Graduate designs typeface for England World Cup shirt
Date: 12th Jun 2018
Gareth Southgate's England team kick off their 2018 World Cup campaign against Tunisia on Monday sporting a kit with a typeface designed by Buckinghamshire New University graduate Craig Ward.
New York-based multi-award-winning graphic designer Craig, 36, who graduated in BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Advertising in 2003, says he is 'blown away' that the national team kit will bear his input.
Craig co-owns agency Gallo Ward in Manhatten and was commissioned by Nike to design a custom typeface for the Football Association’s 2018 World Cup kit.
He said: “My font spelling out the players’ names and numbers is now a part of football history and I was blown away and hugely flattered to be asked, as I understand only two other designers have ever been involved with the England kit.”
Craig said his design brief was to create something that felt dynamic, contemporary, and English, and over 18 months he created a specific font, called an England X Ward.
The design is a condensed sans serif, modelled using 3D software and featuring the St George's cross sweeping around a single line path.
He added: “The typeface was created to accompany the England national team to the World Cup in Russia and for the next few years on both the home and away kits.
“Proportionally it draws inspiration from the geometry of classic English typefaces such as Johnston, Flaxman and Gill Sans and reinterprets that in a contemporary way.
“Connectivity was a theme - there was a desire to create something that unified the country and they were really keen to feature the St George’s cross in some capacity,” added Craig.
“I really wanted to create something dynamic that hinged on the cross icon and it was a lot of pressure, I won’t lie.
“The World Cup attracts an average of about three billion people - around half the population of the entire world - so the number of eyes on your work is mind-blowing.
“I’m also nervous as any design put out on a national level is frequently divisive and draws a lot more attention than your average project.
“Besides that, I’m from a family of football obsessives so I knew there would be extra scrutiny from that side as well, but so far the family seem to be enjoying the bragging rights and as yet haven’t not offered up any design critiques.”
This year, BA (Hons) Graphic Design students visited Craig’s studio at his company, Gallo Ward, in New York.
Craig is also public speaker, best-selling author and globally exhibited artist and his previous clients include Parfums Christian Dior Paris, Nike, Mulberry, Calvin Klein, Philosophy and Aesop.
Craig thanked Nike and lead kit designer Kenny McIver for their help and support on the work with the England kit.
Follow Craig Ward on Twitter.