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England Rugby looks to “reflect diversity” of the game

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England Rugby have teamed up with Onwards design studio to update the branding of the organisation, basing it around a “timeline” linear graphic system which is “flexible” and that will appeal to a wider range of people.

England Rugby, previously known as the Rugby Football Union, is the “national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby in England” say the organisation. The name was recently changed to England Rugby.


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With the 2019 Rugby World Cup on the horizon and the Six Nations Championship taking place early next year there will be a lot of focus on the sport over the coming months ahead.

Graeme Cook, Onwards co-founder says : “Rugby has a wide and varied audience, so we are conscious we have to cater for all types of people. We wanted to make the identity feel a bit younger and fresher, but we were aware we have to still make it attractive to people who play the game currently and have been knowledgeable about rugby for years. It was about trying to strike that balance.”

The studio have set out to create a new look that can be applied to different touchpoints, from large scale printed graphics to social media and digital channels.

Cook says that while the previous branding was “very consistent”, the studio has decided to “go for coherence over consistency” allowing for greater “flexibility”.


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The updated branding is focused on blocks of graphics and text, with some scrolling animations, in a system they have called “the timeline”. This has been designed to hold different types of content, from imagery to typography.

“We were working with England Rugby, which had the idea of rugby being the ‘game of our lives’ so we were looking at how to bring that to life visually and came up with a graphic timeline that aligns with the idea. It’s not just about the sport, but what it can do for you in general, such as [teach] discipline and respect, which you just don’t really have with some other sports,” says Cook.

The refreshed look intends to “reflect the diversity of everyone who plays and supports rugby in England”, he adds.


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Onwards say that rugby may have once been elitist but it is now “evolving”. The men’s team has become more “multicultural”, the women’s team is competing on a global stage and England Rugby is supporting initiatives across the country

The timeline uses imagery to showcase the diversity in the English game, ranging from photos of the women’s professional team to “grassroots imagery from social media”. The sans-serif typeface called Tusker has been used in different weights and styles for the identity.


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Cook says that as well as adding “flexibility” in the branding and communications, using the typeface in “varying weights and sizes reflects a bit about people who play the game – all shapes and sizes can play, so we liked the idea of that.”

The England rose logo remains the same and the colour palette has been kept similar.

Onwards have worked alongside England Rugby to roll out the branding across various touchpoints, including tunnel graphics and communications. It has already been used for this years Autumn internationals at Twickenham.


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