CR Blog

Man City's Big Four home game posters

Advertising, Illustration

Posted by Gavin Lucas, 19 April 2010, 13:12    Permalink    Comments (38)

Last week Music in Manchester produced the final poster in a series of four designed to promote Manchester City Football Club's "big four" Premiership home fixtures of the football season – complete with an illustration of Carlos Tevez by Shephard Fairey's studio, Studio Number One...

Music commissioned four illustrators to each produce an iconic image of a City player who would be the focus of the campiagns for the games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Each City player depicted used to play for the opposing team at one time – hence ex Manchester United player Tevez appearing on the above poster which promoted Saturday's game (April 17) against United.

"We wanted to treat the games for what they really are, a unique experience more likened to a gig than a game of football, explains Music's Dave Simpson. "Our aim was to work with illustrators and produce pieces of iconic artwork that captured great moments in the club's history."

Here are the other three posters produced during the season and posted up around Manchester:

Todd Slater created the illustration for the above poster which features Craig Bellamy and which promoted the game against Liverpool on 21 February

This poster to promote the game against Chelsea on 5th December features Shaun Wright-Philips as envisaged by illustrator Chris White

And this illustration of Emmanuel Adebayor by Michael Gillette adorned the poster for the September match between Man City and Arsenal.

"The Big Four games provide an opportunity to celebrate those cult players who relish such occasions and transcend the barriers between culture and football," says Chris Kay, head of marketing at Manchester City. "Creating a stylised campaign, unique for a football club, puts Manchester City at the centre of the cultural fabric of Manchester."


2010-04-19 13:27:54

Its a nice idea and all, but in some cases look a bit rushed/poorly crafted.
2010-04-19 13:59:07

Have the Ames Bros been moonlighting for Man City?
2010-04-19 14:15:59

Love the Shaun Wright-Philips poster
2010-04-19 14:25:31

Really not a fan of that Bellamy one, or the typography on the Tevez effort, not to mention the actual illustration. The Adebayor and SW-P's ones fair much better in my opinion.
Mark Gamble
2010-04-19 14:40:59

I'm not a big fan of Man City, but these posters are awesome.
Thanks for sharing.
2010-04-19 15:11:30

Typographically they are too obvious and the illustration seems like it's been put through a PS filter.
Oliver Aplin
2010-04-19 15:23:29

The Vince Lombardi quote is the best thing about them.
2010-04-19 15:30:37

Lets hope they make some equally ordinary posters when they are playing in the Europa league net season. Thursday night, channel 5!
2010-04-19 16:46:48

not interesting
2010-04-19 19:55:17

Pretty poor executions to be honest... And the typography is even worse!
2010-04-20 00:09:56

Nice work and a continuation of the first class campaign City have been running for a couple of years now.
2010-04-20 07:27:01

Brilliant. As a most unfortunate Glasgow Celtic fan though, it will be a long time before our backward-thinking board of directors invest in some meaningful Graphic Art.
2010-04-20 09:47:05

They are quite striking however I feel that in some cases the facial expressions don't quite capture the right emotion. I mean, Tevez looks sort of bored rather than passionate and Adebayor looks like he is on crack.
2010-04-20 11:15:42

The 'Music' one reminds me of a Flip skateboard I used to own with Geoff Rowley on it?
2010-04-20 12:18:40

Wealthy owners and award winning illustrators can't buy you wins though, as proven.

Come on United!
2010-04-20 12:39:23

I really like the posters. Great designs with interesting illustrations and typography.
Logo Design Monster
2010-04-20 12:55:39

the poster a very Obama like and nothing original about it... but for fun the are ok...
Januario Jano
2010-04-20 13:22:01

I love the middle two ideas, they are brilliant, I think the first and last idea are a bit too simplified not to my taste really, like the more grainy finish of the others.

2010-04-20 13:28:25

Looks like a university brief!
2010-04-20 13:39:26

these all look really nice, especially like the typo one at the bottom and the top one. i like the boldness, and the clean crisp lines and shapes of those two, makes it stand out. maybe the message could be a little clearer.

haha Ross 'not interesting' isn't really very constructive is it, it obviously caught ur eye n u must have been a little bit interested or u wouldn't have commented would you lol
2010-04-20 13:50:47

Typographically almost as bad as the new CR logo!
ian scott
2010-04-20 14:41:04

Visual music to my ears.
2010-04-20 15:15:32

Sorry - but looks like an average 1st year students effort - the illustrations are particularly poor. Did they get paid for this?
Ken Walker
2010-04-20 15:46:19

Why use the American Football coach Vince Lombardi's quote? Surely there's a million actual British footbal quotes that would have suited this poster? That alone shows a total misunderstanding of British football culture. Having said that, I'm an illustrator and it's great to see a professional football club of City's stature using illustration in their posters in this way and that is to be applauded. Better than the usual Photoshop-ped photograph of a smiling youngster in a team scarf.
Martin Greaves
2010-04-20 15:52:41

how on earth is it not interesting ross?

the wright-phillips and adebayor posters are great posters in general, and when you consider theyve been accepted by a multi million pound football club it makes it more remarkable. It could've so easily been just any old photo with an accompanying bit of type – it's what most clubs do after all. I think it's great music went the extra yard with them and did something different.
2010-04-20 16:13:57

Visual music to my ears.
2010-04-20 17:00:55

Forget the design and illustration, it sums up all that is wrong with football.

“We wanted to treat the games for what they really are, a unique experience more likened to a gig than a game of football”

What nonsense. It is A GAME OF FOOTBALL. How can that be more like a gig than a game of football?

And capturing great moments in the clubs history? Try telling that to the supporters who just watched their team lose to their most hated rivals scoring a last second goal.

It’s all absolute marketing bollocks.
2010-04-20 18:31:37

The Lombardi quote was chosen because Craig Bellamy named him as his personal inspiration. We selected a number of options and discussed them with Craig. This stood out.
David Pullan
2010-04-20 18:53:37

[comment deleted by moderator]
young black
2010-04-21 01:10:00

Obviously you're not a football fan Jimdoes (were you the last one to be picked in the playground).
The average attendance for a Man City game is 43,000. The average attendance for a 'gig' in Manchester is 3,500.
No football isn't like a gig.... to the people of this country (world), it's much bigger.
Dennis Tueart
2010-04-21 12:31:58

Whether you like the particular illustration and typography styles or not I think creatives and football fans alike should see this kind of work as a positive step towards a football design renaissance and away from the generic look of most of todays tickets/programmes/pennants/magazines etc.

We need more clubs to do more of this kind of commissioning – bravo to city for raising the bar off the pitch at least
2010-04-21 13:25:31

I love Music's approach to football illustrations but all of this doesn't really reach a massive market. This is local advertising for City's homegames so of course they need to pull in more fans as everyone has seen the empty seats over at Eastlands every year, This makes creating something like this a little easier and you can be more expressive

If these ads were in London no one would really notice the message, plus they wouldn't get on the underground to start with!
2010-04-21 14:49:15

lovely initiative! of man city!
great to mix design with football and vice versa.

(some copy cats though)
2010-04-25 12:24:30

I was just about to say, there is nothing original about them!
2010-05-05 13:57:36

Completely agree with 'Elliottq', in the current market and state of advertising generally we need more more more, regardless of whether it's a football club with a massive budget or your local dominoes team. - Bring back the poster!!!
Paul Garland
2010-06-29 14:41:38

Good skills. The Obama-esque version of Tevez by Shephard Fairey's studio, Studio Number One is awesome. Not convinced about the others. Does this mean that Shephard now does a 'Julian Opie' and retires to a tropical island somewhere while his studio kick out Obama-style prints? Stange how history repeats itself - guess it's Warhol's "Factory" all over again...
Jeremy Waite
2010-08-17 11:03:37

Seems like Shephard Fairey has lost his touch, or is just becoming lazy, that is a lousy execution in my opinion.

The Bellamy piece is really not there yet, it needs alot of work to pull off the idea correctly.

The Shaun wright Phillips and the Adebayor posters are most definatley the strongest of the lot, you can see that from a mile away, great job chaps.

I still love the Gunners.
GO! ARSENAL!! oh and goodluck Man City.
2012-05-11 09:10:50

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