STYLE GUIDE | ILLUSTRATION | PRODUCT | DESIGN
19 clubs. 113 designs. Two style guides. When Major League Soccer called, SJI dove right in, immersing ourselves in the culture, slogans, and iconography of each of the league’s 19 clubs. The result was a wide-ranging guide that celebrates soccer through a multitude of art styles that would enable MLS to launch a fresh licensing program for years to come.
Our trend research revealed three art styles to explore and develop, and apply to each individual team. The first of these was Heritage Branding, incorporating shields, crests, and other vintage design elements. Club and hometown-specific iconography and slogans were used to make each club’s artwork distinct and marketable.
The next theme we developed was Large Typography, espousing club slogans in a big, bold way. A variety of typographic solutions were evolved from each club’s core identity, from hand-drawn to classic, vintage to modern, and everything in between, creating a wide range of designs.
Finally, a Hand Drawn trend was developed, inspired by calligraphy, graffiti, and even just plain schoolbook doodles.
The inaugural style guide elicited such positive feedback that a second guide was commissioned, focusing on women’s apparel. Major League Soccer’s retail program has experienced ongoing success.