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Mexico '86 and How it Opened my Eyes

Long before art college fine-tuned me into a graphic designer, it was the the 1986 World Cup that gave me a love of typography.

Originally Columbia was awarded host nation for the 13th World Cup but they had to throw in the towel for financial reasons, allowing Mexico to step up to the plate and become the first country in history to hold the event twice (they had previously hosted the tournament in 1970).

Looking back on the design, I'm not sure why it grabbed me so much but I just remember drawing it over and over again on every school book I had. Admittedly the type treatment had been pretty much lifted straight from the 1970 event but as that was before I was born, this was the first time I had really noticed its racetrack lines and, probably because this was Mexico's second bite at the World Cup cherry, its application to all manner of promotional fodder was relentless.

It was also the first time I became a true consumer and I consumed like a plague of locusts. From T-shirts to commemorative balls there wasn't anything that the World Cup brand appeared on that I wouldn't happily fork out my hard-earned pocket money for. But, over the course of the tournament, one thing cost me more than all of the rest put together ... the sticker book.

I was a big fan of sticker books at the time and the 1986 World Cup Panini sticker book was a cracker. I eagerly worked my way through the whole thing - from Waddle to Wilkins, Socrates to Shilton, I had them all. All that is except one. And to be honest, it was the only one that mattered. No matter how many of these silly packs I bought I never could quite lay my hands on ... Diego Maradonna.

Then of course he went on to dump England out of the tournament and took off with a trophy that was rightfully ours.

And that is how Diego Maradonna ruined my World Cup. Twice.

Al Mitchell - Creative Director

Author Potting Shed