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Work / Graphic Design

Designer Marc Armand on graphically interpreting the French football team’s kit ahead of the World Cup

Marc Armand has a long list of accomplishments to his name: he is the creative director of Please! magazine; he has designed patterns for Desigual and Jean-Paul Goude; he has worked on countless collaborations with Nike as a graphic designer, typographer and type researcher. The list is endless.

Marc founded Tu Sais Qui, a Paris-based art direction and graphic design studio, in 2008 and has since then perfected his characteristic aesthetic of vibrant and confident designs. “I try to create images that lie somewhere between post-modernism, pop culture tackiness, digital psychedelia, colourful abstraction and experimental typography of the early 90s. I basically draw on all the imagery I grew up with that inspired me to pursue art direction, graphic design and drawing,” Marc tells It’s Nice That.

For his latest project, Marc has teamed up with a number of established creatives to reimagine and revamp the French national football team’s jerseys ahead of this year’s World Cup. The collaboration was divided between studios and designers, among which was Convoy Agency, who art directed the photoshoots with the help of photographer David Luraschi. Convoy also teamed up with Studio Jimbo to produce the campaign’s graphics and posters together with some of Nike’s in-house design teams. When it comes to Marc’s creative role, the designer says: “I worked on producing a complete graphic toolbox, which includes the patterns that form the poster backgrounds and that frame the photographs, typographic compositions, poster designs and templates for retail adaptations.”

The result is a striking and coherent campaign that stretches across disciplines in order to inject new energy into France’s national team. Despite its bold visuals, the designers were careful to balance Nike’s dynamic aesthetic with the understated class they considered to be quintessentially French. “We stuck to blue, white and red both because they are the French colours and because it’s a strong colour combination. The poster formats were driven by the ‘Nike spirit’ combined with a ‘French touch’: strength and elegance,” Marc says. This combination is particularly evident in the harmonious balance of sole focal points — whether it be a portrait shot or a single Nike tick — and the bold, energetic background colours and patterns.

“The campaign is about the football team’s new jersey and its innovative technical elements so I focused on translating that into a graphic language. The knitting of the fabric is rendered into a hexagonal stitch, which is in turn transformed into a wavy background pattern. The Speed Blur embroidery on the jersey’s shoulders is also turned into a pattern made up of very thin lines.” By reimagining these three-dimensional textures into two-dimensional graphic patterns, Marc demonstrates his unique creative vision and, once again, confirms his place at the forefront of the innovative design scene.

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