crystal palace 2020 banner

Crystal Palace Football Annual

Since 2019 Matthew King Creative has delivered publication designs for Crystal Place FC and Grange Communications. The publications feature club stats, squad information, player interviews, quizzes and more content designed in line with the football clubs’ brand guidelines.

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

Sector: Sport

Client: Grange Communications | Crystal Palace Football Club

Services: Publication and Brochure Design

The Challenge

The production of each football 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 football 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.

crystal palace publication design

The 2020 Football 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.

crystal palace fc annual
crystal palace squad spread

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.

season in numbers spread
eagle eye spread
cpfc developing the future spread
crystal palace 2021 football annual

The 2021 Football 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.

Spotlight CPFC Spread
crystal palace season review
club kits and info


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!

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