The design industry is stereotypically known for a few things; a keen eye for trendiness and a lot of time spent at your desk, to name just two. Organising and taking part in studio football tournaments might not be at the top of this hypothetical list. But, as a group of ten studios proved on a selection of football pitches on a sunny Saturday in North London, this perception might now be being put to the test.
“We think the industry can be a lonely place at times,” says James Sedgwick Taylor, creative director at The Office of Overview. “Beyond our glass boxes and well curated office walls, what does our community actually look like?” While James notes that studios keep an eye on what their neighbours and contemporaries are up to online, they rarely even meet up in real life. So, to tackle this, James and colleagues at The Office of Overview – as “die hard football fans (well, most of us)” – decided to hold a five-a-side football tournament with ten of their favourite agencies, and so the The Studio Super Cup was born. Taking part was Nomad, Omse, DesignStudio, Koto, Mother, B&B, Justified, Accept & Proceed, Us Two, Copa 90 and, of course, The Office of Overview, and money was raised for Football Beyond Borders, a charity that supports children from areas of of socio-economic disadvantage through football.
Though, James does admit that it was hard to shake the designers within. “In true graphic design fashion, more energy was poured into the design of the team’s kits, than training for the actual football,” says James. “So whilst we all gave it our best, design was the real winner.” James isn’t wrong, the tournament demonstrated the design world’s affinity for football graphics. Typographic motion posters were made for fixtures, colourful shirts were adorned with custom crests and a keep say programme featuring a football saving Michelin Man.
James tells us that the day was a success, with a chance to have a kickabout while also having a chat about the world of the work they all share. And now, James hopes that The Studio Super Cup might instigate more community driven ideas for the design industry. “It was a very proud moment to have the people that we’ve looked up towards for years come together and share stories, sweat and tears,” says James. “The tournament clearly demonstrated the power of community, and how football can be a driving force for good.”
GalleryCopyright © The Office for Overview
Copyright © The Office for Overview
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.