Project

32 Nations

Creating a unique identity for every nation in the 2014 World Cup.

In 2013, I had just founded Clean Sheet Co. to make interesting, soccer-inspired apparel. I wanted a project that could serve as a springboard for the new company – something that could get people talking.

One day, it hit me: what if we designed a shirt for all 32 countries in the soon-to-arrive 2014 World Cup?

Over the course of a month, that’s exactly what I did. Working in groups of four, I created bespoke designs for each of the 32 World Cup teams. Inspiration came from everywhere: flags, national symbols, landscapes and textiles.

I stuck to several rules: I couldn’t use more than four colors per design, and I had to incorporate the Clean Sheet Co. crest logo in each piece. These constraints help produce a cohesive series of designs.

Explainer graphic for the Lucha Libre inspired Mexico design.

I debuted each group of designs with a design write-up that showed exactly how I came up with the calculus that created each design. That approach–designs paired with deep-dive write ups– proved very popular, and became a natural form of marketing for the series. It’s a formula we’ve since repeated on a variety of projects (including our series of National Ribbons for the 2018 World Cup).

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Explainer graphics for Brazil (left) and The Netherlands (right).

The series was covered by various media outlets, including Sports Illustrated (where my work was republished as a part of the company’s World Cup coverage), NPR (which included a story and a radio interview) and Under Consideration’s Brand New magazine, a quarterly review of inspiring projects.

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The project was very successful. (We even had several customers purchase all 32 shirts!) It solidified Clean Sheet Co.’s apparel and design work as a part of the American soccer landscape.

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I’m incredibly proud of the series, the shirts, and the folks who supported our work.

To read the entire series and see the designs, start here. →