The Influence of Celebrity Collaboration on Football Kit Design

Premier League champions Manchester City have taken a bold step forward in the world of football kit design by introducing their own custom font for the 2024-25 season. What sets this design apart is the unique collaboration with musician Noel Gallagher, a lifelong City superfan. The font, based on Gallagher’s handwriting, adds a personal touch to the players’ names and numbers on the kits.

The font design process began with Gallagher meticulously writing out the name and squad number of each player in Manchester City’s first-team squad. This handwritten touch was then transformed into a bespoke font that will be prominently featured on the new City kits. While the collaboration between a renowned musician and a football club is certainly innovative, some critics have drawn comparisons to the infamous Comic Sans font.

Manchester City unveiled their new home kit for the 2024-25 season during the final stretch of the previous campaign, coinciding with title rivals Arsenal. The design, crafted by manufacturer Puma, incorporates elements unique to the city of Manchester, including the local “0161” phone dialling code. This attention to detail adds a sense of local pride to the kit and sets it apart from other designs in the league.

While the hand-drawn typeface will feature prominently on Manchester City’s Champions League and domestic cup kits, it will not be seen in Premier League matches. League regulations require clubs to adhere to a set range of preapproved style and color combinations for kit lettering and numbering. This limitation highlights the balance between creativity and adherence to established rules in football kit design.

Custom fonts on official match jerseys have become a trend among major football clubs, with each team seeking to make a unique statement through their kit designs. Real Madrid, for example, recently introduced an Arabesque lettering style on their 2024-25 home kit, adding a touch of elegance to their iconic white jersey. Similarly, national teams have experimented with unique lettering styles, sometimes with mixed results.

While custom fonts add a creative element to football kit design, they also raise concerns about functionality and legibility. Norway’s national team, for instance, faced criticism for using a font inspired by ancient Nordic runes on their 2024 kits. While visually appealing, the readability of the numbers and letters may be compromised, especially during live matches where quick identification is essential.

The collaboration between Manchester City and Noel Gallagher represents a new frontier in football kit customization, blending art and sport in a unique way. While the hand-drawn font adds a personal touch to the kits, it also raises questions about legibility and practicality in a sporting context. As football clubs continue to explore creative avenues in kit design, finding the balance between innovation and functionality will be crucial in shaping the future of football aesthetics.

English Premier League

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