1977 Design creates graphics for National Football Museum

1977 Design has designed the exhibition graphics and wayfinding for The National Football Museum, which opens in Manchester this week.

National Football Museum graphics by 1977 Design
Graphics showing a football reporter’s kit at the start of the last century – including a carrier pigeon…

The consultancy was appointed at the beginning of 2011, pitching to consultancy Mather & Co, which had already been contracted for exhibition design.

The National Football Museum has moved from Preston North End’s Deepdale ground to the Urbis building in Manchester where it will take over six floors. 

1977 Design has worked within guidelines set by Music, which delivered a new brand for the National Football Museum in March 2011.

National Football Museum graphics by 1977 Design
Women’s football was banned in FA grounds from 1921-1971

Rather than create an overall look for the museum graphics, 1977 Design partner Jonathan Beacher says a separate look for each section has been governed by a broad set of rules.

Beacher says, ‘For example the first level, the historical galleries, have a very different feel to the second level which deals with the mechanics of playing the game.

‘We have to appeal to everyone from a five-year-old kid who’s just started playing five-a-side, to a grandad who remembers seeing Hungary destroy England,’ in 1953.

Wayfinding features the Music-designed branding which has been applied by 1977 Design, alongside what Beacher calls a ‘cognitive thread’.

At the beginning of the Welcome Wing, a long display wall shows ‘gradually intensifying images’, which are revealed on the approach to a turn-style where graphics of a ‘colourful crescendo of fans’ give way to ‘a light bright space,’ says Beacher.

National Football Museum graphics by 1977 Design
An exhibition of England’s history of penalty kicks…

Elsewhere in the Football Plus zone, Mather & Co has designed a virtual penalty shoot out which commemorates England’s Euro 96 penalty victory over Spain.

Here 1977 Design has printed directly onto brushed aluminium, creating ‘hyperreal imagery,’ according to Beacher, who says the consultancy has tried to evoke ‘mood, energy and passion’ by introducing ‘shards of colour’ and images of players.

National Football Museum graphics by 1977 Design
Football comics

A separate toy and game section deals with the history of everything from Victorian parlour games to computer games.

For this, 1977 Design looked at original packaging designs to create wallpapers and a ‘faux-computer game box’ to mark the area.

A new website has been designed by Wonder Associates and the museum opens to the public on Friday.

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