Saturday, 3 July 2010

Africa wins the typeface World Cup

If the team with the best typography won the World Cup (as type designer Dalton Maag claimed when Italy won in 2006) it would have been Ghana who collected this year's trophy. For me, their away kit was the best strip of the tournament (with Slovenia, home and away, and the US, away, vying for the worst). African countries carried their names and numbers with a flourish, using the typeface Olembe, designed by Puma's Paul Barnes and sported by both Ghana and Cameroon. 
Now the favourites to win must now be Brazilian designer Yomar Augusto whose Unity font is to be found on the adidas shirts of Argentina, Germany and Spain. Certainly a worthy winner - but not quite as stylish as Olembe. 

The numbers in Unity are bold and clear but the letters less so - and the R and A look the same (FABAEGAS??) which isn't such a good idea for a tournament where half of the players are unheard of. This year, Italy's typeface is called Crepello. That's why they played so badly. Read interviews with both designers on the FontFeed website.


  1. Most important thing when printing stuff on the back of football shirts = ease of reading from the press box. In fact, it's the only important thing. Ghana gets 10 out of 10, Argentina/Germany/Spain get at best a 6...

  2. ... and what about Uruguay's splendid socks?