Typography: England's 2018 World Cup kit

In a few months it will all start again. It's World Cup time and it's always exciting for the soccer or football fans out there like myself. Craig Ward is even more excited because he was asked to to create a custom typeface for England's 2018 World Cup kit. Commissioned by Nike, the type was modeled in 3D to feature the St George's cross and create a dynamic, twisting design which features inline, outline and fill weights along with a complementary numeral se for use at larger sizes. The result is quite a quite awesome typography project and of course we had to feature it here.


I began by looking at the clarity and geometry of classic English typefaces (Gill, Flaxman, Johnston etc) – particularly when condensed, as that was also a requirement. I noticed how they lost some of their implied geometry in these instances and decided to create something that didn’t buckle like that. Parts of the type actually quote aspects of other fonts to feel  a little more familiar – the W in Railway Sans in particular, and the flare of the alternate R is a nod to Gill. I also included a perfectly circular O should they want to use it.

I really wanted to create something dynamic that hinged on the cross icon, so I modeled and animated the core of the type in 3D software. I created a simple grid, drew single line paths for the letterforms and added a cross as a sweep around the path, which went on to inform the inline aspect and the twists in the letters. I’m hoping that the movement that went into creating the letterforms comes through in the final pieces.