Take a dive into Issue 5 of Good Sport magazine, which explores notions of “communication” in sport
The Melbourne-based publication investigates the multi-faceted place of sport in society, seeking to create and disseminate new dialogues.
- Olivia Hingley
- 10 March 2022
Ben Clement, co-creative director of Good Sport summarises the magazine as “a series of thought experiments and ideas built on curiosity at the intersection of sport”. Rooted in the vision that sport can be part of, or embedded in, conversation and dialogue “through the likes of art, food, dance, scent and psychology” the publication has a truly broad and all-encompassing approach to sport and its surrounding themes.
When jumping into a new edition, the Good Sport team (which alongside Ben consists of fellow co-creative director James Whiting, designers Griea Taylor and Joëlle Thomas and creative / editor Tim Leeson) take note of the things they deem interesting at the time, the ideas they have been excited by and the stories they already had the foundations of. This time round “upon lining all these pieces up”, says James, “one consistent vein appeared to run through them all: communication”. Leading in from this “loose” theme, the team decided to zoom in “on how people communicated through sport and how sport communicates to the wider world”.
Interestingly, when beginning their research, the team began with the “encyclopaedic” set up of A-Z before soon changing to the more theoretical *-Z “as we found through research that * is a prominent symbol throughout the sporting world”, Ben tells us. Following the more general set up of the edition's linear progression, they then went on to search for the most engaged and articulate voices to collaborate with. “In some cases, the responses to these questions came internally, diving into the history books and fringes on our lonesome”, explains James. “Others were the result of reaching out to artists, academics and athletes who had the sharpness of expertise that could help provide the depth of thinking and experience that we wanted to present to our audience.”
Spring-boarding off the team’s extensive and thorough research, the designers sought ways to best visually emulate Issue 5’s themes. Interacting with the publications unusual *-Z index, Griea and Jölle decided to use tabbed pages (a nod to telephone books) and their layouts were full and busy – a reference to how we experience our current media. And, Joëlle goes on to explain that they predominantly let the articles steer the design: “we approached each article with a fresh take, taking inspiration first from the article itself, which then informed the design. A broad theme and excellent content gave us a lot of room for play.”
In terms of colour, Griea tells us that it was the one design element that “differentiated this issue from the rest”. Continually developing throughout the design process, settling upon a colour scheme proved one of the harder choices for the designers, before they eventually landed on eight key colours “that could be paired and used in different ways while still echoing the Good Sport brand”. The general design also features a whole myriad of typography, including Swear by James Edmondson, Objektiv from Dalton Maag and Neue Haas Grotesk Display Pro by Christian Schwartz and Max Miedinger, all chosen for their ability to “work together and stand alone equally well”.
A standout piece for the Good Sport team is the issue’s cover story, which focuses on the smell of sport by olfactionist Saskia Wilson-Brown. Allowing for a truly sensory experience, the team was given the chance to create a specific fragrance for the magazine based on a particular sporting scenario, and, the first orders of the magazine included a card soaked in the scent. With how much time, effort and rigorous research has gone into creating such a dynamic, visually impressive and interactive publication, we can’t wait to see what the Good Sport team comes up with next.
Good Sport Studio: Good Sport 05, Front cover and Half-Time Oranges spread (Courtesy of Good Sport Studio, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.