Since 2010, Imagination has worked with the NFL to bring the spirit of American football to London, designing compelling visual identities and stadium graphics for the four regular season NFL games played in London each year.
In 2019, just a few months into my time at Imagination, I took over as the project’s lead designer, from concepting the year’s theme, developing the style guide, all the way through design and installation of the game day graphics in London.
The first task was to nail down the year’s visual identity and develop a style guide for other vendors. While we took care of stadium graphics, the style guide was used for tickets, badges, VIP spaces, programs, brochures, and any game-day fan events on the surrounding grounds. Its 159 pages consisted of type treatments, retouched player imagery, logo treatments, background treatments, player and team name lock ups, team slogans, dos and don’ts, and example layouts for all of it.
With 10 unique treatments—one neutral, one for each of the eight teams playing, and one for the NFL’s 100 year celebration—this was an asbolute mammoth task.
2019 was new territory for the NFL, with two of the years’ four London Games played at the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium—the first and only stadium designed specifically for NFL games outside North America—and two games played at long-time NFL host and partner, Wembley Stadium. The stadium had held only five soccer matches and no American Football games before the Chicago Bears played the Oakland Raiders the first weekend on October 3rd.
While Wembley had long established the best spaces for graphics, Tottenham had to be specced for the first time. Over numerous site visits, we scoped out areas with the game-day planning committee and print/installation team, to make sure we found the best graphic locations for fans and players alike, while making sure our graphics wouldn’t leave holes or vinyl residue all over the pristine new stadium.
I took pages of detailed notes as we walked around, sketching out placements to test as comps, questions that would need to be answered, noting any details that might not come through in our photo documentation.
Wembley was a much simpler task (if desiging over 300 individual graphics could ever be considered simple), with templates largely reused from previous years.