Switzerland is the home of design, the home of minimalism, and it seems this heritage hasn’t been lost on the branding design of the Nation’s football team, and supported by their kit manufacturer, the PUMA Group.
The Swiss National team football kits bring new meaning to ‘the beautiful game’. See up close the new white design with geometric profiles inspired by the Alps, and that the four official languages that are used by the Swiss (German, French, Italian and Romansh) are represented by four different colours. Each of which are made up of tiny Swiss crosses.
PLUS, It’s the only PUMA kit that strays typographically from the manufacturers template font. Yes, believe it or not, the Swiss have the world-famous Helvetica on their backs.
And for those of you who don’t know, there’s a good reason: Switzerland is the birthplace of—you guessed it—Helvetica.
They’ve clearly thought about this kit, haven’t they? Any full service marketing agency will tell you the power of a brand that perfectly reflects your identity.
When talking about branding design, this typically refers to key brand elements such as the logo, colours and typography; the Swiss Football team have beautifully and effectively designed their kit and enhanced the power of the Nation’s brand.
Originally known as Neue Haas Grotesk, the font was commissioned by Eduard Hoffman, of Haas Type Foundry (or, in Swiss, 𝘏𝘢𝘢𝘴’𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘤𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘵𝘨𝘪𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘪), and drawn by Max Meidinger in 1957, to rival the era’s most popular typeface: Akzidenz-Grotesk (Google it).
Obviously, ‘Neue Haas Grotesk’ is a bit of a mouthful, so to give it a bit of a kick (like football). It was renamed ‘Helvetica’ after the Swiss word ‘Helvetia’, which, funnily enough, means ‘Swiss’ in Latin, and interestingly enough used as a neutral term with respect to the four languages spoken in the country.
For a font to capture the imagination of the world, it needs to be a classic, so it can be used in any situation, and this, much like a modern day footballer, has got class in abundance (Ok, not all footballers).
From its creation, Helvetica has been one of the most used fonts in contemporary graphics, and even has had a film made about it (Trailer). And now it is on the shoulders of the Swiss National Football Team; we’ve come full circle.
Clean, legible, adaptable, ‘minimal’ was probably the brief to the kit designer. And we have to say, they’ve scored on this one.
The only flaw in the shirts design, however, which will give our Creative Director Larner nightmares: they haven’t capitalised the surnames.
Maybe they just needed to give it a bit of… class? Shameless behaviour but we’ll let them off, I guess.