Panini stickers, the Beano and other childhood introductions to design

Football world cups come around every four years, and with them comes an accompanying Panini sticker album.


The Brazil 2014 World Cup kicks off next month, and here at Design Week our office copy of the Panini sticker album is already filling up.

Judging by the emails and Tweets we’ve been getting, as well as the popularity of sites such as Sennep’s Stickerswapping, there are plenty of designers out there who are as Panini-obsessed as we are.

I’ve been collecting Panini stickers at every World Cup since making my debut in Italia ’90. I didn’t realise it at the time of course, but that 1990 stickerbook taught me a lot about design.

There are the Italia ’90 graphics and national flags throughout the album, the occasionally dodgy photography, the way the editorial design changes as you fill up the album and, (of course) the rare and desirable shiny stickers.


Source: SGD

Recently designer Sarah Hyndman asked me what my earliest memory of typography was. I answered that it’s The Beano’s masthead in the 1980s, which I replicated endlessly in schoolbooks. Panini stickerbooks were probably as influential in developing my interest in editorial design.

We’d love to find out about your earliest memories of design – let us know in the comments below.

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  • Ursula November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    For sure Sanrio’s “My Melody” toys and “little twin stars”!

  • Iain Durham November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    My earliest design memories were moulded by wherever I decided to dispense my weekly or monthly pocket money on and Panini stickers certainly featured – my first foray into the sticker obsession was Espana 82 with its bright vivid splashes of colour in its tournament logo and mascot – swapping had a real social element to it as I remember conversing with fellow pupils I would normally never give the time of day to – but my love of football soon gave way to my real passion for music and record covers became my real design de rigour and prized stickers of Paolo Rossi and Mario Kempes were swept aside for the avant garde minimalism of a Peter Saville factory records cover or a Neville Brody single cover design or some Malcolm Garrett. But my real affair with sharp clean design with a good splash of white space was best summed up by the record sleeve for Dare by The Human League – it became the first album I ever bought as a xmas present for my brother. good sound great design

  • Peter Scott December 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    For me it was a mixture of football and TV. I used to love the football club crests in the Panini sticker albums and indeed the Panini logo! My first logo love was the Aberdeen FC crest. So simple but you instantly get it.
    From TV it was cartoon logos especially those from Transformers, Terrahawks and He-Man.
    It’s amazing when you look back how you realise all the little influences the weird and the wonderful you have from childhood.

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