Celebrating the Rugby World Cup

Stephen Woowat

This year Leeds is one of several cities across England to play host to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The event is a celebration that goes beyond the games themselves and is a chance for the city to embrace the sport from every corner.

We worked with Leeds City Council and Dep Arts to bring to life it’s cultural programme – Try.

Try is a coming together of the sport and the arts – a series of live theatrical performances that celebrate different aspects of the game’s spirit. Slung Low’s ‘Rugby Songs’ heroes the game’s fan and national songs, while Tangled Feet’s ‘Collective Endeavour’ is a thrilling mass participation public theatre performance, capturing the power and grace of rugby’s famous traditions.

The name Try creates an easy shortcut to the world of rugby, but also speaks of the event’s bigger ambition: to encourage people to take part – both as a spectator and as a volunteer in the performances themselves. It throws out the challenge to come and experience something new and a bit different.

The identity is built around the idea of a spectacular expression of rugby for everyone – bought to life through a series of rugby ball shaped heads. They became something that allowed us reflect the diversity of expression and the inclusive nature of the events themselves. By being playful with them we could also bring out the challenging nature of it, not everyone reacting in quite the same way.

From the outset of the project we were mindful of not appearing visually trapped by either the world of sport or of the arts. It needed to feel a bit more unusual and speak to a much wider audience.

We worked with MH Jeeves for the illustrations – her style having a great expressive energy to it and a maturity that lent a more sophisticated edge that avoided straying into being too cartoon-like.