Futurebrand has created the visual identity for the Rugby World Cup 2019, which is currently being held in Japan. Inspired by “cultural cues” from the country, the design features a rising sun motif and a stylised version of Mount Fuji.

The London-based design studio began working with the global rugby governing body back in 2013, when one of its first projects was to rebrand the organisation from the International Rugby Board to World Rugby. As part of that project, it developed a visual identity featuring a shield device, which resembles a rugby ball positioned vertically on the pitch ready for kick-off.

The identity for the Rugby World Cup 2019 references this parent identity, in a move to create greater ownership over the event. Futurebrand design director Adam Savage tells It’s Nice That: “We were keen to use the design principles developed for World Rugby to create a greater thread between the governing body and the World Cup itself.”

Given the “significant moment” of the cup going to Asia for the first time, Futurebrand wanted to harness the “character-building value of world rugby and the rich cultural values of Japan” in the new identity, says Adam. “Growing audiences in a new region like Asia is something very exciting to the sport. We wanted to tap into some of the cultural cues more obviously connected to Japan.”

Futurebrand worked on a number of concepts, including the use of cherry blossom (used by the Japanese team in their emblem), working with the organising committee to find resonant ideas. The final design features a bright red “rising sun” within the World Rugby shield, which peeps out behind a graphic depiction of Mount Fuji. Futurebrand also created a full visual system to accompany the logo, which can be seen across the players’ jerseys, on the rugby ball itself, in stadiums and on TV.


How did we get here? A man who got stuck on a zipline, has lied to the general public on numerous occasions and has said more racist things than my great-uncle, is now the prime minister of the UK. Is it all down to a strong personal brand, perhaps? Agency Huge London certainly think so. Inspired (or rather, weirdly fascinated) by the mop-haired buffoon, Huge London decided to create a set of brand guidelines for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (aka BoJo), taking a poke at this polarising politician.

“Boris is keen on aggressively promoting himself as a living brand to the country,” says Huge London’s creative director Hari Bajwa. “He’s spent his entire career creating this brand for himself, with the ultimate end goal of reaching number 10. So we thought we’d mock the moment by creating a set of tongue-in-cheek Human Brand Guidelines for him. No political stance, just complete truth based on his own words and actions.”

Referencing exact words that have come out of Boris’ mouth and teaming up with Getty Images for the perfect shots of the PM jogging, giving a double thumbs-up or inexplicable brandishing a string of sausages, the guidelines outline the new PM’s tone of voice, personal values, art direction and colour palette. Although the team say the project is apolitical, large swathes of the guidelines reference Johnson’s gaffes or more sinister machinations, including the infamous Brexit bus (which promised £350 million a week to the NHS) or offensive outpourings. A line in the tone of voice section reads, “To appeal to the right, target the marginalised. Past examples include calling women in burkas “letter boxes’.”

Bland, slippery with a tiny nod to the hip, the brand guidelines also include some messaging do’s and don’ts referencing the PM’s inflated ego. Bajwa adds: “While this document intends to provide complete clarity, consistency and direction to his approach as leader of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson will just make it up as he goes along.”