Along last night to Glory Glory, a poster exhibition we contributed to. Each entrant was invited to design a typographic poster illustrating a football chant of their choice. The blurb is as follows: “Glory Glory is an exhibition of graphic poster art that celebrates the language of the beautiful game”.
I am not a great believer in the beautiful game (or the typographic poster) but I am often shocked and depressed by the ongoing racism in football, and thought this might be an opportunity to say something about it. So we chose the monkey chant. The grotesque, banana waving monkey chant that echoes around the stands when black players receive the ball. We credited it to AS Roma, as they relentlessly harass Balotelli with this treatment (to the point their game against Milan was suspended earlier this year) but it could be many European clubs; It’s ubiquitous…
And this is how it appeared in the catalogue, right next to Büro Destruct’s “Italy” poster.
It’s pure coincidence. The catalogue is alphabetised by entry, as you can see in a cover design best described as democratic.
Another strange coincidence on pages 78/79, where Norwich City (Pentagram) and Ipswich Town (Purpose) face off in the Old Farm derby. Two nil to Ipswich.
And again on p.90/91 where both Studio 2br and Studio Dumbar set about making your eyeballs bleed. They looked even better in the flesh.
And yet again on pages 28/29 where two of the best bits of copy face off. “There’s only two Andy Gorams”, celebrating the famously schizophrenic Andy Goram, from Brighten the Corners, and England’s “You’re shit, but your birds are fit”, chanted at Ukraine, by Catalogue (“So, you’re getting on your high horse about racism but casual sexism and mental health jokes are ok?!”).
I now realise the catalogue is a lot cleverer than it first appears. By alphabetising the entries to remove any editorial input, and making two posters face each other on every spread, the book creates its own league, and you can’t choose who you play against.
Elsewhere, Spin managed to get everyone to pronounce Halifax properly…
… and Fernando Gutiérrez proved something about the elegance of Spanish football by winning the battle of the Olés (there was a lot of olé).
And finally, this great poster from Change is Good.
With thanks and congratulations to Nick Blakeman, Alex Brown and Craig Oldham who organised the show.