You may know Denzel Curry as the rapper and songwriter from Florida, America. We imagine it’s far less likely, however, that you know him as the athlete who “trains like a machine” in kung fu, boxing, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. It’s stories like these – ones that link sport with cultures like music, food, design and architecture – that form the premise for Good Sport, “a magazine out of left field,” now in its third issue.
Captured by photographer Julian Berman, Good Sport’s cover story follows Denzel as he spars in the backyards of his hometown, Miami, to performing fingertip push-ups in the dojo, all while cutting out smoking, drinking and sugar. “I had photographed Denzel about a year before for Brick Magazine,” recalls photographer and founder of Good Sport, Ben Clement, “during the shoot, I knew he was working on being fitter and more active.” Six months and a few email exchanges with Denzel’s manager later, Ben discovered the extent to which Denzel was pursuing martial arts. “I was fascinated by his dedication to all this training and how it was pushing his career as a rapper,” he explains.
Good Sport started in 2014 as a way for Ben to champion the likes of Denzel. “I noticed there was a resurgence of people who had disconnected with sport who wanted to reconnect with it but had no platform or publication to do so,” he explains. Good Sport, therefore offered an alternative, representing “great design, immersive photography and quality writing that converges between culture and media.” Ben tells It’s Nice That how he "wanted to create a magazine that could travel the world and be read anywhere and be accessible to many people, as that’s what sport was to me.”
Now the publication is supported by a team that spans the globe with Ben, an editor and editorial assistant and Tristan Ceddia of Never Now, who designs the magazine, based in Melbourne but with team members in South Africa, New York and London too. “It’s a really important part of how the magazine works,” Ben explains, “namely to have different perspectives that can only come from proximity, geographic location and experiences.”
“The design of Good Sport is decidedly simple and monotonous,” Tristan explains. The masthead, by-line, website and copy are all set in the same typeface, with a basic hierarchy employed within the typesetting. “_Good Sport_ revolves around strong words and imagery, and the idea that we could hero this with a relaxed design aesthetic is key,” he adds.
Alongside the editorial on Denzel, the issue also features an interview with creative director Joe Staples, previously the executive creative director at Wieden+Kennedy, about his love of jiu-jitsu and his creative philosophies. A particular highlight, however, comes in the form of an exploration of the diet of e-gamers. Developed alongside Long Prawn and Practise Studio Practise, Good Sport always include a food segment called Half-Time Oranges. The fascinating and altogether unexpected feature is the perfect example of how the magazine delivers sport-focussed content, through the lens of much broader reaching interests.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.