Our latest Nicer Tuesdays with Park Communications went football crazy (football mad) with four speakers whose creative endeavours had engaged with the beautiful game in some way or another.
First up was self-confessed “stats nerd” Christoph Lorenzi of Sennep who became frustrated with the limited opportunities for football sticker trading he encountered as an adult: “Once you leave school it gets really hard to find people to swap with!” So the studio built an online sticker swapping website, after working out that it would otherwise take on average 824 packs to achieve the coveted completed album. The original site was built in just one week and has now been improved ahead of the World Cup next month; proof that if something geeky’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
Next up we heard from filmmaker Sam Blair who admitted he feels “self-conscious” about making documentaries about sport which some consider low-brow. “I am an uptight documentary filmmaker who wants to be taken seriously,” he admitted. But he loves how in sport “the inner struggle is so visible…the psychological and physical is intertwined.” His latest film for ESPN told the story of Maradona’s virtuoso performance in the 1986 World Cup. Drawn to the Argentine’s “operatically charged” persona on the football pitch, Sam became obsessed with hunting down old VHS clips on YouTube to tell the story in a new way, which in turn helped him appreciate football’s significance in modern life.
The second half kicked off with Alice Devine, co-founder of football blog The Illustrated Game. She explained how they learned about the “necessary immediacy” for satirical illustrations and showed how the work was boiled down “to one concept, with no need of an explanation” – Arsene Wenger in a weirdly massive Arsenal duffle coat for example. From the blog has grown a podcast, a Pick Me Up show and various publications amongst other projects; an inspiring example of the potential of finding a rich creative furrow to plough.
The final speaker was graphic designer Rick Banks who talked us through his 2013 book Football Type. As a ten-year-old boy he was left in floods of tears when the Manchester United goalie top his mum bought him had the name Schmeichel in the wrong font; from here grew a lifelong obsession with football typography. He explained how it took two years to get the brands and clubs on board for the book and shared some interesting back stories; for example the Barcelona typeface is based on Gaudi’s chimneys. His talk encapsulated the highs and lows of self-publishing from the militant attention-to-detail required to filling your flat with the packaged books ahead of sending them out.
Thanks to all our speakers, Protein for hosting, everyone who came along and of course our fantastic sponsors Park Communications. Nicer Tuesdays will be back in the last week of June.
Founded in 1991, Park Communications is considered by many to be London’s preeminent printer. With a roster of both corporate and cultural clients, Park is a one-stop-shop to translate, artwork, print and bind literature of many different kinds, from the finest coffee table books and catalogues, through FTSE annual reports, to niche market magazines and brochures. Working closely with clients to develop bespoke creative solutions, Park’s reputation is built on the highest quality, reliability and flexibility.
They have brought their professionalism to both our Printed Pages magazine and the It’s Nice That Annual 2013, and we look forward to working with them in 2014 and beyond. To contact Park, email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website www.parkcom.co.uk.