Crystal Palace FC Annual

Grange Communications are a leading publisher and distributor of calendars, annuals and more and have been in operation for over 30 years. I have built a working relationship with them during my freelance career helping to deliver the design and production of the Crystal Palace Football Annual since 2019.

Brief: Design and deliver the Crystal Palace Football Club on a yearly basis.

Sector: Sport

Client: Grange Communications | Crystal Palace Football Club

Services: Editorial design | Brochure design


The production of each annual involves designing a total of 64 pages that can include:

  • Individual player stats
  • Club statistics
  • Fixtures
  • Previous season’s results
  • Player biographies
  • Quizzes
  • Illustrations
  • Much more

The annuals are designed to be visually exciting and enjoyable to read, with strong typography, illustrations and a clear, concise layout. This allows young fans the opportunity to browse it easily at their leisure, during matchdays or in their spare time.

My approach

The aim for the project each season is to reflect the tone of voice that I have developed through my sports portfolio and Crystal Palace’s brand guidelines. Working with Grange’s project manager, I managed the flow of content supplied to ensure that I was able to design and proofread in a timely manner to keep the project on track for delivery.

The 2020 Annual

Implementing the brand guidelines is key and this informed my use of typography, colours and imagery. Prevalent throughout the Palace brand is the ‘sash’, which I incorporated onto the front cover, implementing my own creative touch to the design with rendered imagery, brushes and textures.

Examples of the inner spreads include the ‘Palace Squad 2019/20’, informative biography of the current season’s players. I designed this to be clear, concise and engaging for readers while introducing some artistic flair. ‘Eagle Eye’ focuses on the best goals scored in the previous season, 2018/19, which is a memorable photo feature that showcases the great club photographer’s work.

Other features include a Wordsearch that would enable young readers to have some fun. Alongside this was the ‘The 2018/19 Premier League Season in Numbers’ feature showcasing key stats from the previous season. I made use of the photography on this feature, implementing player renders, brush strokes and use of colour.

The 2021 Annual

The production of the 2021 annual began amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, alongside the usual content, the annual featured about the club’s efforts throughout the pandemic and the fans as well as player spotlights, club stat’s and legend features.

The front & back covers incorporate the club’s brand guidelines, the bold, loud nature of their visual style which echoes the fanbases reputation and the club’s new kits for 2020-21 season.

The inner content focuses on a wide array of topics throughout the football club. This included club stats, the new 2020-21 kit, player & manager spotlights, season review, legends, colouring in illustrations and more.

These spreads are designed to echo the clubs loud fans, bold livery featured around the stadium and subtly incorporate the eagle, which pays homage to the teams nickname and late club mascot, Kayla the Eagle.


The outcome of the project each season is a fully designed 64-page annual delivered in time for the print deadline.

I work closely with a project manager at Grange, the photographers and content writers ensure a more than satisfactory delivery towards each and every article within the annual. It is essential to the production of the project for me to consider the club’s brand guidelines, latest news and any last-minute developments within the club that may affect the content.

My experience in managing the timely production of designs, getting them signed off for print, handling amends and clear communication is key in delivering this project within the client’s desired timeframe. Crystal Palace are often credited with having some of the noisiest fans around, but now they can safely say they’ve got a completely unique football annual too!


Matthew is very professional, communicative and goes out of his way to get the job done. His design of our book was just what we were looking for. Would definitely use Matthew’s services again. Would you be able to clone yourself so we can give you more work?

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