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Work / Illustration

Sam Taylor’s World Cup gifs portray “the agony and the ecstasy” of the game

Illustrator Sam Taylor has created a collection of football fanatic gifs for Giphy ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Pitching the idea to Giphy himself after working with them previously, the opportunity developed when the illustrator noticed that “there weren’t really that many good football gifs in their database to put in my Instagram stories,” he tells It’s Nice That. “So I wanted to create a set a remedy this.” A green light from Giphy soon followed and now his set is available to use!

As someone who plays football regularly, Sam was, understandably, “very stoked” about the prospect and had “a clear vision in my head for the main character – the ball, and wanted to express both the positive and negative aspects of football and being a fan,” he explains. Consequently, Sam’s set displays “the agony and the ecstasy” of the game, and as an England fan, “the negative ones came much easier,” he laughs.

Sam’s starring ball character is full of emotion with its goggled eyes. So wide they’re reminiscent of a football fan who’s had one too many, his character easily adapts different temperaments from angry frustrated tears to complete glee. “Like I mentioned before, the Giphy football database didn’t have that many good football gifs. This shocked me as football is so big around the world. I wanted my character to be universally recognised, this is why I went for that classic black and white football style,” he explains.

Further characters in his Giphy set display the emotion spanning the game that football is, typographically and through other football-related designs. “I wanted to cover as many happy and sad things as I could in my 15 gifs,” the illustrator explains of the full set. “I think there are more sad gifs though, but this makes sense as there will be more losers than winners haha. Great goals, fouls, red cards, tears, celebrations, let downs and a drunken ball. Basically, I wanted my set to illustrate the spectrum of emotions that are associated with football and The World Cup.”

The illustrator also explains that playing football alongside being a freelance illustrator is “one of the main things stopping me from becoming my own blob,” he says. “I watch a lot of football when I’m drawing too, in a little window in the corner of my iMac screen, this makes working on Saturdays a lot easier.” As for the upcoming World Cup, Sam’s looking forward “to seeing the crazy new Nigeria kit in action and Jamie Vardy scoring a hat-trick to win the final for England then getting sprayed down with a bottle of blue WKD.”

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor

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Sam Taylor