Design is everywhere. Look around you. It’s in the rooms we live, study and work in, how we travel, the environment; everywhere. There are different kinds of design, from service design, brand identity, digital design, architecture, way finding – the list is endless.

We believe that design is an undervalued discipline in schools in the UK. Not only that, we believe that design ‘thinking’, being able to appreciate design and to create new concepts that can translate stories into visual language that can transform communities, should be more appreciated in society, and so that’s why we developed Zonal – design and football, a project that brings the two elements together.

Coaches holding up shirts designed in Zonal sessions

What’s involved

We run 6 design sessions alongside football sessions. We introduce Zonal through a presentation and by looking at the various badges, kits and slogans of football clubs across the globe and building a discussion around these identities, how they’ve evolved over the years, and the narratives behind them.

We discuss colourways, sloganeering (we replace shirt sponsorship with a respectful, motivational slogan), and kit design. In week 2, we hand out art kits for the participants to begin their creative work, whilst providing guidance, positive feedback, and the guide-rails for learning. From thereon it’s just a question of how far your imagination can go!


Who’s it for?

We work with young people who lack confidence, or who don’t thrive in a large classroom setting where they can be a voice and face that just doesn’t fit into mainstream learning. We want to inspire and develop young people to find their own voice and confidence through small group sessions and by having both the creative freedom and practical guidance to begin their lifelong love and appreciation of design.


Building confidence and character through positive teaching experiences and creating a space for young people to express themselves. Ownership of the design process, so young people are more likely to be motivated to play football ‘anytime, anywhere’ in their kit rather than in the more formal settings of organised football. To introduce and encourage the start of a life-long love of both design and football and a possible future career in the creative industries.

Where have we delivered?

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy; In collaboration with Crawley Town Foundation and the Premier League Primary Stars delivered in schools in areas of deprivation across Crawley, Seymour Primary, Southgate Primary, Northgate Primary, and Bewbush Academy.