I was relatively lucky at the beginning of my DPS year as, over the summer, I was working part time at creative agency and magazine, MUNDIAL. In September, they agreed to take me on as a full time intern and that is where I have spent my first four months of DPS. Originally launched as a one-off magazine to celebrate the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, MUNDIAL has grown from a quarterly football lifestyle magazine into a creative agency. Although we still put out four issues a year, a large part of the studio’s work is with clients, navigating campaigns through the complex football market and showing them how to successfully engage with modern football culture.
My role at MUNDIAL is that of a Junior Designer. My primary function in the broadest sense is to assist the Creative and Art Directors in the development and production of projects, designing for print and digital, as well as offering support in other creative roles. More specifically, I am responsible for designing roughly a quarter of the magazine, as well as being part of a two man team that run the brand’s social media. There are two reasons that I enjoy working at MUNDIAL so much; the responsibility and the variety. Not only am I given important tasks relating to large, public-facing projects, they are of such variety and range that I never find myself bored. As well as designing spreads for three issues of the magazine, I have designed clothes, travelled abroad to photograph travel features, styled shoots with international brands and much more.
Designing for the magazine is one of my favourite aspects of my job. With over 3000 subscribers and an annual readership of nearly 200,000, it is important that the magazine looks good. Out of the seven or eight features in any particular issue, I am given one or two to design, as well as a variety of other supplementary bits and pieces.
One of my favourite features I have designed for is PISA MERDA, a photo essay by LCC alumni Barley Nimmo. Barley travelled to Livorno to document the fierce rivalry between AS Livorno and AC Pisa, and took a behind the scenes look at the lives of the Livorno ultras, the club’s most passionate fans. As well as attending the game, Barley went to the wedding of one of the most prominent ultras, offering a new and interesting angle to the piece. When designing the four spreads, there were two separate factors I had to consider. Firstly; the format. Usually when designing a feature, there is a large amount of copy to contend with and it usually has to take precedence over any imagery used – i.e. you can’t cut copy to fit in another image but you can do the reverse. PISA MERDA, however, is a photo essay. Although they were accompanied by a small write-up of his time in Italy, Barley’s photos were the main focus of the piece. Although this gave me more freedom to design a more visual piece, I had a new challenge, in that I had to fit a larger amount of images into the same number of pages. The second factor I had to consider was the story of the piece. This is always at the forefront of my mind when designing a long-form feature, ensuring that the imagery is aligned to the story, both in position and in tone. By keeping both of these factors in mind, as well as constant communication with the Art Director, I was able to produce a successful outcome.
Working at MUNDIAL has given me the opportunity to work with other brands as well. The studio has a close relationship with Hampton & Richmond Borough FC, and when the Beavers needed a new kit designing for the 19/20 season, the Creative Director asked if I would like to take the lead on the project. It has long been a goal of mine to design kits for professional teams, so I jumped at the opportunity. After initially drawing up several possible routes the project could follow, I was told that the club was changing manufacturer and that therefore the parameters of the designs would have to change. Instead of designing the kit from scratch, the club would print on templated designs. As well as this, the manufacturer would only be able to print on the front of the shirt, and not up to the seams. I was somewhat taken aback by these restrictions as, traditionally, the Beavers play in full-length red and blue stripes – something that would be now be impossible. I went back to the drawing board and came up with the outcome below. Taking inspiration from the work of Pete Hoppins and Nike Football, with a particular reference to the Atletico Madrid 18/19 Home shirt, our final design hints at stripes without actually going seam to seam. The client was very happy with the final outcome and the home shirt is their best-selling shirt to date. The shirt was also well received by the online football community – placing third in COPA90’s “Kits of the Season”.
Overall I have really enjoyed my time at MUNDIAL. The creative team allow me to bring new ideas to the table and encourage me to learn new skills. I feel like a valuable member of the team and am constantly being challenged to try new things. The studio has offered to extend my internship until September and I have accepted – I can’t wait for the new year.