A homegrown identity for Denver women’s football initiative

Design studio Wunder Werkz developed a campaign identity to support the foundation of a professional women’s football team in the Colorado capital

Wunder Werkz has created a brand identity and a set of promotional tools for a women’s football initiative called For Denver FC (FDFC), which has been set up to help bring a professional women’s team to Denver.

To capture the attention of Coloradans, FDFC founders Jordan Angeli and Ben Hubbard partnered with the local branch of Wunder Werkz, which also has an office in Reykjavík, to develop a look and feel for the movement that would speak to some of the state’s most treasured characteristics.

Angeli, a former National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) player, and Hubbard, the founder and CEO of insurance company Parsyl, are both Denver residents, and as such, were acutely aware of the symbols and values that would resonate most strongly with the locals.

“Both Jordan and Ben were very passionate about bringing professional women’s soccer to Denver and had a very modern and inclusive vision,” says Jon Hartman, partner at Wunder Werkz. “This is a state that a lot of current NWSL players and even United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) stars call home. It only makes sense to establish a local team that they can represent in the Mile High City as well.”

Guided by Angeli and Hubbard, Wunder Werkz “specifically tied the visuals to the natural landscape of the state,” says Madison Van Ausdall, a designer at the studio. She continues: “Colorado has iconic visuals that were important to us to highlight such as the pine trees, mountains, and colour palette that reflects the changing of seasons. Doing this allowed us to immediately connect the effort to launch this team to the community that will support it.”

Among other elements of the identity is a series of custom illustrations that capture these Coloradan symbols, along with traditional symbols of the sport such as the pitches and the ball itself. Rendered in a naïve style, the illustrations speak to a movement that eschews the typical sleek and corporate feel of professional football in favour of something more homegrown.

Equally keen to create a brand that can be taken seriously, the illustration is balanced by bold typography that mixes handwritten text with “strong” sans-serifs. These retain the personal touch of the overall identity, whilst ensuring that the messaging is clear and confident.

These elements were applied across a range of merchandise and promotional touchpoints including T-shirts, bumper stickers, scarves, posters, and a microsite. They were even used for a series of pre-addressed cards that were given to supporters to send to Denver’s new mayor as a way of showing their vested interest in the movement.

The cards were a success, with over 500 of them being collected by supporters at the organisation’s first event – which also sold out. In the first week alone, DFDC added 900 email sign ups, and saw 90% of polled participants express interest in season tickets for the potential team.

Reflecting on the project, the team at Wunder Werkz says that FDFC is a cause close to their own hearts. “Our studio is over 50% female, including at the partner level, so bringing professional women’s soccer to Colorado held a special significance to our team,” explains Hartman.

“The fact that we were able to successfully create a soccer brand in a way that felt fresh and inventive, while still being rooted in place, is extremely satisfying. We hope, with our work on For Denver FC, we brought a fairly unique view on what a sports campaign could and should be.”