Monthly Archives: September 2013

On the Ball with Football Fonts

With the launch this week of Football Type, a book on typography in football, we decided to take a look back at some of our football fonts.

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Spread from Football Type

Football Type includes one of our earliest sports fonts, which was created for football club Tottenham Hotspur. The typeface was created as part of an overall identity review which aimed to modernise the image of the club, along with its rather dated branding. The font had to remain true to the club’s long held ideals, as well as standing the test of time and appearing to be fresh and modern.

The font we created is a characterful, all-caps, slightly serifed typeface, with a design that has its roots in the industrial age. It is designed to be a display font which can be applied to a variety of uses, from merchandising to signage and on the club’s website. The font is also an integral part of the new crest that was created during the rebrand, where the letters of “Tottenham Hotspur” have been optimised to be used on a curve in the typeface. The numerals also had to be carefully designed, as they would be used on the backs of the players’ shirts in large sizes and had to be readable even at a distance.


The Spurs font

We had to deal with the same issue for our Puma Gaffer font, which would be used on players’ shirts. We worked with design agency GBH to provide Puma with a folded tape font for their grassroots “Make Football Anywhere” campaign. This was revisiting a successful partnership that had already seen Dalton Maag produce the Puma Pace font for the 2006 World Cup.

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Spread from Football Type – Puma Gaffer

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Puma Pace

GBH knew that this font had to be more than just a novelty typeface so they asked Dalton Maag, as experts in type design, to create the structure of the font. We set to work creating a set of Latin characters which would then have the tape texture applied to them. This included experimenting with folding, overlapping and cutting tape to make letter shapes. The resulting typeface is both unique and legible.


Puma Gaffer

A roundup of our football fonts wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the FA Cup. We were approached by Design Room to help create new branding for this well-known competition. The trophy is an iconic image itself, and the font had to work with the flowing lines of the new logo graphic that incorporated the trophy. It also had to be bold and make a strong statement, so the team at Dalton Maag used their expertise to create an angular, sans serif font.

The primary purpose of the resulting typeface was to have impact, but it was also readable and, equally importantly, distinctive. It worked well as a counterpoint to the curves of the logo without seeming out of place, or overshadowing the graphic. The new football season sees the logo being pressed into service in a wide variety of places.

facebook screen shot

And finally, Dalton Maag’s Almaq was created for use by the Qatar 2022 bid for the World Cup. The phrase “Expect Amazing”, displayed in Almaq Rough, was a key part of the bid campaign. Almaq Rough and Refined are available in our library.


From the Point of View of a Trainee – Rafael Saraiva

Rafael Saraiva has recently returned to Brazil to work with out team there after taking part in the Dalton Maag training programme for new type designers. He tells us a little more about what he’s gained from the experience.

“Even though I have a self taught background in calligraphy, it was great to spend a considerable amount of time working only with that at the beginning of the training period. Calligraphy can inform our work a lot and is an infinite source of insights and inspiration.


Rafael’s calligraphy

“After discussing ideas with Ron, my chosen concept was a sans serif typeface with rounded corners and a squarish appearance. This new design should be between ‘friendly’ and ‘tech’ and it would be suitable for corporate use.

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Font concept sketches.

“I designed a limited number of letters for Regular, Thin and Black weights to see how the concept would work as a typographic system. But since we have a limited time window during this training process, Ron advised me to focus on the Regular weight. We are supposed to design the ASCII set during the training, in order to reproduce the way a project is presented to real clients. But we covered accented characters that are not covered in the ASCII set, because they can pose technical challenges when dealing with spacing and kerning.

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Weight testing for Rafael’s font.

“We had several sessions with the Engineers in order to cover technical aspects of font production. We learned the best practices on how to perform quality assurance tests, to engineer and hint our fonts. The last part of the training was very special, because Hinting was something new to me and it was brilliant to get in touch with that aspect of font production.”

8 Hinting


Type and Sound

What are the essential elements that make a brand unique? How do you create bespoke tools that capture the imagination to engage audiences visually and emotionally? Siegel+Gale are hosting a unique event at the London Design Festival which combines type and sound to answer these questions. Our very own Bruno Maag will be speaking on how fonts can enrich a brand, and he will be joined later by Massive Music for a session on demystifying how sound enhances a brand experience.

Bruno will be telling us why he likes the world’s most controversial typeface, Comic Sans, and getting the audience to jump into a debate on typeface choice. What does your typeface reveal about you? What are the motivations for using a specific type style? Has the digital world created a new Wild West for fonts? He’ll also be asking what’s really important when it comes to choosing a typeface for branding and giving an overview of how a corporate typeface is born.

The event takes place at Soho House on 18th September, starting at 12.30pm. You can register for tickets at

Thalia Teasdale