Football and involution of design: from the galactic poster to the amateur

In the middle of the last century the television was a newcomer to Spain, and without satellite TV subscriptions or pay-per-view packages , the publicity claim of the clubs to fill their fields was the poster. Over the years the football poster acquired a very clear typology with an evolution similar to that of the bullfighting poster of the last century or the regional festive poster, with illustrations or pictorial backgrounds that were completed with compositions Standardized to give agility to weekly production.

The amount of historical material related to Valencia CF in the second half of the century is striking because of the rise of the Valencian graphic arts that generated an entire industry in itself, which in turn motivated the prosperity of artists, painters and Graphic artists at the service of bullfighting posters, Fallas or the July Fair .

Looking at these posters in perspective, we observed the repetition of some of these backgrounds of scenes of matches to illustrate different teams, precisely because of the search for quick solutions, so that different lithographic workshops had their own funds of work as today The designers have at our disposal banks of images and photographs for orders in which there is no time or budget to generate new material.

While the prolific poster announcer of parties in Spain acquired this autochthonous tone from the works that illustrated them, in the rest of the world were milestones such as the World Cup which served as a claim at the international level with much more political dyes, sometimes styles Closer to the propaganda poster or national trends such as the Polish cartels or the mythical Miró who announced the World Cup of Spain ’82.

The football poster was one of the goals through which Spanish posterism positioned itself internationally, with a style with its own denomination, something that was lost in the last decades of the last century, increasing from the entrance of the computer what Motivated the professional intrusismo and the complete disappearance of this typology of posters. The works of local artists gave way to the filters of Photoshop, a curve inversely proportional to the budget of the clubs and the astronomical investment in advertising, and this is how the classic and historical poster gave way to the most absolute deprofesionalization where the only interesting glimpses They come from sponsors, pay-TV or personal amateur projects with some skill on their own.

And even if outside the big capitals and the first division there still exists the need to fill the field, neither have there been able to recover this traditional resource, not even invest in it to obtain parts that are effective, and is where This lack of professionalism is evidenced by the lack of support from multinationals with experience in design, marketing or advertising sponsored by the cartel.

Apart from these scandalous graphic disasters, the most interesting proposals no longer seek to announce parties, but to promote illustrators and designers from their personal projects. And this is how we currently find series of posters such as the Bosnian Zoran Lucić that combines photography treated with a vintage style to create a curious posters of football legends, the work ‘Galactics’ Tactel Graphics, the series of portraits Playmakers Romanian Daniel Nyari or the illustrations of Valencian Lawerta (among his work we find many references and works on the world of football).

Seeing the quantity and quality of these freelance professional projects, it’s no wonder companies like Nike have scouts on freelance creative platforms and portfolios to get their hands on freshness in their sports campaigns.

It is also worth mentioning the attempt to approach the design of football that in 2012 made the exhibition ‘Football (also) is like that’ inaugurated in the MuVIM of Valencia and curated by the designer Manuel Camacho. This exhibition , currently traveling around the world , offers a new vision on the relationship between design and football from various disciplines such as graphic, typography or product design, exploring the influence of football as a global phenomenon and how it is a sport Which serves as a reference for materializing different projects.

As one of the most recent and curious cases of graphics applied to the football poster we find the Madrid Club Deportivo Leganés, who taking advantage of his promotion to the First Division has surprised with a campaign of posters with which to announce every encounter in his field. A low-cost advertising campaign (where not always premium design) by its internal communication team, unconcerned and that conveys perfectly the spirit of this modest club.