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Blog

Nike World Cup Fonts

Tim McCarthy

All the teams that wore the Nike jerseys may be out of the running for the World Cup, but it's still worth calling out how beautiful some of the uniforms were.

One thing in particular about the uniforms was the type. Nike collaborated with renowned graphic designers Wim Crouwel from The Netherlands and Neville Brody from England to create custom typefaces. As explained by Nike's Design Director Stu McArthur, in an interview with Design Boom, every element of the design needs to serve a function. In this case, designing a unique font for each jersey requires legibility so that spectators at home and in the stands can read it. 

One of the cool things about the Dutch typeface is that it features an optional ligature for the dutch 'ij' gliding vowel.

It has been an extraordinary honor to design the fonts for the England national team. The core inspiration was to focus on the intersection between flair and workmanlike reliability. Small touches emphasize the idea of innovation, invention and surprise, built around a more geometric structure. The industrialized suggestion of a stencil was simultaneously based on a pinstripe motif, combining style with no-frills efficiency.
— Neville Brody

I don't know what it is, but there is something about the Brazilian color palette that I love. At first, the thought of golden yellow, green and blue going together seems crazy. Yet when it's applied to the soccer uniform, it's seems so natural. I realize that the country has a huge history of soccer and the colors are part of the flag, but this palette seems to lend itself so well to the sport. I can't recall ever seeing it be so effortless with any other sport team...

Although Nike added some weight to the typeface, Avant Garde isn't all that special in my opinion. However, the simplicity does pair well with the classic French jerseys. These things were so nice that you could probably wear one of them to a summer wedding and pull it off. Only the French! Paired with the red socks, these uniforms were by far my favorite.