To celebrate a quarter of a century of the MLS, we were commissioned to create a new name and number font. It needed to be contemporary, edgy and to capture all the excitement of matchday football.
We picked F37 because of their track record in the typography world which we have long admired. Their ability to interpret our needs and translate that into compelling design was clear from the very start. The work fits the tone of our brand, culturally fluid, progressive and modern. They pushed our thinking throughout this process, expanding what we thought was possible and creating something bigger than a new set of name and numbers for our jerseys.
Founded in 1993, Major League Soccer (MLS) is now established as the third-most popular spectator sport in the US. Its 24 teams pull in around 20,000 fans per game, as well as some of the world’s best-known players.
As part of its 25th birthday celebrations in 2020, MLS commissioned a new name and number font to be worn on all the teams’ kits. They wanted it to feel edgy and progressive, and able to be used ‘beyond the jersey’, on other products and marketing materials.
Inspired by the Penrose Triangle (or impossible triangle) the lettering has a simple optical illusion that makes you look twice. And then look again. It seems impossible, but there it is, like those magic moments on the pitch. It has an energetic, 'swooshing' optical effect, representing the movement and energy in the game, like a Beckham free kick or an Ilsinho step over.
Bearing in mind that footballers of many nationalities play in the league, we worked on a lot of language support, including a range of accents, ligatures and small caps to cover any eventuality we could think of. We also crafted a specially condensed font for longer names (the Latvian player Andriuškevičius immediately springs to mind!).