DESIGN: Upper 90 magazine

With the appeal of WNY’s professional soccer club FC Buffalo still rising—as well as the WNY Flash and a number of successful collegiate teams—it was only a matter of time before local entrepreneur and journalist Nick Mendola looked for a new outlet to increase exposure even more. Soccer has always been huge around the world and Buffalo, NY looks to follow suit with or without the rest of the country.

From there came the idea for a quarterly magazine spanning youth leagues all the way to the pros and the connections the sport has with our community whether the world coming here or us leaving for bigger opportunities. And after a lot of debate and research, what began as WNY Soccer magazine eventually evolved to Upper 90: Western New York’s Soccer Magazine.

Tasked to create an identity for the periodical, my first step was checking out other soccer magazines and seeing where the trends have been going. Deciding to go the contemporary route, I looked through the fantastic resource Lost Type and found a great thick, sans serif font named Cubano with which to build from. Looking to offset its mass—especially with the removal of each letter’s contour—with a thinner, more elegant complement, the “90” finally settled in as Edwardian Script.

Next came distilling a soccer ball into its spots, transferring the resulting icon into the “R” in “Upper”, and making the masthead brand two-color. The final design keeps the usual magazine rectangle to sit atop the cover while also providing options in what’s hopefully an attractive, modernized juxtaposition of strength and skill like the players on the field.

Come join us and Go Upper 90!

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