Category Archives: Design Thoughts

My Favourite Sports Fonts – March 2014

I’ve compiled a little list of 10 of my favourite fonts that are great to use in sports logos and graphic design. There are heaps of other fantastic fonts perfect for sport use, leave me a note in the replies of any I should check out and I might feature them in another post!

Paid Fonts

United Collection - Sports Font

The full United Collection is incredibly versatile with 105 fonts across 3 styles, 7 weights and 5 widths. It’s $US299 but this library of fonts is top of our shopping list because it covers practically everything you’ll need! Take points off however for no webfont availability (yet). Buy it here.

Vitesse - Sports Font

Vitesse has a unique, bold flavour that’s perfect for sport. With 6 weights, matching italics, and with the newly released webfonts it’s useful for web and all forms of print. Buy it here.

Aviano Future - Sports Font

As the name would suggest, Aviano Future has a futuristic character, great for a high-tech brand. Buy it here.

LHF Jumbo - Sports Font

Jumbo gives us the option of using spurs (or no spurs) and then also gives us a layered option to create some awesome bevelled effects. Buy it here.

Metroscript - Sports Font

Full of retro goodness, Metroscript just looks right across the front of a uniform or cap. Buy it here.

Free Fonts

Bebas Neue - Sports Font

Narrow but not too narrow, condensed but not too condensed. Bebas Neue can work in a variety of situations. Download it here.

Franchise - Sports Font

Franchise is another condensed font, but with some slight quirks in some of the characters. Has a certain warmth to it that Bebas Neue doesn’t. Download it here.

Legend M54 - Sports Font

For when you need a stock standard sport font with spurs. Download it here.

Molot - Sports Font

We’ve seen Molot explode across the web in the last year or so. Designers need to take care that they don’t use some of the default settings with Molot, but it can give a hefty punch when it’s used well. Download it here.

Orbitron - Sports Font

You may think that Orbitron is a sci-fi only sort of font. While it does work well in that space, the designer has made sure the font doesn’t go too far with some of those sci-fi font conventions, meaning that Orbitron is actually quite useable in a lot of sporting design scenarios. Download it here.

Got any font suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

Design Thoughts: The Power of Convention

I’m often inspired by the behaviour and growth of my 17 month old girl. The other day I noticed something new that illustrated to me the power of convention and how even a child as young as 17 months understands it.

While my daughter was watching what was going on on the TV, I was flicking channels looking for something to watch. After a few minutes of finding nothing, I thought I’d leave it on a kids channel. Within seconds of me putting the kids channel  on, my daughter had a big smile on her face. Her reaction to the other channels was a blank stare.

What has this got to do with convention? According to the dictionary, a convention is a way that something is normally done. What are the conventions of kids tv? Bright, colourful imagery, puppets or cartoons, and different ways of addressing the audience that often mimic interaction.

When I changed the channel to the kids channel, my daughter recognised that this was the channel for her, with the sorts of shows she likes. She just knew because the show followed convention, so she was able to focus on what was being done and said on screen rather than on thinking “is this the show for me?”. Context is incredibly important, and conventions help us to frame the context for our audiences.

When we think about any graphic design work, whether it is branding, website design or catalogue design, the same principle applies. Conventions can allow the audience to find their place easily and allow them to more quickly understand what is being said, compared to something which breaks conventions and leads to a subconscious confusion.

Does that mean we shouldn’t try to break out of the box? Not at all, but
we need to be aware of the power of convention to help us achieve the
end goals of our design work.

In the real world of sports branding: we all have subconscious ideas about what makes something a good or bad sports logo, and by looking at the quality of other team logos we can educate ourselves about the conventions of logos which make them effective or ineffective.

In the real world of grassroots clubs: when we see a club with poor design work from their logo to their website, we are trained through convention to see them as being worse performers on field. In turn this effects our ability to partner up with businesses that do their best to make themselves look like the best performers on the field.