally and depicts fans wearing hybrid football shirts with the colours of two opposing clubs, countries or even clubs within a city. “It was always my wish to become the designer of the Dutch national football shirts, and now that wish has come true,” says the designer about his appointment as designer of the KNVB. 

“I started playing football from the age of seven,” reminisces Wesseling. “And I still play in for Zeeburgia now.” As a born-and-raised Amsterdammer (Amsterdam local), he chose to depict the chant of his favourite team: Ajax. A chant called ‘De Herdertjes’ or the little shepherds was his first choice. “I was introduced to the Glory Glory project by Experimental Jetset who were my old teachers at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy.” 

But even for a big football fan, this was no simple assignment. It took an injury during a football match and a game seen from the sidelines for Wesseling to come up with his final idea. “The next day I bought this piece of artificial grass, spray-painted it in Ajax colors and put the text on. I believed that having this piece of grass in Ajax colors in between all theother typographical posters at the exhibition would stand out; simply 'reading' Ajax. The words of the chant would be disguised lying in the grass (like 'De Herdertjes), almost as an excuse or necessity to have text and what a spectator would discover being drawn to the poster.”

“There's quite a rich DIY aesthetic to football – a lot of people lament the old fanzines and match day programmes. But on a professional level, many designers feel that football design just isn't as good as it should be. Nick and Alex wanted to start a conversation about this, so we invited people to design a chant. The response has been overwhelming,” says Craig Oldham to Creative Review

Over at Studio Dumbar football is part of the daily routine as well. “We play football almost everyday at lunchtime and if the weather’s horrible we play table football,” says Liza Enebeis, creative director at the graphic design studio. “Everyone at the office wanted to design the poster so we resorted to drawing names from a hat. Kek Feng was the lucky one but it was a big challenge for him, he is a supporter but not in an extreme way so this was a way for him to understand the game better.”

The poster by Studio Dumbar represents the waves of chant, crossing and passing each other, getting lost in each other’s sound. No specific club, but taking the chant in its abstract form. Enebeis says she is impressed by the work of Blakeman, Brown and Oldham: “Not only did they graduate this year but even while doing their internships they managed to initiate this project. An impressive list of designers in an exhibition with a beautiful book all for a good cause – to  raise money for British Blind Sport. I think that is quite an achievement.”

Glory Glory is supported by Gavin Martin Colournet and GF Smith. 

Main image: Glory Glory book
Other images: 1 and 2 Floor Wesseling 3. Studio Dumbar 4. Experimental Jetset 5. Wim Crouwel 6. The Stone Twins 

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