You’ll be familiar with the name, and you’ll recognise the Italian shirt by Puma…but how are you on fonts?
The numbers and player names on the current Italian shirts are all set in the ‘Gaffer’ font designed by GBH. The typeface takes its inspiration from the 'make football anywhere' campaign by Puma which encouraged the setting up of impromptu goal posts made from any materials to hand.
GBH purchased 150 rolls of tape and begin experimenting with folding, ripping and sticking the tape into shapes, to form a full roman alphabet and the all-important numbers. Once satisfied with the look and proportion of each character, type impresarios Dalton Maag were brought in to help develop the full roman character set, and under the art direction of GBH, add all European accents before building a fully working, digitised font.
Although the gaffer font is consistent across all PUMA sponsored teams, a distinction is drawn between the African teams who are classified as 'speed' teams, and the European sides who are classified as 'power' teams. The 3D version of the numerals utilised by the Azzurri was designed specifically for Italy.
(Thanks to DesignBoom for the heads up)