Tottenham Hotspur – To dare is to do

  • Alan Ainsley
With the 125th anniversary of the club fast approaching I was tasked with creating a new, distinctive personality, narrative and brand world. Updating the brand to create an identity that matched the club's ambitions both on and off the pitch.

The brand also needed to address many different audiences – from fans at home, through to a growing global fan base, broadcasters, businesses, and importantly for a family club like Spurs, the local community and people working within the club. The strategic piece of work saw us consult all of these, from key stakeholder interviews through to workshops with supporter groups.

The strategy, values, and ethos encompasses everything the club stands for – from its passion and progression as a club of firsts to its recognition of its heritage. From its heartland in the North of London to a global audience. It’s this combination of future and past, ambition and respect that makes it so compelling. And it's all encapsulated by a simple phrase 'To Dare Is To Do' and is now enshrined into the very fabric of the new stadium.
It was incredibly humbling, and a source of pride and honour to have worked with such an ambitious brand, the whole of the organisation and its audiences. To design a brand that would be owned and used by a community, and that would help the club grow its support base, revenue streams and sponsorship numbers.

And the design process illustrated the importance of involving the people who are closest to the brand, as it would be the supporters who focused us in on retaining the club's motto Audere Est Facere, which when translated gives us 'To Dare is to do.' It was they who felt it perfectly relfected the essence of the club, what they felt about it, what it was known for, its nod to its culture and history, and a reflection of the way the team plays its football.

What the whole of this work does is show the power of callaboration. This is as much about an identity that is created by the people who live the brand day in, day out. And importantly, it gave us a narrative. A strong thread that would run through all the club's communications, across every possible channel and environment. A powerful tool to change the way people think about the club, changing the way people thought about what had been, and embracing the possibilities of the future.
Working closely with Bruno Maag and his talented team at Dalton Maag, creators of fonts for clients ranging from BMW to the Rio Olympics, we created a bespoke font that could become a key asset to the Club and help protect the brand against copyright infringement. The font had to remain true to the club’s long held ideals, as well as standing the test of time and appearing to be fresh and modern. And of course we created a lovingly-crafted cokerel, rendered in multiple ways, that would form the backbone of future communications, and be worn with pride.
The font is a characterful, all-caps, slightly serifed typeface, with a design that has its roots in the industrial age. It is designed to be a display font which can be applied to a variety of uses, from merchandising to signage and on the club’s website. The font is also an integral part of the new crest that was created, where the letters of “Tottenham Hotspur” have been optimised to be used on a curve in the typeface.
The numerals also had to be carefully designed, as they would be used on the backs of the players’ shirts in large sizes and had to be readable even at a distance.
When looking at the work as a whole we collectively felt that we had added something dynamic, with depth, something for the future, and a single cohesive visual and verbal brand world.

My work with the Club also extended to originating the naming structure and brand for the Club's One Hotspur membership programme, and activity around its launch, and multi-channel engagements.
Credits to a great team who also worked on this: Designer, Richie Hartness. Typogrpaher, Bruno Maag. Illustrator, Chris Mitchell.


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        • Tottenham Hotspur logo

          Tottenham Hotspur

          • Non Creative Industries